Monthly Archives: July 2010

Familiar Surroundings

After spending the greater part of my career covering – and then working for – Mayors, Legislators and Governors, it seemed only fitting that when I visited Corleto Monforte, the hometown of my ancestors in Italy, and met the Mayor (or “Sindaco” as the office is called in Italy), Antonio Siciliano, he turned out to be a relative.

Antonio opened up Town Hall for my wife Anne, my cousin Nonie and her husband Gianfranco and me at about 11 p.m., so he could present us with books about the history of Corleto Monforte. He signed copies for Nonie and me.

At the end of the night, we spent time visiting outside nearby the members of a local soccer team, who were celebrating a big victory. The Mayor would walk over and chat with them from time to time, much like political leaders in the U.S. do when a local team – be it professional, collegiate or Little League – does well and brings some pride to the area.

Covering the Vatican

I had an opportunity to attend a lecture by David Wiley, the BBC’s senior correspondent in Rome. He has been covering the Vatican for some 30 years. I was struck by the many similarities between covering Popes and elected officials. Read more

A Little Bit of NJ in Rome

John Cabot University in Rome, where I am teaching this summer, has two campuses. The Tiber Campus sits across from the Tiber River, so the reason for its name is obvious. Unless you are from New Jersey, the significance of the name of the campus where I teach is not so obvious. I teach at the Guarini Campus – named after Frank Guarini, who represented Hudson County in Congress for years. Guarini is a trustee of John Cabot University, and the school’s public policy institute is named after him.