Category: Arts and Culture

Ancient Ruins, Virtual Reality: Archaeological Sites Embrace VR For Enhanced Experiences

Domus Aurea, Sala Ottagona

Last weekend the Domus Aurea, also known as Nero’s Golden Palace, became the latest attraction to offer visitors the chance to wear virtual reality headsets while touring the site. Until the end of the year, visitors who tour the Domus Aurea will be able to see the site as never before. Virtual reality “fills in” the …

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A Special Harvest: Anatomical Theaters in Italy

Illustration from De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Andreas Vesalius

Since ancient times, man has been interested in anatomy — how muscles and bones function and fit together and how the body works. But it wasn’t until the Renaissance that the study of anatomy really took off, thanks in large part to the printing press, which helped anatomists, illustrators, scientists, and physicians get on the …

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Will Work For Wine: Luca Signorelli’s Orvieto Duomo Contract and His Intoxicating, Apocalyptic Fresco Cycle

Orvieto Cathedral

In 1499, Tuscan artist Luca Signorelli signed a contract to paint two remaining sections of the Cappella Nuova (new chapel) of the Duomo in the Umbrian town of Orvieto. By 1502 (or 1504, depending on which documentation you read), he had completed his “End of the World” fresco cycle in what is now known as the …

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Natale di Roma: Rome Celebrates Its Birthday

She Wolf in the Capitoline Museums

Most city foundation stories are pretty straightforward. But the origin story of the city of Rome is more akin to something you would read in a comic book about superheroes. Today April 21, marks the birthday of Rome (locally called the Natale di Roma). According to city legend, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 B.C. by …

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A Show of Hands

It all started with David. Michelangelo’s statue of David was one of the first pieces of sculpture that I knew I had to see in person. Recognized worldwide as a symbol of Florence, David is marble come to life especially when you look at his hands. My European Art History professor many years ago urged us …

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Smoking in Italy

A lot of Italians still smoke. This is hardly a newsflash for many. I have always known that Italians are more relaxed (than Americans, for example) about smoking. But it is still a surprise coming from a culture where smoking is stigmatized to where it is not necessarily expected but accepted across many generations. Italy imposed …

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A Tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter

  “It’s impossible to do this tour or any other tour chronologically.” This was one of the first things Lauren, a guide for the walking tour company Context Travel, told us as we stood in Largo Arenula, our starting point for a historic walk of Rome’s Jewish Quarter and Trastevere. In addition to Lauren, a …

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Milan Invites Visitors to Discover the Art of Nobel Winner Dario Fo

Dario Fo "Earthquake in L'Aquila"

Next month, the Italy Blogging Roundtable will celebrate our first anniversary. Jessica, Alexandra, Gloria, Rebecca, and I have enjoyed tackling a new topic each month, and we’ve especially enjoyed hearing from readers. In fact, we were so pleased with how our last invitation went for bloggers to join us at the Roundtable that we thought …

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