Writing about Agostino Tassi concisely and without falling into immediate preconception is difficult, but it is also very interesting because the artist, the greatest quadraturist of the early Baroque, in this case is decidedly overpowering as a thug. Probably as a result of his conviction for a brawl, served in part on the grand ducal galleys, he...

The month of May is dedicated to Mary. Especially in Etruria, in the Lazio region, archaic festivals of pagan origin follow one another. A particularly suggestive feast, which at times fills the eyes with tears for its intensity, is certainly the Barabbata on May 14th. It is celebrated at the church of Santa Maria del Monte in Marta, a village alon...

Stazione Tiburtina, Rome. Here I am, ready to discover the new Grand Tour from Rome to Paris launched by Venice Simplon-Orient Express, a homage to the great voyages of the Golden Age of travel. The same carriages where Graham Greene set his Stamboul Train, and Agatha Christie imagined Murder on the Orient Express. I ask myself, ‘What am I going to...

When: Wednesday, June 8 at 6:00 pm PST - Where: Italian Cultural Institute Los Angeles. The program will also be availble livestreamed on Zoom Rome’s painted facades were once as celebrated as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes and Raphael’s Vatican stanze. Yet these treasures of the Eternal City have now all but disappeared. Celebrating the op...

The Abbey of Montecassino is a symbol of spirituality, history, and resilience. The patron Saint of Europe and father of Western Monasticism Benedict of Norcia founded the abbey in 529 AD. He had reached the hills of Montecassino from Subiaco, on foot, with other monks: they planned to find the perfect spot to build a monastery and give their commu...

Rome has a lot happening, so settling on the "best, must-do things" can be daunting. It's OK to embrace the bucket list, especially when that list includes a UNESCO World Heritage site historic center, one of the most important ancient arenas in the world, and one of the best art collections. You don't need me to tell you to go to the Pantheon or t...

Of all the mysteries of ancient Rome, silphium is among the most intriguing. Romans loved the herb as much as we love chocolate. They used silphium as perfume, as medicine, as an aphrodisiac and turned it into a condiment, called laser, that they poured on to almost every dish. It was so valuable that Julius Caesar stashed more than half a tonne in...

With masking and vaccination requirements largely dropped in Italy and summer approaching, crowds of travelers have begun to return to Rome’s Centro Storico — the area most dependent on tourism and the hardest hit by the pandemic — according to hoteliers and others working near Rome’s iconic spots. “Trevi Square and the whole center of Rome is full...

It was a historic week in Rome and within Vatican City as a delegation of Italian American leaders met with government officials and Pope Francis to advance cultural and religious initiatives — and to set the stage for new economic opportunities — between the U.S. and Italy. The delegation, assembled by Judge Basil M. Russo — who leads The Conferen...