Ischia: An Island of Memories


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It began, as it so often does in Italy, with a love affair.

In the steamy summer months of 1960, a movie crew arrived on the Italian island of Ischia, 18 miles off the coast of Naples, to continue filming what would turn out to be one of the most expensive films ever made, “Cleopatra.” Soon after their arrival, the stars of the movie—Elizabeth Taylor (the Angelina Jolie of her day) and Richard Burton (the Welsh version of Brad Pitt)–began a love affair that caught the attention of paparazzi around the world. Photographers by the hundreds swarmed the island and followed the couple wherever they went. Since both stars happened to be married at the time (Taylor to then well-known singer Eddie Fisher), a world-wide romantic scandal ensued, complete with harsh headlines and, more importantly, photos of the madly-in-love duo. Continue reading “Ischia: An Island of Memories”


John Douglas, The Profiler

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It happened in Detroit on a Super Bowl Sunday in 1972. FBI headquarters had ordered a cross country gambling raid, looking to rope in 1,000 bookies and shut down as many parlors as possible in a one-day raid. One-third of those arrests were expected to come out of the Detroit office. The gambling houses would need to be hit hot and fast, since they were always on the look-out for such attacks, especially on high-level gambling days like Super Bowl Sunday. “I made three arrests that day,” John Douglas recalls. “One of them turned the direction of my life completely around. Continue reading “John Douglas, The Profiler”

The Tuscan Life

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The Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, in the center of historic Florence, is the oldest herbalist pharmacy of its kind in the world. It is where Michelangelo, Dante, Da Vinci and Galileo and other giants of the Renaissance came in search of cures for their various ailments. It had once been a monastery, home to Dominican monks who worked the herbal gardens in search of medicinal remedies. The modern world is left outside once you pass through the thick, ornate wooden doors. Continue reading “The Tuscan Life”