Italian

Evidence of medieval spectacles found in book

On the blog Cultural Compass, an employee of the Harry Ransom Center chronicles the discovery of rare evidence of medieval eyeglasses, not in an illustration, but in the end pages of a book.

Which came first, the pizza or the manakish?

Food historians have long debated the history of the pizza, and whether or not it was derived from manakish, a flat, baked dough covered with lamb and cheese, eaten in the Middle East.

Scholar discovers "missing link" in early Gregorian chant sources

Researchers have long believed that no manuscripts of early Italian Gregorian chant survived, but Holy Cross professor Daniel DiCenso believes he has found the Monza manuscript, a source dating to the mid 9th century.

"Absolutely fantastic" digitization project by Oxford and Vatican libraries funded

A US$3.17 million , four-year project, funded by the Polonsky Foundation, will make available for the first time materials from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford.

Scientists claim to have found the remains of Mona Lisa

Archaeologists excavating the Convent of Saint Ursula in Florence believe they have found the remains of Lisa Gherardini, thought by art historians to be the model for Leonardo DaVinci's famed Mona Lisa.

Luxury home once birthplace of opera

Paolo and Gabriella Mazza of Florence, Italy combined a work project with a new home when they purchased La Camerata, as the 3,444-square-foot (320 square meters) theater, believed to have been designed by Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi. (slideshow)

Good and evil in Machiavelli's "The Prince"

400 years after its publication, Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince still inspires analysis and comment. One of the latest is a two-part story by Nick Spencer in the Guardian. The premise of the article: How do we utilise power to do good while utilising evil to keep power?

[WES] il Palio di Eskalya

What is the Palio di Eskalya? It is inspired by the Italian Palio festivals which encourage civic pride, pageantry and multiple competitions where the winning Contrade takes the Palio banner and bragging rights for the next year! 

Restoration of famed "Gates of Paradise" complete after 33 years

Restoration is complete for Lorenzo Ghiberti's masterpiece, the bronze and gilt doors that he created for the Florence Baptistry in 1452. Michaelangelo called them the Gates of Paradise.

[GLE] BarBEARian Brawl 2012

Get grubby with the peasants for a day of fun in the sun at Barbarian Brawl Featuring: Tournaments • spear throwing a high-falutin' Regional A&S competition with additional sponsored awards • and just downright dirty fun!

"FACES" project to identify historical figures

The University of California, Riverside, has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to use state-of-the-art facial recognition software to identify figures in paintings and sculpture.

The power of Botticelli's Venus

In a recent ArtBlog posted by The Guardian, Jonathan Jones ponders Botticelli's enduring masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, painted in 1484, and tries to discover if it is the ancient religion that makes it so compelling.

16th century "vampire" burial stirs controversy

The burial of a Venician woman with a brick in her mouth was originally publicized as a suspected vampire. Other researchers dispute this.

Evidence of smuggling found in Roman shipwreck

Italian archaeologists have recently excavated a 3rd century Roman shipwreck off the coast of Marausa Lido, a beach resort near Trapani. On board they found eveidence of smuggling in the form of unusual tubular tiles, taken from North Africa to Rome. (photo)

Fashion and innovation in Renaissance Italy

Evelyn Welch of the University of London has authored an article on hair coverings and accessories in Renaissance Italy and posted it online.

[LOC] Midwinter Venetian Feast

The populace of the incipient Canton of Vallon d'Or invites you to celebrate Midwinter with an afternoon of Archery followed by a Venetian style feast.

Controversial restoration of da Vinci's last painting completed

Over the past 18 months, the art world has held its collective breath to see the results of the Louvre's restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's last work The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, but the wait is now over. (photo)

Secret message leads to Da Vinci investigation

Cerca trova - "seek and you shall find" is the message hidden in a Florence mural by Giorgio Vasari, long thought to have replaced Leonardo da Vinci's greatest work, leading scientists to use high tech methods to investigate behind the painting. (photos and video)

Medici Venus once wore lipstick

Chemical analysis of the Medici Venus, a 1st century Roman sculpture housed since 1677 at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, has determined that the sensuous lady once had painted lips, gilded hair and jeweled earrings.

Designer da Vinci

Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci is known for his paintings, inventions and scientific research. Now he will be known for his - handbags? (photos)

Medieval village for sale. Bargain at EUROS 3,500,000

For sale: One "complete and original medieval village" near Florence, Italy with "30 dwellings, many of which are overgrown by thick vegetation." Asking price? A mere EUROS 3,500,000. (photos)

Vatican archive preserves missionary documents

A video from the series Rome Reports, posted on YouTube, describes objects contained in the Vatican's archive of documents and artifacts kept and sent by missionaries from 1622 until modern times. (video)

Lux in Arcana: Vatican secret documents displayed

Rome’s Capitoline Museums are offering the chance for scholars to view formerly secret and historic Vatican documents never before seen outside of the Holy See. The exhibition runs February - September 2012.

[LOC] Tocal Token Tourney& Feast

Mordenvale presents Tocal Token Tourney&  Feast July 7, 2012 at the Tocal Agricultural College, Paterson, NSW

[WES] Eskalyan Collegium

March begins the long, slow stretch into spring, so let's start with stretching our minds and learning new things!

[LOC] Darton Anniversary

Darton Anniversary event. A weekend of Italian cuisine courtesy of Master Stefano da Urbino. Friday night a tavern, Saturday Darton Champion Tourney, Rapier Tourney and Archery, at night a masked ball. Sunday a market and A&S display.

Mona Lisa Has a Twin

The Prado Museum in Madrid recently announced that it has what is thought to be the earliest copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”.

[ART] Carnivale in Venice

The Shire of Castelleone Nuovo shall be holding our Venetian themed event "Carnivale" on the weekend of February 4, 2012 this winter!

The glorious Sistine Chapel

Long to travel to Italy to study its Renaissance Art, but can't afford the travel expenses? Take a trip to the Vatican and see the wonders of the Sistine Chapel - virtually.

The cultural setting for Byzantine-Lombard jewelery in the early Middle Ages

In a paper for British Museum, Neil Christie looks at "cultural and socio-politico-economic context" of Byzantine-Lombard jewelery in 6th through 8th century. (photos)