It was easy and clever for the Romans to associate Christmas, the new feast, with one already well established, the Sol Invictus, the official sun god and a patron of soldiers, (in the image above), celebrated on the 25th of December

The origins and traditions of Christmas celebrations in Italy

Christmas is a universal feast. It is the apogee of all year’s celebrations for Christians all around the world; it is a time of love and warmth for...
Greccio & the live nativity

Greccio & the live nativity

Greccio is a small town near Rieti, where St Francis conceived the first living nativity scene ever made in history, in 1223. To keep this tradition...
Traditional Presepe - photo by zlatetic

The art of the Italian Presepe: different cities, different styles

The art of reproducing the nativity scene is linked to an ancient tradition in Italy. Three cities are particularly famous for their presepi: Bologna...
Basilica of St. Benedict - photo by atesevich

Central Italy: hope is stronger than the earthquake

Norcia: a cradle of tradition and art, a symbol of western culture, home to Saint Benedict father of monasticism and patron saint of Europe. Norcia:...
Made in Umbria: “Fired Up” in Deruta!

Made in Umbria: “Fired Up” in Deruta!

I have always loved ceramic ware. I grew up with the vibrant colors and hand painted decorative designs around me and my attraction to and weakness...
La Grande Guerra negli occhi di 36 giovani al fronte. A Siena gli archivi privati dei combattenti

La Grande Guerra negli occhi di 36 giovani al fronte. A Siena gli archivi privati dei combattenti

La mostra “Fotografi in trincea. La Grande guerra negli occhi dei Soldati Senesi” nasce da un lungo lavoro di ricerca che ha portato al ritrovamento...
Officina Santa Maria Novella

Florence's Scented Treasure: Officina Santa Maria Novella

There are travelers who get to know a new place by visiting its most famous landmarks, eating at the hotel restaurant, and sacking the main shopping...
Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia, 1399 - 1482. Credit: Chronicle/Alamy

An Unsung Genius of 15th Century Florence: Luca della Robbia

As unbelievable as it may seem, one can get used to Beauty. Try to live in a city like Florence for a bunch of years and you may end up taking even...
Portrait of Galileo Galilei. Italian School after J. Sustermans. Photo credit: Wellcome Library

Arcetri and Other Traces of Galileo's Life in Florence

As anyone who has ever been in Florence already knows, the Tuscan city abounds in all kinds of “traces” left by Italian geniuses of the past. One...
Fiat 500

Fiat 500 Restoration: You, Me and Sicily

Fiat 500 Restoration: You, Me and Sicily
The Seattle Art Museum's 16th-century Italian Room is one of the oldest wood-paneled rooms on display in the U.S. (Nathaniel Willson)

Seattle Art Museum’s Italian Room brings 16th century Italy to life

It may look as though the French have taken over the Seattle Art Museum this fall, as the museum hosts a lavish exhibit on designer Yves Saint...
Award-winning Italian blues harmonica player Fabrizio Poggi

Delta Italians Influence on the Blues - Urban Legend or Reality?

Almost lost to the annals of time, there’s a particular story of Italian immigration that most of us haven’t heard about in a history class, nor read...
Hadrian's Villa - Photo by alessandro0770

Walking in the emperor’s footsteps: Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli

Most Roman emperors liked to get out of Rome every now and then. Julius Caesar, Nero and Caligula favoured Baiae in Campania, enjoying its mild...
Swiss Guards at the Vatican— Photo by LuckyTD

The Swiss Guards: Pope's Private Army since 1506

After seeing La Guardia Svizzera , or in English, the Swiss Guard, standing at attention at the gates of the Holy City, donned with their halberds,...
Ferracci Store south of Shaw. Photo courtesy of Paul Canonici

Way Down South in the Land of Cotton: Italian Immigrants in the Southern Delta

Endless row upon row of cotton fields, shimmery white as far as the eye can see. A frosty glass of Southern sweet tea offers companionship to a plate...

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