Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:
>> Since it’s coming up on the holidays, I’m bringing my article about Italy gift ideas back up to the top of the site – in case you’ve got an Italophile you need to buy for, or need any ideas for your own wish list!
- In a landmark decision – the first verdict handed down on the policy of “extraordinary rendition” – an Italian judge has convicted 23 Americans (22 of which work for the CIA) and 2 Italians in the 2003 kidnapping of a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan. The Americans were tried in absentia, and it’s unlikely they’ll ever serve their sentences, but the verdict is still seen as important to those who oppose extraordinary rendition in the first place.
- One of the Americans convicted in absentia in that case says “we broke the law,” but doesn’t say she worked for the CIA.
- A new poll of 5,000 women around the world says that men with an Italian accent are only the 2nd most sexy in the world – behind Irish men. As I’ve said to a couple people since I heard about this poll, I wouldn’t exactly turn Colin Farrell down if he wanted to read me bedtime stories, but Irish? Sexier than Italian? Really?
- Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily started erupting again a couple days ago, after months of quiet.
- Are you going to be in Italy for Thanksgiving this year? Katie Parla’s got a helpful post telling you what to look for on store shelves (and where to find it in Rome) to re-create a Thanksgiving meal on Italian soil.
- Oh, how shocking (not really) that Italy “scores poorly on the Gender Gap Report.”
- The Vatican – and many Italians – are up in arms after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights saying crucifixes in Italy’s classrooms need to be taken down.
- Just in time for Christmas, Dream of Italy has a free guide to Christmas in Italy – there are travel tips for those of you who’ll be spending Christmas in Italy, and also things you can use to bring some of the Italian holiday spirit into your home wherever you are.
- On November 14th, citizens of Venice will mark the city’s “death” with a funeral procession through the canals. What death, you ask? Some Venetians said that when the city’s full-time population dropped below 60,000 they would hold a mock funeral, and as of October the population was 59,984.
- Fodor’s is running a “Show Us Your Italy” contest – submit your favorite photos of Italy for a chance to win “a suite of Fodor’s latest full-color guides.”
- Police in Naples arrested two of the country’s most wanted mob bosses – the day after they arrested their brother.
- Nevermind that the Italian setting for the film version of the second Twilight movie “New Moon” was the town of Montepulciano… The fact that it’s Volterra that’s named in the book means that Volterra has started running Twilight tours through the town.
- Most people say Halloween is a recent introduction to Italy, but this article claims that the origins of Halloween can be traced back – in part – to il Bel Paese.
- Have you ever been to Positano in the summertime and fought the crowds on the beaches? Next time plan for an October or November visit and you could have the beach to yourself – like this guy did.
- My friend Sara recently ate at my favorite pizzeria in Naples, Di Matteo. Just looking at her pictures has my mouth watering.
- Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi says he won’t resign from his position – even if he’s convicted on any of the charges he’s currently on trial for. The trial on charges of tax fraud is scheduled to begin later this month.
- An Italian judge reduced an admitted murderer’s sentence because he said the man had “violent genes” that predisposed him to more violent behavior.
- A steady rise in Italy’s inflation rate has economists saying the recession is over.
- Buying second-hand goods hasn’t traditionally been something you could do easily in Italy (it was actually frowned upon), but it’s becoming more acceptable now – and there are hundreds of second-hand shops in Italy’s big cities now to prove it.
- One vet in Rome says he’s seeing more Italians who are emotionally attached to their dogs lately.
- How cool is this? Restoration work on a Caravaggio painting done in 1597 has revealed what is believed to be a tiny self-portrait of the artist himself.
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