Weird ItalyJun 09, 2022
The Wild Art of Antonio Ligabue
Antonio Ligabue is a self-taught artist who primarily paints wild and exotic creatures. The artist used his artwork to express emotions that he couldn't articulate verbally. Childhood memories, landscapes, everyday occurrences, films, postcards, and books all become part of his iconographic legacy. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2022/06/07/the-wild-art-of-antonio-ligabue/
Borges' Mysterious Maze in Venice
The Borges Labyrinth is a replica of the labyrinth constructed in honor of the famed Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges by English diplomat and "labyrinthologist" Randoll Coate on the picturesque island of San Giorgio in Venice. This episode is also available as a blog post: The Enigmatic Borges Maze in Venice
The Bizarre Drawings of the Renaissance painter Amico Aspertini
Amico Aspertini was an Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor whose complicated, eccentric, and eclectic style foreshadowed Mannerism. This episode is also available as a blog post: The Work of Amico Aspertini
The wild wolf population in Italy is increasing
The wolf population in Italy is made up of 3,300 individuals who live in the Alps and Apennines mountain ranges. Since the Italian government began safeguarding endangered animals in the country more than four decades ago, there are more wolves in the wild than ever before. This episode is also available as a blog post: Wild population of wolves in Italy grows in size
Etymology of the word “Ciao”
Ciao is the most popular informal and friendly greeting in Italian, and it may be used to say "hi" or "goodbye." This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2022/05/15/etymology-of-the-word-ciao/
The Anatomical Machines of the Prince of Sansevero in Italy
The anatomical machines, which are on display in Naples' Cappella Sansevero, are two anatomical models that reproduce the human circulatory system. In the second half of the 18th century, they were constructed from a male and female human skeleton. MORE: The Bizarre Anatomical Machines of the Prince of Sansevero
The Luigi Broglio Space Center in Kenya
The Luigi Broglio space facility in Malindi, Kenya, is an Italian space center maintained by the Italian Space Agency outside of the national territory.
It's a good location for launch activities and ground-based satellite monitoring because of its equatorial location on the Indian Ocean coast. MORE: The Italian Space Center in Kenya
Lucian of Samosata's 'A True Story': The first science fiction novel
Lucian of Samosata's A True Story is the first known work of science fiction. The novel is a satire and the first known work of fiction to incorporate interplanetary warfare, space travel, and extraterrestrial lifeforms. However, the work defies genre conventions by including sarcastic, mythological, and fantastic aspects. Read more: A True Story by Lucian of Samosata, the earliest example of Science Fiction in Literature
The genetic profile of the ancient Romans
The DNA of the Romans has changed over time following the evolution of the historical phases that have marked the life and growth of the city.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2022/01/13/the-genetic-profile-of-the-ancient-romans/
The Benandanti: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults between 16th and 17th centuries in Italy
A trial for heresy of two peasants reveals a pagan-shamanic peasant cult based on the fertility of the land widespread in Friuli, northern Italy, around the 16th-17th centuries. The Benandanti was an agrarian cult with shamanic characteristics that gradually transformed under the pressure of the inquisitors to assume the features of traditional witchcraft.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2022/01/10/the-benandanti-witchcraft-and-agrarian-cults-between-16th-and-17th-centuries-in-italy/
The Complex Cosmogony of a Sixteenth-Century Italian Miller
On September 28, 1583, Menocchio, an Italian miller, was denounced to the Holy Office on the charge of having uttered and attempted to spread “heretical and impious” words about Christ. The trial brings to light the complex cosmogony and worldview of a miller who stunned the inquisitors.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/12/29/the-cosmogony-of-a-sixteenth-century-italian-miller/
Giovanni Bugatti, Mastro Titta, the executioner of the Papal States who executed 514 people
He became an executioner at the age of 17, in 1796. Bugatti noted 516 names of the executed, but two convicts are subtracted from the account, one because he was shot and the other because he was hanged and quartered by his aide.
This episode is also available as a blog post: Giovanni Bugatti, the official Papal executioner who executed 514 people (weirditaly.com)
The Sator Square: SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, ROTAS
The Sator Square has been the subject of frequent archaeological discoveries, both in stone epigraphs and in graffiti, but the sense and the symbolic meaning still remain obscure, despite the numerous hypotheses formulated.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/11/02/the-enigma-of-the-sator-square/
The Curious Story of the Nemi Ships built by Caligula
The Nemi ships had been built by Emperor Caligula, in honor of the Egyptian goddess Isis and Diana, goddess of wild animals and the hunt.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/10/31/the-bizarre-story-of-the-nemi-ships-built-by-caligula/
The bizarre story of the Chronovisor, a "Time Machine" Allegedly Invented by the Italian Monk and Exorcist Pellegrino Ernetti
The chronovisor (or chronoscope) is allegedly a functional time viewer, an hypothetical device capable of capturing and reproducing images and sounds from the past
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/10/10/the-chronovisor-a-time-machine-allegedly-invented-by-the-italian-monk-and-exorcist-pellegrino-ernetti/
The bizarre history of the Republic of Rose Island, a micronation on a man-made platform off the coast of Italy
The Republic of Rose Island was the name given to an artificial platform of 400 m² that stood in the Adriatic Sea outside Italian territorial waters, designed by engineer Giorgio Rosa in 1958 and completed in 1967.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/08/06/the-curious-history-of-the-republic-of-rose-island-a-micronation-on-a-man-made-platform-off-the-coast-of-italy/
The Mithraeum of San Clemente in Rome: an underground temple devoted to Mithras
The Mithraeum is a building from the Roman imperial period buried several meters below the Basilica of San Clemente del Laterano in Rome, located between the Esquiline and Caelian hills, in the extension of the Colosseum and the Ludus Magnus.
The article originally appeared on https://weirditaly.com/2021/05/08/the-mithraeum-of-san-clemente-in-rome-an-underground-temple-devoted-to-mithras/
The Origins of the Story of Romeo and Juliet
The story of Romeo and Juliet is told in Historia novellamente ritrovata di due nobili amanti, written between 1512 and 1524.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/04/18/the-origins-of-the-story-of-romeo-and-juliet/
The Bizarre Festival of the Snake-Catchers in Italy
The festival of the snake-catchers involves a procession carrying the statue of St. Dominic, draped with living snakes, through the streets of Cocullo, Italy.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2021/04/13/the-festival-of-the-snake-catchers-in-italy/
Codex Seraphinianus, the Bizarre Encyclopedia by Luigi Serafini
The book is composed by 360 pages and it’s written in a cipher alphabet in an imaginary language.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2016/04/30/codex-seraphinianus-surreal-encyclopedia-luigi-serafini/
The legendary sword in the stone of San Galgano
The Royal Palace of Caserta
The Royal Palace of Caserta was the largest palace in Europe and a perfect example of Baroque art style.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2014/05/31/royal-palace-of-caserta/
Castel del Monte, the Fortress of Mysteries
Castel del Monte was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as “a unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture”.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2014/02/25/castel-del-monte-the-fortress-of-the-mysteries/
The submerged Belltower of Curon
The pleasant village of Graun, in Italian Curon Venosta, is located in the heart of the tourist region Val Venosta, not far from the border with Switzerland and Austria.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2013/04/13/surreal-places-the-old-bell-tower-of-submerged-curon/
Christ of the Abyss, a submerged bronze statue of Jesus in Italy
The statue was born from an idea by Duilio Marcante following the death of Dario Gonzatti, one of the pioneers of scuba diving, during a dive in 1950.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2013/04/08/christ-of-the-abyss/
The story of Leonarda Cianciulli, the woman who turned the bodies of her victims into soap
The story of Giovanni Aldini: the scientist who inspired Frankenstein's story
Giovanni Aldini was an Italian physicist born at Bologna, nephew of Luigi Galvani, and he became a professor of physics at Bologna in 1798.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2013/03/18/giovanni-aldini-reanimator/
The story of Ugolino, the Cannibal Count
In Dante’s Inferno (Canto XXXIII, the level of hell where the traitors were punished) he has been described eating the skull of Ruggeri Archbishop, the man who condemned him to die for starving in Muda Tower.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://weirditaly.com/2013/03/26/ugolino-the-cannibal-count/
What is everybody’s natural language? The cruel experiment in language deprivation of Frederick II
Throughout history were conducted experiments involving language deprivation trying to discover the origin of language.The article was originally published on https://weirditaly.com/2013/03/04/which-is-the-natural-language-the-cruel-experiment-in-language-deprivation-of-frederick-ii/
The museum of the mummies of Ferentillo
The Museum of mummies is a museum located in Ferentillo that exhibits the ancient mummies of the inhabitants of the town.
The article originally appeared on https://weirditaly.com/2013/02/13/creepy-ferentillo-mummies/