Sunday, February 22, 2015

Museo Italo Americano: San Francisco history

San Francisco. Italians in Search of a New Life

From the iitaly YouTube channel

By Gianfranco Norelli and Suma Kurien. The exhibit "In Search of a New Life" at the Museo Italo Americano, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, highlights 160 years of history of Italian immigration to California -- from 1850 to today-- through rare photographs, interactive videos, artifacts and original documents. More on


Saturday, February 21, 2015

National Anthem of the Venetian Republic

National Anthem of Republic of Venice

From the Danilo Morello YouTube channel

"I may not be Italian But I have the greatest respect for the Republic Of Venice. I also have great respect for the Lombard League although they were outnumbered by the Holy Roman Empire they still fought for what they believed was right. Viva La Venetia and The Lega Lombarda" 
--Maxwell Ogren, YouTube user


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

St. Michael - Patron Saint of the latter Langobards

"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

When approximately a half million Langobards invaded the Cisalpine region in the sixth century, perhaps slightly over half of them were Odinic Heathens (not the Christian usage of "heathen"), and the rest were Arian Christians (not the same as "Aryan"). Over time, especially under the rule of Queen Theodelinda, they became largely Catholic.

The Prayer to St. Michael (above), to me somehow captured the spirit of the still-very-formidable Langobard army of the post-Cisalpine era. However, it was written by Pope Leo XIII in the nineteenth century.


In a vision, Pope Leo XIII was shown the fearful battle to be waged between Satan and St. Michael over the Church of the future. He composed the following powerful prayer, which you may use as a defense against Satan and all evil spirits. The Church has set aside September 29th to celebrate the holy archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

The Archangels

An archangel is an angel of high rank. Beings similar to archangels are found in a number of religious traditions; but the word "archangel" itself is usually associated with the Abrahamic religions.


Archangels are mentioned throughout sacred Scripture in their unique role as God’s messengers to people at critical times in the salvation process.

The Archangels likely predate Abrahamic religions, but that opens up a whole new area of study.

Archangel Michael

Michael the Archangel

Michael ("who is like God") is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as "Saint Michael the Archangel" and also as "Saint Michael". Orthodox Christians refer to him as the "Taxiarch Archangel Michael" or simply "Archangel Michael."

St. Michael (Catholic)

Saint Michael the Archangel is referred to in the Old Testament and has been part of Christian teachings since the earliest times. In Catholic writings and traditions he acts as the defender of the Church, and chief opponent of Satan; and assists souls at the hour of death.

"Lombards" from the well-admired 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

The 1911 Ecyclopedia Britannica is considered by many to be a great source of knowledge. Later encyclopedias were influenced by powerful institutions and lobbying groups who basically sought to "change history." Its description of the Langobards and their history, entitled 'LOMBARDS, or LANGOBARDI', is excellent as a brief source.

If you're like me, and during the evening you don't feel like staring at a screen and concentrating to read a long article, you may want to try Then you can just sit back and listen. I use the "Heather" voice, which I find easy to understand.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Robert Mondavi Tribute

The Official Robert Mondavi Tribute 

Artemis Film YouTube channel

The official tribute to Robert Mondavi


Fittingly, Robert Mondavi wrote the foreward to 'Wine Heritage: The Story of Italian-American Vintners' (2000; Dick Rosano). You can get a used hardcover for a couple of bucks. Wine Heritage is the story of Italian immigrants whose descendants now dominate American wine making.


This is a fantastic reference book. I had no idea what a elaborate web the italians have weaved in the US. Everyone knows about the Mondavi and Gallo families but who would have thought that so many italian winemakers exist in so many states. An added feature of this book is the winery profile section in the back. This is not typical for a history book. You get the history and the acumen of a very knowledgeable wine reviewer who used to write for the Washington Post. 

I was a devoted Rosano reader when he wrote for the Post and really felt the quality of wine writing for that paper declined significantly when he left. This compelling story doesn't include wine reviews but adds an interesting aspect above and beyond the average history book. I am a winemaker and read just about anything I can get my grape stained hands on about the subject. This is a book for everyone interested in the noble grape or just loves drinking the stuff. Take my advice and run, don't walk to the store to get it, then leave it out somewhere on a table and pick it up from time to time while enjoying a nice class of Sangiovese.

--Eric Daniel Weinstein, book review


I was going to add one more book that someone told me about. It was about the history of the Napa wine industry, with a focus on the Mondavi family, but when I tried to search it on there were hundreds of books about all aspects of Napa wine.

When Robert Mondavi first made a name for himself in Napa, many people in the world did not even believe that Napa wines were in the same class as in the South of France or Tuscany. He was a big part of changing that attitude to reality, and eventually to what is today a thirty-five billion a year industry in California.. and still growing.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

A short drive through part of the Apennines

Alessandro Grilli YouTube channel

I personally found the above video to be very simple and relaxing, but another nice more travel oriented short video about the north Apennine cultural region is entitled Two Days In The Apennines (Ash Clark).


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

'Anthony: Warrior of God' (2006) - full movie with subtitles

From lamisfh YouTube channel

St. Anthony was a great Saint. He was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi. Almost as great as St. Francis of Assisi. His words made people think and follow as example of life. His faith in God was Great.
--Bruna B, //youTube user


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

'The Lord's Prayer' by Bocelli

BEST Andrea Bocelli Song EVER! - (HQ Sound) - The Lord's Prayer (better than time to say goodbye)

This is the BEST Andrea Bocelli song EVER. Listen as he joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah for an unforgettable rendition of "The Lord's Prayer."

YouTube channel elderlu


Monday, February 2, 2015

'Italian Americans, California Italians' and a few random notes

'Italian Americans, California Italians' (UCLA YouTube channel)

From the video description:

This video records the beginning of a conference at UCLA titled "Italian Americans, California Italians." It was the first of its kind, made up of nearly a dozen scholarly presentations and discussions aiming to define "California Italians" within the more generic group of "Italian Americans." This opening, introductory statement to a full room was made by the Chairman of UCLA's Department of Italian, Professor Thomas Harrison.

Columbus... born in Genoa

You may be aware that the origin of Columbus has been in some dispute due to a somewhat surprising lack of evidence of his early life in Genoa. However, it does appear that he was of Genoese ancestry.

"Yo nacio en Genoba" ("I was born in Genoa")

--Written in Christopher Columbus' Will; February 22, 1498

"La California"

The small town of La California, along the Tuscan coast, was founded by Leonetto Cipriani. Cipriani--who was Corsican--had spent many years traveling, especially in California and the west coast of the United States. He was influential, and was acquainted with the Count of Cavour, and was something of an ambassador for a unified Italy of which he very much wanted Corsica to be included. He wrote an account of his travels entitled 'California And Overland Diaries of Count Leonetto Cipriani From 1853 through 1871'. He co-founded the city of Belmont, California in San Mateo County.

Bargetto Winery (Santa Cruz Mountains)

I love the Santa Cruz Mountains. Any excuse to visit will not disappoint. It even resembles parts of the Cisalpine Alps or the Apennine Mountains. I have not visited this winery. Feel free to send a short or long review ( for posting.

Our History (from website)

The Bargetto winemaking heritage began with brothers Phillip and John Bargetto who emigrated from Castelnuovo Don Bosco, a small town in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. They brought with them years of winegrowing experience when they established BARGETTO WINERY on the banks of Soquel Creek in California.

Phillip was the first to depart Italy in 1891 at the age of seventeen. In 1909 John joined his brother in San Francisco.
The original Bargetto family winery was located in San Francisco from 1910-1917. The name of this winery was South Montebello Vineyard and Wine Company. With Prohibition on the horizon the winery was closed and the brothers moved to Soquel in 1917.

Phillip and John purchased the present site of BARGETTO WINERY in 1918 and began making wine out of an old barn on the property. During Prohibition (1919-1933), the brothers continued to make wine for family and friends, while they continued to sell produce to local customers. They also grew apples at the family ranch in Soquel. When Prohibition ended in 1933, the brothers devoted more time to the wine business. They began a wine wholesale business, while they continued to sell produce wholesale.

Phillip Bargetto passed away in 1936 and John was left the sole owner of the business throughout the 1940s and 1950s. He continued to produce wine and sell wholesale and retail. He was joined by his sons Ralph and Lawrence during these years.

The Next Generation

The Bargetto Family winemaking heritage continued with John’s son Lawrence during the 1960s and 1970s. He introduced modern technology such as stainless steel fermentation, barrel aging, and added new Santa Cruz Mountains varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He also created the CHAUCER’S line of dessert-style wines.


The third generation of Bargettos now direct the operation of the winery. BARGETTO WINERY represents the oldest continuous-operation winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Their pioneering spirit continued with the establishment of Bargetto Regan Estate Vineyards, near Corralitos, California in 1992. Here, cool-climate varietals like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Grigio are carefully nurtured to produce BARGETTO WINERY’s estate wines. In keeping with the family heritage, the winery also incorporates northern Italian varietals from its Estate Vineyard into its flagship LA VITA wine.

Voynich manuscript
This work is in the form of a short book, filled with illustrations of plants, geometric shapes, and an unknown text. It appears very deep and scientific, but there has not yet been any way to read its secrets. The book is available for purchase, free in pdf form online, documentaries on YouTube, and lots of general information in a search.. so I won't bother with links. You may want to examine it and attempt to understand it. The best I could come up with is that the characters look a bit like ancient Indo-European Tocharian writing, and the illustrations remind me of Fibonacci patterns. Very strange.

From Wikipedia:

The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum in the book pages has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.

The pages of the codex are vellum. Some of the pages are missing, but about 240 remain. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams.

The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified.

The Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus[6] to Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is catalogued under call number MS 408. A digitized high-resolution copy is also accessible freely at its website.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Real footage of Cassini-Huygens descent down to the Titan surface

Cassini-Huygens - Ten Years

It has already been ten years since the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft landed upon a moon of Saturn called Titan. The Saturn Mission has been a collaboration of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Initially there were a half dozen or so independent space agencies headquartered in the Cisalpine region, each constructing various parts for the mission, Someone sent me the names of these private agencies, but I misplaced it. I recall with demusement, the radio talk show host Michael Savage proclaiming the he wasn't aware that "Italy" had any space agency... despite the 107 average IQ of root stock Cisalpines, and the continuous scientific contributions to the humankind for centuries.

This video feed, from the initial landing in 2005, almost looks surreal, like a video game, or special effects from a movie. It is, however, very real. Titan has mountains, flat lands, lakes, and rivers. I have heard what almost sounded like claims that it would be about as inhospitable as Antarctica. In other words, a human could almost get by merely dressed as one would in Antarctica, with a breathing apparatus. I say almost, as the surface is about two hundred degrees below zero. Titan has an atmosphere of methane (Earth's atmosphere is partly methane), and the water is mostly methane.. apparently this liquid does not freeze. If the atmosphere could be warmed up, it could be habitable.

A few links:

Italian Space Agency (English language)

What Huygens Saw On Titan - New Image Processing | Video (same as the above, but with commentary)

NASA | Revealing Saturn: Cassini's Tenth Year

Why no Waves in Titan's Ocean's

The Sound of Saturn: The Winds of Titan, from the Huygens Probe 

The Eerie Sounds Of Saturn (very strange)