Michelangelo, Raffaello, Leonardo... and then again Leonardo, Galileo, and many more famed artists and scientists: there is no doubt that Firenze – the Renaissance City – has been for centuries the real keystone of both Western art and modern science. In fact, it appears that some of the leading figures of the city’s art scene were also very well-v...

I came across Monte Argentario few years ago and was mesmerized.  It amazed me with its beauty and variety -- in some places rugged and others manicured, chic but discreet. Ninety kilometers south of the Pisa airport, Monte Argentario is a promontory anchored to the Tuscan mainland by two narrow sandy isthmuses called Il tombolo di Giannella and la...

In Italy there are hundreds of cathedrals, but very few of these have developed over time a system of preservation, exhibition and enjoyment of the artistic heritage inside the building in a structured and organized way at all levels. San Pietro in Rome, San Marco in Venice and the Duomo of Florence give the possibility to enter in crypts and treas...

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli’s voice soars to the rafters of the Tuscan theatre, but all eyes are on the orchestral conductor beside him — a robot with an apparent penchant for Verdi. The concert in the heart of Pisa is a world first, with two mechanical “arms” conducting live music at the grand finale of the first International Festival of Robotic...

They call it “the town that plays itself.” Monticchiello, population 118, is a tiny hamlet in Tuscany that, since the 1960s, has annually staged a new play written and performed by the local populace. We’re told in Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s documentary Spettacolo that this tradition “began, like many others, with costumes and fanfare,” but...

Imagine if the artistic heritage was a sports discipline, or if it was as measurable as the economic dynamics are. Italy would have a primacy that neither sport nor the economy have ever seen, something that justifies the definition of "cultural superpower". This overpower is also a huge responsibility. Those who take care of it professionally know...

A Swiss humanoid robot is to conduct a Tuscan orchestra in the works of Verdi alongside Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. The robot, called YuMi, will be the closest a humanoid has come to mastering the nuances of a human orchestra director when he performs.  “YuMi has a very high level of fluidity of gesture, incredible softness and expressive nuancin...

What’s more pleasurable on a vacation to Italy than enjoying a scoop or two of gelato? There may only be one answer, and that’s savoring the gelato you made yourself. Luckily, travelers can now try their hand at the craft by taking one of the several gelato-making classes for amateurs offered throughout Italy. These classes are usually between two...

Why is there a Christopher Columbus statue by Byrd Park? Who crafted the elaborate plaster and stonework in Richmond’s early-20th-century theaters and public buildings? The answers to those questions point to the early and long-lasting cultural influence of Italians.    When Thomas Jefferson sought to better cultivate grapes for winemaking, he impo...

Qual è il quartiere «più cool» del mondo? E' Borgo San Frediano di Firenze, incoronato da Lonely Planet, primo della classifica dei posti da non perdere per chi è alla ricerca di «nuove tendenze».   Il rione Diladdarno, come si dice a Firenze, ha battuto Seoul, Dubai e persino New York, il cui Sunset Park si è posizionato «solo» settimo. «Abbiamo c...