Italy News: 11.09.08

Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • Oh, my – next time I’m in Rome, I think I’m going to have to pay a visit to the National Museum of Pasta Foods. I mean, what other country but Italy would have a pasta museum? I ask you.
  • I mentioned earlier in the week that Google Street View Italy is up and running, but it’s only in a few locations at the moment – so to satisfy your need to see other parts of Italy in real-time, here are some webcams from around Italy.
  • This collection of “you might be Venetian if…” comments really made me smile.
  • Given the fact that Italy is the most popular honeymoon destination on earth now, it’s not surprising that there is an Italian hotel on this list of the best honeymoon hotels. What’s a little surprising to me is that it’s in Rome instead of uber-romantic Venice.
  • This is in Italian, but suffice it to say that the folks in Tuscany are thrilled to report that the next US First Lady wears shoes made in Pisa.
  • I know being tan in Italy is a sign of health, and I know Berlusconi is kind of an idiot, but did he really just say that Barack Obama is “young, handsome, and also tanned?” Yes, I’m afraid he did.
  • The man known as the “king of prosciutto” in Italy has died (article in Italian only); Paolo Rovagnati was responsible for creating “the only branded prosciutto cotto in Italy,” Gran Biscotto.
  • I’m not a religious person, but I like going to church in Italy – even when I didn’t speak Italian, I still kind of knew what was going on, because I’d been to Catholic services in the US. But this interesting post from My Bella Vita points out five ways Catholic churches in Italy are different from their US counterparts.
  • If renting a normal car in Italy doesn’t seem flashy enough for you, you could always go with a classic Alfa Romeo Spider from the 1960s instead. Italy by Vintage Car isn’t cheap, but it’s sure to be a vacation you’ll remember forever.

  • Frommers takes a step off the beaten path with a tour of Calabria and Puglia in southern Italy.
  • Bless National Geographic Traveler and their wealth of fantasmagorical photographers. They’ve got a photo set up of Italy right now, and it had me drooling. You?
  • This is a thoroughly lovely essay that’s about Florence‘s Duomo, but also so much more.
  • I’m not excited that the company behind this website makes the kind of gelato mixes that I generally try to avoid, but I love the T-shirts. Might have to get the one that says, “Why Gelato? Because Italy is Too Far Away.”
  • Think Italian beverages are all wine and coffee? Think again. Craft beers are on the rise in Italy.
  • After studying the 5,300-year-old mummified man who was found in the Italian Alps in 1991, scientists have determined that he doesn’t have any living descendants. In other words, he’s old enough that modern humans are genetically different. Wow.
  • The Mafia is allegedly involved in the shooting attack on five teenage boys which took place near Naples. Police think the attack was a reprisal against the owner of a games arcade, who is related to three of the boys. All five boys are in the hospital, but are expected to recover fully.
  • Artifacts illegally removed from Italy which were seized in Basel, Switzerland in the 1990s are being returned to Italy by the Swiss government.
  • With all the stolen artifacts being returned to Italy lately, it seems only fitting that Italy is also returning some of its ill-gotten gains – like a piece of a Parthenon frieze which the Vatian returned this week.
  • This is funny, not to mention useful for those of you with Italian friends who seem to think they know more about the US than you do: how to survive Italian dinner parties.
  • If the plastic overlays in the highly-recommended Rome: Past and Present book isn’t enough to help you get an idea of what ancient Rome once looked like, then perhaps these new 3D images of Rome will do the trick. The 3D show, called “3D Rewind Rome,” opens on November 20 in a theatre near the Colosseum in Rome.
  • It’s wild boar hunting season in Italy right now, and although you can generally find cinghiale (the Italian word for wild boar) on the menu throughout Tuscany year-round, this is the season hunters look forward to.
  • An Australian man has been charged with attempted murder after police say he plotted to blow up his cousin’s house and attacked his cousin’s family in Marostica in northern Italy – the 10-year-old dispute allegedly stems from a family inheritance.
  • The white truffle fair in Alba ended today – but if you didn’t make it this year, there’s always plenty of time to plan a visit for next year’s festival!
  • Want to get into the local swing of things in Italy? One great way is to try new foods you’re not familiar with at home – but sometimes you’ll need some instructions first. Cherrye’s provided some tips about how to eat a persimmon, and now I want one.
  • The International Air Transport Association has approved the proposed transition from the old Alitalia to whatever new Alitalia will supposedly exist in the future.
  • I think Italians eat so much more healthily than people in the US do that I kind of assumed they’d always been that way – but a new report says that Italians are eating much more healthily today than they were 30 years ago.
  • Art restoration can take a long time; in this case, the restoration of a Raphael oil-on-wood painting took a decade – but the result is glorious. You can see the Madonna del Cardellino painting in the Palazzo Medici Riccard in Florence through February 2009, after which it’ll take its permanent place at the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Venice has been crusading against ill-mannered visitors to the city for some time now, and they’re stepping up the effort with big bilingual posters admonishing tourists and residents alike to not litter, prevent graffiti, and clean up after their dogs (among other things).
  • Even Vatican clerics need to punch a time-clock now, after about 40 years of not keeping track of their work hours.

4 thoughts on “Italy News: 11.09.08

  • Anthony Leyton

    Thanks for the mention Jessica. Agreed, Venice takes the top spot for Italian romance most of the time, but we felt that Residenza Napoleone III had the edge over potential Venetian honeymoon bolt-holes – it only has two rooms for starters, and the interiors…oh, the interiors. Staying there’s like taking over a palace.

    Not to disappoint you, though, if it has to be Venice, DD724 isn’t known as ‘Charming House’ for nothing…

  • Jessica Post author

    Thanks for the comment, Anthony! Yes, that Rome hotel did sound spectacular. So, you prefer a contemporary spot like DD724 in Venice over something more in keeping with the surroundings?

  • Lucy

    Hi there – just wanted to say thanks for mentioning our Top 10 Honeymoon Hotels post and address your surprise about our Italian choice: we just think that property is incredibly romantic and private and gives you a totally different Italian experience to what’s on offer elsewhere. As far as romantic destinations go, we’re with you on Venice as ‘most romantic city’: and it made it into the number-three slot in our Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations post too 🙂

  • Lucy

    Aha – just seen Anthony’s pipped me to the post already! Well traditional hotels are nice, but since Venice itself is replete with historic buildings and beautiful facades, it is sometimes nice to stay somewhere a little more modern – Venetians themselves do actually live in the 21st century after all! another option could be a hotel such as Palazzo Barbarigo, which combines classic exteriors with deco-inspired interiors – wonderful.

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