Featured Stories
  • He is the co-owner of Ciar Power Technology in Pesaro, a company that makes remote control mechanisms for reclining massage chairs. He holds 12 patents in that industry. But as an engineer who six years ago bought 150 acres of green hills outside the town of Monteciccardo, he couldn't help bringing his hard sciences approach to the softer world of olive oil production.

    Olive Oil Engineer

    By Gregory Zwiers
    He is the co-owner of Ciar Power Technology in Pesaro, a company that makes remote control mechanisms for reclining massage chairs. He holds 12 patents in that industry. But as an engineer who six years ago bought 150 acres of green hills outside the town of Monteciccardo, he couldn't help bringing his hard sciences approach to the softer world of olive oil production.

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  • In Canavaccio di Urbino, a suburb of the university town, a factory welcomes visitors with a sign that reads “Artista del Legno”—Artist of Wood. Inside, countless hand-crafted, three-dimensional wooden pictures hang on the walls of the hallway and offices.

    The Art of Evolving

    By Funda Tekin
    In Canavaccio di Urbino, a suburb of the university town, a factory welcomes visitors with a sign that reads “Artista del Legno”—Artist of Wood. Inside, countless hand-crafted, three-dimensional wooden pictures hang on the walls of the hallway and offices.

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  • Their warm wide smiles would have been enough to invite us in. But as the Soru brothers open the screened door of their farm and dairy, they also offer a bottle of wine, a loaf of cheese, and a bag of flatbread. The flatbread is important to the snack—and to the brothers.

    Of Cheese and Culture

    By Stephanie Gross
    Their warm wide smiles would have been enough to invite us in. But as the Soru brothers open the screened door of their farm and dairy, they also offer a bottle of wine, a loaf of cheese, and a bag of flatbread. The flatbread is important to the snack—and to the brothers.

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  • On a scalding afternoon in late June, Matteo Marchionni steps out of his house and into work boots encrusted with the dusty brown dirt of the surrounding orchard. Soon his wife, Michela Baldassarri, appears, and then his mother and father, also in their boots.

    Living a Peachy Life

    By Autumn Morowitz
    On a scalding afternoon in late June, Matteo Marchionni steps out of his house and into work boots encrusted with the dusty brown dirt of the surrounding orchard. Soon his wife, Michela Baldassarri, appears, and then his mother and father, also in their boots.

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  • In the days following the Emilia-Romagna earthquakes in May 2012, Agata Maini watched as fear spread through her community of San Felice sul Panaro like the aftershock that woke her early one morning.

    Risky Business

    By Kirsten Fenn
    In the days following the Emilia-Romagna earthquakes in May 2012, Agata Maini watched as fear spread through her community of San Felice sul Panaro like the aftershock that woke her early one morning.

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  • Pedra Gradl emerges from her stone farmhouse, a structure so draped with vines that they nearly engulf every visible window. She walks to a rustic picnic table where her husband, Siegfried, sits looking over the valley beneath the Apennine Mountains.

    Cultivating Hope

    By Jessica Christian
    Pedra Gradl emerges from her stone farmhouse, a structure so draped with vines that they nearly engulf every visible window. She walks to a rustic picnic table where her husband, Siegfried, sits looking over the valley beneath the Apennine Mountains.

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  • Most scientists can sense the health of the environment by observing animal behavior, crumbling soil in their hands or breathing the scent of the air. Almo Farina hears it. "Nature has a voice," said the University of Urbino ecology professor and researcher.

    Soundscape Ecologist

    By Kelly Sebetka
    Most scientists can sense the health of the environment by observing animal behavior, crumbling soil in their hands or breathing the scent of the air. Almo Farina hears it. "Nature has a voice," said the University of Urbino ecology professor and researcher.

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  • For centuries, art aficionadas have wondered about history’s most mysterious smile as well as the woman wearing it.: Who is Mona Lisa, and where was she when Leonardo da Vinci recorded the smile that has kept the world guessing?

    Cracking da Vinci’s Code

    By Giovanna Rajao
    For centuries, art aficionadas have wondered about history’s most mysterious smile as well as the woman wearing it.: Who is Mona Lisa, and where was she when Leonardo da Vinci recorded the smile that has kept the world guessing?

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  • An upbeat pop song blasts from the speakers, echoing through the empty space. At Consorzio Centro Commerciale, the new mall located directly beneath the walls of Urbino, it is 11:15 a.m. on a Saturday—prime time for shopping. Yet the mall is nearly empty.

    Not a Statistic: Urbino Faces the Economic Crisis

    By Bethany Blakeman
    An upbeat pop song blasts from the speakers, echoing through the empty space. At Consorzio Centro Commerciale, the new mall located directly beneath the walls of Urbino, it is 11:15 a.m. on a Saturday—prime time for shopping. Yet the mall is nearly empty.

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  • Carlo Cleri is a man out of place. A resident of Acqualagna, a city in central Italy coveted by gourmands the world-over for its pricey truffles, Cleri’s passion is cooking weeds. While others scramble to find the $300-per-ounce fungi, Cleri combs the same countryside hunting and collecting plants most people simply step on.

    Hunting for Weeds in the Land of Truffles

    By Kathleen Riley
    Carlo Cleri is a man out of place. A resident of Acqualagna, a city in central Italy coveted by gourmands the world-over for its pricey truffles, Cleri’s passion is cooking weeds. While others scramble to find the $300-per-ounce fungi, Cleri combs the same countryside hunting and collecting plants most people simply step on.

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  • It was hot and humid and the mosquitos were swarming, but there was nothing Guido Edera would have rather been doing one Sunday evening than gathering wood in the forest. One swing and his rusted machete cut half way through the arm-thick tree trunk. With the second swing he yelled joyfully, “Two swings for a tree, one for a head!”

    Palio dei Trampoli

    By Steven Schmucker
    It was hot and humid and the mosquitos were swarming, but there was nothing Guido Edera would have rather been doing one Sunday evening than gathering wood in the forest. One swing and his rusted machete cut half way through the arm-thick tree trunk. With the second swing he yelled joyfully, “Two swings for a tree, one for a head!”

    Continue Reading...