History & culture

Spello's Infiorate: Saying It with Flowers

August 2017 |
It’s not just a kaleidoscope of flowers but seeds, wild field greens, wild fennel, leaves, and walnut, cypress and other seed pods blended in stunning floral tapestries to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Domini (60 days after Easter) in Spello each...

Celebrating Assumption Day: An Italian Tradition

August 2017 |
Assumption Day is celebrated every year on August 15 in Italy. This national holiday goes by many names including Ferragosto and The Assumption of Mary. This day honors the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary was physically taken to heaven by God...

Elegance Achieved: The Italian Rapier

August 2017 |
The word “rapier” refers to a sword with a long, narrow blade intended primarily for thrusting maneuvers and generally with some degree of hand protection formed by an elaborate hilt. Such swords were popular civilian weapons in the 16th and 17th...

Domus Aurea - A Stunning Tour of Emperor Nero’s Underground Golden House in Rome

August 2017 |
The Domus Aurea (Golden House) has one of the most historically exciting stories in Rome, starting with the decadent excesses of Emperor Nero and later becoming a source of inspiration for Renaissance artists such as Raphael. To most, Nero was the...

The Power of Venice

July 2017 |
In the Armor Court of the Cleveland Museum of Art may be seen an impressive portrait of Agostino Barbarigo (1516-1571), a member of a patrician family that helped rule Venice in the 15th and 16th centuries. Two of Agostino’s ancestors had...

The Power and Strength of Italy

June 2017 |
“Where would we be without the Italians? What would the quality of life be without their countless contributions? The great advances of the Rinascimento ensured that Italy remained the most highly cultured and civilized place in Europe even...

Textiles in Renaissance Painting

June 2017 |
Textiles were an important and expensive commodity in most affluent homes in Renaissance Italy. An inventory made in 1600 of the Florentine noblewoman, Camilla Magalotti, following the death of her husband, reveals no less than 929 braccia (1,771...

Italy's Republic Day

June 2017 |
Il 2 giugno segna il 71 ° anniversario della Repubblica Italiana. In quel giorno, milioni di italiani, in patria e all’estero, si fermeranno per commemorare solennemente il significato di un evento  che, forse ormai lontano nel...

St. Benedict’s Feast: Banners Waive Despite Destruction

June 2017 |
Only the facade of the Basilica dedicated to St. Benedict still stands in Norcia following the earthquake of October 30, 2016: a sobering backdrop to the celebration of his feast day this year. Declared “Patron Saint of Europe” by Pope...
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