elizabeth salthouse

Birthplace of artist Raphael, home to one of the most beautiful high Renaissance palaces in the country, UNESCO World Heritage site: you’d think the hilltop town of Urbino would be high up on the tourist wish list (no pun intended!). …

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 an even more exotic, mythical icon to symbolize its power and stature. And …

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 mascherone, grotesque masks installed to ward off evil. Rome’s Palazzo Zuccari is a prime example of …

Maremma, southern Tuscany, is a timeless region with ancient roots. People have thrived here for centuries. From the Etruscans to the Medicis to today’s modern Tuscans all have left their mark. And its here, amongst the green hills, flat marshes …

For centuries they were the only way to travel, criss-crossing the shallow lagoon and navigating the city’s iconic canals. Today, whilst Venice’s gondolas still glide silently through the waterways few visitors know their history, happy to just enjoy the view …

With more Unesco world heritage sites than any other country in the world and a history that spans millennia from the ancient Roman empire via Michelangelo’s art Renaissance to the world of operatic theatre preserving Italy’s historic culture is an …

Rosolio has enjoyed popularity in Piedmont and Sicily for centuries, drunk by hosts and their guests on special occasions to signify and convey good luck. It’s a floral liqueur that has often been used as the base for other alcoholic …

Ever since Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, Christians have sought solitude as an act of devotion and dedication to peaceful prayer. Devout and secluded Christian communities began to spring up across Europe as early as the 3rd and …

Ancient Romans and Greeks adored the human form, sculpting and painting it in all its nude glory. Renaissance artists who followed centuries later were captivated by the purity of the ideal ancient forms and revived classical values to fill contemporary …

Throughout history, civilizations have come and gone from the Italian peninsula, each one leaving its mark. From the Etruscans’ stonework to Greek architecture, Arabic cuisine to French rule, all made an impact. And none more so than the Ancient Romans. …