Italian

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.

[EAS] An Italian Schola in the Grand Tradition

Greetings from the Shire of Montevale! We've uncovered a “piccola parte” (small piece) of Italy in our own backyard. Come join our fair shire at this idyllic site for a day of learning and friendship in the Italian tradition. A variety of Italian themed classes and others will be offered for your educational pleasure. Anyone willing to teach or merchant is welcome, as well as those who wish to learn and shop. There will dancing, entertainment, a gaming area, Bocce (lawn bowling), and a surprise or two. A children's area set aside,(no structured activities are scheduled).

[ANT] Day of Dance

Now that the meetings are over, come enjoy a fine meal in the Italian style, and then dance the night away. Aquaterra and Bearwood are combining their talents again to present to you a Day of Dance and the Prehibernation Feast. Join us, again, at the Garden City Grange, 800 2nd St, Snohomish, Washington 98290.

The lost art of timbrel vaulting

In its "Lost Knowledge" column, Make: Online presents an article on the lost medieval art of timbrel vaulting, an architectural technique using a "system of interlocking terracotta tiles which create what are known as Guastavino domes, after their inventor, Rafael Guastavino." (photos and diagrams)

Evidence suggests Galileo may have discovered Neptune

Professor David Jamieson, Head of the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne, says examination of the notebooks of Galileo reveal that the Italian scientist probably discovered Neptune over 200 years before its officially-listed discovery date.

Vatican tomb declared that of St. Paul

Remains discovered in 2006 beneath the Vatican have been declared to belong to St.Paul, according to Pope Benedict. The tomb bore the epigraph Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul the Apostle and Martyr).

"Naked Mona Lisa" sparks controversy

Long hidden behind a panel, a portrait of a semi-nude woman bears a striking resemblance to Leonard Da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa. The painting was once believed to have been done by the Da Vinci, but now experts feel that it may have been inspired by a lost masterpiece. (photo)

Pages from da Vinci's "Codex Atlanticus" unglued

A group of Benedictine nuns from the Abbey of Viboldone haave been working tirelessly for months to unbind Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus, a collection of writings and drawings bound into a single volume in the 17th century by sculptor Pompeo Leoni.

Debate continues over Michelangelo crucifix

A EU3.3 million wooden crucifix, bought recently at auction by the Italian government, may or may not have been created by Michelangelo. The newly-purchased piece made its debut in December at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, and was visited by the Pope.

Pope commemorates bravery of Swiss Guard during Regime of Terror

Pope Benedict XVI recently commemorated the bravery of the Swiss Guard, who helped save the city of Rome from an army of mercenaries in 1527, by swearing in the latest batch of recruits.

Verrocchio sculptures by student da Vinci?

Were two of the sculptures in Andrea del Verrocchio's silver altar panel Beheading of the Baptist actually created by the artist's student assistant Leonardo da Vinci? Gary M. Radke, a professor of the humanities at Syracuse University, thinks so. The work will be on exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA.

Viewing Giotto through modern eyes

An article on great works of art for the UK's paper The Independent discusses how works of art from the past are viewed through modern eyes. Included is The Lamentation of Christ by 14th century Italian master Giotto, whose angels seem to zoom about like jet planes. (photo)

Pope creates two new medieval saints

Among the five new saints created recently by Pope Benedict were a 14th century Portuguese friar and an early 14th-century Sienese aristocrat. The saints were canonized in a ceremony at the Vatican.

[LOC] Autumn Feast

Ildhafn's Autumn Feast: a gentle evening to recover from the rigours of May Crown. On Saturday the 9th of May. Cathrine de Vantier will be cooking a sumptuous Autumnal Feast, and we will intermingle and follow this with music, dancing and games, with an Italian theme.

Galileo's telescope travels to th U.S.

For the first time, one of Galileo's telescopes has left Florence to be part of an exhibit in the United States. according to Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer for the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the 400-year-old telescope, which bears an inscription in the astronomer's handwriting, is “absolutely amazing.”

Earthquake takes lives, damages treasures in central Italy

Tragedy struck central Italy April 7 when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled ancient and modern buildings in the medieval city of L’Aquila. Over 200 people lost their lives, and the earthquake damaged nearly all the historic buildings of the town. (video)

Wedding at the House of Juliet

What could be more romantic than getting married at the site of the legendary Romeo and Juliet balcony scene? Nearly anything, if you are put off by star-crossed lovers parted by suicide, but Verona city officials are banking on the romantic appeal of the site for international weddings.

In 1492 Scotto sailed the ocean blue, laddie

According to Spanish historian Alfonso Ensenat de Villalonga, Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy to Scottish shopkeepers, and was christened Peter Scotto.