Culture

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...
Frank Sinatra in one of his performances as young singer

Frank Sinatra, the story of his early life as young Italian-American

Francis Albert Sinatra was the only child of two Italian immigrants. His father was Anthony Sinatra, a New York fireman of Sicilian origin, and his...

There’s more to Italian Fall than you think

My memories of the Fall are so stereotipically Italian they could go on a postcard. Those I cherish the most, of course, come from my childhood and...

Mandello del Lario: iconic Moto Guzzi, Manzoni and lakeside mountains

My dad had a bright red Moto Guzzi that in its day was quite sporty and cool, with its spreading eagle wings on the motorbike logo.  He was dating my...

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...

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