We can thank history for it
Roman soldiers entertaining tourists off a balcony of the ancient Palace of Diocletian in Split, Croatia
Once upon a time, starting from the Romans up to the glorious days of the Repubbliche Marinare, Italy was a world-dominating country: it was its culture, of course, and its flair for artistic expression and beauty, but it was also its economical and political power.
Once upon a time, Italy was known for its strength on the seas, for the excellence of its traders, for the courage of its armies... H...
The first part of this article ( Italian cities outside Italy I ) was dedicated to famous towns and cities in Europe with Italian ties because founded by the Romans and by the Savoias, the Italian royal family. We've learnt about the Roman origins of London and Paris and about how a strong Savoia influence is found in the architecture and the history of places like Nice and Chambéry.
Here, we'll focus on the vestiges of the Genoese and the Venetian hegemony upon the Thyrrenian and the Adriatic seas, and the lands overlooking them.
The sea an...
Ten Facts you may not know about Italy
The weather is getting nicer and nicer and when Summer is in the air we all feel like to read light and breezy things: here is an easy peasy piece about some (possibly) unknown facts about Italy and its people.
Art, Nature and Science
1. Italy has the highest number of beaches in Europe
You thought it was Spain? Or Greece? No. It's us. Italy has a coastline of 7400 km (4600 miles). Sandy or rocky, on the Tyrrenian, Meditteranean or Adriatic sea, Italy's beaches are a beauty to e...
An old saying maintains that Italians are a nation of poets, sailors and lovers: well, there is nothing quite as stereotyped as that, yet, even in this, one finds a grain of truth.
Italy did give birth to some of the most influential literary and artistic movements: think of Dante and Guido Cavalcanti's Dolce Stil Novo, which set literary standards in Europe for the whole of the Middle Ages, not to speak of the Renaissance, the cultural and artistic influence of which we still read and see today, in the very way we think. All of this: 100% made in Italy. Even the pa...
When it comes to culture and the arts, there is not a field in which Italy has not exercised a profound influence. From music to literature, from architecture to visual arts and sculpture, from medicine to natural sciences and technology, the history of Italy has shown the weight of the country in each of these fields.
Italy may be fighting against political instability, lack of employment and the rising of the brain drain phenomenon, but the cultural wealth of the country is still alive and very much kicking, waiting to be disc...
By Alfredo Iannaccone
The final countdown to Milan Expo 2015 has started yesterday in Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan. Born as a night of celebrations, hosted by Antonella Clerici and Enrico Bertolino, and made particularly pleasant by the cuisine of Davide Oldan, the soirée saw its climax in a magnificent performance by Andrea Bocelli.
One year separates us now from the official inauguation of the Expo, a year where the event's planning will enter an entirely new phase. This phase will be characterized by a further acceleration of the Expo 2015's site development, as well as a spur in...
Italians like to play with words and there are plenty of examples out there to show us so. Proverbi, sayings, still pepper conversations and are used quite profusely by older and younger generations alike. You'll recognize some of them, as they are common in English, too. Others, you may find a bit more original.
Let's take a look at a few of the most famous!
Donne e motori Gioie e dolori. Women and motors, joy and pain
A caval donato non si guarda in bocca. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
A chi dai il dito si prende anche il...
'Se dici le bugie ti si allunga il naso come a Pinocchio': if you lie, your nose will grow longer, just like Pinocchio's! This is a famous phrase uttered by parents so often and so commonly that every Italian has heard it at least once during their childhood. The famous character was created by Carlo Lorenzini, most commonly known as Carlo Collodi; its story is known everywhere in the country - and abroad - and it is one of the best known and loved Italian fairytales.
Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti, its first illustrator (source: Wikipedia)
Italy is by many considered a very romantic country, where people decide to spend time with their partner.
Some Italian towns and cities are truly special for those in love, also because they have been the backdrop to some of the most famous historic, literary and legendary love stories of all times.
Whether real or not, every Italian knows the names of these lovers, some of them famous because sang by our poets, others simply because they automatically spring to mind when thinking of Italy and love. Let's take a look at some of them!
Renzo e Luci...
Can you remember off-hand the colors of the Italian flag ? Think of 10 countries whose flags you know... most probably Italy is among them.
The Italian flag owes it notoriety to all the Italian food places selling pizza, pasta, gelato that have 'invaded' the world. It is strange because Italians are not as proud of their flag as Americans are of the Stars & Stripes. You will very rarely see a house in Italy with the flag on the front porch, but I think very few Italians would feel comfortable damaging in any way their flag. Anyway, in Italy it is f...