Giovanni della Porta, the Renaissance scholar who encrypted messages inside eggs to fool the Inquisition

Giovanni Battista della Porta was born in November 1535 in Vico Equense, a municipality of the Kingdom of Naples that since 1504, by the Treaty of Lyon, belonged to the Crown of Aragon and with the rise to the throne of Joanna the Mad was transformed into a viceroyalty, remaining in Spanish possession until 1704.…Continue readingGiovanni della Porta, the Renaissance scholar who encrypted messages inside eggs to fool the Inquisition

How two Byzantine princesses scandalized Europe by using a fork

A few years ago I was invited to dinner by some Bengali friends and when we sat down what was my surprise to see that there was a knife but no fork, even though the menu was based on rice and chicken. They used their hands to eat it and, wherever you go, do what…Continue readingHow two Byzantine princesses scandalized Europe by using a fork

Thurn und Taxis, the family that controlled Europe’s postal mail until the 18th century

When we call a taxi we are not only asking for a transport service; implicitly, we evoke the surname of an illustrious aristocratic family of German origin that received the privilege of exploiting in monopoly the postal services of the Holy Roman Empire at the end of 1489. At least that is what the popular…Continue readingThurn und Taxis, the family that controlled Europe’s postal mail until the 18th century