Category Archives: History

What are pietre d’inciampo and why we should care?

If you walk along the Lungotevere riverside in Rome, or Via Carlo Alberto in Turin or through the Cannaregio district in Venice you may spot something glinting on the pavement. A little brass cobblestone or plaque set into the concrete outside … Continue reading

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Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

For many people Valentine’s Day is a day for roses, chocolates and public declarations of affection or even proposals. For others it’s just a modern commercial rip-off. But did you ever stop to think how Valentine’s Day started? Here’s a hint … Continue reading

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Free entry to Italian state museums on first Sunday of every month!

We all like a freebie, right? Well how about free tickets to over 300 Italian state museums, gardens, monuments and archeological sites? Interested? Thought you might be!! Read on……. Domenica al Museo free tickets The government initiative called Domenica al … Continue reading

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Festa della Repubblica Italiana – Italian Republic Day, 2nd June

Did you know that today, June 2nd, is a national holiday in Italy? Government offices, post offices and schools are closed across the land. And many archeological sites such as the Colosseum and Forum in Rome close too as Italians, … Continue reading

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Happy 2768th Birthday Rome, 21st April!

Murder, myth and mystery surround the founding of the Italian city of Rome. According to one story, the founder was a Trojan hero, while another tells of 2 brothers fighting it out for the prize. Whatever the truth, Rome traditionally … Continue reading

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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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Venice Ghetto, 500 years old

The Italian language has given us many words. Pizza, pasta, primadonna, opera, ballerina, soprano; the list goes on and on! But did you know the Italians also gave us the word ghetto, meaning enclave or inner-city slum? In fact the … Continue reading

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