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Housebound Italians embrace ‘virtual Mass’ to keep the faith

Housebound Italians embrace ‘virtual Mass’ to keep the faith

In one of the nations hardest hit by COVID-19, Catholics come together to worship—at a safe distance.

The pain inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly severe in Italy, a nation of 61 million people. On March 27 the Italian death toll surpassed 8,200—the world’s highest and more than twice the registered toll in China, a country of 1.4 billion. Those bleak health figures translate into enormous challenges for the nation’s […]

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Why Vatican might accept married priests

Why Vatican might accept married priests

article by Frank Viviano

In the lengthy chronicle of the Roman Catholic Church, the resignation of Benedict XVI has no close precedent. It is highly improbable that the pope acted unilaterally, in response to feebleness or aging. Nothing short of profound crisis could have brought matters to this dramatic turn – and nothing short of a dramatic nod to […]

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Work starts on the Tower in Sommocolonia

Work starts on the Tower in Sommocolonia

Workman are now working on removing the many tons of rubble, soil and rocks from the base of the ruins of the tower in Sommocolonia. The project is intended to rebuilt part of the tower using those rocks and finally to construct a building to house the museum “Sala della Memoria” The Romans built the […]

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“Every garment tells a story”

“Every garment tells a story”

A Kerry Bell exhibition at the Oxo Collection Gallery in Barga Vecchia - review by Frank Viviano

At the age of twelve, Kerry Bell fell in love with clothing. Not fashion, although the designing of women’s garments became her life’s work, but the dizzying possibilities of clothing in general. Its aesthetic, its affective resonance, its metaphorical depth. Clothing itself, she came to believe, wore many guises, some of them overt and others […]

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The Black Death in Europe and San Rocco

The Black Death in Europe and San Rocco

As Barga celebrates its annual mid-August festa di San Rocco with dining and dancing under the stars and a lively outdoor market, it is also marking the inconceivable carnage of the Black Death – in which the Serchio Valley almost certainly played a critical role.

Ironically, as Barga celebrates its annual mid-August festa di San Rocco with dining and dancing under the stars and a lively outdoor market, it is also marking the inconceivable carnage of the Black Death – in which the Serchio Valley almost certainly played a critical role. In the lengthy annals of European trauma, ranging from […]

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Two cabinet ministers from the Scottish Parliament visit Barga

Two cabinet ministers from the Scottish Parliament visit Barga

The impact of Brexit is not a distant abstraction for Barga. Its ties to Scotland are powerful, rooted in extensive immigration dating back to the 19th century, and more recently to strong economic links based on tourism. A good example of those ties was yesterday as two people were in Barga enjoying the sun and the […]

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The Oxo Gallery’s enigmatic inaugural event

The Oxo Gallery’s enigmatic inaugural event

Il viaggio infinito

What is the role of art and artists in community life? Is it spiritual, aesthetic or intellectual ? Or is it an undefinable union of passion and thought, a complex ballet that bears no name but subtly makes the world go ‘round. These and countless other unanswerable questions were the subtext to Friday evening’s gathering […]

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The agonising debate over a high-tech incinerator in Fornaci

The agonising debate over a high-tech incinerator in Fornaci

article by Frank Viviano

The deadline is fast approaching for one of the most controversial — and agonising — challenges in the Serchio Valley since World War Two. Sometime in the next several months, a decision could be reached on the fate of an immense waste incinerator proposed for the industrial zone of Fornaci di Barga. At stake in […]

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The Da Aristo comic strip

The Da Aristo comic strip

words by Frank Viviano - images by Keane

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The Da Aristo comic strip

The Da Aristo comic strip

words by Frank Viviano - images by Keane

 keane

The Da Aristo comic strip

The Da Aristo comic strip

words by Frank Viviano - images by Keane

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Barga, San Rocco and the Black Death

Barga, San Rocco and the Black Death

article by Frank Viviano

Ironically, as Barga celebrates its annual mid-August festa di San Rocco with dining and dancing under the stars and a lively outdoor market, it is also marking the inconceivable carnage of the Black Death – in which the Serchio Valley almost certainly played a critical role. In the lengthy annals of European trauma, ranging from […]

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