At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

19 April 2019

19 April

Paolo Veronese – painter


Artist with a talent for using colour and painting people

A leading figure of the 16th century Venetian school of painting, the artist Paolo Veronese died on this day in 1588 in Venice.  Veronese left a legacy of huge, colourful, paintings full of figures, which depicted allegorical, biblical or historical subjects. His most famous works in include Wedding at Cana and Feast in the House of Levi. Much of his work remains in Venice to this day.  A dominant figure during the Renaissance, Veronese has continued to inspire and be appreciated by many of the great artists who came after him, in particular Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo and Renoir.  Veronese was born in 1528, taking his grandfather’s surname of Caliari, but later adopting the surname Veronese, referencing his birthplace of Verona. Read more...

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Antonio Carluccio - chef and restaurateur


TV personality and author began his career as a wine merchant

The chef, restaurateur and author Antonio Carluccio was born on this day in 1937 in Vietri-sul-Mare in Campania.  An instantly recognisable figure due to his many television appearances, Carluccio lived in London from 1975 until his death in 2017 and built up a successful chain of restaurants bearing his name.  He was the author of 21 books about Italian food, as well as his autobiography, A Recipe for Life, which was published in 2012.  Although born in Vietri, a seaside town between Amalfi and Salerno famous for ceramics, Carluccio spent most of his childhood in the north, in Borgofranco d'Ivrea in Piedmont.  Carluccio would join his father in foraging for mushrooms and wild rocket in the mountainous countryside near their home and it was from those outings that his interest in food began to develop. Read more…

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Canaletto - Venetian painter


Brilliant artist known for beautiful views of Venice

The Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal – better known as Canaletto – died on this day in 1798 in the apartment in Venice in which he had lived for most of his life.  He was 70 years old and according to art historian William George Constable he had been suffering from a fever caused by a bladder infection.  His death certificate dated April 20 indicated that he died la notte scorsa all’ore 7 circa – ‘last night at about seven o'clock’. He was buried in the nearby church of San Lio in the Castello district, not far from the Rialto bridge.  Canaletto was famous largely for the views he painted of his native city, although he also spent time in Rome and the best part of 10 years working in London.  His work was popular with English visitors to Venice, in particular. In the days before photographs, paintings were the only souvenirs that tourists could take home to remind them of the city’s beauty. Read more…

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Sara Simeoni - high jumper


Held world record and won Olympic gold

The high jumper Sara Simeoni, who is regarded as one of Italy’s greatest female athletes, was born on this day in 1953 in Rivoli Veronese, a village about 20km (12 miles) northwest of Verona.  Only the second woman to clear two metres, she won the gold medal in her event at the Moscow Olympics of 1980, setting a Games record in the process.  The Moscow Games was boycotted by 66 countries in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, yet Simeoni, who competed under the Olympic flag after Italy left the issue of participation up to individual athletes, still deserved applause as the only winner in the women’s track and field programme not from an Eastern Bloc country.  She eventually beat the Polish jumper Urszula Kielan with a leap of 1.97m, an Olympic record.  Read more...

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