Tag: History

  • Bits of Rusty History

    Bits of Rusty History

    The Certosa island was home to an armaments factory, the Pirotecnica della Certosa, for the first half of the 20th century. It was shut down definitively in 1958. I found this on the ground a few days ago.

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  • Venetian rowing in the 18th century

    Venetian rowing in the 18th century

    Antonio Vivaldi, the composer from the 18th century who wrote The Four Seasons, also wrote operas to be performed in Venetian theatres. They were rather modern for their time, and one of Vivaldi’s critics published a pamphlet against him, called “Il teatro alla moda“, which has an interesting incision on the cover. It shows a […]

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  • Ancient graffiti

    Ancient graffiti

    The current entrance to the hospital in Venice originally housed the Scuola Grande di San Marco, an important confraternity and one of the six Scuole Grandi of Venice. In the early 19th century it was turned into a military hospital by the then Austrian rulers of Venice, and later it became a civilian hospital. The […]

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  • Lessico Veneto – Malamocco

    Lessico Veneto – Malamocco

    I recently found some scanned books from Venice of times past. One of them is a kind of historical encyclopedia from the mid 19th century, and I must say it has its little oddities 🙂 The entry for Malamocco – a small hamlet on the Lido di Venezia with a glorious past – reads: Malamocco, […]

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  • Book: Barche del Golfo di Venezia

    Book: Barche del Golfo di Venezia

    A dear friend of mine recently gave me a beautiful gift – the book Barche del Golfo di Venezia – an illustrated description of most of the traditional boats of the Venetian lagoon and the upper Adriatic Sea. The various chapters describe not only the different types and classes of boats, both rowed and sailed, […]

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  • The Abandoned Islands of the Venetian lagoon

    The Abandoned Islands of the Venetian lagoon

    In 1978 two Venetian men in their mid twenties rowed around the lagoon of Venice, photographing all the abandoned islands there. The result was a book with photographic documentation of the state of abandonment of each island. Recently, some thirty years after, the book has been republished, now with a English parallel text and some […]

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  • The Sea Stallion at sea

    The Sea Stallion at sea

    The Sea Stallion, a reconstruction of a thousand years old viking longship, has departed Dublin on a 1400 nautical miles journey back to Denmark. They expect to arrive on August 9th. The ship is a replica of a 30m longship, build in Dublin around 1040 by Nordic or Nordic taught shipbuilders, and some time later […]

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  • Ogliastra hinterland – abandoned towns and ancient towers

    Ogliastra hinterland – abandoned towns and ancient towers

    On friday the 28th the sea was livelier than we wanted to be part of, and we decided on an excursion by car to the mountains in the Ogliastra hinterland. First we drove to Jerzu which is a bit further inland from Cardedu, where the mountains really begins. Francesco drove up some of the steepest […]

  • Cagliari


    Tuesday evening (March 25th) we left Palermo for Trapani. The ferry was scheduled to depart at nine in the evening, but we ended up at Giacomo’s chatting until after seven, and arrived at Trapani harbour at ten to nine, only to discover that the ferry departed from a new more distant pier, which we had […]

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  • Dig and you will find

    Whenever people put a shovel in the ground in Rome they’ll hit something ancient. It is not restricted to the centre of the city. Here in the surroundings of Grottaferrata, some 25 km outside Rome, the same thing happens too. Shortly before I arrived, a stretch of ancient Roman road was unearthed just a few […]

  • Lupercale


    It was all over the news here in Italy last night. Apparently archaeologists in Rome have found the Lupercale on the Palatine hill. This is incredible news for anybody interested in ancient history. The Lupercale is legendary in more than one way. For the ancient Romans it was the cave under the Palatine hill where […]

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