OutrunCancer – charity run around Italy

One man (and his faithful support team) is presently putting a lot of energy into raising awareness and funding for prevention of cancer. Luca Turrini is running 20 marathons in 29 days, one in each region of Italy. Spurred on by the recent loss of his mother to cancer, he is expecting to travel some […]

Continue Reading

Great Italian Christmas Traditions: Il Presepio

In many parts of Italy, particularly in the south, you will not find a Christmas tree as the symbol of Christmas, but rather a ‘Presepio’ – a nativity scene. One of our wonderful Rome tour guides, Chris, who has a PhD in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Angelicum University, Rome, writes, ‘Originating centuries ago in […]

Continue Reading

Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze: a sneak preview of Florence’s new Opera House

Florence is a cultural hub rich in traditions of art, artistry, fashion, gastronomy, and music. Florence is actually the birthplace of Opera, with the first opera to be performed being Jacopo Peri’s ‘Dafne’, performed in Florence in about 1597. This work has subsequently been lost, but the great musical tradition started in Florence, Italy, continues. […]

Continue Reading

MONA LISA: ‘Tis the season to be Jolly as ‘La Gioconda’ plays tricks on us again!

Leonardo da Vinci’s artwork of Mona Lisa is possibly one of the most intriguing and debated art works in history. And the theories and ‘findings’ are almost as wonderful as the artwork itself – especially the latest one to emerge this week. Just who was she? What lies behind this woman’s enigmatic smile? Is there […]

Continue Reading

The bold & beautiful of the Uffizi Gallery – old art, new revelations

Who would have thought that in the 21st century, the world of Renaissance art could contain more drama than a soap opera? First, a long-sought-after Da Vinci is being hunted for as we speak (or rather, write). And now, it has been revealed that the home of Florence’s best art collection, the Uffizi Gallery, will […]

Continue Reading

The Lost Da Vinci: clues, controversy and now conclusion?

Art historians, art lovers, history buffs and Da Vinci fans around the world are anxiously awaiting the results of art sleuth Maurizio Seracini’s controversial investigation in finding a Leonardo da Vinci work which was started in 1505 and lost soon thereafter. Seracini’s near on 40-year search for the lost Da Vinci masterpiece, ‘The Battle of […]

Continue Reading

The Secret to Beauty & Fashion, Italian-style

In Italian, the idea of making a good impression is expressed as ‘fare una bella figura’ – that is, to make a beautiful figure of your self. In the land of great art and artists, some of the world’s best artisan craftsmen, and the top fashion brands, it is no wonder that beauty in Italy […]

Continue Reading

Vatican Visits – You say tomato, I say Pomodoro

When we exit from the amazing Vatican corridors to enter out into the Cortile della Pigna (Courtyard of the Pine), the sunlight stings our eyes at first, the sunshine so delicious we instinctively turn our faces to bask in its gently warming rays. Facing into the courtyard are a range of façades, all with varying […]

Continue Reading

Arch of Constantine – Rome’s most modest monument

‘Caput Mundi’ is  Latin for ‘Capital of the World’, which the Romans not-so-modestly called their beloved city. It was however quite an apt nomination for Rome, being that the Romans did rule over the ancient world to include much of Europe’s south, as well as Northern African and Southwest Asian regions. Starting from the 2nd […]

Continue Reading