Culture

Volterra and alabaster: More than 3,000 years of art in stone

The beautiful walled city of Volterra, an ancient Etruscan town some 45 miles southwest of Florence, is famous for its well-preserved medieval...

Italian inventions: the utilitarian table fork, once a “scandalous” innovation

In most western households, forks are a basic part of a table setting — unless you’re all eating is soup. The relationship Italians have with the...

It wasn’t always the Romans: Italians before Romulus and Remus

Rome, caput mundi and glorious mother of western civilization, wasn’t the first power to rule over the peninsula. Naturally enough, a lot happened...

Syracuse Duomo: a story of 4 faiths, 6 conquerors and over 2500 years of history

Nestled on a little island, off the southeastern tip of Sicily stands a gleaming white cathedral. As the hot Mediterranean sun hits its towering...

Knocking on Italy’s door: Spotlight on Basilicata’s local identity

A beautiful article appeared a while back on the renowned pages of the New York Times. It was an incredibly entertaining and informative account of...

The Italian Cultural Institute wraps up a 2018 full of events

“The new year will open with an Italian evening organized by the LA Clippers in collaboration with the Institute and dedicated to the NBA champion...

The pine cones of Christmas

On one of my many trips to Italy in the early 1980s, I had the good fortune to visit with Father Romano Romani, a friend of my good friend, Dr...

Faith, wars and books: the eventful story of the Monte Cassino Abbey

One of the great things about modern libraries that is sometimes taken for granted is the access to books of many cultures and ages they make...

Italian Christmas cake face-off: panettone or pandoro?

You want clear lights on the tree, I think multi-colored are prettier; you prefer ham on the holiday table, I say turkey is tastier; you rock out to...

Word of the Day: Cappuccino

The word cappuccino means, literally, small hood, but of course we think of coffee when we hear it. Or friars, and the link is not haphazard at all...

Botteghiamo, Rome and the soul of Italian heritage

Today, I feel like to write about Rome and Italian heritage, but for once - our regular readers may be aware of my penchant for classical history - I...

La Marzocco: the coffee machine behind Italy’s best caffé

It takes a lot of things to prepare a good cup of coffee: obviously, a good coffee blend and a good machine, to say the least. There’s a brand that...

We still miss you: 25 years without Federico Fellini

It was All Souls’ Day, and Rome had woken up under the rain. It makes you wonder, sometimes, the way Nature manages to read into the heart of the...

3 Best Places to Visit in Florence

Are you planning a trip to Florence for the next holiday? Hop in as we take you through a handful of ways to have fun in one of the most significant...

The heart and soul of Naples: history and poetry of the Quartieri Spagnoli

“Napule è mille culure, Napule è mille paure, Napule è a voce d’ ‘e creature che saglie chiano chianu e tu saje ca nun si sulo:” Naples is a thousand...

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