Robert Nordvall

Robert Nordvall, who lives in Pistoia, is a member of 'Citt Nascosta' and has participated in many of its tours.

Articles by the author


A man of two museums

Among all the giants and geniuses of art in the history of Tuscany, only one has two major museums in the region, one in Florence and the other in Pistoia, dedicated to his works: Marino Marini.   Born in 1901 in Pistoia along with his twin sister, Egle, who throughout


Getting a handle on graffiti

We  introduce this space as a forum in which TF readers can voice and exchange their opinions, concerns and kudos about life in Florence and Italy. E-mail your letters to ...


Taking Tuscany by two wheels

There's a new 62-kilometer bike path running from Arezzo to Chiusi along the Canale Maestro della Chiana. Details about the path are available at (in English and Italian), and a large brochure is available at the tourist information offices in Arezzo (adjacent to the train


More than a day in Pistoia

First-time visitors to Italy typically visit the most famous cities and have a ‘must see' list. My most vivid memory of this phenomenon is a day in Rome when a tourist group passed by me, the guide saying, ‘On your right the Trevi Fountain, Three Coins in


Whom do you prefer?’

Obama or Illary?' I've lost count of how many times an Italian has asked me this question (with the wonderful silent H). Before John McCain sewed up the Republican nomination, I don't think I was asked once about whom I preferred in his party. Furthermore, I have no


Irresistible temptation for the shopaholic

I confess to an addiction that has caused me to have to find ways constantly to expand the clothes storage space in my apartment. Others, however, may be able to enjoy the experience of the traveling market in a more balanced fashion.   In most Italian cities, the traveling market


Still fighting after all these years

Few nations suffered more than Italy during World War II. Italians were killed by Allied troops, German soldiers, and other Italians. From 1940 into 1943, Italy was one of the Axis powers. Then, from 1943 through 1945, while Allied troops fought the Germans in Italy, the country was also ravaged


Where lava flows,

The only European nation with active volcanoes, Italy has Mount Etna in Sicily, Mount Vesuvius near Naples, and Stromboli, located on the island of the same name off the Sicilian coast. Vesusvius last erupted in 1944, causing only a few minor casualties.  Film buffs will recognize Stromboli thanks to


The hidden city

After you've seen the world-famous sites in Florence, how do you gain access to artistic treasures closed to the public? Città Nascosta has the answer.   Italy’s artistic patrimony is the world’s largest, but not all of it is on display. In 1994


Sinking your feet into Italian soil

Many tourists, seduced by the beauty and lifestyle of Italy, fantasize about living here either temporarily or permanently. How does one do it? First, a dark secret: Although Italy is concerned about illegal immigration from some countries, if you arrive as a tourist from a nation that is not seen


Bicycle built for tour

Lists of Dream Bicycling Destinations almost always include Tuscany.  So you know it is a great place to cycle, but what is the best way for you to experience a Tuscany cycling adventure?  Consider the following:Planning Your RouteTuscany is a bike riding paradise. Great routes abound throughout


The media is the message

‘Reading a newspaper in Italy can be quite a unique experience that should be reserved for the bold, the brave and the very brilliant. If you fall somewhat short of ...


Is the Pope catholic?

When I moved to Italy, as a Protestant, I was interested to see what religious life would be in a Catholic country.   As a philosophy and religion major in college I had studied the history and theology of the Catholic church.I also had some understanding of the


Italian politics for dummies

For those of us coming from countries with a two-party (maybe 2 ½ ) system, Italian politics seems a hopeless confusion. You can try diligently to learn all the names, principles, symbols, and faces of the endless parade of political parties, or you can aspire to a “quick and


A day in Pistoia

“You live in Pistoia, how quaint” was the response of  a friend from Florence when I told him about my place of residence.  His reply pretty well sums up the ...