Ancient Bathroom Humor Discovered

Uncovered this week in Turkey, inside what was once a Roman latrine, are a bunch of dirty jokes that date back to the second century. Two mosaics depict well-known Greek and Roman characters, Narcissus and Ganymede—only the scenes are a little different than the myths we know. In one, Narcissus is staring at his penis, obsessed; in the other, Ganymede (who was kidnapped by the eagle of Zeus) …

Newfound Evidence Changes Chocolate’s History

The origins of chocolate, at least until last week, dated back about 3,500 years ago to civilizations in Mexico and Central America. But now, thanks to newfound evidence, cacao’s history actually begins 1,500 years earlier in South America. Tests run on the bowls, mortars and jars found in the highlands of Ecuador—in the area known as Santa Ana-La Florida—proved traces of cacao remained. This confirms a …

Inside an Upstate NY Witch Camp

Last weekend, at OlioHouse—an unassuming Victorian-style home in Wassaic—a sizable group of 20- and 30-somethings attended Witch Camp. There were no spells cast at the upstate New York location, but there were art classes, sage-burning, a Halloween-themed party and lectures on the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries. While witches today don’t face the same horrific repercussions as those in history, Tara Kenny (an Olio …

Exploring the World of Vermouth With Martini & Rossi

We visit the botanical fields in Pessione to learn about the misunderstood, herbaceous libation

Anyone who has enjoyed a martini, Manhattan, or a negroni already knows that one of the critical ingredients in their beloved cocktail is vermouth.  And yet somehow, vermouth continues to be one of the least understood and least respected bottles in the bar. (First things first, your vermouth belongs in the refrigerator, not oxidizing in your liquor cabinet.)   Vermouth is believed to have evolved from a …

Road Trip: Coast to Coast in Puglia, Italy

A picture-perfect circuit through seaside towns, prehistoric dwellings and more

Visitors seeking to explore Italy’s sun-drenched Puglia region are spoiled immediately upon arrival. With Adriatic to the East and the Ionian to the West, a less-than-one-hour driving distance between the two coasts means the cliff-hugging seaside towns, ancient archeological sites, and everything in between can be efficiently explored by car. For being the heel to Italy’s boot, Puglia is relatively flat, hosting sprawling olive groves …