History & culture

How Did Your Italian Family Get Its Name (Cognome)?

April 2016 |
If you are like me, you may have wondered how your family got its surname or cognome in Italian. I find the sound of Italian family names very melodious, particularly here in America, where they are often butchered in both pronunciation and...

The Power of Relics

April 2016 |
During the 1300s, the Italian peninsula was occupied by numerous independent kingdoms, communes and city states that did not always live in harmony. The period saw the generally sustained growth of thriving urban centers teeming with mercantile...

Steamship Ticket to the United States: November 22, 1911

March 2016 |
A. Name of steamship company: Navigazione Generale Italiana. Headquarters in Rome and offices in Genoa, Palermo, Naples. and Venice. B. Control number issued by Emigration Office in Naples. Ticket good for one passenger in 3rd class. C. Name...

A Rock Crystal Cross from Venice

March 2016 |
  It is commonly known that Venice has a long history for glass production extending back through the Middle Ages. Even today, the city is still highly-renowned for its glass studios as any visitor to the city can attest. Her glass furnaces,...

The Italian American Podcast

February 2016 |
Growing up in my hometown, just outside of NYC, in the 1990s, there weren't many, if any, other kids at school - unless they were my cousins - whose parents were born and raised in Italy. There were a lot of Italian American kids, but usually that...

The Legend of St. Valentine

February 2016 |
Legend has it that the Valentine takes its name from a young Christian priest who lived during ancient Roman times. During that period, Christians were jailed because of their faith and so it was with Valentine. Often he thought of his loved ones...

Filippino Lippi's Holy Family

January 2016 |
Within the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art will be found one of Fillipino Lippi's great works representing "The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Margaret." Lippi's sophisticated composition overlaps five figures in a...

Music for Christmas Mass

December 2015 |
A variety of liturgical manuscripts were needed during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance for the celebration of the Mass and offices. These included missals, gospel lectionaries, choir psalters, breviaries, graduals, and antiphonaries. Without...

The Splendor of the Doge

November 2015 |
Venice, one of the most beautiful and exotic of Italian cities, is renowned for its geographical setting, its architecture and the many important works of art housed within its churches and palaces. With its canals and bridges, Venice possesses a...
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