Italian

Ultra-violet rays reveal Giotto treasures in Florence chapel

Restoration experts using ultra-violet technology have rediscovered details of 14th wall paintings by the Italian master Giotto in the Peruzzi Chapel at the Santa Croce Church in Florence, Italy. (photo)

Google to digitize Italian libraries

Google has signed an agreement to digitize one million books, written before 1868, from libraries in Rome and Florence. The books will be free on Google Books.

New da Vinci code predicts end of the world

Vatican researcher Sabrina Sforza Galitzia believes that Leonardo da Vinci worked out a code predicting the world to end on November 1, 4006.

Italian village hosts annual 13th century reenactment

A small town in central Italy stages an annual festival, lasting ten days, in which residents divide into four neighborhoods and compete to see who can best reenact life in that town in the 13th century. (video)

"Modeling Devotion" showcases Renaissance sculpture

A new exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusets, focusses on the largely-overlooked field of painted Renaissance terracotta sculptures.

Lasers to be used to clean historic paintings

Long used to clean metal and stone, lasers may be the new tool of choice for cleaning famous works of art. The technique is the same used to remove tattoos.

DNA may help solve 16th century murder

Gaetano La Fata, Mayor of Carini, Italy, has an extremely cold case on his hands: the murder of Baroness Laura Lanzaand her lover Ludovico Vernagallo, killed in 1563 when caught in bed together.

The love poems of Michelangelo on display

In his fifties, it appears that renaissance master Michelangelo fell in love with a Roman nobleman 40 years his junior. A record of the infatuation can be found in handwritten sonnets on display for the first time at the British Museum in London.

Shroud of Turin expected to draw crowds from around the world

Whether it is real or an inspired hoax, the Shroud of Turin is one of the most recognized holy relics in the world. Its upcoming display is expected to draw over two million visitors to Turin Cathedral.

Renaissance texts "unread and unstudied"

In a podcast for the Classics and Ancient History website, Peter Mack and Maude Vanhalen discuss Renaissance thought and the fact that much of its works, most written in Latin, have been "largely unread and unstudied." (MP3)

Mona Lisa identity may cause da Vinci exhumation

A team of experts from Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage are requesting permission to exhume the remains of Leonardo da Vinci in hopes of revealing the real identity of the Mona Lisa.

Source of Aqua Traiana discovered

British father and son filmmaking team Ted and Michael O'Neill believe they have found the source of the Aqua Traiana, the 2nd century aqueduct, constructed by the Emperor Trajan, 30-40km northwest of Rome. (photos)

Michelangelo drawings show "unequaled understanding of the human body"

Michelangelo is revered one of the greatest masters of Renaissance art, especially when it comes to depicting the form of the human body. A new exhibit at the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia, explores this aspect of his work.

Bronzino: most influential 16th century painter in Florence

In the mid 16th century, Agnolo Bronzino was the most respected portraitist in Florence. Now a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Drawings of Bronzino, offers 59 of his works on paper. (slideshow)

Da Vinci resume online

In a letter to the Duke of Milan, Lenoardo da Vinci outlines his qualifications as an engineer and an artist. A scanned version of the resume with translation is available online.

Secret Vatican documents published

A collection of 105 documents, some dating back over 1,000 years, has been published in book form by the Vatican. The Vatican Secret Archives features a such diverse documents as a letter from the grandson of Genghis Khan to a 1550 note from Michelangelo demanding payment.

Mona Lisa suffered from high cholesterol

Vito Franco of the University of Palermo thinks Mona Lisa is sick, that is, she suffered from "worryingly high levels of cholesterol." Franco bases his observations on a "xanthelasma – a subcutaneous accumulation of cholesterol – in the hollow of the Mona Lisa's left eye, and a tell-tale lipoma, a fatty tissue tumour, on one hand."

Roman frescoes restored to glory

The BBC's Rome correspondent David Willey offers a tour of the building and recently restored 400-year-old fresco paintings at the Scala Santa or Holy Stairs.

Raphael: undone by passion?

Renaissance master Raphael died at the age of 37, at the height of his career. For centuries, historians have blamed his early death on his passion for his mistress, La Fornarina. Jonathan Jones has the story on The Guardian's Art Blog.

Da Vinci’s Workshop In Manhattan

Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop, an exhibit at Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York City, brings the wonders of da Vinci's genius to life in the form of mechanical objects and interactive displays from the minds of Milan’s Leonardo3, “an innovative research center and media company” devoted to the scientist.

"Assassin's Creed II" takes players to Renaissance Italy

In 15th century Italy, a young nobleman finds himself betrayed by a rival family, and seeks vengeance against his enemies. The plot of an engaging new film or novel? No, it's the storyline for Assassin's Creed II, Ubisoft's top-selling video game set in the Renaissance.

Galileo relics found

Records report that, in the 18th century, three fingers, a tooth and a vertebra were removed from the tomb of Galileo Galilei and placed in a container. Since then, a finger and the vertebra have turned up, but the tooth and other fingers were still missing. Now, two fingers and a tooth have been found and are scheduled to be placed on display.

"New Moon" a boon for Volterra tourism

In New Moon, the popular vampire film based on the book by Stephanie Meyer, the young couple journeys to city of Volterra, Italy for a meeting with an ancient vampire clan. Now devotees of the books and films are flocking to the medieval Tuscan town's square.

[ATL] Atlantian Twelfth Night

In recognition of the commencement of the Carnival season, all and sundry are welcome at St. Mark?s Square where the Doge's Palace shall be thrown open in celebration of Twelfth Night!

4th century Roman temple found in Tuscany

A rectangular stone and marble temple, built using the opus testaceum technique, has been discovered near Marina di Alberese in central Italy. The existence of the 4th century temple may suggest a larger settlement in the area.

Desperately seeking Da Vinci

Scientist Maurizio Seracini believes there is s lost Da Vinci painting hidden inside a wall in Florence’s city hall, and he wants to use high tech techniques to find it. The Battle of Anghiari, the largest painting Leonardo ever undertook, was never completed, but was studied "as an unprecedented study of anatomy and motion."

Organic chemist claims to have reproduced the Shroud of Turin

An Italian scientist claims to have reproduced the image on the Shroud of Turin using only materials and techniques known in the Middle Ages. Luigi Garlaschelli, who will present his findings at a conference, said, "The result obtained clearly indicates that this could be done with the use of inexpensive materials and with a quite simple procedure."

Early watch depicted in Renaissance painting

Experts believe they may have identified the earliest depiction of a watch in a painting. The timepiece is featured in the 450-year-old portrait of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence.

Mona Lisa: After hours....

It's quiet in the Louvre at night... too quiet. What does Mona Lisa -- she of the enigmatic smile -- do to pass the time? Piffie the Puffin has the answer.

Translations of classic fencing texts released

Richard, from the Kingdom of Lochac, reports that two classic fencing manuals are now available for study. A new translation by Ken Mondschein of Camillo Agrippa's manual of 1553, the earliest Italian rapier text, is available for purchase, while the English translation of Ettenhard's manual from 1675 can be read online.