THIS SMALL ISLAND HAS A long, politically charged past. During its many years of human history, it hosted a range of people, from exiled Roman women to the men who penned a document that helped inspire the European Union. Ventotene was first inhabited during Roman times, when Emperor Augustus had a big holiday villa built here. The Emperor later ba...

During my time in New York City I had the pleasure to meet a talented Italian creative, Giorgia Brugnoli – or, as her friends call her, Giorgia B. Born in Rome but currently based in Brooklyn, she’s a multidisciplinary artist specializing in illustration, art direction and design.  Being born and raised in Italy, Giorgia was lucky enough to be expo...

While governments around the world enact strict measures to attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, people without a fixed home or living in extreme poverty remain stranded in deserted cities. “Right now, the homeless continue to be homeless,” Pope Francis said an interview with his biographer Austen Ivereigh published Wednesday (A...

Ninfa may be closed due to the Coronavirus lockdown but don't despair, garden lovers: the most beautiful garden of them all can be now visited online this Easter Monday. The virtual tour takes place at 11.30 on 13 April and will include a visit to the most hidden corners of the enchanting garden, which is built among mediaeval ruins. Later on Easte...

THE VALLEY OF RIETI IN Sabina is known as Valle Santa (Holy Valley) for the number of Franciscan monasteries that dot this forested region northeast of Rome. There are several legends associated with the saint, one of which might have left traces that are still visible today.  In the woods above the small town of Rivodutri, along the Way of Saint F...

To recover from the coronavirus, as she did, Ada Zanusso recommends courage and faith, the same qualities that have served her well in her nearly 104 years. Italy, along with neighboring France, has Europe’s largest population of what has been dubbed the “super old" — people who are at least 100. As the nation with the world’s highest number of COV...

AT ABOUT FOUR FEET TALL, this tiny saint looks genuinely relaxed through the glass of her gilt coffin. Her leathery skin has pulled back from her pearly teeth in the approximation of a smile. Santa Rosa (Saint Rose), the patron saint of Viterbo, Italy, died in the 13th century at the age of 18 after a short life of devotion, prayer, charity, politi...

With the Eternal City turned into a stark De Chirico landscape because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vatican will mark an uprecedented Holy Week as celebrations leading up to and including Easter, Christianity’s most important holiday, will allow only for virtual viewing. In past years Settimana Santa, the name for Holy Week in Italy, was a period...

When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint Them: How Rome's artists are coping with quarantine during Italy's Coronavirus lockdown. Artists are unpredictable by nature and respond to sudden change in deeply personal ways. So after the Italian government introduced a nationwide lockdown in early March, due to the Covid-19 emergency, the forced confinement ha...

Certain secrets of the Colosseum are too unsettling to include in the average travel brochure. There are myths that even had its architects afraid. Not everything is dark about this ancient landmark though. It’s got quite the redemption arc that isn’t covered the same way that the gore and bloodshed are. The Colosseum has managed to stay relevant f...