When someone mentions Lake Como we immediately think of George Clooney: ever since the Hollywood star bought Villa Oleandra he has come to symbolize this wonderful place, probably fulfilling the dreams of many of his colleagues, actors and directors, who have filmed on the shores of the lake and later become habitués of the area.

La “Festa degli Innamorati”, also known as San Valentino in Italy or Saint Valentine’s Day in English, truly is a landmark occasion in the Italian cultural diary.

0fa674da9fc459f7c81ef4edab87f327Saint Valentine was born in, and was later made patron saint of Terni, a delightful, historical town in southern Umbria.

Defying Emperor Claudius II’s decree that young men should be forbidden from marrying because single men were considered to make better soldiers, Saint Valentine continued to marry in secret and signed letters to his lovers signed ‘Your Valentine’.

Unfortunately, he was later found out and sentenced to death for his crimes, and was killed on 14th February in Rome. Whether he knew it or not, Saint Valentine was to leave a timeless and romantic legacy. A day when Italians and countless other nations celebrate romance was born.

Blue roses did not exist in nature until Pier Luigi Torre created them. Pier Luigi Torre believed that blue is the color of the impossible, of dreams, of utopia.

Pier Luigi Torre was an aeronautical engineer who designed engines for the airplane (the Savoia-Marchetti seaplane) that crossed the ocean between Italy and America in 1933, an expedition led by Torre himself as a General in the Air Force.  This was an extraordinary feat that subsequently inspired another invention: the first, rudimental black box.