Here’s a roundup of the latest news from Italy: February 2nd through February 8th:
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- Frozen Venice – in pictures
A stunning photo collection from Venice, where canals have frozen over in the historic winter storm that's hit much of Europe this month. (via @WalksofItaly on Twitter)
- Rome, Colosseum closed February 2012
Word out of Rome is that the Colosseum is closed temporarily due to snow. There are conflicting reports on when it'll re-open (this note says the 9th, another I saw says the 8th), but if you're in Rome right now be prepared to make alternate sight-seeing plans if the Colossem remains closed for a few more days.
- Italy Roundtable: Earth–47, Morto che Parla
This month's Italy Blogging Roundtable topic was "the elements," & Rebecca shared some of the reasons why cemeteries in Italy are some of her favorite places – and she did so in that eminently readable, eloquent fashion I've come to expect from her. This is a beautiful post that may have you looking at cemeteries a bit differently yourself.
- Destructive Elements – Italian churches damaged by earth, water, air and fire
Alexandra's art historian self is on display for her contribution to the Italy Blogging Roundtable, where she talks about churches in Italy that were damaged by one of the elements. It's a fascinating historical look at some of the country's most treasured monuments, & a sad reminder that the same thing could happen again at anytime when there isn't enough money in the budget to to preventive work.
- Braving the Elements: A Rare Snowfall in Rome
Melanie's Italy Blogging Roundtable post is a great overview of the historic snowfall that hit Rome this month – she's collected several wonderful photos of Romans enjoying the white stuff in their city, not to mention some beautiful shots of famous monuments decorated by a layer of snow.
- The Elements and the Seasons: Fire and Water
In Tuscany, Gloria's Italy Blogging Roundtable post shows how two of the elements – fire & water – work their way through the seasons. It's a pretty post full of photographic evidence that these elements are everywhere you look, no matter what time of year it is.
- English Bookstores in Rome
Journeywoman's got a list of English bookstores in Rome as well as gift ideas that come in at under $5.00 – in case you need to bring home lots of goodies for family, friend, coworkers, & yourself!
- Vernazza Flood
For those of you who are interested in keeping up to date with how Vernazza and the rest of the Cinque Terre are faring after the October 2011 floods, this page is updated fairly regularly.
- Italian cruise ship survivors offered $14,460 per person for their pain and suffering – NY Daily News
After a passenger sued for $100 million, the Costa cruise company has offered less than $15,000 per person as a settlement for their pain and suffering. Would you take it? (via @michellefabio on Twitter)
- The Truth—and Translation—Behind the Fiat 500 Super Bowl Ad
This is awesome – not just a translation of what was said in the ad (which was completely in Italian, with no subtitles), but also some tidbits about the gorgeous Italian woman featured in the ad – including the fact that she's not even Italian!
- Venice’s Frozen Lagoon
I loved seeing the photos of Italy under snow that were posted all over Facebook and elsewhere, but this one really stunned me. Venice under a light dusting of snow is magical – but a frozen lagoon? That's some SERIOUS cold!
- Rome’s Best Bus… for Food: The Unofficial "Hop-On, Hop-Off" Dining Bus
This is an absolutely BRILLIANT post about the public bus that hits Rome's best neighborhoods for eating, along with tips about what spots to seek out once you've disembarked and are wandering around – hungry. Clever, clever, clever! Thanks to Italy Beyond the Obvious on Facebook for pointing this out. (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Italy-Beyond-the-Obvious/128228997204488)
- Venezia pronto intervento
My pal Christine of WhyGo France alerted me to this reality TV show, which is all about Venice's first responders. I'm trying to find out if it will ever come to the US – it's on the National Geographic Channel in Italy, and there's a NatGeo channel in the US, so it's possible, right? What a fascinating show it would be!
- Rome For Foodies
When I hear from Italy travelers who are excited about eating in this gastronomic wonderland, I make sure they know about Katie Parla's excellent blog, Parla Food. She lives in Rome, & writes mostly about food in the capital, & she has now put all that knowledge into an app for the iPhone/iPad/Android – Rome for Foodies. It's crammed with her foodie picks for the Eternal City, including maps and insider tips, and it all works offline once you've downloaded it – so no worrying about roaming charges while you travel. It's $3.99 in the iTunes store, & $2.79 in the Android market.