The book explores the manuscripts written, read, and studied by Franciscan friars from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries in Northern Italy, and specifically Padua, assessing four key aspects: ideal, space, form and readership. The ideal is studied through the regulations that determined what manuscripts should aim for. Space refers to the development and role of Franciscan libraries. The form is revealed by the assessment of the physical configuration of a set of representative manuscripts read, written, and manufactured by the friars. Finally, the study of the readership shows how Franciscans were skilled readers who employed certain forms of the manuscript as a portable, personal library, and as a tool for learning and pastoral care. By comparing the book collections of Padua’s reformed and unreformed medieval Franciscan libraries for the first time, this study reveals new features of the ground-breaking cultural agency of medieval friars.
A new hawkweed endemic to Northern Italy, Hieracium racemosum subsp. spinidentatum, is described and illustrated. Information on its morphology, distribution, ecology and taxonomic relationship is provided.
Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is one of the most used tests for the screening of global cognition in patients with neurological and medical disorders. Norms for the Italian version of the test were published in the 90 s; more recent norms were published in 2020 for Southern Italy only. In the present study, we computed novel adjustment coefficients, equivalent scores and cut-off value for Northern Italy (Lombardia and Veneto) and Italian speaking Switzerland.
We recruited 361 healthy young and old (range: 20–95 years) individuals of both sexes (men: 156, women: 205) and from different educational levels (range: 4–22 years). Neuropsychiatric disorders and severe medical conditions were excluded with a questionnaire and cognitive deficits and were ruled out with standardized neuropsychological tests assessing the main cognitive domains. We used a slightly modified version of MMSE: the word ‘fiore’ was replaced with ‘pane’ in verbal recalls to reduce the common interference error ‘casa, cane, gatto’. The effect of socio-demographic features on performance at MMSE was assessed via multiple linear regression, with test raw score as dependent variable and sex, logarithm of 101—age and square root of schooling as predictors.
Mean raw MMSE score was 28.8 ± 1.7 (range: 23–30). Multiple linear regression showed a significant effect of all socio-demographic variables and reported a value of R2 = 0.26. The new cut off was ≥ 26 /30.
We provide here updated norms for a putatively more accurate version of Italian MMSE, produced in a Northern population but potentially valid all over Italy.
The analysis of geochemical markers is a known valid tool to explore the water sources and understand the main factors affecting natural water quality, which are known issues of interest in environmental science. This study reports the application of geochemical markers to characterize and understand the recharge areas of the multi-layer urban aquifer of Como city (northern Italy). This area presents a perfect case study to test geochemical markers: The hydrogeological setting is affected by a layered karst and fractured aquifer in bedrock, a phreatic aquifer hosted in Holocene sediments and connected with a large freshwater body (Lake Como); the aquifers recharge areas and the water geochemistry are unknown; the possible effect of the tectonic setting on water flow was overlooked. In total, 37 water samples were collected including water from two stacked aquifers and surface water to characterize hydrochemical features. Moreover, six sediment samples in the recent palustrine deposits of the Como subsurface were collected from cores and analyzed to understand the main geochemistry and mineralogy of the hosting material. The chemical analyses of water allow to observe a remarkable difference between the shallow and deep aquifers of the study area, highlighting different recharge areas, as well as a different permanence time in the aquifers. The sediment geochemistry, moreover, confirms the differences in trace elements derived from sediment-water interaction in the aquifers. Finally, an anomalous concentration of As in the Como deep aquifer was observed, suggesting the need of more detailed analyses to understand the origin of this element in water. This study confirms the potentials of geochemical markers to characterize main factors affecting natural water quality, as well as a tool for the reconstruction of recharge areas.