Italian history

Marchesa Luisa Casati

While many have admired heiress Casati over the years for her life led entirely based on her aesthetics, when you examine her biography, you find a woman who was incredibly selfish and was even described by close friends as megalomaniacal.

Maria Montessori

While she's mostly associated with education, Maria Montessori worked in several fields. Her theories on early education still shape the way kids learn today around the globe.

The La Scala Opera House

The Teatro alla Scala is one of the most renowned opera houses in the world, and is Italy's crown jewel of the arts. Even if you have only a passing knowledge of opera, odds are, you know a name connected to the history of this legendary cultural hub. Read the show notes here.

After a childhood spent roaming Europe, Freya Stark began saving money to take Arabic lessons. Once fluent, she traveled into areas few outsiders had ever been, documenting her travels in best-selling books. Listen in to learn more about Freya of Arabia.

In 2008, the Aurora Trust began a survey around an island named Ventotone, off the coast of Naples. They found an astonishing group of Roman shipwrecks, and they also found a mystery. How did all these ships sink so close together? Tune in to find out.

Exile is never a pleasant experience, and meting it out on a family member is positively brutal. So what could drive Augustus to exile his own daughter? Tune in and find out -- the answer might surprise you.

When Dante wrote The Divine Comedy, he consigned several of his real-life enemies to hell. In this podcast, Katie and Sarah examine Dante's habit of putting his enemies in his fiction, focusing on five people the average Florentine would have known.

Centuries after the fall of their line, the Medici remain one of history's most powerful -- and notorious -- families. In this episode, Sarah and Katie trace the unfortunate and mysterious deaths of Medici family members.

Of all the Crusades, the Fourth Crusade was the least successful: It created a permanent divide between Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. But what exactly went wrong? Tune in and learn more in this podcast.

Catherine de' Medici and the Scarlet Nuptials

In this episode of the continuing Medici super series, Katie and Sarah follow up on the further adventures of Catherine de'Medici. Listen in and learn how the St. Bartholomew Day's massacre contributed to Catherine's notorious reputation in this podcast.