Italy News: 07.19.09

Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • If you’re 88 years old, get caught stealing someone’s purse, and have a pickpocketing record going back to the 1970s, I’d say you’re pretty much a professional pickpocket – like this woman in Italy.
  • Will you be in Rome this coming Friday night? If so, you can enjoy a late night visit to the Vatican Museums. On Friday, July 24, they’ll be letting people in from 19:00-21:30, and the museum will finally close at 23:00. You’ll need to book a spot in advance.
  • This article had me (and my office-mates) giggling – but despite its absurdity, I now totally want to meet the guy on the Amalfi Coast who says he can teach anyone how to be a Latin lover. One woman described him as “the most famous gigolo on the coast,” for pete’s sake. How could you not want to meet that guy?!?
  • This is priceless. A woman in Italy who is preparing to take her vows to become a nun evidently left an unhappy beau in her past… He posted some vacation photos of her on Facebook labeled “topless nun,” and now she’s suing him to get the photos taken down.
  • Before the recent G8 summit in L’Aquila, many people (rightly) thought bringing world leaders to an active earthquake zone & construction site wasn’t such a good idea. Perhaps surprisingly, most of the L’Aquila earthquake survivors thought it was a very good idea, indeed.


  • An Italian Red Cross worker who was kidnapped in the Philippines in January has been set free.
  • I guess even Catholicism needs a vacation now & then. The Pope is spending his holiday in the Italian Alps.
  • Unfortunately, The Pope has gone all humpty-dumpty on us and “had a great fall” – he fell during his vacation and broke his wrist.
  • Honestly, the whole story of a small plane in Italy crashing as it tossed a bride’s bouquet to the waiting crowd sounds like an urban myth or internet rumor. But it’s being reported on the BBC. So it must be true. Right?
  • The Italian government is planning a mass vaccination against swine flu for more than 8 million people before the end of the year.
  • WhyGo Italy “friend of the show” (sorry, I’m borrowing that from Colbert) Jessica from RomePhotoBlog was interviewed for the Budget Travel blog about the street artists in Rome she photographs. It’s a nice interview, and includes some great photos of Jessica’s. See if you can spot Roman street art on your next trip!
  • If you’ll be near Venice before the end of July, you might want to check out the giant Dante-inspired sand sculptures in nearby Jesolo Lido.
  • Bloggers in Italy (and all over the world) observed a day of silence – a day-long blogging strike – this past week to protest a potential new law that would fine bloggers in Italy if they wrote something the Italian government decided was defamatory.
  • Venice’s first female gondolier has started working the city’s canals. Be on the lookout when you’re in Venice next time.
  • The British Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, turned down two veal dishes during her time in Italy for the G8 summit. I’ll confess that I’d probably have done the same – I haven’t eaten veal for years – although the story says the conditions under which veal calves are raised are different (better?) in Italy.
  • The Italian tax police used Google Earth to help them catch one fellow who wasn’t paying his due in taxes – that Sardinian villa he sold was worth way more than he claimed he sold it for, according to the satellite images the police saw.
  • Italian screen legend Sophia Loren has just had a section of seafront in Jesolo Lido, a resort town near Venice, named after her.