Italy News: 02.08.09

Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • Frommer’s blog has a fabulous airfare deal to Italy right now – a round-trip ticket from New York to Rome for a grand total of $585 including all those pesky fees, anytime between now and the end of April. Get thyself to this page and book a flight now. You’re welcome.
  • Italy’s got its own ongoing Terry Schiavo-like case, but although the courts ruled that the brain-dead woman’s family could tak her off life support the Italian government has other ideas. They’ve passed a decree through the parliament requiring the hospital to force-feed the woman. Italy’s President says he won’t sign off on the law, but the certifiably nutso Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, isn’t letting that stop him. Berlusconi has gone so far as to say, “She’s alive – she could get pregnant” as justification for keeping her on life support.

  • St. Mark’s Square in Venice is always a sight to see, but it’s getting a makeover for the start of Carnival this year – it’s going to be turned into a big Renaissance garden.

  • And speaking of Venice, this is a really nice article by Mara, who’d like to turn her melancholy memories of childhood visits to the canal city into more upbeat memories by taking her own kids to see Venice. Although one of the things I love most about Venice is its moodiness, I can imagine it would take on a whole new flavor when seen through the eyes of children.

  • There’s a nice review of a trip to Genoa’s colorful Mercato Orientale at Slashfood, complete with lovely pictures.

  • Four Google executives may be facing jail time in Italy because Google Video posted a short clip of some kids teasing a boy with Down syndrome in 2006. Although the video wasn’t on the site for long, the four are still looking at the possibility of spending some time in an Italian jail.

  • I’ve not yet been to Eataly in Turin, but I’ve heard amazing things about this Italian market. Well, soon you won’t have to go to Turin to see what’s so special about it – Eataly is coming to North America.

  • Fashion giant Giorgio Armani has declared that Rome isn’t a fashion capital anymore. Frankly, I never thought it was.

  • If you’re looking for new ways to practice your Italian speaking skills, here’s one I heard about through Twitter – Parlo con Carlo. You chat live with Carlo, an Italian native in Venice, via Skype. Fantastic idea!

  • Young girls in Italy will now have to wait until they’re at least 18 to get breast implants, according to a new Italian law.

  • So, evidently some Italian researchers have found that those eight tentacles on an octopus aren’t all the same. Six of them are “arms,” and the other two are “legs.” And now you know.

  • Italian motorcycle wunderkind Valentino Rossi may hug the curves on two wheels, but he’s less stable on two legs, apparently. He fell last week in his house while drawing the curtains, crashing backwards through a glass table and cutting his hand and foot. Ouch.

  • Do you grumble about the high cost of dining in Venice? Then head for the newly opened restaurant for “pilgrims” near St. Mark’s Basilica where you’ll be able to get a filling and tasty three-course lunch for €13.

  • A new poll says “Italians are more accepting of gays than in the past but would be more upset if one of their children came out.” Umm, so that’s basically saying they’re more accepting of gays – as long as they’re not Italian?

  • Looking for some Italian-inspired gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Cherrye has a few suggestions for you. Personally, I’m head over heels for the singing gondola-guiding dog.