Alohalani shares her thoughts about Rome …


I lived in Rome for 16 years. I augmented her citizens by two when I gave birth to Lehua and Cristoforo, my daughter and my son who still live there. Although I am essentially a Hawaiian woman, the 21 years I lived traveling around the world have formed who I am today. I have two homes: Hawaiʻi and Rome.

Rome is so many things in my mind, but she is quintessentially female. She is an aristocrat decked out in the beauty of her fountains, parks, and belle arti. She is an aging courtesan with an interesting past. She is a young woman discovering the power of her femininity for the first time.

It is a sensual city full of sounds, odors, visuals, and foods to be savored.

During the Spring, the historical center is pervaded by the distinctive fragrance of the False Chestnut trees lining the Tiber river. The weather is as fickle as Roman politics. Huge vases of flowers along with youths line the stairs of the Spanish Steps. Skirts are suddenly shorter and necklines are lower.

The coming of Summer brings with it hoards of tourists and San Pietrini cobblestones baking in the sweltering heat. Italians and tourists alike sit at street-side tables. Conversation is punctuated by laughter and the clattering of dishes being served or taken away: pomodori al riso, pizza, spaghetti alle vongole. Cars crawl past the restaurant tables crowding the narrow streets while moped zing.

Fall is my favorite season there. It is gourmet heaven: Mushrooms,Truffles, and Monte Bianco dessert. It is finally cool enough to enjoy heartier dishes: amatriciana, carbonara, straccetti, bistecca fiorentino, patati arrosti, polenta con salcicce. A gastronomic litany for the palate.

In the Winter, the rain renders the cobblestones slick and unlocks the scent of history embedded in the cracks between them.The perfume of roasting chestnuts sold by street venders mingles with the odor of fireplaces and hovers in the cold air.

Ah, Roma. Ma quanta sei bella. You are so beautiful. I shall see you soon, once again.

Hawaiians and Italy

Aloha kakou!

It’s been a awhile since my last blog, but Ku’ulei has been busy. I’m reminded of a chef whose adding beautiful spices and colorful garnishes to a dish. Mahalo Ku’ulei.

As promised, here’s the first mention of Italy in the Hawaiian language newspapers. One of the first printed newspapers in Hawai’i was called, Ka Lama Hawaii. This newspaper began printing on February 14, 1834 by students of the Lahainaluna Seminary under the guidance of Lorrin Andrews and Sheldon Dibble. Articles often had lessons that were being taught in their classes. Classes included bible study, foreign language, astronomy, math, writing and world geography. The article below was printed on April 11, 1834. It posts a picture of a buffalo and begins describing the animal, the lands that different types of buffalo are found, and some information about the different places & uses of such an animal. Here’s the first mention of Italy:

Ma Italia, a me kekahi aina, e kauo no lakou ma ke auamo, e like me na bipi. Na lakou no e huki i ka oo palau, a me na kaa, e like me na bipi kauo. Ua like ka ikaika o na Bufalo elua, me na bipi eha a eono paha.
He ili maikai kona, i mea kamaa. Ma ke kahi aina, ua ai ia kona io, aka, ua eleele, a ua haona. Ma Italia, hana lakou i kona waiu i bata, a i waiu paa, aole nae i ono, ua aiia i ka poe hune wale no.

In Italy, as well as other lands, they are beasts of burden, like cattle. They are the ones that pull the plows, and carts similarly to oxen. The strength of two Buffalo equals that of four or perhaps six cattle.
It has good leather, for shoes. On other lands, the meat is eaten, however, the meat is black and malodorous. In Italy, they make butter and cheese with its milk, it isn’t delicious. It is only eaten by poor folk.

The article continues on to describe other foreign lands and uses of buffalo. At this point in Hawaiian history, ships from all over the world were stopping in Hawai’i to resupply, to trade, to hunt or prepare whale and to seek Hawaiians as crewmembers as they were known to be excellent watermen. The first ship to arrive in Hawai’i came in 1778. An inundation of foreign ships came shortly after for various reasons. Ships from England, France, Russia, America and Spain passed through Hawaiian waters. Hawaiians were jumping on ships to travel and see foreign lands. In fact at some point, Kamehameha established a law forbidding Hawaiians to leave Hawai’i as large numbers of Hawaiians were seeking ships to go abroad.

The next blog will have information regarding the first foreign ships to pass through Hawai’i…..
Hawaiians go abroad.
Kalei Nu’uhiwa

(c) 2009 Kalei Tsuha

We Are Three

July 19, 2009 – the day we agreed to travel together