Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:
Quick note – if you’re on Facebook and you like this site, won’t you become a fan of WhyGo Italy?
- The whole world seems to be buzzing about swine flu, and people with Italy travel plans are wondering whether they need to worry. Alex at Blog from Italy talks a little about swine flu in Italy and how the government is handling it. There’s a page on the Rick Steves website that will continue to be updated for people with travel plans to Europe. As of this writing, there were roughly 20 suspected cases of swine flu in Italy – but they weren’t confirmed yet.
- When the Vatican refused to allow filming for the “Angels & Demons” movie in Rome’s Catholic churches, filmmakers sent people through the churches acting as tourists to take more than 250,000 photographs and shoot hours of video footage. The photos and videos were used as references to recreate the church interiors as film sets.
- As a foodie, I was intrigued by this list of the best “secret dining clubs” in the world, but saying Home Food in Italy is a secret is silly. It’s not a secret at all, everyone’s welcome, and you should totally do it.
- My friend Sara in Milan introduced me to Pocket Coffee, and I’m hoarding my dwindling supply until I get restock in Italy this fall. But if you’d like to get your hands on some of this amazing stuff, just leave a comment on Sara’s blog post about Pocket Coffee and you could win a pack of it from her!
- What Rome lover wouldn’t want this Colosseum-inspired loveseat in their living room?
- I so want a copy of this… An Italian journalist has published a guide to Catholic masses all over Italy, having sat through and reviewed more than 200 services throughout the country.
- Erica of the Moscerina blog snapped this picture in Rome, and it’s still making me giggle. I’d buy a lamp there just to thank them for their hilarious signage.
- Berlusconi may not be popular outside Italy, but his approval rating in Italy is actually rising of late – especially after the April 6th earthquake in Abruzzo and what many perceive as his quick response. Nevermind that he said the tent cities housing earthquake refugees were like a camping weekend… Italian news outlets didn’t report that, so Italians didn’t know about it unless they read foreign media.
- On the other hand, Berlusconi himself says he’s the most popular leader in the world, according to a poll he has which puts his approval rating at 75%. He is, perhaps not surprisingly, not releasing the poll data. He’s just crowing about it.
- Some of you may remember when Berlusconi’s wife, Veronica Lario, took out a full-page ad in an Italian newspaper to publicly reprimand her husband for so blatantly ogling other women. Well, even though he apologized back then he hasn’t changed his ways. (And really, did she expect him to? It is, after all, how he met her.) Anyway, she’s now sent out an email attacking his “association beautiful young women.” I kind of feel badly for her because he’s such an ass… But seriously, woman, you knew who you were marrying. Either deal with it, or divorce him. End of story.
- Actress Salma Hayek had a 2nd wedding ceremony with her French husband in Italy, but wasn’t content with your typical Tuscan hillside scenery… No, for their play-it-again-Samuele vows, the pair chose Venice’s famous La Fenice opera house.
- There’s a proposal in the Italian Parliament to make a special pension available to all those who fought in Italy in World War II – including both those who fought against Mussolini’s Fascist dictatorship (called Partisans), and those who fought for it. Partisans in Italy are incensed at the idea that they would be considered equal to those they were opposed to.
- If you’ve ever wondered what the photo collection of a guidebook writer might look like, then enjoy this musical slideshow of Lonely Planet writer Leif Pettersen’s recent trip to Tuscany, where he was updating the book. Oh, and don’t click “play” on an empty stomach – there are lots of photos of the scrumptious-looking food Leif ate as part of his “research.”
- An Italian cruise ship fought off a Somali pirate attack by firing on the pirates when the cruise ship was fired on.
- Guidebook authors are always being asked for their favorite recommendations; in this article, a Frommer’s editor talks about his favorite gelateria in Venice – a place which features off-beat flavors such as fennel, asparagus, carrot, and ginger alongside the more usual gelato offerings.
- Sports fans, brace yourselves. An Italian cyclist who got a silver medal in Beijing is now suspected of having doped his way there. I really hope it’s not true, because I like this guy, but I’ve learned to expect the worst when it comes to cycling and doping. Which sucks.
- These gorgeous photos from Rome Photo Blog show off some of the things you’ll see in an Italian bar – not all of which have to do with coffee.
- Kathy of Dream of Italy lists her favorite books about Italy – what are yours?
- Most of the treasures recovered from Pompeii are on display in Naples’ National Archaeological Museum, but they’ve just re-opened the section where the frescos are on display after a decade of renovation to the space.
- This past Friday was May 1st, which is a big holiday in Italy (and much of the rest of the world) – but in the Sardinian city of Cagliari, it’s the start of an entirely different and very local festival: the Festa di Sant’Efisio.
- I’m someone with a sweet tooth who usually can’t pass up dessert after a meal in Italy, but one of these days I’m going to have to forgo gelato in favor of the cheese course. It just looks so divine, especially when it’s showcased in a photo like this one.
- Not every fan of Italy is a fan of Milan, but I happen to be a fan of both. So even though some of the things on this list of current Milan hotspots are familiar to me I’m looking forward to checking out the rest.
- One of my favorite bloggers, Miss Expatria, is back in her beloved Rome – and if you haven’t started following her blog for the sheer amusement factor (she’s damned hilarious), her picture posts are another good reason to check in. Here’s one I loved on the windows of Viterbo.
- Cherrye’s back at My Bella Vita with some more great tips for traveling in Italy, this time collected from her travel-savvy friends (including me!).
- Looking for another book or two about Italy to add to your collection? Robin of My Melange posted her review of “A Vineyard in Tuscany,” and Karen of South of Rome found an out-of-print book about the Amalfi Coast available for free online. Happy reading!
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