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Italian Sketches

ART + CULTURE

ART + CULTURE

Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa

On September 3, 1982, Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa and his 32-year-old bride of less than two months, Emanuela Setti Carraro, were gunned down with almost military precision by mob hitmen ...

ART + CULTURE

Domenico Modugno

To watch an original clip of modugno singing nel blu, dipinto di blu, go to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-dvi0ugelc.   At the beginning of January 1951, the first annual Festival della Canzone ...

ART + CULTURE

Arturo Toscanini

The twentieth century's great conductor, Arturo Toscanini, was born in Parma on March 25, 1867, the son of a music-loving tailor who spent much of his time fighting in Giuseppe Garibaldi's republican forces. Blessed with a prodigious memory-which would later enable him to remember the entire

ART + CULTURE

Giuseppe Borsalino

  What could men like Al Capone, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astair, Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, Pope John XXIII and Robert Redford possibly have in ...

ART + CULTURE

Nilde Iotti

In its short history, the Republic of Italy has only once almost had a woman prime minister. That woman was Leonilde Iotti, or Nilde, as everyone called her, who, in ...

ART + CULTURE

Junio Valerio Borghese

Where do you go if your attempt to overthrow the legitimate government in Italy fails? To have a plate of spaghetti, where else? This is exactly what happened when the coup d'etat planned by Junio Valerio Borghese, the heroic World War II naval commander and post-war, right-wing

ART + CULTURE

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

Italians and pasta are like a horse and carriage: they just naturally go together. The very idea of depriving Italians of their beloved pasta seems crazy, but Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the poet, novelist, critic and founder of Italy's Futurist movement, tried to do just that, although, as grocery stores

ART + CULTURE

Gianni Versace

In 1992, Gianni Versace, the eclectic Italian fashion designer, purchased Casa Casuarina in South Beach, Miami, for $2.9 million. Constructed in 1930 and modelled after a residence built in Santo Domingo in 1510 by the son of Christopher Columbus, restoration of the house became Versace's obsession. Five years

ART + CULTURE

Roberto Calvi

On June 17, 1982, with his pockets filled with building bricks, $15,000 in three different currencies and a false passport, Roberto Calvi was found hanging from scaffolding under Blackfriars Bridge ...

ART + CULTURE

Bruno Cavalieri Ducati

Hard work and ingeniousness may be one of the recipes for a long life. It certainly was for Bruno Cavalieri Ducati, the last of the three brothers who founded the famous motorcycle manufacturing company bearing their name. He died at 96 on May 14, 2001.   Adriano Ducati, Bruno's

ART + CULTURE

Enzo Tortora

Most people remember vividly where they were when some momentous event occurred, such as the day John Kennedy was assassinated or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Like them, ...

ART + CULTURE

Indro Montanelli

Other Italians call them maledetti toscani (‘cursed Tuscans') for their quick intelligence, sharp tongues and biting wits. One Tuscan who fit this description perfectly was Indro Montanelli, probably the most influential Italian journalist of his time. A prolific writer, he also penned numerous books, including innovative histories such as

ART + CULTURE

Mario and Vittorio Cecchi Gori

The decade between 1945 and 1955 is described as the golden age of Italian cinema. Emerging from the stark and often desolate picture of post-World War II Italy depicted in the neorealist films, the commedia all'italiana or Italian-style comedy was born. The film producer and distributor who

ART + CULTURE

Achille Lauro

In October 1985, US fighter planes intercepted an Egypt airliner flying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro to freedom in Tunisia, forcing it to land in Sicily, where the terrorists were arrested by Italian police. This was the end of a two-day drama during which the

ART + CULTURE

Emilio Pucci

By July 1943, it was obvious that Italy was facing imminent defeat by the Allies in World War II. In an attempt to mitigate the inevitable devastation and destruction, the Fascist Grand Council passed a vote of no confidence against Mussolini, removing him from government. Mussolini's foreign minister and

ART + CULTURE

Bettino Craxi

It all began on February 17, 1992 with the arrest of a man called Mario Chiesa. Chiesa was not only the director of the Pio Albergo Trivulzio, Milan's largest old people's home, but he was also a member of the Italian Socialist Party. A prosecutor in Milan, Antonio

ART + CULTURE

Franca Viola

Important social changes that began taking place in Italy after World War II gained momentum with the economic boom of the 1960s. Rigid family relationships were modified as young people ...

FOOD + WINE

Alfonso Bialetti

Between 1957 and 1977, Carosello was a 10-minute spot of advertising broadcast every night on Italian national television immediately after the evening news. More like a variety show than hard-sell publicity, it was so popular that it became normal practice in Italian households that dopo Carosello,

ART + CULTURE

Gianni Agnelli

Someone once said that ‘the rich get richer and the poor get children'. The first part of this saying was certainly true in the case of Giovanni Agnelli, known as Gianni, possibly Italy's most important industrialist as chairman and major shareholder of the Fiat motor company, a life

ART + CULTURE

Giangiacomo Feltrinelli

On March 15, 1972, the body of a man was found at the foot of one of the main electricity pylons at Segrate, a suburb of Milan. It appeared he had been killed when the dynamite he was attempting to strap to the pylon detonated. Although the identity card found

ART + CULTURE

Enrico Caruso

When Luciano Pavarotti died in September 2007, he was hailed as ‘one of the greatest’ Italian tenors of the twentieth century. The other ‘great’? During his lifetime, Enrico Caruso was as famous as Pavarotti for his unique and powerful voice, his talent and his charisma—

ART + CULTURE

Trendy Fendi

The first of the five Fendi sisters, Paola, entered the family business in 1946. She was soon joined by her other four sisters Carla, Anna, Franca, and Alda. They were following in the footsteps of their mother, Adele Casagrande who had opened a leather and fur store and workshop in&

ART + CULTURE

John XXIII

Jovial, plump and a superb communicator, Angelo Roncalli took the name of John XXIII when he was elected pope in 1958, at the age of 77. It was commonly believed that, given his age, he would be a ‘transitional’ pope, an interim pontiff until a more long-term

ART + CULTURE

Pasquale Rotondi

His name is not a household word, not even in Italy, but it should be. Nor was his extraordinary story told until fairly recently. But, starting in 1940, for a period of five years, three months and eight days, a young, public servant, Pasquale Rotondi, a superintendent of the Artistic

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