Italy News: 02.15.09

Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.