Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:
- The highest court in Italy has ruled that a shepherd should be allowed to smoke pot because “he only had sheep for company.”
- As Alpine glaciers melt, the border between Italy and Switzerland may need to be redrawn.
- The city of Venice turned 1588 years old this past week.
- What is Rome’s best trattoria? This New York Times article tries to answer the question.
- It’s not every day that you hear about a missing 350-year-old Italian statue turning up in a suburban North Carolina home. The couple who had the statue had no idea when they bought it a few years ago that it was stolen from Naples in 1990.
- And while we’re on the subject of returned stolen art, Greece has sent two murals back to Italy after they were taken from a church in Campania in 1982.
- Although many think of Renaissance art when they think of Florence, this “style map” from the New York Times shows that this is also a city known for its fashionable elements as well.
- The U.S. economy isn’t the only one in trouble these days, and in Italy evidently some Catholic priests have taken on the role of money-lenders to help those most in need.
- There are plenty of offbeat museums in Italy (they’re not all Renaissance art, y’know), and the city of Bologna just added yet another weird museum to the list – the first video game museum in Italy opened in Bologna this past week.
- Gestures are as much a part of the Italian language as the words are, so it’s always nice to know what Italians are saying when they’re not even speaking. Michelle’s Mental Clutter posted a link to an instructional video, and then she decoded each gesture. Have fun!
- This story combines two of the husband’s loves – Formula 1 car racing and wine. Evidently F1 driver Jarno Trulli also owns one of Italy’s top vineyards, Podere Castorani.
- After crashing and breaking his collarbone in a bike race in Spain, Lance Armstrong may not be race-ready by the time the 2009 Giro d’Italia rolls around in May.
- The Italian government is proposing a 30% cap on foreign students in each classroom. They say it’s because they think “it will help immigrant children integrate with Italians,” but if you’ve been paying attention to anything the Italian government has said in the last 5-10 years, you’ll know that’s not why they’re proposing such a law.
- An osteria outside Rome makes this list of “Europe’s top family-run restaurants.”
- Confidence in the economy is dropping in both Germany and Italy (so it’s not just Italy’s crazy economy that’s suffering), and the significant dip in tourist money into Italy isn’t helping matters, either. (The latter news could mean great bargains, however, for those who are still heading to the Bel Paese!)
- Want to take a more in-depth look at Rome? Head underground.
- This year, Rome is celebrating the 2000th birthday of Emperor Vespasian, under whose orders the Colosseum was built. “Divus Vespasianus” is a special exhibit about the emperor which opened at the Colosseum on Friday and will run through January of 2010.
- Now that it’s the end of March, you’ve missed New Year’s – twice. See, in several parts of Tuscany, New Year’s is on March 25th.
- The Ecopass in Milan doesn’t seem to be cutting pollution levels in the city by as much as authorities were hoping. At least not yet.
- In anticipation of the new “Angels & Demons” movie coming out in May, the Eternally Cool blog highlights a contest running on the movie’s website whereby you can win tickets to Rome by solving some puzzles.
- And as any Dan Brown aficionado knows, the Knights Templar figured heavily in “The Da Vinci Code” – so if you’re still intrigued by this old religious order, you’ll be pleased to know that a Templar church in Perugia is set to become an “international centre of research” on the group.
- Is that a Roman gladiator running the marathon in Rome?
- A man who took around €10 in coins from the Trevi Fountain was acquitted by a Roman judge, though he was ordered to return the money.
- My buddy Sara took an early morning walk through Trastevere in Rome recently, and thankfully she brought her camera.
- Want to accompany an Italian-American back to her family’s homeland in Calabria and Sicily? Check out this “help wanted” ad – and apply! (For more tips on visiting Calabria, with this gal or on your own, check out Cherrye’s excellent list of Calabria resources on her blog.)
DOWNLOAD OUR TRAVEL GUIDES