Category Archives: English

Who Invented the Telephone?

American school children are taught that is was Alexander Graham Bell.  In fact, it was Antonio Meucci.  He was an interesting and prolific inventor who, unfortunately, had a tragic life. Meucci was born in Florence in 1808.  He attended the … Continue reading

Posted in English, Firenze, Foto, Immigrazione, Italia, Italoamericani, Storia | 1 Comment

Carpaccio times 2

Carpaccio is an antipasto that frequently appears on Italian menus, as well as in other cuisines.  In its traditional form, it is very thinly sliced raw beef drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  … Continue reading

Posted in Arte, Cucina italiana, English, Italia, Storia, Venezia | 1 Comment

The Nun of Monza

In I Promessi Sposi, Alessandro Manzoni calls her “Gertrude.”  Her given name at birth was Marianna de Leyva but she assumed her mother’s name, Virginia Maria, when she became a nun.  The story of her life — full of sex, scandal, power, … Continue reading

Posted in English, Film, Foto, Italia, Libri, Storia, Vaticano | 2 Comments

Roman Concrete

The Amatrice earthquake in August 2016 killed nearly 300 people and caused widespread destruction. For many people, the buildings in Piazza Sagnotti were especially a puzzle:  why did some buildings survive without a crack while others completely collapsed?  It turns out … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, English, Foto, Italia, Roma, Storia | 1 Comment

It’s Baloney!

The mayor of the Italian city Bologna, Virginio Merola, prefers to call it “fake news.”  He’s incensed that tourists who come to his city ask for spaghetti Bolognese (or “spag bol”) at local restaurants.  He claims that it does not … Continue reading

Posted in Abitudini, Cucina italiana, Differenze culturali, English, Foto | 1 Comment

The Long Arm of Totò Riina

Investigators considered him the undisputed leader of Cosa Nostra—“U curtu,” the boss of massacres. When he died in November 2017 (see post, “The Long Shadow of ‘Totò’ Riina, December 14, 2017), Riina was serving 26 life sentences.  The first was for … Continue reading

Posted in Abitudini, Cucina italiana, English, Foto, Italia, Mafia, Sicilia, Storia | Leave a comment

The Tower and its Inclinations

The Leaning Tower of Pisa starting leaning almost from the get-go … nearly 900 years ago.  Begun in 1173, the bell tower took nearly 200 years to complete.  It was, in fact, the delays along the way, as well as … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Arte, English, Foto, Italia, Storia, Toscana | 2 Comments