Culture

The many names of Italian cities

N ew York is the Big Apple, Chicago is the Windy City and Los Angeles is, as its very name tells us, the City of Angels. Cross that pond and come to...

Venice’s lions still roar

Rome has the she-wolf. Sicily has the 3-legged Medusa. And Turin has il toro, the bull. Up in the northeast, however, the lagoon city of Venice chose...

When reality is made on stage: Spettacolo and the living theatre of Monticchiello

Truly poetic and delicately beautiful: this could be Spettacolo in a nutshell. But I wouldn’t pay it justice, because there’s so much more to it than...

Savor a section of the Via Francigena: Abbadia di Isola to Monteriggioni “a piedi”

All roads lead to Rome as the old saying goes – all 1,243 miles of road when we’re talking about the Via Francigena, the ancient byway connecting...

The secret geometry of Florence: a scientific tour of the renaissance city

Michelangelo, Raffaello, Leonardo... and then again Leonardo, Galileo, and many more famed artists and scientists: there is no doubt that Firenze –...

Mascherone, home protection the old-fashioned way

Today most self-respecting homeowners install alarms and locks to protect their homes, but step back to the 16th century and the preference was for...

Words are Stone: Impressions of Sicily by Carlo Levi

Carlo Levi’s Words Are Stone is an unrecognized classic in the travel book genre. However, this is not a travel book for the sightseeing tourist...

Le Buchette del Vino, Florence's Little Wine Tabernacles

Let’s say you find yourself in Florence on a fiery-hot summer afternoon, walking around the city’s narrow streets in a carefree manner. Let’s also...

Coffee and “scaramanzia,” an entirely made in Italy match

My neighbor is from Naples. We bonded over our personal obsession on a Spanish novela and our love for coffee: we’d invite each other for one several...

The last days of Pompeii: what really happened?

Pompeii is without a doubt one of the most exceptional archaeological sites in the world, probably the most relevant, for the wealth of findings and...
The David, in all its awe-inspiring glory, is at once human anatomy at its best and a call to the white marble that made Carrara famous

Michelangelo, Love and Death: A New Film Rediscovers His Art

Being one of the most celebrated artists of all times, as well as a leading figure of the Italian Renaissance, the great Michelangelo Buonarroti...

Italy and mass tourism: more is not always better

Tourism is one of the main motors of Italian economy, but something has been going awry in the past few years. Senseless mass tourism hasn’t really...

Italy’s artistic patronage at its best in the U.S.

How often have you met couples that are far from being harmonious? That is, with the partner telling the other: “You do your thing, I’ll do mine!”...

Volcanic lakes, tufa badlands and ancient baths: the Roman Tuscia

Ancient and of immense interest is the history of Roman Tuscia, also know as Alto Lazio. Its natural characteristics make of it a very peculiar...

Emilia in the Time of the Terramare: A Glimpse of Prehistoric Italy

There was a time when the Italian Peninsula had yet to become the “Cradle of Western Civilization,” a distant era in which Roman and even Etruscan...

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