Category: Italy

Magic Beans-  The History of Coffee

Java.  Cup of Joe.  My reason for living.  These are all euphemisms for that most delicious of things-  a cup of coffee.  But how did coffee become the popular pick me up it is today? There is a legend that coffee was first discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi around 850.  While out […]

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Not so Roman Holiday-  The Normans in Sicily

The Norman Conquest brings forth visions of William the Conqueror landing on English shores and going on to defeat Harold at Hastings.  There is another lesser known Norman Conquest, that of the Southern Italy and Sicily.  Overall, the region has better weather and wine, so why not? Roots of this invasion go back quite some […]

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The Childrens’ Crusade

Just a short one this evening, bit outside of my usual offerings, but an interesting story nonetheless. In 1212, it has been said, a young Shepherd boy from Germany, Nicholas of Cologne, received word from God (or Jesus, depending on which source you read) to lead a crusade to the Holy Land to peacefully convert […]

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Pope John XII-  The Christian Caligula

In previous posts, we have discussed the pornocracy period in papal history.  In our last one, we discussed Marozia, the mistress and mother of popes and power behind the papal throne.  In this post, we are discussing her grandson, who has the dubious honor of being a contender for the worst popes in history.  I’m […]

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Some insight into The Black Death in Europe

Free from demographic disasters since the middle of the eighth century, Europe was ravaged from one end to the other by bubonic and related forms of plague, primarily from the years 1347-50. The plague subsequently settled in Europe (among the fleas of its rats, to be exact), recurring sporadically and locally in epidemic form until […]

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