Italy News: 02.15.09

Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • The town of Falluja in Iraq might not be the center of the war anymore, but it’s not quite ready for tourists. That didn’t stop one tourist from Italy who just wanted to see what this Falluja place was all about – and ended up in a Falluja police station.
  • The woman who was at the center of the bitter right-to-die case in Italy that was not only claiming headlines but also occupying the government’s attention died rather unexpectedly late Monday. If the Italian government is anything like it has always been, I suspect that this ain’t the end of the story, however. (And as it turns out, it wasn’t. Parliament officials claimed that she didn’t die but was “murdered,” an autopsy was ordered by the prosecutor’s office, and the doctors involved were being interviewed to determine whether disciplinary proceedings should be brought against them).
  • The Mafia may have a tough-guy reputation, but Italian police in Naples have just arrested the first cross-dressing transsexual mobster.
  • This past February 5th marked the 3rd annual World Nutella Day – a day on which bloggers from all over the world honor the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread with recipes, poems, or simply fond memories. One of my favorites from this year was this tour of Rome with Nutella, but you can check out all the entries in part 1 and part 2 of the round-up.
  • Back in Ancient Rome, they thought their city was the center of the world – because, in many ways, it was. So if the city was the center of the world, it seems only natural that there would have been a center of the city, right? Lucky for us, there was, and it survives as the “belly button of Rome” located in the Roman Forum.

  • There are some Rome factoids included in a new “history of the world” book, and five of the things you may not have known about Rome are featured here.
  • Italy can be a great place to travel with kids, and a few recent articles online are making that point well – here are just a few things to do in Italy that might engage younger travelers (and entertain the adults at the same time), some tips for taking on the Italian capital of Rome with kids, and an article about touring Tuscany with a toddler.
  • Just in case you’re visiting more than one country on your trip to Italy, here’s an artciel about the different options you have for getting from Paris to Rome.
  • As the new Obama administration works on closing the prisons at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, they’re trying to find countries willing to take some of the inmates. Italy has said they might be willing to take a few.
  • Amazingly, Italy’s fallen to 5th place overall on the list of preferred vacation destinations in the world.
  • Valentine’s Day may have gone already for this year, but any trip to Italy is a good excuse for a roantic day. For instance, check out this list of 9 romantic spots in Rome where you can get lovey with your sweetie.
  • An Etruscan statue was returned to an archaeological museum in Chiusi 38 years after it was stolen.
  • Well, whaddya know – the Dalai Lama was made an honorary citizen of Rome.
  • My blogging friend Miss Expatria has listed the 100 Italian words she would teach you. I’m bookmarking the page. Be sure to read the whole list, there are some real gems in there.
  • What happens when you go to Naples and decide to eat only pizza for your whole trip? You come up with a list of the 10 best pizzerias in Naples.
  • If your local church offered a karaoke version of the weekly service, would that make you more inclined to go and participate? That’s what one Italian church is hoping.
  • The G7 was meeting in Rome late last week; there’s a picture of some of the security trucks (and just a gorgeous photo in and of itself) at Rome Photo Blog.

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