elizabeth salthouse

Sardinian seasilk, the world’s rarest thread

Rarer than diamonds, more expensive than platinum and found only in a few secret Sardinian sea caves, seasilk is the stuff of legend. Its long silky...

What did the Romans do for us?

Throughout history, civilizations have come and gone from the Italian peninsula, each one leaving its mark. From the Etruscans’ stonework to Greek...

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...

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...

Everyone is going mad for Rosolio

Rosolio has enjoyed popularity in Piedmont and Sicily for centuries, drunk by hosts and their guests on special occasions to signify and convey good...

Fig leaves : The great Italian cover-up

Ancient Romans and Greeks adored the human form, sculpting and painting it in all its nude glory. Renaissance artists who followed centuries later...

Urbino’s Renaissance legacy

Birthplace of artist Raphael, home to one of the most beautiful high Renaissance palaces in the country, UNESCO World Heritage site: you’d think the...

The last of the Tuscan cowboys

Maremma, southern Tuscany, is a timeless region with ancient roots. People have thrived here for centuries. From the Etruscans to the Medicis to...

Saving Italy’s monuments one designer handbag at a time

With more Unesco world heritage sites than any other country in the world and a history that spans millennia from the ancient Roman empire via...
Hermitage of San Colombano, Trambileno. Photo by freeteo

Seclusion, solitude and scenic settings: Italy’s hidden monasteries

Ever since Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, Christians have sought solitude as an act of devotion and dedication to peaceful prayer. Devout and...

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