Gazetta Italia: the Royal Family

Italy has been a republic since the Second World War, yet interest in the British Royal Family shows no sign of waning. Tom Alberto Bull considers the nation’s obsession with the Windsors… La famiglia reale Il recente annuncio che il Duca e la Duchessa di Cambridge aspettano il terzo figlio è stato accolto positivamente in […]

The Lighter Side of Machiavelli

“Go and catch a falling star, get with child a mandrake root…”. This begins John Donne’s poem, and another writer created another literary work a century before, that dealt with a virtuous woman, and with the magical mandrake plant. So begins John Donne’s Song, a poem that was probably written early in the 17th century. The poem lists […]

The Brownings: poets abroad in Florence

Joe Gartman pays a visit to the home of the Brownings and reminds us of their path to love and fame…  The courtship of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning may be the most thoroughly documented in history, because it was conducted almost entirely by letter. And Robert was certainly a very impetuous wooer; in his very […]

Michelangelo’s nephew

On the trail of Lionardo Buonarroti, and the family palace he renovated in Florence. Lionardo, I have received thy letter and with it the three shirts. I am very much surprised that ye should have sent them … they are so coarse that there is not a farm labourer here who would not be ashamed […]

Giotto: the Arena Chapel

Giotto shows the representation of human emotion, injects individuality once again in the people depicted and is interested in conveying a sense of realism. Back in the very early 1300s Padua was a very wealthy merchant city and the Scrovegni family was one of the most wealthy families in the city. Reginaldo Scrovegni had made […]

The Princess Brides

In Ravenna, a Queen gives birth to a daughter whose actions precipitate the founding of Venice. By the early 5th century AD, the Roman Empire was in two parts, ruled by two different emperors in two different capital cities. The eastern half was administered from Constantinople, in Thrace. The western capital was in Ravenna, in […]

Past Italia: Scilla

Overlooking the Strait of Messina, Scilla is a holiday haven, with a terrible story to tell… Now, don’t let it go spoiling your holiday, because this story isn’t true, but when Odysseus sailed through the Strait of Messina he faced a twin threat: on this side of the water, the Scylla, a sea monster who […]

The history of Isabella d’Este

Isabella d’Este was the Marchesa of Mantua and the first lady of the Renaissance. Jane Keightley goes to Mantua to find out more about Isabella d’Este and the Gonzaga family she married into, to explore the Palazzo Ducale where she lived, and see the city she knew. The letter quoted below fair representation of Isabella’s character, […]

Italia! Icons: Galileo Galilei

His pioneering achievements in the field of astronomy laid the basis for the wonderful discoveries we are making about the universe today… Jupiter, we now know, has many moons. Several dozen at least. Probably many more. How many there are exactly is anybody’s guess – it depends what you mean by ‘moon’ and (more importantly) […]