Category Archives: Famous Italians

Famous Italians : the one and only Giacomo Casanova

The name Giacomo Casanova conjures up scenes of debauchery, womanizing and sex. And down through the ages numerous books and films have tried to capture the legendary seducer’s persona. So as we celebrate the adventurer’s 290th birthday let’s take a quick … Continue reading

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Beware the Ides of March!

Caesar : Who is it in the press (crowd) that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, Cry ‘Caesar!’ – Speak! Caesar is turn’d to hear. Soothsayer : Beware the Ides of March. Caesar : … Continue reading

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Famous Italians born today – Amerigo Vespucci, born March 9th 1454

If Amerigo Vespucci isn’t a name that you’re particularly familiar with, let me enlighten you with 12 fascinating facts about the man who gave his name to, not just one, but two continents! Vespucci was an explorer in the early … Continue reading

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Celebrating the Festa delle Donne, 8th March

This weekend Italians are preparing to celebrate the Festa delle donne, otherwise known as International Women’s Day, with Mimosa flowers, cakes and festive events. The revelries are a little over-shadowed by a report, published this week, showing a yawning pay … Continue reading

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Italian Art 101 – Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione has Edinburgh retrospective

As a painter Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was groundbreaking, inventing new techniques still in use today, 250 years after his death. As a man, he seems to have been hard to live or work with, having a particular reputation for angry outbursts … Continue reading

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Celebrating San Martino in Venice

The day starts quietly enough. Street sweepers prepare the city. Church bells call the faithful to worship. And the Grand Canal gently fills with vaporetti water-buses as locals go off to school and work. The Venetian tranquility is, however, abruptly … Continue reading

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Il Galateo – a 16th century Italian guidebook for good behaviour

Guidebooks for Italy often advise visitors on the do’s and don’ts of good behaviour in the bel paese or beautiful country. Do give up your seat for seniors. Don’t wear mini-skirts in church. Do open the door for ladies. Don’t get drunk. But … Continue reading

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