Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:
- There are vending machines all over Italy at which you can buy everything from bottled water to espresso to pizza – but this one that distributes fresh milk is about the most entertaining I’ve heard of.
- On the one hand, I’m happy to know that there seems to be a growing displeasure with the way women are portrayed in the media in Italy – and on the other hand, I think that it’s still such a minority of people in Italy who even care that I still wonder how long it’ll be before dancing girls aren’t “required” for damn near every Italian television show.
- Italy’s new minister for tourism is being accused of giving a fascist salute after singing the Italian national anthem at a recent rally – she says she was just waving to the crowd. Watch the video and judge for yourself.
- I’m not sure the slightly-more-violent-than-I-like-my-sports Calcio Storico Fiorentino would be something I’d enjoy watching much of, but I have to admit that seeing the shirtless athletes in this video isn’t terrible. No, it’s not terrible at all.
- Vatican officials say that a chapel designed by Michelangelo (which has been undergoing restoration work for seven years) will reopen in July. Unfortunately, it’s only used by the Pope and a few of his closest aides, so visitors still won’t be among those enjoying the artwork (just down the hall from the Sistine Chapel).
- Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi seems to have trouble on tap these days – the latest being allegations that he paid female escorts to be party guests at his various villas.
- Berlusconi’s promises of a cruise for all earthquake survivors notwithstanding, many of the thousands who remain homeless aren’t happy with the PM’s reconstruction plan after the April 6th quake. They protested outside parliament last week.
- During Berlusconi’s visit with U.S. President Obama in Washington D.C. this last week, he said Italy would take three Guantanamo Bay detainees as the U.S. tries to find “homes” for all the inmates so the facility can be shut down.
- The New York Times published a story last week about all the ancient Roman ruins under Naples’ city streets.
- As if Florence didn’t have enough Renaissance artwork to show off already, the Louvre in Paris has sent several “priceless” Renaissance masterpieces on loan to the Casa Buonarotti (a house once owned by Michelangelo) until mid-September.
- It’s not just on land where you can find remnants of Italy’s past. A “priceless Byzantine drinking cup” was recently found on the sea floor off the coast of Sicily.
- Debi and Gabriele of Under the Tuscan Gun have opened an online marketplace featuring primarily Tuscan foodstuffs.
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