Italy Travel News 01/31/2012

Here’s a roundup of the latest news from Italy: January 20th through January 31st:



  • Nonna Lina Has Guts and Style
    As @adventurevida said on Twitter, "This Italian grandma might be the most stylish bike rider you've seen. Guaranteed to make you smile." (via @davisphinney on Twitter)
  • Anti-mafia priest sent pig’s head in Godfather-style warning
    A priest in Calabria found a bloody pig's head on his doorstep, its mouth stuffed with cloth – and last week the priest had his car vandalized. He's being targeted, it's believed, by the 'Ndrangheta mafia for "speaking out against organised crime."
  • In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking
    This is a cool look at the history of banking in Italy, and its ties to art and beauty. Unfortunately, the exhibit discussed in this story, which ran for several months at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, is now over – but the story itself is still interesting.
  • Italian Authorities Call Off Search For Missing In Costa Shipwreck
    With 17 deaths and 16 still missing, Italian officials say they're calling off the search for any more bodies, as that would put the searchers in too much danger.
  • Italy: A mushroom haven in the clouds
    Sometimes looking for a path up a mountain means accidentally stumbling into prime mushroom-hunting grounds. And yes, you may get stopped by the Italian police. (via @tweetaly on Twitter)
  • Sunset in Venice
    Such a gorgeous sunset picture in Venice! (via @GoSeeWrite on Twitter)
  • Frescoes in Florence
    Florence's museums may have more than their fair share of amazing paintings hanging – framed – on the walls, but Jenna thinks you shouldn't overlook these five fantastic frescoes on your visit to the Tuscan capital.
  • Slow Umbria: how to discover the Italophile’s Italy
    Do you like the idea of 'slow travel' but aren't sure where to best embrace it? Guidebook & iPhone app author Alex Leviton says you should make a beeline for Umbria. (via @tweetaly on Twitter)
  • L’Italia sfida il grande freddo
    This article is in Italian, but for those of you who don't speak the language here's the main point – this is the coldest winter Italy has seen in 27 years. Pack warm clothing if you're headed over there anytime soon! (via @newsfromitaly on Twitter)
  • Italian priest caught out lying to parishioners after Concordia disaster – Telegraph
    Here's a story I didn't expect to come out of the cruise ship disaster in Tuscany… A priest apparently told his congregation that he'd be gone for a week at a spiritual retreat – when he was really going on a cruise. (He survived the shipwreck.)
  • ‘Disaster tourists’ swarm to Costa Concordia island
    I guess it's to be expected, what with all the rubber-necking that goes on alongside highway accidents, but this is pretty grim – especially when they're still pulling bodies from the ship. (via @MalloryOnTravel on Twitter)
  • Smallest coffee maker in the world
    This is so many kinds of adorable… A tiny mokapot, the smallest in the world, stands at a whopping 19mm. And yes, it actually works – it takes 25 seconds to brew a few drops of coffee.
  • Divers find 16th body in cruise ship wreck
    Another body was found in the Costa Concordia ship, still lying on its side off the coast of Tuscany, bringing the death toll to 16. 17 people remain unaccounted for, although six of the bodies found haven't yet been identified, so the number of missing is more realistically 11. (via @TravelBlggr on Twitter)
  • Italy Strikes Snarl Transport as Monti Presents Growth Plan
    Italy's interim prime minister has announced some ideas to get the country's economy back on track, which led to truckers and taxi drivers going on strike (and blocking traffic). More strikes in other business sectors are planned for the coming weeks.
  • The first artificial sweetener poisoned lots of Romans
    Apparently the ancient Romans liked their food sweet – and found an artificial sweetener they could brew up from grapes that did the trick. The problem? The sweetener contained about 1,000 times the acceptable dose of lead. Oopsie! (via @WalksofItaly on Twitter)