Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Category: History of Italy

Alberto Mieli and Sami Modiano (holocaust survivors)


The Truce – La Tregua, by Francesco Rosi


The Truce (film)


Wikipedia (Italian): Map of the route taken by Primo Levi from Auschwitz to Turin


Rome’s Fascinating Basilica of San Clemente Reveals 2,000 Years of History

Timeless Italy Travels

I descended 60 feet below Rome’s surface into a mysterious past I knew little about…

Standing outside of the ancient Basilica of San Clemente, named after Rome’s third pope, hardly drew my attention. I had approached it from the side by mistake and missed the grander entrance fronted by a small courtyard with palm trees.

basilica_san_clemente_in_rome photo credit Wikimedia Commons

Located just a short distance from the Colosseum, I knew it embodied three levels of ancient church history.  Harboring this thought, I stepped inside the 12th century Basilica.

High above me was a vaulted ceiling with a dazzling mosaic in the apse depicting Christ on the Cross surrounded by doves. I walked across the uneven tile floor as it dipped and swayed through the centuries of visiting pilgrims and worshipers. A faint smell of incense, mingled with the cool and earthy surroundings, grew stronger as I began my journey into the depths of San Clemente

450px-interior_of_san_clemente_rome photo credit Wikimedia Commons

I soon found…

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Harvesting Blossoms and the Ancient Perfume Manufacturers in Venice

La Venessiana

Early fall is a boon for gardeners in Venice. Rainy weather and cooler temperatures allow plants and vegetables to thrive in the moist Lagoon. Farther south, for example on the Amalfi Coast, autumn is considered a second spring – la primavera in autunno. That’s also true for Venice to some extent.

Early fall is the main harvest season and Venice is brimming with colorful produce. But the colors we can see in early autumn must be nothing compared to what harvesting time looked like for more than 1000 years in our town, until the early 18th century.

30c14a5f336068e540035e1361efed07300 years ago, you would have seen manufacturing sites in all parts of Venice that may well be called factories, using tons of blossoms to make ointments, soap, essential oils and flower waters. Blossoms were used to make herbal remedies and distilled to flavor sugar (no Venetian noblemen would have eaten plain sugar 300 years ago !!)…

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Columbus letter on discovery of America


The letter […] was produced in 1493 and is considered of enormous historical importance.
The Columbus letter, which was stolen from Florence’s Riccardiana library, was found in the United States Library of Congress in Washington D.C. […] The United States agreed to return the letter after the Carabinieri art police told them its origins.


Columbus letter on discovery of America recovered


Gino Bartali: a Righteous Among the Nations


Gino Bartali


I wish… [Pompeii]

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