Salerno’s Minerva Garden: a hidden trove of therapeutic treasures

While many people have heard of the botanical gardens built during the Italian Renaissance period in northern towns such as Padua and Pisa, a small and less well-known medicinal garden in Salerno actually predates them. The Minerva Garden in this southern Italian town traces its roots back to the 14th century, when the medical writer and … More Salerno’s Minerva Garden: a hidden trove of therapeutic treasures

Watching the bejeweled bambino bless Rome

I first read about the Holy Bambino statue in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli when I was researching nativity scenes in Rome. Before Christmas I went to the Capitoline hill to see the little jewel-encrusted wooden statue of the baby Jesus in its chapel and discovered the miraculous events associated with it. The original … More Watching the bejeweled bambino bless Rome