Murano: More than Glass Blowing

When there were impossible crowds in Venice, Murano was a great escape. It is still a great place to go to. In Murano, like in Venice the consequences of COVID are severe; very much so. Although walking the streets and visiting the famous sites is more pleasant now, it is painful to see their empty […]

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Dream Castles

Time to Draw those Bridges! Done with the battles, territories defended, done with Guelphs and Ghibellines, done also with feudal lords and dark Middle Ages, courts and cannons all are finished; now Italy finds itself with a landscape full of very beautiful castles too often forgotten. An Italian Treasure to Discover Castles are a unique […]

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Uncomfortable Architecture

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy? That is the question that Ruth Ben-Ghiat wondered about on an article (in October 5, 2017), for The New Yorker. She asked why in Italy buildings and monuments of the Mussolini era still shown off.  I am not so sure that we can easily say […]

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Villas and “Villains”

Villain = noun a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel. While in Italian the meaning is a little less categorical: Villano / vil·là · no / = adjective and masculine noun 1. masculine noun = Rude and ignorant person: “è un villano fatto e finito (he is […]

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A Mysterious Armenian Island in Venice

So, we’ll go no more a roving    So late into the night, Though the heart be still as loving,    And the moon be still as bright. LORD BYRON San Lazzaro degli Armeni There is a small island just 20 minutes by vaporetto from Piazza San Marco, just in front of that long strip of land […]

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Villages and History

Strassoldo Perhaps one of the best hamlets on the The most beautiful Village list. Strassoldo is one quiet place where I would want to just move there for the summer and nobody should bother me until September 30th.   It is a rare example of an ancient medieval village, extremely well preserved, and of unique charm. […]

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Beyond Venice there is Chioggia & Pellestrina

Venice is the indisputable queen of the Adriatic, no doubts about that. However, if we want to get a little further, and maybe avoid the crowds, then Chioggia (pronounced: ˈkjɔddʒa); is a good destination.  Chioggia Chioggia is a small island at the southern entrance to the Lagoon of Venice about 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of […]

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The Gardens of Este

Three thousand years of history Atheste was the original latin name of Este, almost 1000 years BC, Este was the center of paleovenetian culture; there flourished a real civilization endowed with strong characteristic elements, which knew how to weave commercial relationships with the most varied populations. A Roman Colony In the first century BC ‘Ateste‘ […]

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Plague and COVID–Analogies

The striking analogies between the Plague and the COVID Today the most affected regions by the virus are Lombardy, Veneto, but also England, Spain, and France on a wider horizon (the USA was not on the map yet!); they are symbols of an overwhelming historical-epidemic memory, devastated by the plague.  The plague that struck Europe between 1347 […]

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How About the Tulips?

Paolo Gentiloni, our former PM, now Commissioner for Economy, on Thursday 9 April 2020, tweeted the news that sanctioned a historic day for Italy and Europe: “The Eurogroup has reached an agreement. A package of unprecedented dimensions to support the health system, layoffs, liquidity for businesses and the Fund for a revival plan. Europe is […]

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The Mimosa Annual Award

Happy Women’s Day Every March 8, I’m giving recognition to one of the many women that contributed greatly to their society, but we’re never recognized for their actions.  Maybe, a bit, or because they were ”the wife of…”  History is full of fascinating women; some names pop up immediately: Isabella d’Este; Lucrezia Borgia; Artemisia Gentileschi; […]

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The History of Venice Masks

The Masks Mystery, enigma, seduction is what is expressed with a mask that conceals one feature. But only a few know where masks come from and the troubled history of masks in Venice.   The mask (the word mask comes from the Arabic “mascharà“, which means mockery, satire) has always been one of the characteristic and […]

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