Italian News Snippets: 06.22.08


Some Italian news for your Sunday reading pleasure:

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  • Italian actress Asia Argento seems to regret having French-kissed a dog for a scene in the movie, “Go Go Tales,” and isn’t showing up at press events for the film. My question is this – shouldn’t she have had reservations about it before, y’know, the cameras were rolling??
  • I think this is exceptionally clever – if you’re interested in walking in Italy, but don’t know the area well enough to know where to go, this cool website lets you look up user-submitted walks for various points around the country. You simply look up the city you’re visiting and then select a mapped-out walk from among those uploaded. There are just over 100 walks listed in Italy so far, so it’s not comprehensive, but it’s a great start. Add your own walks, too!
  • Florence has made this list of the best cities to explore on foot, and I heartily agree. One note, however – while the article says Dante is buried in the same Florence church as Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo, he’s actually buried in Ravenna. Dante, the father of the Italian language, was exiled from Florence and the folks in Ravenna are understandably keen to point out that they were happy to take him in. The big tomb-like thing in the Florence church is a monument to a (now) favorite son, but if you’re looking for Dante himself – he ain’t there.
  • According to this article, “Italy is Iran’s No. 1 trading partner in Europe,” so Italian PM Berlusconi has offered US President Bush “inside knowledge” to help with the issue of Iran’s perceived nuclear threat.
  • Even Italy’s biggest cities have city parks which are popular green escapes – this list has some of the nicest ones in the country, but check any city map for the parks where you are.
  • Two gelaterie in Italy made it onto this list of the best places to get ice cream in the world. Of course, I kind of think that all ten should be in Italy, but then again you know me to be heavily biased toward Italian gelato.
  • You might think the top Italian exports to the US were things like olive oil and pasta, right? Well, according to this list the top export is medicinal, dental, and pharmaceutical preparations, followed closely by industrial machines. Things like wine and footwear do make the top 10.
  • If you can afford a hotel splurge in Italy, check out this new book full of cool (read: expensive) hotels in Italy.
  • A writer for the Times took a trip to Sicily in the Spring, and thinks there really is something for everyone on the island.
  • Interested in architecture & visiting Turin later this month? Check out the World Congress of Archicture, taking place from June 29-July 3.
  • For anyone who’s figuring that a US-based vacation will cost much less than an Italian vacation this year, here’s an interesting comparison of some vacation expenditures in Florence vs. Philadelphia (obviously, the airfare could be the big killer here that sways you in the US direction as opposed to Italy, but if you find travel deals on Italy airfare, then this list skews in favor of Italy).
  • I know you’ll be as shocked as I was when I read the title of this article: “Berlusconi defends measure that would suspend his trial in Milan.” Always lookin’ out for #1, Silvio. At least you’re consistent.