Culture

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...
Naples and its surrounding territory are a land of contradictions where the thirst for wonder and magic, the unknown and the curious blend with the seductive sun-religion of the pagans. Photo from "One Day in Naples" Exhibit by Flavia Loreto

Rites, magic and mysteries of Naples: the miracle of its millennial charm

Magic, mystery, a thirst for wonders and for the unknown, and a pagan sun-religion. Naples metabolizes three thousand years of culture and...
The stunning works of Villa Romana del Casale also include the famed "Bikini Girls", a depiction of a group of young women wearing bandeau tops, bikini bottoms and even anklets that would look perfectly at home on beaches of Southern California today.

The Bikini girls, archeological gems of Piazza Armerina

When modern bikini hit the shelves in Paris in the summer of 1946, Mediterranean women quickly snatched up it. One year later the world’s smallest...
If you know how to read a Venice map you'll unearth the hidden history of the city

Decoding Venice’s hidden history right under your feet

The streets of Venice cast their spells on thousands of visitors every year. From the day-trippers ticking St Mark’s off their bucket list to summer...

Beyond the Basement: Cultures Survive through Stories

When Niccolo Machiavelli penned his masterpiece, The Prince, Italy was a land divided and besieged by many foreign forces. In his last chapter, “An...

Raphael, Prince of the Arts: A New Film Explains His Genius

N obody would ever question the formidable artistic genius behind Raphael’s greatest works: together with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo...

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...

Emilia-Romagna, Land of Filmmakers (Part II): Antonioni and Ferrara

After visiting Fellini’s hometown of Rimini, our journey through the cinematic roots of the Emilia-Romagna region leads us to the city of Ferrara...

Cinema Italia Brings Dino Risi and its Commedia all'Italiana to San Francisco

“Call this a comedy-drama in which the comedy is only a surface symptom.” This sentence, found on a copy of the New York Times from 1963, is the...

The Italian American Intellectual

Why is it that Italian America is better known for its wise-guys then for its wise men and women? In 1927, after the United States had severely...

Bustling Bagheria, town of villas, eccentricity and art

Bagheria is a curiosity, a literary space in the most exotic place in Europe: Sicily at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, part of Europe and...
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,...

L’uovo di Pasqua – More than Just an Egg

Just about the time when the long cold days of winter come to an end, and heavy wool coats are hung up and being put away, one can start seeing...
Scoppio del Carro at Easter time. © Cellai Stefano | Dreamstime.com

The Explosion of the cart – A Florentine Easter tradition

The “Scoppio del Carro” or Explosion of the Cart, is one of the most spectacular festivals in Italy. It’s an ancient tradition that is deeply rooted...

Traditions

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