Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

Latest Blogs


Update from America: Things I’ve Missed

Ms. Doom and Gloom interrupts her cross-cultural commentary to bring you a brief list of items she is happy to have at hand once more in the U.S. after a very, very long hiatus. I think they used to call it a listicle. In any

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Update from America: Moments of Cultural Pause

We flew back to the US from Italy this week. I say this week because it did indeed feel like a round-the-world ticket. A friend messaged me in surprise, You’re not there yet?! Sigh, no, here’s why. We drove to Milan and spent the night

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Update from Paris: The Hammam of La Grande Mosquée

My Finnish possible heritage compels me to investigate communal bathing whenever I find myself far afield: Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Italy, the U.S. Now for France! A bit of extra time at the end of my recent Episcopal jaunt to Paris gave

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Thoughts on Roe

I was born in 1973, almost exactly nine months after the Roe v. Wade decision. My parents were young and married. I remember my childhood as a a comfortable, safe life, but wealthy by no real stretch. We went to public (American definition) schools, drove

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Paris My Way: Collected Observations

In a city as charming as Paris, things start looking familiar at every turn, which can quickly make geographic disorientation an occupational hazard. This is also the case with Ljubljana, but less so with Florence. It is strange to feel more European than ever landing

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How It Went

It all came on so fast. Who could have expected it?  It’s nothing, you say, it’s probably fine.  The small hot knot in the lower belly, the discomfort, the fever. The indignations of advancing years include a drying of the skin, a tightening of the

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American Grief Abroad: Stream of Conscience

America has shown us once more that the culture does not value life.This contradicts what certain factions claim about a woman’s right to choose: if and when to have a child.This piece expresses perfectly how I perceive the passing flurry of interest and media debate

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