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Viano Castle opening, viewed at night.  Source: Marcello Assandri

Vejano Castle Opened Up For the First Time in 414 Years

Today, after 414 years, the castle of Vejano (once Viano), Italy opened its heavy doors to experts coming from seven countries. Prince Landolfo di Napoli Rampolli, whose family has owned the castle...
All video courtesy of Marcello Assandri.

Huge Lost Medieval and Renaissance Castle Complex Discovered in Italy

A large medieval or Renaissance castle has been discovered amongst the foliage of a hill in Lazio, Italy. The discovery was made after investigations based on satellite imaging, which clearly...
Left, Santacroce tower, Rome Right, Marcello Assandri at Castel S Angelo, Rome. Source: Marcello Assandri

Unearthing Italy's Hidden Renaissance Castles 4: Borgia Strongholds of Rome

Rome was the adopted hometown of the Borgia; they were originally from the Catalan region of Spain. The Roman branch of the Santacroce family had lived in Rome for a few centuries. In this episode,...
Left; Vejano Castle, Vejano, Italy, street view of tower and entry bridge. Right, the triangular Vejano castle from above. Source: Left; Croberto68/ CC BY-SA 3.0, Right; Google Earth

Unearthing Italy's Hidden Castles 3: Rites and Recreation in the Renaissance

How did people unwind in the Renaissance? Well, spa baths were still popular since the days of the Roman Republic, but also competitions, and of course, who doesn’t love a good feast? All of these...
Bracciano Castle, Lazio, Italy.	Source: franco lucato/Adobe Stock /Adobe Stock

Unearthing Italy's Hidden Renaissance Castles: Bracciano Castle, the Orsini HQ

The current castle at Bracciano - Orsini-Odescalchi Castle - was built by Napoleone Orsini and his son Virginio starting in 1470. It is one the best maintained castles in Italy and host to numerous...
Marcello at the site of Alteto Castle, near Vejano, Lazio, Italy. Source: Marcello Assandri

Unearthing Italy's Hidden Renaissance Castles: The Borgia and Orsini Affair

Having a home in the fascinating historic town of Vejano, north of Rome, fueled Marcello Assandri’s curiosity about the history of the area. He has scoured the National State Italian Archive, the...
The House of Borgia is depicted here as “A glass of wine with Cesare Borgia,” a painting that clearly shows the wealth and power (church power) of this illustrious and infamous family. Photo source: John Collier /  Public domain

The Classical Influences Behind The Works Of Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli, a 16th-century man, is today still feared and yet revered. Machiavelli has come to represent the archetype of a scheming and conniving mastermind and even modern psychology...
Mona Lisa Meets War Machines: Details on the Driven Life and Lesser-Known Talents of Leonardo da Vinci

Mona Lisa Meets War Machines: Details on the Driven Life and Lesser-Known Talents of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, known more commonly as Leonardo da Vinci, is arguably one of the most well-known figures of the Italian Renaissance. Leonardo’s primary claim to fame is in the field...
The ancient Mexican Codex Borgia of the Aztecs, who came after the Olmecs but who also revered corn, shows Quetzalcóatl

Possible sacred maize object found in stream at Olmec site

Archaeologists have found an artifact made of jadeite at an Olmec site in Mexico that they think represents a cob of corn and that may have been offered to the gods. Corn was a vitally important crop...