Italian Culture

Most ancient and prestigious universities in Italy

July 23, 2012

Italian universities are not as well known as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Sorbonne, but many of them are quite old. I have compiled a list of the most famous universities in Italy. Pavia – The University of Pavia was officially established in 1361, however a law school in Pavia existed since 825. University of Salerno […]

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Favorite Italian dishes, by region

July 21, 2012

In Italy it is almost a given that every region adheres to some very strong beliefs about something. There can be no list of dishes that rates their popularity throughout Italy. Instead, each region of the Italian peninsula has their own favorite recipes that have been used for generations. The curious thing is that someone […]

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Italian Castle for sale!

November 16, 2011

It is no secret that in Europe one can find medieval real estate at very reasonable prices. The catch is that mostly of these properties must be renovated, while local laws can be very restrictive in terms of what you can or cannot do with your castle. This marvelous castle, located right in the heel […]

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First Italian printed book

September 10, 2011

De Re Militari, published by Robertus Valturius (Roberto Valturio) was the first Italian book printed by a native publisher. As the title indicates, the subject matter is warfare. This folio edition appeared in 1472 and already represented a fairly high level of quality achieved by Italians in the new craft. Some extant copies of the […]

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Coppa amatoria

September 10, 2011

Coppa amatoria (plural: coppe amatorie) is a somewhat practical application of traditional Italian maiolica. Young people used to present to their potential lovers such cups, bowls or plates filled with sweet fruit or some  other delicacy. Once the contents were consumed, the bottom of the vessel would reveal a portrait of the interested person, a […]

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Istoriato style

September 10, 2011

There is hardly any term in the universe of Italian antiques that is capable of connecting a discerning collector with something so splendid and valuable as the word istoriato. The word means “story-painted” or “story-laden”, if you will. In many cases it applies to a particular style of Italian maiolica that first became popular in […]

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Vintage magazine poster

September 3, 2011

Il Secolo, giornale il più diffuso d’Italia – the most widely distributed magazine in Italy, an 1892 poster. At the time, the magazine had over one million readers! Note industrial and transportation themes used in this poster, with telegraph wires clearly visible in the background. The new age has arrived! See also: Vintage Italian poster […]

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Italian prayers before meal

August 2, 2011

Italy remains a fairly religious country. While Italian has been used for religious services since the 1960s, Latin is still the official language of the Catholic church. There are several traditional prayers used to bless food (benedizione dei pasti). Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona, quae, de tua largitate sumus sumpturi. Per Christum Dominum […]

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Jewelry for an Italian woman: How to choose?

July 28, 2011

What piece of jewelry should you get for your Italian lady? To be sure, nobody can tell what a woman will like or not like with 100% certainty. The following, however, is based on observations by Pierre Rainero, a market research manager for Cartier. He may be on to something here… 1. Unlike French and […]

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Italian toasts

July 22, 2011

It is a known fact that the English language lacks colorful phrases that one is supposed to use in various social drinking situations. All the more reasons to learn some Italian toasts! Italians seem to have a few toasts that fit every occasion. If you can’t pronounce them right, at least try to appear enthusiastic […]

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