In addition to being the most important and representative Christmas tradition, the crib is also the oldest: the first nativity scene was made by St. Francis and his friars on the night of 24th and 25th December 1223 in the mountains of Greccio, near Rieti in the Lazio region. The first crib is actually a mass exceptionally celebrated in a cave rat...

“You’re going to walk out of here crooked,” says my friend Michelle—not an outlandish statement, except it’s 10:30 in the morning. We’re the only sober people at Gruden Stanislav, a sparsely decorated, wood-beamed osmiza (or tavern) on the hilly and—as I would find out—oddly unique northeastern fringe of Italy. A fire crackles in the stone fireplac...

Coming to terms with national history isn’t always easy. Whether because of civil war, political oppression, or simply a change of values, monuments and other vestiges of the past often remind us that what we held dear in other ages doesn’t necessarily chime with what we cherish today. The bitter controversy – and deadly protests – sparked earlier...

The Italians are generous hosts to a fault, as anyone who has done business in the country will testify. Invariably, there will be a dinner in a local restaurant, which, particularly in the north of the country, may well be concluded with a glass of grappa. In days gone by, the sound of the grappa trolley rattling its way slowly towards the table c...

Up to just fifty years ago, the waters of Lake Tovel – in the Non Valley, in the province of Trento – used to turn red in the summer. People – who’ve come here at almost 2,000 meters of altitude since Antiquity – of course came up with a famous legend to explain the phenomenon. They say the queen of Ragoli, Tresenga, refused the matrimonial pursuit...

Trento, Italy–based Aquafil, a producer of polyamide (nylon 6), announced the opening of its first carpet recycling facility in the United States. Aquafil Carpet Recycling ACR #1 will invest $10 million in a leased 116,890-square-foot building in Phoenix, AZ, to set up its technology to recycle nylon 6 waste from carpets back into raw material, fur...

A local office furniture maker is now offering decorative lighting products made by an Italian company. Grand Rapids-based Steelcase began offering products this month from Merano, Italy-based FLOS. The “finely crafted” product collections include pendants, sconces and table and floor lamps. Steelcase is selling the FLOS lighting products throughou...

The village set on a large sunny green terrace overlooks the valley with the Dolomites of Brenta behind it. San Lorenzo is an ancient village created by the merging of seven Villas: Berghi, Pergnano, Senaso, Dolaso, Prato, Prusa and Glolo. Placed at the entrance of the beautiful Ambiez Valley, you can access the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park from the...

The tiny region of Alto Adige, nestled in Italy's northeast corner in the shadow of the towering Dolomites, produces elegant wines under extreme conditions. Purity and precision are signature characteristics of wines from this Alpine region where vineyards are planted at elevations ranging from 600 feet up to as high as 4,000 feet. Brisk mountain a...

Ask a claustrophobic to descend a dark, 1100m-long tunnel excavated inside a mountain and the most likely reaction will be a look of horrified panic. This scene played out recently during my vacation. I had joined a group tour for a one-week trek in the Dolomites, the famous mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, a beloved hikers’ playground....