Ruins of Lazaretto de Isla de Cabras: the crumbling remnants of a 19th-century quarantine hospital that hint at the touristy island’s darker past.

Isla de Cabras (traslates as Goat’s island) in the town of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, is known today for its beaches, spectacular views of Old San Juan, and other recreational activities, including swimming and fishing. However, atop a hill overlooking the coast, are some ruins that are seemingly out of place. Their past reveals that the island wasn’t always a beautiful tourist destination…. During the early 19th century, the island served as an inspection port for ships coming from Europe, when the threat of cholera was imminent. Thus, as a…

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8 + 1 wonderful libraries you can visit also from your home

Regular visitors to libraries may be missing the the welcoming atmosphere, the smell of old books, and wandering around quiet shelves. Many of these public, private, and academic spaces have closed like lot of other institutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as lot of museums, libraries around the world have created immersive, 360-degree tours of their interiors. Simulations that can offer more than inspiring views of the libraries, which often they serve as interactive platforms that provide information about the their history and resources. Recently, Harvard University’s Harry Elkins…

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The images of a Venice free of tourists transformed by COVID-19

In addition to being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, either with the snow, or with the high water, or during its magnificent carnival (and did you know that seen from above, its shape resembles that of a swan?), Venice is one of the full-of-tourist places in the Italy, maybe in Europe. Thousands of people flock to its narrow streets every day, up to the splendid Piazza San Marco, strictly passing through the Rialto Bridge, as the piercing chatter of tourists, in all the languages of the…

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Quarantine in Milan: here’s what it’s like in a coronavirus red zone.

First Easter and Easter Monday. Then, Italy’s Liberation Day on April 25, a national Italian holiday commemorating the end of Nazi occupation during World War II and the victory of the Resistance in Italy, and May 1, international workers’ day. In any case, the “quarantine” in Milan and not only, facing the Coronavirus emergency, continues. The emergency has imposed restrictions all over Italy and, as a result, the cities have completely emptied. These are the squares and streets of Milan on a day in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. Deserted…

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9 wondrous breads to make in Quarantine if you’ve not enough yeast!

Baking has become a staple for many during the coronavirus pandemic, keeping people entertained at home. With yeast that is plundered in the supermarkets, many “home-bakers” who are sheltering at home are desperate, but probably don’t know that people have produced bread without yeast across history, cultures, and climes, leaving an incredible heritage to choose from when the much coveted yeast is limited. From the sticky-sweet steamed bread of Colonial New England to the Icelandic rye that rises in a hot spring, or a Canadian peanut butter bread of the…

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The remarkable story of Eyam’s self-quarantine in the 17th century

November 1st 1666, All Saints Day. The plague takes away its latest victim in the remote village of Eyam, England. One of the many deaths from the Great Plague of 1665/66, but not only. Because this twenty-year-old boy, the last of the 260 people in the village taken away from the disease, perhaps he would have had a chance to save himself, like others, if he had not accepted a very difficult but sensible decision, made approximately four months earlier from all the inhabitants of Eyam. From 1665 to 1666,…

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