Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:
- If you’ve got a spare €30,000 lying around (give or take) and you’ve always wanted to run a B&B in Italy, this could be your chance.
- This is simultaneously crazy and crazy cool – some churches in Italy, rather than close their communal holy water fountains entirely, are making them more hygenic in this swine flu era by installing fonts that auto-dispense holy water spurts when you wave your hand in front of them.
- If you’ve ever wondered how you’d pick the right Italian island for your vacation, wonder no more: Christine Cantera guides you through the islands of Italy so you can choose the best one for your trip.
- A couple in Italy found some frescoes in their house nearly 40 years ago that were copies of Raphael paintings – but it’s only recently that the culture ministry finally sent someone out to authenticate them. They are, indeed, Raphael copies, and it’s thought they were done by a student of the great master in the early 1500s as reception rooms for a Papal visit.
- A mudslide last week on the island of Ischia is being blamed for at least one death and 20 injuries so far.
- A new national museum for contemporary art opened in a residential part of Rome last week. It’s called the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, but more informally known as the Maxxi Cultural Center. The museum is in the Flaminio neighborhood of Rome.
- The current Pope recently visited the place where a former Pope was born. Pope Benedict XVI went to the Italian city of Brescia to pay tribute to Pope Paul VI, who was pontiff from 1963-1978.
- Since Italy’s highest court overturned his ban on criminal trials for top elected officials (like him), Prime Minister Berlusconi has gotten his allies in the Italian government to propose a measure that would impose time limits on criminal trials.
- The Italian national soccer team brought the World Cup trophy to earthquake-damaged L’Aquila last week, and the proceeds from ticket sales for Saturday’s friendly match vs. the Netherlands will go to relief/rebuilding efforts.
- Italy’s Olympic Committee rejected the bid Bari made for the 2020 games, but Rome and Venice are still in the running.
- A Camorra fugitive on the run since 2003 was arrested near Naples last weekend, despite his attempt to disguise himself with a wig and a fake name.
- Budget travelers will appreciate this list of the different kinds of cheap sleeps you can find when traveling in Italy.
- A study released recently says that Romans lose 11 days every year to being stuck in traffic. If that doesn’t make you decide to skip renting a car in Rome, then I don’t know what will.
- Wandering Italy’s James Martin recently spent some time in Provence, and he’s got a Tuscany vs. Provence comparison on his blog.
- Melanie at Italofile takes a look at some of the stranger religious relics you can find in Italy.
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