Italian News Snippets: 09.30.07


Some Italian news for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • Here’s your warm fuzzy Italy story for the day: Rather than punishing a shoplifter, this Italian store owner organized other customers to make sure the elderly man didn’t have to steal the food he clearly couldn’t afford.
  • Apparently Italian women still aren’t too keen on using contraceptives – only half use contraception, and only one-third took safety precautions during their first sexual encounters.
  • Italofile has a couple of suggestions for what’s going on in Italy in October, including Perugia’s famous Eurochocolate festival.
  • Starbucks is set to open more than 600 new stores in Europe, including several in Italy – somehow hinting that the American coffee giant has something to teach the Italians about cafe culture. Methinks (me hopes) Starbucks is in for a fight.
  • Are you looking for a way to live like Renaissance Italian royalty? Are you able to use the words “money is no object” and not be joking? Then this recently restored former Medici villa might be just the place you want to rent for your next visit to Italy.
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  • In an effort to discourage prostitution, Italy’s government is contemplating serving papers to the Johns – at their homes. And here’s an interesting bit of trivia – brothels in Italy were accepted and legal until 1959.
  • The Miss Italy pageant is a big deal in Italy, and this year the contestants’ backsides were part of the debate. Which brings up an interesting cultural difference between the US and Italy – whereas “bum luck” is a synonym for bad luck in the US, “che culo” – literally, “what butt” – is a way of saying “what luck” in Italy. And there you go.
  • To commemorate Pavarotti in style, there will be a series of tribute concerts around the world beginning the week of October 6th, including events in Lima, Budapest, Copenhagen, New Delhi and Montevideo.
  • If you’re interested in teaching in Italy but are thinking more along the lines of teaching at an American school in Italy, there are a couple of websites for you to check here.
  • Here is a rundown of some of the arts events going on throughout Italy.
  • Rome’s film festival runs from October 18-27, and if you happen to be visiting during that time you’ll get to do some serious star-gazing.
  • Apparently Italians are eating less bread – much to the chagrin of wheat farmers.
  • Usually Venice floods at one point or another during the winter, but it’s already underwater because of record levels of rainfall. Visitors to the canal city will have noticed the problem, but the worst of it was in the part of Venice that’s on the mainland (the part the tourists don’t visit).
  • Jellyfish are washing up on Italy’s southern beaches in record numbers, so watch where you’re walking or swimming.
  • A 16th-century Italian painter you’ve probably never heard of, but who’s considered by some to be the father of surrealism, is being shown in a big exhibit in Paris.
  • In light of the demonstrations and unrest in Myanmar right now, Italy is considering joining an EU mission to augment the UN mission.
  • An al Qaeda suspect was arrested in Italy this week and is accused of planning an attack on US military bases in Italy.