francesca bezzone

That of presepe is, very likely, Italy’s best known Christmas tradition: it is popular from north to south and it is indissolubly tied to one of the country’s most important religious figures, Saint Francis of Assisi, patron on the nation. …

We all love – or should love – books. They keep the essence of culture and help passing it on to the next generations. They tell stories: invented, when they’re novels, of how events took place and why, when about …

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: medieval alleys and stone, “norcinerie” with their prosciutto and wild boar salame, the peaceful fragrance …

If you’re an ancient history buff, or if you took Classics in college, you may remember that on one faithful day, sometimes between the 7th and the 8th century BC, the Greeks set foot in Sicily, and never quite left …

To make a story good, you need to set its background straight.    So, think of Venice. Not that of today, of course, but rather that of the 18th century: then, la Serenissima had been enjoying her role of European …

When visiting Rome, I like staying close to the Vatican: there’s something magic in seeing “il cupolone” first thing in the morning that I wouldn’t change for anything. There’s something else I regularly do when there, I always cross the …

Italy is a wounded country. Never, in recent years, the Bel Paese has endured so much tragedy in such a short amount of time. Black-clad still, mourning the almost 300 victims of last August’s quake, Italians woke up a week …

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 Santa Maria del Fiore for granted. The wondrous, …

I’m a creature of the dark. No, nothing vampiresque or witchy in my statement, I just, quite simply, am naturally attracted to all that’s mysterious and saturnine. A victorian soul, if you will, charmed by the history of the unexplainable …

In Italy you know Winter has finally arrived when, upon entering a café in the mid-afternoon, the comforting scent of hot chocolate and whipped cream embraces you like an old friend. Now, hot chocolate in Italy is a serious thing: …