francesca bezzone

Speak to me! The amazing world of Italian dialects

The idea itself of dialect may be difficult to grasp for non-Italians. It’s not a language, yet it’s not a variety of one either. It may sound like...

What you See is not What you Get: Italy’s Forgers and Forgeries throughout the Centuries

History and art have a lot of things in common, of course. One of them is certainly the importance, nay, the essentiality of the concept of...

The eternal enchantment of the Eternal City: The Rome you Don’t Expect (Part III)

Little-known stories of the eternal city, of its artists and popes, families and colorfully clad armies. Through centuries of anecdotes, our short...

How modern they were! Everyday practices the Italian Renaissance gave us

There isn’t a period in history as quintessentially Italian as the Renaissance. Even though it spread throughout Europe, with the notable exception...

The eternal enchantment of the Eternal City: little known facts about Rome (Part II)

Piazza Navona: how beautiful it is. So beautiful one may even accept to pay an excruciatingly high price for a “granita al limone” and a coffee in...

The pleasure of writing, Italian style: the history of Aurora fountain pens

In a world where the younger generations are less and less acquainted with pen and paper, and more and more in love with keyboards, talking about the...

Fernet Branca, the Italian liquor that duped Prohibition

In Italy, Fernet Branca has always been an institution, especially among the older generation: both my grandmothers had a penchant for it and for...

History of Italian Cuisine... in a nutshell

We all love it and eat it, and we may even be somehow knowledgeable about how to prepare some of its most representative dishes, but what do we...
It is in Fabriano, in the central Italian province of Ancona, that the history of paper in Europe begins, in the late 13th century.  Photo by FranzGustincich

The secular history of Fabriano’s precious paper

The first memories I have of Fabriano paper are of the A5 notebooks we used in elementary school: each page was heavier and thicker than average,...
The dismantlement of the Emilian gang is just the beginning of a series of interventions to safeguard Parmigiano Reggiano producers and their products

Italian crime’s new frontier: luxury food theft

There is no peace to Italy’s most famous cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano. If counterfeit varieties of it were not enough to alarm producers, in the past...

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