Epidemic Through Years

France has decided that it is going to have to live with the Corona Virus for a while, at least until a vaccine is discovered, so towns and cities are all supplying masks to the residents. Nothing new here. Just like in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. At Via Nissa, we are working to get back in the streets of …

Romans in Provence

While some believe Provence is the area of what we now call the Var”, the reality is that Provence is the region that begins at the Italian border. It was conquered 121 years B.C.E. The name Provence comes from the Latin word “Provincia” meaning province. Some have said that it was the first Roman province outside of Italy, but of …

Amour – Love

Do you know the concept of love was invented in the South of France? The word “amour” in the French language was actually taken from “amor” in the Occitan language, which is where the locals dialects Nissart and Provençal come from. The poets in the 12th century, known as the Troubadours, invented the concept we know tdoay as “love” as …

Christopher Columbus

It is believed that Christopher Columbus was born and grew up in Genoa, Liguria, Italy. But how did he get a name such as Columbus, if he was born in Italy? Well he was actually named Christofero Colono, but that name is known today to almost nobody. Columbus, was his name in Latin and it was the Latin name which …

Intellectual Tourism

The travel industry dictionary describes Intellectual Tourism as recreational travel undertaken solely or primarily for educational purposes.intellectual tourism. To provide this type of experience, there are several important aspects. First, the presenters must be experts or scholars in their fields. Second, the experience must go far beyond the norm. At Via Nissa we focus on intellectual travel. Let us give …

The upper and the lower section of Nice

In 1543 Nice attacked and taken by the joint French and Turkish troops, yet the Castle resisted. This is the time of the legendary Catherine Ségurane, who found back the invaders encouraging the city’s defenders. After this occurred, Duke of Savoy Emmanuel-Philibert made substantial changes to the defenses of the city and moved the upper section of the town to …

Where does the word “quarantine” come from?

Hard to resist a little history at these challenging times. As the Plague moved through Europe in 1348, the Venetian authorities closed the ports to ships coming from plague-infested areas. All travelers were forced into 30 day isolation. This was later extended to 40 days, which is where the word “quarantine” comes from. But it actually can also be traced …

Who are “The Pope’s Jews”?

In 1269, the Jews who were living in Carpentras were expelled by the Bishop of Carpentras. In 1275, a papal enquiry was carried out to find out what happened. The conflict apparently arose when certain lords of the Comtat tried to force these Jews to contribute to the levy of a subsidy to finance the Crusade, which they refused to …

Sinagoga di Cherasco

This is the orthodox Jewish synagogue in Cherasco, one of sixteen in the Piedmont region which remain. The Piedmont region was chosen by a number of Jewish families when they were expelled from France in 1394. Many of the same families came to Nice. The history of the Piedmont synagogues is little known, but their history is fascinating and their …

Coronavirus in Genoa

This is the Vico di Untoria, located in the heart of the Jewish ghetto of the “Lanterna” in Genoa. The empty hollow above the sign once contained a crucifix. Untoria in English means, “plague carrier” and it was the name given to the street which ran through the 17th century ghetto making no mistake in identitifying who was responsible for …