Italian

Voynich Manuscript carbon dated

Since its discovery in 1912, the Voynich Manuscript has been the subject of debate among scholars and scientists who argued over the meaning of its 250,000 coded characters. Now experts from the University of Arizona have used carbon dating to determine the age of the document.

Colosseum to be restored by shoe manufacturer

Roman officials have accepted an offer from Diego Della Valle, founder of Tod's luxury shoe brand, to fund the restoration of the crumbling Colosseum.

Town of Bobbio may help redefine Mona Lisa

Research by Carla Glori seems to point to the norhtern Italian town of Bobbio as the backdrop for Leonard da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa. Glori also believes that Bianca Giovanna Sforza is the real subject of the painting.

"Enigma" discovered in Renaissance church

For centuries, church historians have been puzzled by the symbols carved into diamond-shaped stones in the fascade of Naples' renaissance Gesù Nuovo church, but new eivdence shows that the engravings are a musical score. (audio)

Tower of Pisa restored and slightly straightened

An 8-year restoration of the Tower of Pisa has ended with the tower returned to its 1838 position, 46 cm (18 inches) more vertical than it was before. Extensive stone cleaning and restoration were also completed.

Da Vinci document discovered in French library

A "fragment of paper with brown scrawls" discovered recently in a public library in the French city of Nantes was not just trash. It was a coded document written by Leonardo da Vinci. (photo)

Pieta model found in moldy box?

Most people would not have given a second look to the junk in a moldy box in an antique shop, certainly not a small terracotta statue covered in paint and scotch tape. But an Italian art collector did look a second time and may have discovered the model for Michelangelo's Pieta. (photos)

Bronzino portraits at the heart of first solo exhibition

For the first time, 16th century Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino will be the subject of a monograph exhibition of his paintings. The exhibit will take place at Palazzo Strozzi and will include 80 pieces from more than 40 collections.

Chinese settlement may show evidence of lost Roman army.

In the 1990's, archaeologists were surprised to discover evidence of early western settlers in a remote town in China's Yongchang County on the edge of the Gobi desert, including a Roman style fort and nearby residents with blonde hair and green eyes.

What's in David's hand?

A new study of Michelangelo's David concludes that the hero holds a "secret weapon in his right hand." A paper on the subject was presented at "Florens 2010: The International Week of Cultural and Environmental Heritage," a three-day tribute to the masterpiece.

"Last Judgment" models found in Turkish bathhouses?

The writhing, muscular figures in Michelangelo's Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel may have been inspired by men encountered by the artist in Rome's gay brothels and bathhouses according to Elena Lazzarini, whose new book Nudity, art and decorum: aesthetic changes in the art of the 16th century explores the theory. (photo)

Ognissanti Crucifix determined a genuine Giotto

For centuries, a 14th century, painted cross, housed at the Ognissanti church in Florence, was considered to have been produced in a workshop, but prolonged restoration efforts have proven that the five-metre-high cross is a genuine Giotto. (photo)

Mona Lisa's childhood home discovered

Did the enigmatic smile of da Vinci's Mona Lisa hide sad memories of an impoverished childhood? A video clip from Discovery News looks at the childhood home of the famous model.

Sumptuary laws plagued Renaissance bankers

"Our state is less strong because money which should navigate and multiply lies dead, converted into vanities,"  said the rulers of Venice, who enforced laws designed to curb the spending habits of the rich. These sumptuary laws are the subject of an article by Sarah Dunant on the BBC News Magazine blog.

Mona Lisa now buried in garbage dump

Thirty years ago, the city of Florence, Italy converted the Sant'Orsola convent, the final resting place of Lisa Gherardini, the model of da Vinci's Mona Lisa, into barracks for the city's Guardia di Finanza. The graves and tombs from the site were dumped into 'Case le Passarini', the rubbish tip near Florence.

Are blue jeans period?

Are blue jeans period? A new study dates the modern clothing basic to at least 17th century Italy as shown in the paintings of Italian artist dubbed the "Master of the Blue Jeans." (photo)

Masterpieces online: Like looking at a painting "with a giant magnifying glass."

Until January 29, 2011, art lovers and historians have the opportunity to study six masterpieces from the Uffizi gallery in Florence in minute detail on the Haltadefinizione company website. The site allows visitors to zoom in on high-resolution images.

[GLE] Samhein 2010 Sicillian Vespers

The Barony of Grey Niche in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann presents Samhain 2010, Sicillian Vespers October 29-31. Join us for a weekend filled with Archery Tournament, Bardic competition, Rapier Tournament, Heavy  weapons fighting including melees and a torchlight tournament. A Sicillian feast is planned and so much more. We welcome all to this event.

Early period trading vessels found off Italian coast

A small fleet of trading vessels, dating from the 5th-7th centuries, has been found off the coast of the Italian island of Zannone. Evidence of the ships' cargoes was also discovered.

Mona Lisa's smile explained by technique

Over the centuries, thousands of people have pondered the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile. Now French researchers believe they can explain the enigmatic expression: it was da Vinci's technique.

Leonardo3 offers detailed studies of da Vinci's paintings

Afficionatos of the work of Leonardo da Vinci will enjoy visiting the website Leonardo3, which offers detailed studies of the artist's paintings. The site is in Italian. (photos)

2010 Palio takes place in Siena, Italy

The Tartuca (Tortoise) neighborhood is the winner of this year's Palio, a bareback horse race that takes place in the middle of Siena, Italy.

Medici "murder" solved

For centuries, it was theorized that Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his second wife, Bianca Cappello were murdered, but new evidence shows that their deaths were from natural causes.

Galileo's fingers on display in Florence

Two of Galileo's fingers were discovered during rennovations at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. The remains are currently on display along with Galileo's famous telescope.

16th century violin joins South Dakota collection

The National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota boasts instruments ranging from gamelans to medieval mandolins. Now the museum has added a 400-year-old Amati Brothers violin. Gary Ellenbolt of NPR has the audio story.

Confirmed as Tintoretto, painting still baffles scholars

When the National Trust took over the Kingston Lacy mansion, the filthy old painting on the wall could not be identified. Now, after cleaning, the painting is confirmed as the work of Renaissance master Tintoretto, but art historians aren't sure who the allegorical figures in the picture are meant to represent.

Medici collection sculpture to be sold

An antiquity once owned by Lorenzo de Medici will go on sale at Sotheby's June 11. 'Il Magnifico' laid claim to Three Satrys Fighting a Serpent shortly after its excavation in 1489.

Can Botticelli make you high?

A plant in Botticelli's Venus and Mars resembles the hallucinogen Datura stramonium. Blogger Jonathan Jones speculates that the artist intended the painting to affect the viewer like taking a love potion.

Vatican treasures at Missouri History Museum

Over two hundred rare works of art and historical artifacts are on display May 15-September 12, 2010 at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis.

[ATE] Dante's Inferno

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