Saturday, June 13, 2015

Confessions of a bookmark junkie 1

Lucrezia Borgia
For longer than I care to say, like probably a lot of people, I've gone bookmark crazy. It's like on those late evenings, you're feeling tired but still conscious enough to follow some areas of interest. You then just go bookmarking with the intention of "getting back to it later"... which you don't because the subjects are so muddled. Well, maybe it's still possible. I wanted to begin a process of catching up with a series of ideas that will not follow any consistent pattern. Sometimes there should probably be much more to say about them; sometimes not. I may get back to a few of them; maybe not.

Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia (18 April 1480 – 24 June 1519) was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. Her brothers included Cesare Borgia, Giovanni Borgia, and Gioffre Borgia.

Lucrezia's family politics became subject matter for The Prince where well implemented ruthlessness represents a practical component of Machiavellian politics.

Her family had arranged several marriages for her which advanced their own political position including Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro), Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie), and Alfonso I d'Este (Duke of Ferrara).

Tradition has it that Alfonso of Aragon was an illegitimate son of the King of Naples and that her brother Cesare may have had him murdered after his political value waned.

Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films.

Not being someone easily taken in by "royalty," which is so often dysgenic, I have nevertheless been intrigued by Lucrezia's image in art. She must have been very beautiful. Somewhat docile, grand in style, prominent hazel eyes, long thick blondish hair. Of course her being young and beautiful, the daughter of a Pope, as well as a member of the House of Borgia... all adds much intrigue to her life. There is a play, an opera, five movies, and a portrayal in three television series; including 'The Borgias' on Showtime. If anyone wants to review 'The Borgias', send an e-mail to I can recall reading a comic book when I was very young... one of those old mystery comics. Some young woman was possessed by "the spirit of Lucrezia Borgia," took on an evil appearance, and poisoned her boyfriend... something along those lines. Apparently most historians don't believe her to have been a murderer, but it all adds to the legend.


She is described as having heavy blonde hair which fell past her knees; a beautiful complexion; hazel eyes which changed color; a full, high bosom; and a natural grace which made her appear to "walk on air." These physical attributes were highly appreciated in Italy during that period. Another description said that "her mouth is rather large, the teeth brilliantly white, her neck is slender and fair, and the bust is admirably proportioned".

One painting, Portrait of a Youth by Dosso Dossi at the National Gallery of Victoria, was identified as a portrait of Lucrezia in November 2008. This painting may be the only surviving formal portrait of Lucrezia Borgia; however, doubts have been cast on that claim.[10] Several other paintings, such as Veneto's fanciful portrait, have also been said to depict her, but none have been accepted by scholars at present.

Rossi Firearms USA

Rossi Firearms was founded in 1889 by Amadeo Rossi, a Venetian immigrant to Brazil. Frequently, Cisalpines could be described more as "pioneers" more than immigrants... a term which subtly suggests mediocrity. Wherever Cisalpine people go, everything rises up around them. Rossi USA is based in Miami Lakes, Florida.


The Rossi revolution of firearm design and manufacture started with the founding of the company in 1889 by Amadeo Rossi.  Over the last 115 years, that tradition has grown along with the company and the Rossi Family.  The Rossi name represents a piece of firearm history and a tradition of excellence.

Over the years, Rossi firearms has led the way in design and engineering.  At the same time, it has always been important to produce an affordable product without sacrificing any quality or accuracy.

In December of 1997 BrazTech International L.C. was created as the exclusive importer of Rossi firearms in North America.

Previously, Rossi firearms were distributed by Interarms of Alexandria, Virginia. Rossi manufactures its classic rifles in a plant in San Leopoldo, Brazil and will continue operations there, selling many firearms outside the United States and North America.

At the same time, Forjas Taurus, S.A. purchased the rights and the equipment to manufacture Rossi handguns.  Taurus manufactures three models of .38 Special revolvers and four models of .357 Magnum revolvers under contract with Rossi.  Revolvers sold by BrazTech with the Rossi name are manufactured in a brand new facility owned by Taurus in SaoLeopoldo, Brazil.  Much of the tooling and many of the machines were acquired from Rossi during negotiations between the companies.

Today's Rossi is still run by the same family and they put the same dedication and innovation into every firearm.  At Rossi, it is more than just building is a family's history and tradition.

Caffe Trieste

Caffè Trieste is an internationally known chain of four Italian-themed coffeehouses plus one retail store in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas California.

Caffè Trieste was opened in 1956 by Giovanni Giotta (aka "Papa Gianni"), who in 1951 had emigrated to the United States from the small fishing town of Rovigno D'Istria, Italy (now part of Croatia). Missing the espresso houses of Trieste, Italy, Giotta opened his own cafe. Caffè Trieste is said to be the first espresso house on the West Coast.

I remember there used to be families with origins from Trieste in San Francisco.. North Beach.. not very long ago either. It's interesting that the city has also long had Croation and Slovenian communities, two of the cultures which had off-and-on struggled for Trieste over the centuries. San Francisco has about as much continuity as Disneyland now. Recently I heard a lecture where the speaker made mention of the strange behavior of rootless Americans, and he was American.. moving every five years... as he said "living like Gypsies." I think we could at least say that a city shouldn't be as unsettled as an airport. I have been to Caffe Trieste, and it was relaxed enough to play a game of unhurried chess on one of their tables. 

Forst Beer

Although I have never tried it, Forst seems interesting to me just because it's from the culturally-linguistically German South Tyrol region. Partly because as the Cisalpines are more the wine makers; the Transalpines have been more the beer makers, and Forst being founded in 1857. You can order it online at a good price.. except that it will cost about fifty bucks for shipping.

Forst is an Italian brewing company, based in Forst, a frazione (municipal subdivision) of Algund, South Tyrol. The brewery was founded in 1857 by the two entrepreneurs Johann Wallnöfer and Franz Tappeiner from Merano. Later in 1863, the company passed to the entrepreneur Josef Fuchs, who enlarged the plant in Forst. (English) 

Forst Beer Garden (English)

Birra Forst (YouTube)

It can be funny how beer labels come and go. For example, Pabst Blue Ribbon was very popular in the 50s.. all over the country. In California, Primo Beer from Hawaii was rather popular in the 70s, but is difficult to even find now. Still, it can be interesting to try to get your hands on a regionally scarce beer.

National Alpine Association

Years ago, I became aware of this organization by name. There were branches all over the world (Argentina, Australia, South Africa, etc.). In fact, there was a listing in San Francisco. When I inquired about it, I received a postcard in Italian, with some reference to Cesare Battisti. I had thought it might be an association for people of Alpine Italian ancestry; although it seemed odd that a group in San Francisco would send something in Italian when local Italian immigration largely fizzled out in the 30s. 

Actually it appears that it's tied to the Alpini Italian special forces, which recruits out of the mountain regions, mostly the Alps. Contrary to the common perception, they're a very proud military tradition going back to World War I. During the Battle of Stalingrad, they distinguished themselves in the brutal Battle of Nikolayevka. A book about this battle was published, which was entitled 'Sacrifice on the Steppe' (Hamilton; 2011). I think I will save that for another posting. The Alpini traditionally wear those particular Alpine mountain hats that you may have seen before (see above image). Apparently, the Associazione Nazionale Alpini is an association made up of veterans of the Alpini Corps.

Miscellaneous Links

Gaulish Deities - A rundown of the deities of Gaulish polytheism, of which Cisalpine Gaul was a part. Cernunnos was to the Gauls, what Odin was to the Norse.

Walking tours in Northern Italy Good travel site for the northern regions.

Torani coffee and beverage flavoring - Excellent flavoring for coffee. 

Italians in the United Kingdom - Cisalpine migration to northern California, the Great Lakes region, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, or Johannesburg are what I call "GOOD migrations"; while I'm much less enthusiastic about migration to or from other European Nations. However, we should know about any of our people anywhere in the world.

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol wine - Unique and different highland wines.

Italians in France - Our people in the past definitely had an impact on France. Of course, this would go back to Roman times. On a side note, contrary to common perceptions, the South of France was much more impacted long ago by Greek influence than the Cisalpine region. There was a "Magna Graecia" of France at one time.

The Lost Colony of the Templars: Verrazano's Secret Mission to America - The Vatican, the Freemasonic leadership, and other powerful forces definitely knew that the "New World" was here long before 1492.

Historical Reenactment - Taurini Celtic tribe meets Roman Legion at Turin - Interesting photographs of long ago intra-Cisalpine cultural conflict.

St. Bernardino of Siena - St. Bernadino, a Catholic Saint and a Tuscan, is the namesake of the city and large county of San Bernadino, California; as well as the San Bernadino Mountains.

Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America - The name "America" was named after the Tuscan explorer Amerigo Vespucci. On a side note, to people in north and south America, the name "America" refers to the USA. However to Europeans, the name "America" refers to the entire "New World." I have always thought of North America and South America as two separate continents, with the only common reference as "the Americas".. and the Panama Canal sort've officially separated them anyway. Also, the USA actually uses "America" within it's name, so it's logical to refer only to its citizens as "Americans."

The Pyrgi Tablets Three beautiful golden tablets from BCE; two written in Etruscan, and one in Phoenician.

Savoy - Cisalpine roots? The Savoy region was very much part of the Cisalpine cultural world in 1860. There has long been a separatist movement there. I really don't know as to whether or not they had been speakers of Piedmontese. Perhaps someone can help us out here?

Veronese Easter - Veronese vs. occupying Nepoleonic army - Little-known revolt, similar to the Sicilian Vespers.

Mysteries written in blood - Roman remnants in China - From a Chinese news source, so there must be something to it; because they always promote Chinese historical uniformity.

Antonio Pigafetta explorer - Little-known Venetian explorer who sailed with Magellan.

Ostrogothic Ravenna - The city was the capitol of the Ostrogothic Kingdom. Although this period was short, it might be interesting to look up on the Gothic architecture there.

Matteo Colombo Photography - Colorful sunrise over the Dolomites - Beautiful photography of the Dolomite Mountains.

Top Ten Jesus Movies - Easter came and went so fast, but during Easter many movies from over the years about Jesus were telecast. Some of them you probably remember, and were memorable.

Edward Ross: The Italians - Here are some north-south issues that I had wanted to comment on. Perhaps it's best to just stay with simple issues and data.

Padanian Etruria - Etruscan civilization in Lombardy - The term "Padane" is not new, and there are many centuries old references to it. Also, there were Etruscans in the Alpine stretches; as there were Gauls in Tuscany. Gallo-Etruscan heritage is one that is as legitimate as other ancient cultures which produced modern European nations, such as Britain, France, Germany, etc. There is no real geographical Celt/Gaul-Etruscan/Roman divide in modern times.

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