Heroes-villains

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Two Famous Italian Temptresses
Wednesday, April 20TH, 2011 by ancos
  Before the twentieth century, one of the ways women could become independent and wealthy was to become a high-class courtesan. However, this was far more difficult than it might at first appear. Class distinction reigned even in the realm of prostitution, and only the most beautiful and the most clever, or the most unscrupulous, managed to use their bodies to form financially advantageous relationships with men so that they themselves could become rich. Two of the most famous courtesans in history came from Italy: Veronica Franco and Virginia Oldini.   Veronica Franco Veronica Franco,...
Tazio Nuvolari
Monday, January 18TH, 2010 by ancos
  Tazio Nuvolari - Photo courtesy of Everywhere West/Wikimedia   Tazio Nuvalori, or the Flying Mantuan as he became known, was a famous Italian racecar and motorcycle driver. The European Champion in Grand Prix motor racing in 1932, Nuvalori won dozens of races and was known as one of the greatest drivers of all time.   Motorcycle Racing Career Nuvolari first obtained his license in 1915 when he was 23. His career was delayed due to the First World War, during which the young man served as a driver with the Italian Army. Following the war Nuvolari participated in his first race in 1920...
Heroes & Villains
Monday, January 11TH, 2010 by admin
Italian Luminaries - Heroes & Villains Sometimes, the paintbrush of history colors individuals who've helped shape her too strongly. Historical figures are either seen as heroes or villains. Very rarely, they are depicted in moderate tones, at least by those who write history for the popular public. Italy has given the world some of its greatest heroes and most infamous villains. This section is dedicated to over 3000 years of Italian Heroes and Villains. However this will not be just dry historical dates and facts - instead, this section will focus on the unique and strange situations...
Charles Ponzi
Monday, April 13TH, 2009 by justindemetri
Setting the Standard for Fraud... There are few fraudulent financial schemes out there today that reverberate through history quite like the infamous Ponzi Scheme. Although this term has made recent headlines, this con is not new and stirs up so many emotions due to the fact the scheme only works with a very charismatic con-man. The trickster that would set the standard for this kind of fraud was an Italian immigrant that went by the name of Charles Ponzi.   Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi It's hard to trust a con-man at his word, and Ponzi's background is as varied as his...
Great Italian Explorers
Wednesday, April 08TH, 2009 by justindemetri
It is a small world, but it was not always that way. In no small part due to the Italian sense of adventure and profit, men and ships began setting sail and heading out over the far horizon. That great time period for Europe, known as the Age of Discovery would never have reached the heights it did without these master mariners. With sea routes to the Indies established around Africa, the ports of Italy had lost their firm grip on trade, it was time for these merchant sailors to find new opportunities. Their skills as navigators and seamen were unquestioned, and for sale to the highest...
Pauline Borghese
Monday, September 08TH, 2008 by admin
Pauline Borghese Bonaparte Beautiful and immoral, Napoleon's sister, Pauline broke hearts all over Europe. It was said of her that she and Napoleon were both going to conquer Europe, but Pauline was going to do it one man at a time! There are many legends about the behavior of this scandalous woman. Napoleon found his flirtatious young sister difficult to control and managed to marry her to the much older General Leclerc, who was the opposite of Pauline. Wealthy, serious and sickly, he was in charge of the French expedition to put down a black rebellion in Haiti. When Pauline was ordered...
Antonio Meucci
Monday, September 08TH, 2008 by admin
American children are taught without question that Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish immigrant invented the Telephone. However as they progress in school it is often learned that this invention was hotly contested between two rival inventors: the eventual winner Bell, and another man named Elisha Gray. Both men filed for patents on a telephone device on the same day, but while Gray filed a patent caveat (an intention to file a real patent), Bell filed for a full patent. In the end Bell won the case even though his device resembled Gray's more than his own design. Antonio Meucci...
Fibonacci: Great Italian Mathematician
Monday, September 08TH, 2008 by admin
Fibonacci Statue The Middle Ages were generally a dark time for most cultural endeavors, but especially for mathematics. Fortunately, around the beginning of the 1200's an Italian by the name of Leonardo Pisano came along to advanced mathematics significantly - he wrote many books on numerical topics that included his own insightful contributions. For someone to come out of the Middle Ages and accomplish this when no other scholar was doing so adequately demonstrates the genius of Leonardo Pisano. And the strangest thing is that today we know this man by a completely different name:...
Lucrezia Borgia
Monday, September 08TH, 2008 by admin
Lucrezia Borgia painting On April 18, 1480 Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia and his mistress, Vannozza (Giovanna) dei Cattani. Lucrezia had two older brothers, Giovanni (Juan) and Cesare. She also had a younger brother, Goffredo. Her father doted on his children but had a special bond with his only daughter. This bond would be seen by critics of the Borgia family, of which there were many, as unnatural - even incestuous; although there has never been any historical proof to support such claims. When the gray-eyed, blond-haired Lucrezia was only three, her father, Cardinal Rodrigo took them to live...
Cesare Borgia
Monday, September 08TH, 2008 by admin
Cesare Borgia Cesare Borgia was born in September of 1475. He was the son of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who would become Pope Alexander VI, and his mistress Vannozza de Cattani. He was also the older brother of the infamous Lucrezia Borgia. However, Cesare was probably the most infamous of all the Borgia's. He is remembered for great cruelty and murderous tactics. He was even rumored to have killed his own brother. Being illegitimate, a fact which could usually wreak havoc with one's right to succession, did not prove to be a problem for Cesare. Cardinal Rodrigo made no secret about who his...

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