Culture

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...

Celebrating an unusual Italian Easter

Chocolate eggs are stacked high in supermercati, Colomba dove cakes decorate pasticcerie windows and lambs are being made ready for the dining table...
For Christians, the Passover Seder became known as the “Last Supper,” the foreshadowing of Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection on Easter Sunday and the beginning of Christianity

The Full Moon and Easter Sunday

For a number of years, I have wondered why Easter Sunday falls at different times of the spring season. Although Easter usually comes in the month of...
View of the promenade in the downtown of Alghero, Sardinia. Photo by AlKan32

Alghero, a small Barcelona in Italy

Barcellonetta, an Italian term meaning small and pretty Barcelona, is the nickname for the city of Alghero, on the Northern coast of Sardinia dating...
Vista panoramica di Trani. Photo by milla74

Southern Italy’s Diverse Heritage (part III)

We made a brief stop at Grassano, one of the two small southern villages where Mussolini exiled Carlo Levi to silence him during the fascist’s...

Italian … makes Italians

“Fatta l’Italia, bisogna fare gli Italiani,” famously said Massimo D’Azeglio shortly after the unification of Italy. And he was right: in those...

The Malaspina Castle of Fosdinovo, a Place Shrouded in Mystery

During the early Rena-issance, the noble Malaspina family became so powerful that it managed to rule over the border region between Tuscany, Liguria...

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