steven varni

A collection of 268 drawings, touch da Vinci’s notes to translate them and use the mirror lens tool to decode his reverse handwriting

Genius in your backpack: an inspiring app lets you take Leonardo Da Vinci everywhere

I’m a book person, having devoted pretty much all of my adult life to them in one capacity or another, from working as the book-buyer and manager of...
Carnevale, Venice, cult of confetti, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Carnevale and the cult of confetti

Childhood is in the details. Perhaps this is obvious, I don’t know. But it occurred to me recently that as much as we adults might, in depicting...
Joseph Luzzi, Two Tales, Italy, interview, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Joseph Luzzi’s Two Italies: an interview

The two lands designated in the title of Joseph Luzzi’s new non-fiction book My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) are embodied, on the one...
Violin maker, Venice, Italian artisanship, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

The music of time: A violin maker and son in Venice

It’s easy to be completely overwhelmed by the spectacle of Venice. For nearly a thousand years people have been describing it as nothing less than a...
Italian and American playgrounds, Venice Lagoon, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Rings over the abyss: On differences between Italian and American playgrounds

The unveiling at the end of this summer of a large new piece of playground equipment in the park on Sant’Elena where Angelina and Brad used to take...
Italian-American, higher education, Professor Donna Chirico, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Italian-American levels of higher education are surprisingly low: should we care?

According to a recent article in the New Republic magazine about the admissions process of Ivy League universities, a college like Yale now considers...
Venice Lagoon, Big Ships, Big Controversy, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Big Ships, Big Controversy

It was the best of decisions. It was the worst of decisions. It was, if you believe Italy’s Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, a triumph for the city...
Venetian Life, Remiera Francescana, Venice, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Launching Into Venetian Life

“I must count as half-lost the year I spent in Venice before I took a house upon the Grand Canal ,” wrote the once-influential American writer and...
Declarations of Independence, Venice, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Declarations of Independence in the Venetian lagoon

“Hey, bub, how’d you like to buy an island in the Venetian lagoon for 99 euros?” At a half dozen locations around Venice these days this is the...
Venezia, acqua alta, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

A Most Delicate Balance, protecting the Venetian lagoon

The image of a gondola has for over a century been synonymous not only with Venice, but with European tourism in general. None of the continent’s...