Traditions

The 16th century pharmacy of the Pope

Every city has them, the so-called “hidden gems.” The places rarely visited by tourists, and the ones often forgotten about by locals. Living in a...

The secret waters of Liscia

Water carries life within: nothing could be and exist without it. Water is also frightful, because of its power, which destroys and obliterates. A...

Venice’s mouths of truth

Venice at the height of its power conjures images of merchant traders, carnival masks and debauchery. But for all its decadence Venetian life was...

Zafferiamo – the intriguing story of Pieve’s saffron festival

Used since ancient times for cooking, cosmetics and curative properties, saffron is the wonderfully aromatic queen of spices. The Greeks used it to...

Do you really know everything about pasta?

No! Not another article about Italy and pasta, I hear you crying. Worry not, this time we’re going to tackle the “pasta issue” from an entirely...

Fear in Italy: a trip through the country’s most haunted locations

Fall is my favorite season. Yes, I love chestnuts, truffles, cardigans, chunky scarves and pumpkin pies. But the real reason I love the fall is...

One, two, three steps to heaven

Rome’s Spanish Steps are famous around the globe. As too are Venice’s stepped bridges crossing her countless canals. And the Vatican Museum’s...

Regional stereotypes of Italy

Stereotypes: there’s always a bit of truth in every one of them, positive or negative, and those about Italy are plenty: Italians are loud, Italians...

Searching for the origins of La Bella Lingua (Part I): Dante and Florence

It appears that modern Italy was unified by literature long before it existed as a single nation on the map. Although up to a century and a half ago...

Italians: explorers of knowledge

October is a special month for Italian-Americans, dedicated as it is to their heritage and history. October is also the month remembering the coming...

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...

Tradition, and good, old fashioned habits can make you 100: at least in Italy

Italy is becoming a country of old men and women. Or is it? True, Il Bel Paese does have the lowest natality rates of the continent, with only 7.8...
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...

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...

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