Length of Brocaded Silk, Italy, 18th century

Eighteenth-Century Spies in the European Silk Industry

Curious about the advancing wonders of the age, savants traveled abroad to gather trade secrets for their homeland.
Garlic

Garlic and Social Class

Immigrants from southern Italy were stereotyped for their use of the aromatic vegetable.
The Visit, 1746, Pietro Longhi

Socially Sanctioned Love Triangles of Romantic-Era Italy

Eighteenth-century Italian noblewomen had one indispensable accessory: an extramarital lover.
Casa Malaparte

Casa Malaparte Is a Strangely Awesome House

Built by a fascist-turned-communist writer in the 1940s, it belongs to no one architectural style. But the views!
from The Battle of San Pietro

The War Documentary That Never Was

John Huston's 1945 movie The Battle of San Pietro presents itself as a war documentary, but contains staged scenes. What should we make of it?
Piazza San Marco in Venice, November 4, 1966

The Highest Flood in Italy This Century

Recent flooding in Venice has revived memories of a record-setting 1966 flood, which sparked an international rescue program for art and architecture.
Scottish Highlanders

What Does It Mean To Be Celtic?

How various nationalist groups have come to use "Celtic" as a coded way of saying "white."
Colourful sunset over famous shipwreck beach. Zakynthos, Greek Islands, Greece

The Romanticization of the Mediterranean

The idea that the disparate nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea represent a single region is the product of the nineteenth century.
Iris Origo La Foce

Iris Origo’s Italian War Diary

The marchese's 1939-1940 diary, detailing the months before Italy's armed alliance with Nazi Germany, is now available as A Chill in the Air.
Pasquino statue

The Talking Statues of Rome

Since the 16th century, anonymous authors have been posting provocative political messages on or near these Roman statues.