NEWS FROM : ITALY  

Lasers are being used to remove graffiti from historic buildings in Italy without damaging their fragile surfaces. Generations of visitors to cities such as Florence are among those to have left their mark. But this unwanted legacy is being erased thanks to lasers wielded by a team of volunteers nicknamed Angels of Beauty. For visitors to Italian c...

Rome’s ultra-wealthy took weekend trips here to party. Powerful statesmen built luxurious villas on its beach, with heated spas and mosaic-tiled pools where they could indulge their wildest desires. One resident even commissioned a nymphaeum - a private grotto surrounded by marble statues, dedicated solely to ‘earthly pleasure’.   More than 2,000 y...

A solitary woman dressed in dark regal hues, her fingers adorned with  topazes and opals,  a voice as deep and smooth as the softest of velvets. She sits in a room scented like opium and incense, twilight cloaking everything in purple and orange. In front of her, there they are: beautifully decorated, colorful, mysterious, frightening.   This is wh...

Spring is officially here. After the Winter season has shuffled off for a few months, it's time to enjoy the sunny, picturesque joy of Spring. In Italy, it's a time of great tradition, with some events going back to past, historical times. Join me as I take you on a tour of some of the most memorable and interesting Spring festivals to enjoy in Ita...

You won’t need anyone to tell you when you arrive in Puglia’s Itria Valley. You’ll know you’re there when you see mysterious stone buildings with conical roofs suddenly appearing everywhere you look. You might need to remind yourself that you haven’t suddenly entered a fairy tale land peppered with miniature castles. Instead, you will see for yours...

The lands that surround Catania and Mount Etna in Sicily have been farmed since the Neolithic; indeed, they’re home to the oldest agricultural civilization on the island. The land is so fertile thanks to volcanic soils; vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain, the highest active volcano in Europe, and the broad plain o...

“Castel dell’Ovo has become a symbol of Naples, not only as seen on millions of postcards and photos, but also for its history and legend,” says Valerio Ceva Grimaldi, author of Secret Naples. The castle and its namesake legend, he points out, remain one of the most historic symbols of Naples and a reflection of its unique culture. “It was very imp...

Among Italian liqueurs we can find Nocino that is obtained from walnut husks placed in infusion. It is a distillation procedure customary of many European countries that gives a drink with an intense walnut flavour, but which in Italy has a much more remote tradition. From the ancient Romans we have learnt that the British population of the Picts u...

Lorenzo da Ponte, born on March 10, 1749, would go on to become one of the great librettists in the history of opera. He was born Emanuele Conegliano, but when his father converted from Judaism to Catholicism to marry a Catholic woman, he took the name of Lorenza da Ponte. He studied at the Ceneda seminary and eventually moved to the seminary at Po...

Amaro, Italy’s signature bitter liqueur, is prized for all the barks and herbs that famously aid digestion after a big meal. But the spirit offers much more than its bitter reputation. “Each amaro is made with so many different ingredients—spices, roots, peels, barks, flowers—they have a lot of complexity on their own,” says Joe Campanale, owner an...

The marriage of Italy and Detroit is producing some interesting DNA. All you have to do is look at the dashing Maserati Levante and Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUVs I'm hanging out with this week. That’s right, Detroit, I said Maserati and Alfa SUVs. Since the Italians bought Chrysler, the Auburn Hills family dinner table has gotten a lot bigger. Christmas...

When a non-Italian thinks of Italian cuisine, he or she typically thinks in terms of wine and pasta, and of course pizza. But I think the real protagonist of the Italian table is bread. The variety that is available, region by region, might be greater than that of wine although not as great as pasta, whose selection expands not only according to gr...