Rondi Adamson
Rondi Adamson is a writer, editor and teacher in Toronto. Her website is

Entries by Rondi Adamson

Have You Seen These Two Overlooked Jewels in Perugia?

(2) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 12:18 PM

On your next trip to Italy, what would you think about learning to make stained glass, or to weave on a 19th century loom? It represents a refreshing change from shoe shopping; certainly more edifying and probably less tiring.

Look no further than Perugia, a gem of...

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Though He's Guilty, the Costa Concordia's Captain Walks Free for Now

(2) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 11:56 PM

The operative word is vergognoso -- shameful -- and my Italian friends have been using it repeatedly since the verdict in Francesco Schettino's trial was issued earlier this week in Grosseto, Italy.

Schettino was the captain of the Costa Concordia, which struck rocks off the island of...

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Why Cartoons Mocking the Holocaust Don't Challenge a Double Standard

(45) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 12:57 PM

Two organizations in Iran -- Iran's House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex -- are organizing their second Holocaust denial cartoon contests. Cartoonists are being asked to submit works denying or trivializing the Holocaust. The contest winners will have their work displayed at Tehran's Palestine...

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When it Comes to the Charlie Hebdo Attacks, There Are No Shades of Grey

(23) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 1:00 PM

Pope Francis has already made it clear that he doesn't understand economics. And now, he has made it clear he doesn't understand the nature of free speech or of a free press in the West. Really, I'm detecting some fallibility here, for with his comments about...

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The Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad As a Mature Student

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 5:25 PM

And yes, that would be me. No longer in my 20s. No longer in my 30s. And studying abroad (in Italy). Enjoying it but also finding challenges. Of course, there were plenty of those when I went off to university at the age of 18, but they were different than...

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Six Things About Italy that Might Surprise You

(14) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 12:43 PM

At times, Italy can seem like a boot-shaped cliché: people gesticulating madly, yelling in what seems like a rage when in fact they are discussing last night's delicious lasagna; tiny pink towns on hilltops; toddlers who already know how to tie a natty scarf. And people talking (and...

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Canadians Abroad, It's Time for an Attitude Adjustment

(12) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 1:53 PM

I'm Canadian, and feel lucky and pleased to be so. But that doesn't mean I don't think Canadians abroad couldn't stand to benefit from some attitude adjustments.

Just for starters, my fellow Canadians, it isn't a cause for outrage if someone thinks you're American. If you're from English-speaking Canada,...

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Call it a Funeral, Not a 'Celebration of Life'

(12) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 6:25 PM

Mother's Day this year was my first without my mother and with her birthday falling later this week, it is a bittersweet season for me. She died on April 1, a date I am inclined to think she held out for in her decline, knowing her wry, Scandinavian sense of...

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Stop and Look at the Poignant History Right Under Your Nose

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Last November, in Rome, I unintentionally stumbled upon a plaque related to the terrible rappresaglia, or reprisal, of Fosse Ardeatine.

It was March 24, 1944 -- this week marks the 70th anniversary -- when 335 Italians were massacred at the Ardeatine caves as grisly revenge for the...

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Can Someone Tell Us What Happens to Animals in Movies?

(3) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 10:26 AM

My better half says I should write a book called Bill Sikes' Dog.

The first time he suggested this was when we watched David Lean's 1948 version of Oliver Twist and I spent fifteen minutes after the credits had rolled saying (or screaming), "But what about Bill...

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There's Nothing Like Attending a Soccer Match in Italy

(1) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 5:43 PM

I have just returned to Canada from over two months in Italy, where I managed to cross something off, if not my bucket list, then at least my "stuff I really want to do" list: attend a Serie A match.

I was in Florence in late October,...

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Rob Ford: Victim of the Media or of Himself?

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 12:51 PM

Depending on with whom you speak, the truth is a) Rob Ford is the victim of a media attack the likes of which has never been witnessed in Toronto, including unjustified intrusion on his private property, or b) Rob Ford is the author of all of his problems.


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Political Correctness: Too Much and Not Enough

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 12:39 PM

The lack of political correctness here in Italy -- when not offensive, and I'll get to that -- can be quite refreshing. On the first day of the Amanda Knox retrial, currently being held in Florence, the judge, when asked by a lawyer if there was time to present a...

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Basil Fawlty and International Understanding

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 11:14 PM

It was the kind of exercise that I, in my teaching days, would not have touched with a 10-foot pole. The idea was to get us speaking in Italian using the present conditional and the past perfect subjunctive. The question was "what would the world be if country x, y...

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Is Cecile Kyenge The Jackie Robinson of Italian Politics?

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 6:59 AM

I am studying in Italy right now, and I love it. I get to sit outside and drink little cups of coffee and walk under 2000-year-old arches and on 2000-year-old aqueducts and buy wine wherever and whenever I please (yes, that was for you, LCBO) and look down on ingenuous,...

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I'm Politically Confused, and You Might Be Too

(21) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 6:26 PM

Shortly after 9/11, an acquaintance confessed that he thought Islamic extremists had some "good ideas" about female modesty. Oh, he was quick to add, he didn't agree with forced face -- or even hair -- covering, just that women should dress more modestly and wouldn't it be nice if girls...

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Ash-Scattering, Assisi and Two Fellows Named Francis

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 5:53 PM

In 2011, both of my cats -- seniors I had had since their kitten-hoods - were euthanized. Orloff, diabetic for the last four years of his life and blind as a result, had always been a little martinet as I stuck him with insulin and glucometers, seeming to understand that...

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Bend it Like Pirlo: Azzurri Legend Marks 100th Match for his Country

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 3:22 PM

"Forget 'bend it like Beckham,' it's bend it like Pirlo!" So exclaimed a friend with whom I was watching Italy's Confederations Cup match against Mexico on Sunday, after witnessing Andrea Pirlo's magnificent goal, scored on a free-kick from 30 metres. That it happened in Rio de Janeiro's fabled...

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Italy: Where Sport, Politics and Racism Dine Together

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 2:18 PM

Italians, said Winston Churchill, "lose wars as if they were football matches, and football matches as if they were wars." In 2013, the worlds of Italian sport and politics match and mirror each other in the unfortunate experiences of Cecile Kyenge and Mario Balotelli as victims of racial...

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So, About Merida's Makeover...

(4) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 1:05 PM

I'm really grateful for that petition asking for changes to Merida, Disney's newest heroine/princess, because I was looking at her and heck, she's got a bow and arrow! She could poke someone's eye out with that thing, or hurt an animal. I'm a vegetarian and the latter would...

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