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Travels

Hemingway’s Milan

December 20, 2010
Hemingway’s Milan

Capitalism has certainly won in Milan, and fashionably so. As we strolled through the Galleria, we found ourselves surrounded by Prada, Gucci, Massimo Dutti, and others labels my tragically fashion-unconscious self had never heard of, but names that had put Milan at the center of the couture map. There was McDonald’s. It would have...
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‘The Biggest Bluff in Europe’ – And His Train Station

December 13, 2010
‘The Biggest Bluff in Europe’ – And His Train Station

The old Red Cross hospital sits amid Milan’s busy center, a district of fashionable shops and banks, the two hearts of modern Milan, where motor scooters and yellow trolleys wrestle their way through streets crowded with businessmen and women jabbering on cell phones and shoppers toting bags and oversized purses. When Hemingway was here,...
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A New Age and 227 Devils

November 2, 2010
A New Age and 227 Devils

I followed the Piave into a grove of locust trees and into a field, where green grapes were just beginning to ripen on the vineyard rows. Not a trench, not an embankment, remained from the war. Across the field, I could see the bell tower of the church in town, raised in honor of...
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Another Way to War

November 1, 2010
Another Way to War

As hard as it was for me to believe I was here, exactly 92 years later, it was even harder for Hemingway to believe he was there back in his time. Here he was, an 18-old-boy from Oak Park, Ill., barely a year out of high school, bunkered with Italian troops, mostly poor men...
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The Boy of the Piave

October 29, 2010
The Boy of the Piave

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was playing on the CD player. L’Estate, Summer, was playing as we drove into the Veneto north of Venice, and as if on cue the rain began to fall as the musical storm arrived. Drops struck the windshield as the violins climbed to a crescendo. “Are you sure you can find...
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Hemingway’s Lipp and Fitzgerald’s Penis

October 26, 2010
Hemingway’s Lipp and Fitzgerald’s Penis

The Brasserie Lipp is famous for three things: Its choucroute; its cevelas, cold, squishy sausages smothered in mustard; and the man who made those sausages famous, a young writer named Ernest Hemingway, who came here when he had enough francs in his pocket for a cheap lunch. It’s not so cheap anymore. I had...
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