Verona is not the only Italian city that can boast a couple of tragic lovers. The city of Mantua (Veneto) has its own pair – an unnamed young man and woman lie locked in an eternal embrace in the National Archaeological Museum in Piazza Castello, within the perimeter of the celebrated Ducal Palace.

The lovers, housed in a glass coffin in the museum, date back to the prehistoric era. The young couple, who were no older than twenty, died sometime between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago. They lie face to face, with their arms around each other, in an eternal embrace.

Archaeologists found the grave in 2007 while excavating a Roman villa near San Giorgio di Mantova, but the Amanti di Valdarno” (the Lovers of the Arno Valley), as they are called, only found a final resting place among the museum exhibits in 2017.

Flint arrow heads and knives were also found near the bodies, but archaeologists found no evidence of violent death and their story remains a mystery that will probably never be solved.

Info: Tel. +39.0376 320003

Posted on 27 Jul 2020 by Editor

Leading Veneto organic honey, jams and chocolate spread producer, Rigoni di Asiago, has embarked on its fifth project to sponsor the restoration of works of art. The programme was launched by the company in 2015 and involves initiatives in five key Italian art citiesMilano, Venice, Rome, Matera and Florence.

The latest project is part of the Florence I Care project, promoted by the city of Florence. The Rigoni di Asiago contribution is the restoration of a series of lunette paintings by a group of 17th-18th century painters in the cloister of Santa Maria Novella, now part of the church museum. The frescoes were badly damaged during the Arno flood in 1966 when they were detached from the walls in order to save them.

Rigoni di Asiago entered the field of art preservation five years ago with the recovery of the historic entrance to the Brera Palace in Milan, known as the Atrio dei Gesuiti (Jesuits' Atrium) in 2016-17, followed by the restoration of the statue of San Teodoro in the Ducal Palace of Venice, then the “Venice Marries the Sea” fountain in Palazzo Venezia, Rome (2018) and the recovery of the rock church of San Giovanni in Monterrone in Matera (2019).

Rigoni di Asiago was one of the first food producers in the EU to obtain organic certification in 1992.


Posted on 24 Jul 2020 by Editor

An application has been filed with UNESCO to have the unique Neapolitan espresso coffee included in the Intangible Heritage of Humanity list. As anyone who visits Naples will know, a coffee in a bar is not simply a pick-you-up drink, but a ritual, deeply embedded in the culture of the city. It's where you meet friends, take business associates, clinch deals and get the latest news.

A morning shot of espresso is considered so important, in fact, that the custom of the caffé sospeso developed here, whereby anyone who wishes can leave a paid coffee at the till for any unfortunate who can't afford to buy his own.

Both the espresso machine used in bars and the ubiquitous moka coffee pot were invented by Italians. The moka (named after the city of Mocha in the Yemen) was developed by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and commercialized by his son Renato, who introduced the traditional Bialetti coffee pot into almost every Italian home, where it still holds its own today, despite competition from the modern and heavily advertised “cialde” or coffee capsules. The moka has the advantage of lasting almost a lifetime, as it is possible to buy replacement parts, like filters, gaskets and rubber sealing rings at low cost. An antidote to our 21st century culture of “readily disposible”?

Margaret Stenhouse


Posted on 21 Jul 2020 by Editor

Despite the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic, Rome's traditional summer cultural programme goes ahead – with some important modifications for safety reasons.

This year, the popular Caracalla Opera will not take place as usual inside the ruins of the Roman Baths, but will be transferred to the equally important Roman archeological site of the Maximus Circus. The dimensions of the Circus allow the erection of a vast stage of 1,500 sqm for performances and seating for 1000 spectators, respecting the rules of social distancing. The season opens with “Rigoletto” on the 16th July and offers a total of 21 spectacles of opera, ballet, concerts and gala evenings until the 13th August 2020.

Meanwhile, Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica has also moved out into the open, with an inaugural Beethoven concert by the Santa Cecilia Orchestra conducted by internationally celebrated Antonio Pappano, in the Cavea (outdoor courtyard) of the concert hall. A series of events are programmed throughout the summer.


Posted on 18 Jul 2020 by Editor


The charming resort of Positano on the Amalfi Coast has long been celebrated for its stunning cliff-side position overlooking the Gulf of Salerno, its unique Positano fashion style and its VIP lifestyle.

But its attractions are not a modern phenomenon. It was a favoured retreat also for the ancient Romans. Evidence of the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed a couple of thousand years ago has been uncovered underneath the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in the heart of the old town.

Although the lavishly decorated villa has been known since the mid 18th century when archaeologists were excavating Pompeii, Herculanum and Stabiae, it has only been brought to light in the last ten years and opened to the public a couple of years ago, after lengthy and delicate restoration work.

The remains of the vast triclinium lie 11m under the medieval crypt of the church. Access has been created through glass and steel stairways and passages in order to not obstruct the view of the excavated dining hall, frescoed with a brightly coloured world of mythological creatures, heroes, gods, birds and animals. The villa was badly damaged during the Pompeii eruption of 79AD and was buried under landslide of pumice stone and mud, which helped preserve the amazing riot of colours.

The owner is thought to have been the rich and powerful Posides Claudi Caesaris, a friend of the emperor Claudius, and from whom Positano took its name

Info: MaR Positano Museo Archeologico Romano

Tel. +39.331 2085821

Posted on 14 Jul 2020 by Editor


Well-known street artist Harry Greb got to work immediately after the announcement of the death of composer Ennio Morricone, dedicating a mural homage in Via delle Fratte in the Trastevere district of Rome where the maestro was born.

Morricone is shown in a characteristic pose, holding a finger to his mouth for silence. In his other hand he holds one of the two Oscar statuettes he won – one awarded for his career in 2007 and the other for the soundtrack of “The Hateful Eight” in 2016.

He was a prolific composer, who wrote classical symphonies as well as popular songs. But he is best remembered for the haunting music that accompanied films like “Mission”, “A Fistful of Dollars”, “Cinema Paradise” and innumerable others.

Harry Greb's works are a well-known feature in Rome. Recently, he painted a mural on the wall of the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome in memory of the many victims of Coronavirus.

Source: ArtLife

Posted on 10 Jul 2020 by Editor


The Italian Touring Club has launched a “Summer in the Borghi(small historic towns) campaign, full of suggestions for a holiday with a difference. With most Italians opting to vacation in their own country this year, due to the problems posed by the pandemic, the 247 borghi certified with the Bandiera Arancione (Orange Flag) that guarantees high standards of hospitality, friendliness, local food and unspoiled scenery, are gearing up to welcome un unprecedented number of visitors. The Touring Club website is also a great source of new destination information for foreign visitors.

Most of the borghi offer entertainment programmes, nature tours, cycling and trekking tracks and guided visits for small groups to local places of interest. All information can be had on the website:

The Touring Club (TCI) is a non-profit association, founded 120 years ago, and dedicated to tourism, culture and the environment.


Posted on 08 Jul 2020 by Editor


The island of Elba (Tuscany) launches its 6th edition of the Magnetic Opera Festival, a uniquely scenic musical event. The programme of concerts and recitals runs until the 21st July 2020, against the spectacular backdrops of the Linguella Tower, built by the Medicis in the 16th century, and the beachfront Piazza di Porta Azzurra.

The Festival takes its name from the iconic “Magnet Mountain” (Monte Calamita) of Elba at Capoliveri, where iron ore, rich in magnetite, was mined up till the 1980s, and the Festival logo features the winding tower of a mine shaft.

The programme includes performances by the four-tenor Italian Harmonists group, nostalgia and light music from tenor Matteo Brancaleoni with the Italian Swing Band, soprano quartette LeDiv4s, a classical recital with a difference featuring the Duo Baldi and Maria Luigia Borsi and terminates with the final Gran Opera Gala with Elba tenor Marco Ciaponi and six soloists accompanied by the Cantieri D'Arte Symphonic Orchestra.

Organized by the local Maggyard Cultural Association, all the performances are free, “a gift to the local population to compensate for the suffering and hardship caused by the recent pandemic”, the organizers announced. Prior booking advised.

Info: Tel. +39.377 268955

Posted on 05 Jul 2020 by Editor


Parma is to remain Italy's designated City of Culture throughout 2021 to compensate for the interruption in its planned programme of events, due to the coronavirus shut-down.

The programme, which also involved the neighbouring cities of Piacenza and Reggio Emilia, had already been launched when the pandemic forced the suspension of all cultural activities.

The new programme was officially launched at the beginning of June with two highly original contemporary exhibitions: Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi at the Complesso Pilotta, and the Florilegium in the Oratory of San Tiburzio.

The Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, which runs until the 14th February 2021, highlights the work of Piero Fornasetti, leading 20th century surrealist artist and interior designer, in contrast with the exhibition setting in the 16th century cluster of monumental edifices, known as La Pilotta, symbol of the power of the Farnese Dukes.

Florilegium is the creation of UK artist Rebecca Louise Law, celebrated for her amazing floral installations. Over 200,000 flowers have been used in the compositions to be admired in the imposing baroque Oratory of San Tiburzio. Until the 19th December 2020.

Parma is best known world-wide for the excellence of its exclusive food products, and is a registered UNESCO City of Gastronomy. It has Italy's largest number of local quality-protected gastronomic creations. Many are world famous, like Parma Ham, Parmigiano Reggiano, Culatello di Zibello, Borgotaro mushrooms, Coppa di Parma and the wines of the Parma Hills (Colli di Parma).

Info: Tel. +39.0521.218889/8352

Posted on 02 Jul 2020 by Editor

The Wine Consortium of Alto Adige (Sudtirol) has launched a new series of five guided treks for lovers of Nature, gastronomy and wine cultivation. The five wein.weg (wine routes) lead through some of the area's most celebrated beauty spots as well as vineyards that produce the region's most celebrated wines.

  1. The Oltradige wine walk lasts three hours. It takes in the famous Lake of Caldaro and leads through apple orchards and vineyards. Wine Tastings on route included.

  2. The Gewurztraminer Track: through the vineyards of this autochthonous DOC rose-skinned “spice” grape, popular since the XII century.

  3. Lagundo Track: the Waalweg (Paths of Water) following the beds of the ancient irrigation canals (rogge) that once guaranteed water for the vines.

  1. The Via Vinum: classic excursionist route in Val Venosta, includes dropping in to the farms of local wine producers for a drink and a chat.

  2. Terlano, the Wine Route of the DOC Terlaner vineyards and the prize asparagus fields.


Posted on 25 Jun 2020 by Editor

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