peter tafuri

The Italian Christmas Eve dinner of seven fishes is a most interesting link to Dies Natalis Sol Invictus, the birthday of the sun

The Italian Roots of a Merry Christmas

Decking the halls with boughs of holly, wreaths, lights, the Yule log, gifts, feasts, peace on earth, good will towards men, the Nativity Scene (...
Fra’ Diavolo & Bands of the Holy Faith

Fra’ Diavolo: Champion of Liberty

The French Revolution began as an uprising of the people against the tyranny of the ancien regime, but by 1798 Napoleon had risen to power and was on...
Marcus Aurelius acquired the reputation of a philosopher king within his lifetime, and the title would remain his after death

Marcus Aurelius: The Philosopher King

Marcus Aurelius, one of the greatest Emperors of Rome and an important philosopher, was born on April 26, 121 AD, the son of Marcus Annius Verus and...
Alessandro Volta, Horror Stories, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Experiments that inspired one of the most famous horror stories of all time

Bringing the dead back to life has long been the stuff of miracles and horror stories, strictly due to supernatural forces, whether good or evil...
Magical Powers, Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

The Magical Powers of Count Alessandro di Cagliostro

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, or perhaps Giuseppe Balsamo, man of mystery, magician, physician, alchemist, philanthropist or con artist? Whatever...
Catherine, De Medici, France’s Greatest Queen, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

The Italian Who Was France’s Greatest Queen: Catherine De Medici

When Lorenzo II de Medici’s only child, Catherine, was born in Florence in 1519, he had no idea she would someday be France’s greatest queen. Both he...
Ludovico Ariosto, Greatest Epic Poet, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Ludovico Ariosto, the Greatest Epic Poet? The literary masterpiece Orlando Furioso

Over two thousand named characters, action which spreads across the earth and even to the moon, female warriors, monsters, magic, three main plots,...
Masaniello, Fisherman to Folk Hero,italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Tommaso Aniello aka Masaniello, from Fisherman to Folk Hero

Those of us of a certain age may perhaps remember when history textbooks claimed that one of the "problems" with our immigrant ancestors was that...
Roger II, First Renaissance, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Roger II and the First Renaissance

The Renaissance proper began in Florence in the Fourteenth Century, a rebirth of the learning of classical antiquity, the discovery of long lost...
Giovanni Branca, Industrial Revolution, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Giovanni Branca – Grandfather of the Industrial Revolution

A common complaint about old houses is the lack of closets. The explanation is simple; before the Industrial Revolution the average person owned...

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