Here’s the top 10 most iconic Italian books of all time

10 novels representing Italian literature at its best. In its unique essence and majesty.The love for the perfect detail in a flow of emotions.

From ancient times up till today, Italian writers have been able to transfer the most powerful and moving feelings. All with their unique style, all with an unreachable talent.

10) Il nome della rosa – Umberto Eco (1980)

Il nome della rosa - Umberto Eco (1980)

The Name of the Rose.The novel is set in 1327 in a Benedictine monastery in northern Italy and is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Adso da Melk, at the time young novice, who now tells the story of the monastery, and the investigations conducted by his teacher, William of Baskerville, a Franciscan friar of English origin.

Book «made up of pieces, quotations, unfinished periods, stumps of books», real pastiche of different literary genres.

The name of the rose, behind a compelling and enthralling story from the first page to the last, hides a book from infinite senses and infinite levels of reading: that is, it seems almost the narrative outcome, the exemplification and exploration of that “limitlessness” of semiosis, theoretically illustrated by the author.

9) Le avventure di Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi (1883)

Le avventure di Pinocchio - Carlo Collodi (1883)

The Adventures of Pinocchio is set in Tuscany, just before the Unification of Italy. Pinocchio is a classic of children’s literature and among the great works of Italian literature of the nineteenth century.

The story of the little Pinocchio puppet who, after being born made of wood and many adventures, involving cats, foxes, whales and much more, gets the gift of becoming a real child, is known to all.

Especially the new generations know its history thanks to the cartoon of Walt Disney, or for film adaptations, which bear witness to the great success of the story of Collodi, but the plot of the book is different from the one we all believe we know well.

A magic fairy tale that teaches more each time the reader pass through its chapters.

Continue with the TOP 8 most iconic Italian books of all times

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TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian cars of all time

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (1967-1969)

10 cars representing the most iconic style and the touch of Italian car manufacturers 

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian foods of all time

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

10 foods representing the culture, history, and obviously the great taste that Italy can offer to the world. As no one else.

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian actresses of all times

Sofia Loren

10 actresses that with their talent, beauty and charm have represented the Italian culture at its best in the seventh art. Cinema.

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian songs of all time

Domenico Modugno

10 songs representing the most iconic voices and melodies from Italy. Ahead of times, powerful and romantic.

Here’s the top 10 most iconic Italian songs of all time

10 songs representing the most iconic voices and melodies from Italy. Ahead of times, powerful and romantic.

Italian music has led the way for several centuries, with some of the greatest musicians of all time. Modern music nowadays is well dominated by English speaking songs, but thanks to its unique style and excellent performers , Italy didn’t stay behind and here’s the top 10 most iconic Italian songs of all times.

10) Senza Una Donna – Zucchero (1987)

”It’s not like that, What a baby’s day, How are you, You’ve been there,
And now come back lady, Hey, who are you with,
I’m here, and I look at the sea
I’m with me, I’m going to feed myself”

  • Senza una donna (without a woman) is a song written and interpreted by Zucchero, sugar in Italian. The artistic name of Adelmo Fornaciari.
  • It was included in the album Blue’s and was born a first time in 1987 as part of this album and then again, in 1991, with a new version together with Paul Young.

9) Bello e impossibile – Gianna Nannini (1986)

”Beautiful beautiful impossible
with black eyes and your tasty Middle Eastern
beautiful, invincible beautiful
with black eyes and your mouth to kiss
the stars turn in the night and me
I think I’m strong, I want you strong”

  • Gianna Nannini, a real rocker, publishes in 1986 a melodic song called Bello e impossibile, literally Handsome and impossible.
  • It was the first song of the album Profumo
  • A melodic love rock song to an unreachable lover
  • Solidified internal fame and exposed Gianna to an international audience.
  • Gianna, originally from Siena, Tuscany, has an equally famous brother, Alessandro, former F1 driver.

Continue with the TOP 8 most iconic Italian songs of all times

or have a look at..

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian cars of all time

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (1967-1969)

10 cars representing the most iconic style and the touch of Italian car manufacturers 

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian foods of all time

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

10 foods representing the culture, history, and obviously the great taste that Italy can offer to the world. As no one else.

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian actresses of all time

Sofia Loren

10 actresses that with their talent, beauty and charm have represented the Italian culture at its best in the seventh art. Cinema.

Here’s the top 10 most iconic Italian actresses of all time

10 actresses that with their talent, beauty and charm have represented the Italian culture at its best in the seventh art. Cinema.

Italian cinema history is full of great movies, directors and of course actors and actresses.

10 actresses, but the list could be way longer, that have worked out their career and entered with full right among the most legendary artists of all times.

10) Isabella Rossellini

Friends Season 3 Episode 5, Isabella Rossellini cameo
a scene from Friends, ”The one with Frank Jr.” (1996)
Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini is a natural born star.

Daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, has been for several years testimonial of Lancòme which have only recently asked her to join the brand after a few years of break up.

She grew up between Rome and Paris and eventually settled in New York, where she also gained US citizenship (holding the Italian too).

In ’79 she married the director Martin Scorsese.

Her most memorable acting role is probably in the movie Blue velvet, from David Lynch, where she interpreted a singer of a night club.

9) Monica Bellucci

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
a scene from The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.(2009)
Monica Bellucci

Considered still today by many the most beautiful woman in the world, Monica has started her carrier in fashion back in the early 90s.

She quickly move to become an actress, with several prestigious roles, in Italy, France and the US. Next to her beauty, it could be admired also more practical acting skills.

The great love of her life was Vincent Cassel, French actor and director with whom she lived for 13 years till the divorce, in 2013.

From their marriage were born Deva and Léonie, the girls for whom he chose to move away from the screen to a good eight years.

She amazed the audiences in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, where he plays herself appearing in Agent Gordon’s revealing dream.

She has thrilled on Emir Kusturica’s On The Milky Road, according to many her best interpretation.

Continue with the TOP 8 most iconic Italian actresses of all time

or have a look at

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian cars of all time

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (1967-1969)

10 cars representing the most iconic style and the touch of Italian car manufacturers 

TOP 10 of the most iconic Italian foods of all time

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

10 foods representing the culture, history, and obviously the great taste that Italy can offer to the world. As no one else.

Here’s the top 10 most iconic Italian foods of all times

10 foods representing the culture, the history, and obviously the great taste that Italy can offer to the world. As no one else.

”Italian food is the best in the world and the most imitated!”

If you ask any Italian person, you may get this answer. And there may be a bit of truth into that. There’s such a varied gastronomic heritage that no countries can compete. The types of food for any genre is essentially unlimited.

As often comes, next to the taste and quantity, it takes high scores also when it comes to quality standards. In Europe for example, Italy is the country leading organic farming with over 60 thousand organic farms.

10 foods representing the culture, the history, and obviously the great taste that Italy can offer to the world. ”As no one else!”

10) Osso buco alla Milanese (Lombardy)

Osso buco alla milanese

Its name next to the origin, it indicates precisely the cut that is used, the bone in fact.

The tender meat around and the tasty marrow in the center of the bone make this part a real delicacy.

It’s prepared by cooking the meat in the seasoning already amalgamated and then adding the wine, leaving the meat to soften until it is possible to cut it with a knife.

The preparation is stewed: the meat is cooked in a small sauce, at a low temperature with the addition of liquids, little by little.When cooked, it will be seasoned with the lemon and parsley-based cream.

9) Arancini (Sicily)

arancini

Arancini are a gastronomic specialty from Sicily, the magnificent southern Italian island.

Thanks also to internal move of several sicilians to the north of Italy, it’s well known throughout the entire country.

They are small rice timbales, which can be eaten as a snack or as an appetizer, first course or even a single dish.

There are many types and shapes, but the traditional rice arancini version is characteristic for the particular orange shape and color, filled with yellow rice with meat sauce and peas.

8) Bucatini all’ Amatriciana (Lazio)

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

The name “Amatriciana” derives from a town in the province of Rieti, even for a long time, the recipe has been included in the list of traditional agricultural products of Lazio.

The main ingredients are guanciale, pecorino cheese and tomato.

In a pan, cut the onion into strips, do the same with the bacon and the chili, pour a little oil and fry (without burning) over medium-low heat. Pour the tomato sauce, add a pinch of salt and after putting the lid, cook. Throw the bucatini in salted boiling water.

Once cooked, drain the pasta and back into the pot. It’s time to lay the sauce, turn off the heat and sprinkle with pecorino . At this point serve and add a little more pecorino and ground pepper!

Continue with the TOP 7 most iconic Italian foods of all time

Here’s the top 10 most iconic Italian cars of all times

10 cars representing the most iconic style and unique touch of Italian cars manufacturers. The passion, the design and the speed linked together into a single element. Automobile.

The day after Alfa Romeo announces its return to Formula 1 with a car carrying its name, thanks to an historical deal agreed with Sauber F1, Listen Italy proposes the chart of the the top 10 most iconic Italian cars of all times.

10 cars representing the most iconic style and unique touch of Italian cars manufacturers. The passion, the design and the speed linked together into a single element. Automobile.

10) Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (1967-1969)

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale was a very unique model from the Italian manufacturer.

Built only 18 times, from November 1967 to March 1969. A 2 doors coupé, with a powerful 2.0 V8 rear mid-engine, capable of over 280 bhp.

The performance of the 33 Road does not make an absolute impression, because the maximum speed is equal to 260 km / h, achieved, thought, on “wheels” 13 “in diameter, while the acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h it is completed in 5.5 seconds.

This Alfa was the most expensive car on sale to the public in 1968 at $17,000 and today is valued around $10M dollars.

9) Lamborghini Countach (1974-1990)

Lamborghini Countach

”Oh gosh!” or «cuntacc!», The name of probably the most memorable Lamborghini of all time isn’t coming for once from a type of exotic bull, but from a popular expression from Piedmont (Italy) dialect. That more or less, sound as ”cuntacc” and indeed would mean ” oh gosh!”.

The age of the car is highlighted by the six large Weber horizontal carburettors that power the thirsty cylinders of the Countach Turbo.

Its pure mechanics, without electronic contamination. Even the gearbox – mounted practically in the passenger compartment – is strictly 5-speed manual starting with a 4.0 with 375 bhp up to the last engine, to a monster with over 455bhp and 295 km/h of top speed.

8) Maserati 3500 GT (1957-1964)

Class as its realization in a car. The 3500 GT coupé of the Touring body, presented in 1957, proved to be a great commercial success for the Casa del Tridente and it therefore seemed natural to combine the coupe with a spider version.

Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, one of the most prolific Italian post-war designers and produced by Carrozzeria Vignale, the spider was built on the chassis of the shortened 100mm coupé and presented at the 1959 Turin Motor Show already equipped with front disc brakes, which later became standard on the whole range starting from 1960.

7) Lancia Stratos (1973-1975)

Dominator of the World Rally Championship from 1974 to 1976, she was an extreme car also in the Road version. Motorized Ferrari.

Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, a piece of automobile history auctioned for $ 360,000.

The Stratos was born with the engine of the Dino, the V6 granted by Enzo Ferrari. A 2.4-liter 192-horsepower, centrally mounted. The car has a monocoque steel frame. The weight limited to 980 kg allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in about 5 seconds. An incredible time over 40 years ago.

6) Ferrari Testarossa (1984-1996)

The Ferrari Testarossa, or better 512TR, is one of the most desired supercars of the eighties. This is the third Ferrari that takes its historical name (Testarossa, from the color of the engine head) after the Mondial and the GTO. The Maranello sports car has a still seductive design – the work of Pininfarina – but it does not have a great dynamic reputation.

The engine of the Ferrari Testarossa is a 4.9-liter 12-cylinder from 390 hp and 490 Nm that allows the Cavallino coupe to reach a top speed of 290 km / h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 5, 8 seconds.

Continue with the TOP 5 most iconic Italian cars of all times

Is it going to be the ‘dolce vita” soon?

Italy and cinema, a special connection that runs since generations and with so much to say. But what do Italians prefer to watch?

sofia loren

Italy and cinema, a special connection that runs since generations with so many connections.

The italian actors and directors. Just few names: Sofia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Federico Fellini. Italian movies, just picking one, the spaghetti Western with Sergio Leone, the tracks of Ennio Morricone or all the actors with close Italian origins. I could start with some, like Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Pesci, Anjelica Huston or Frank Sinatra. But the list is so long that we’ll definitely risk to exclude someone. So best is to have a look for now at this infinite list found on Wikipedia. 

For now, just let’s have a look at the most popular movies in Italian cinemas during 2018.

1) Avengers: Infinity War
2) Bohemiam Rhapsody
3) Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
4) Fifty shades of red
5) Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
6) Wonder
7) Incredibles 2
8) Coco
9) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
10) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Bohemiam Rhapsody
3) Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
4) Fifty shades of red
5) Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
6) Wonder
7) Incredibles 2
8) Coco
9) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
10) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

No big surprises looking at the chart, albeit admittedly something stands up quiet clearly.

As a matter of fact, no Italian movies made it to the top 10, while Hollywood takes the entire list.

Maybe little satisfaction and curiosity, but there’s a bit of Italy still in there, and quite high in the rank.

Avengers was in fact directed by the brother Russo, Anthony & Joseph Russo, both born in Cleveland, but with clear Italian origins.

Here’s why the story behind the last supper will leave you speechless

The second Italian site to be included in the Unesco Heritage list had seriously risked of being lost in the most improbable way

the last supper from leonardo da vinci

One of the most famous painting of all time may have had the craziest story behind.

Around 1495 Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned by Ludovico Sforza to renovate the interior of Santa Maria delle Grazie‘s church.

Leonardo worked 4 years to produce the iconic Last Supper. A paint full of symbolism and acute messages that only a genius such as Leonardo could have thought through.

The main message is related to the reaction of the apostles when Jesus claims that someone among them will betray him soon.

Leonardo wasn’t exactly happy about the painting, in particular in the way in which the paint itself was sticking to the walls.

In the centuries after, many notable painters such as Vasari had noted the poor condition in which the paint was kept and how was almost lost all the charm.

Over times there were a few attempts of repairing it. Luckily some painters had made copy of it overtime, so it was possible to stay as close as possible to the original, albeit not always done.

But it was at the beginning of the nineteen century when the paint was really close to be destroyed forever.

Napoleon was together with his troops in Milan and all the area was under French control. Some soldiers have started using the church as a modern squatted house. Moving the area into a bivouac and using the refectory, where the Last Supper was painted, as a stable for their horses.

The paint was in absolute danger and…

..here’s how last supper story story continues…

All is ready for the 69th edition of Festival di Sanremo. Is it time for the new Bocelli?

From the 5th to the 9th of February, 2019, in the city of Sanremo, in Liguria, it will be time for ”il” Festival. The Festival.

SanRemo

From the 5th to the 9th of February, 2019, in the city of Sanremo, in Liguria, it will be time for ”il” Festival. The Festival.

Three presenters will be on the stage, Claudio Baglioni, a classic italian singer, and two actors and comedians, Claudio Bisio and Virginia Raffaele.

Twenty-four singers will be challenging in the most followed song competition in Italy since generations. Started in 1951, it was hosted every year in the sea-side location and since 1977 in the same theater, Theater Ariston.

Festival di Sanremo has been the perfect showcase and starting point for several singers who made their fortune also outside the peninsula.

Domenico Modugno won in 1958 one of his 4 awards at the festival, with the song ''Volare''

Domenico Modugno won in 1958 one of his 4 awards at the festival, with the song ”Volare”. Becoming one of the most famous and interpreted songs of all times, in a multitude of genres, with singers such as Dean Martin and the Gypsy Kings making memorable versions.

In 1986 was the time for the young Eros Ramazzotti, with the song ”Adesso tu”.

The Festival had also been a perfect opportunity for younger singers too. With two names above all probably. In 1993 Laura Pausini and in 1994 Andrea Bocelli have won the category ”giovani” (young) and kicking off worldwide fame.

This year there will be one single category, no split in between established and young singers. Not yet published the list of the foreigner guests, which has never disappointed even the pickier TV critics.

10 thousands years old art, in Camonica Valley, Italy

The very first Italian site that has been included in the World Heritage list from UNESCO confirmed this is also one of the oldest.

rock drawing Val Camonic

Italy is a land full of contrast. Starting from its age. A very young country, founded only in 1861 awith one of the oldest and richest history on earth.

The very first Italian site that has been included in the World Heritage list from UNESCO confirmed this. It was 1979 and Arte Rupestre della Val Camonica was becoming part of this prestigious list. Very much possibly among the oldest human made arts that can be found.

History says that nomad population moving in the Camonica valley, around the 8th and 6th millenium BC have found those large rocks a great area to carve and draw scenes of their lives. Hunting above all, but also plants and fruits.

Controversy on the symbol

One of the most famous drawing of this valley is the Rosa Camuna, today also used as a symbol of the Lombardy region, where Camonica valley sit. Albeit believed to be associated with a rose, in the reality this is only a modern creation, as majority of studies have associated it with the solar power and the impact of the sun on earth.

This spectacular site can be visited at

Loc. Naquane, 1, 25044 Capo di Ponte in provincia of Brescia, Italy

‘The Dying Town’ that still survives

An historical village dating back over 2500 years. But we don’t know how many years still will last.

Civita the view

In 1972 officially it officially started a UNESCO agreement that was aiming to put under one single document the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. As part of it, the United Nations agency started building a list of the most important sites in the world, the World Heritage List

Italy is the country that owns the most, with 54 sites in total. Those places are tangible ways to recognize what Italy as a country and thanks to its handmade pieces of art is giving to the world, as ever lasting heritage.

The 54 sites are a long varied list and ListenItaly.com, to celebrate the beauties of Italy will propose them. One a day, for the next 54 days. One daily sweet pill of absolute beauty and charm.

To celebrate this great initiative starting very soon, today we go and look at one site that is actually off this list, but probably should.

Civita

This is the city of Civita

Civita is a section of Bagnoreggio municipality, included in provincia of Viterbo, in Lazio region. It’s an historical village that dates back over 2500 years. But we don’t know how many years still will last.

Today, Civita can be reached only through a dock built in 1965. It’s for pedestrian only, the 16 inhabitants of Civita and for the brave tourists that dare to cross it.

Civita lies on a hill that is constantly eroding and reducing its width. The constant erosion puts it at high risk of survival in the future.