Italy Travel News 04/24/2012

Here’s a roundup of the latest news from Italy: April 20th through April 24th:




  • Nerdy Day Trips
    I haven't played much with this site yet, but I love the idea – the stuff they seem to be calling "nerdy" are the off-beat attractions & museums that can make a trip unique, interesting, & memorable. The England map is far more crammed with "nerdy day trip" ideas than the Italy map, but you can also add your own "nerdy" suggestions – so if you've got some for Italy, add them in! (via @joshywashington on Twitter)
  • La Spezia, Italy
    The big draw on this part of the Ligurian coast may be the Cinque Terre, but nearby La Spezia is worth a visit in its own right – here are some reasons why. (via @WalksofItaly on Twitter)
  • Senator paid mafia for Berlusconi say court documents
    The supreme court in Italy says that Berlusconi used an Italian Senator (with alleged mafia ties dating back decades) as the go-between to make payments to the mafia on his behalf.
  • Springtime in Atrani
    If you need a little dose of Italian springtime, this is the post for you – a collection of photos from the town of Atrani, taken by my friend Laura. Enjoy!
  • 44 Camorra arrests
    The police have made more arrests of Camorra (the mafia in and around Naples) members. This time, the twist was that many of the already-jailed Camorra leaders' wives were arrested, having taken over for their husbands.
  • Pompeii wall collapses, despite new conservation initiative
    Yes, another collapse has happened at Pompeii. Yes, the spotlight has been on the crumbling archaeological site in recent weeks, but new funds and promises can't hit the pause button immediately. (via @freyasflorence on Twitter)
  • Female Gladiators? Tantalizing New Evidence From Ancient Rome
    A 2,000-year-old bronze statue may depict a female gladiator. The object in her hand was previously thought to be a kind of cleaning tool, but some now believe it's a gladiator's weapon. (via @revealedrome on Twitter)
  • Italian soccer at ‘point of no return’ after Genoa shame
    Play was stopped for quite awhile during a soccer game in Genoa when fans protesting their team's poor form threw smoke bombs onto the field and then, when play had stopped, got onto the pitch and demanded that players remove their shirts – saying they weren't fit to wear them. The team has been punished for the fans' actions, with the next two games to be played in empty stadiums, but the Italian soccer world is looking at the events in Genoa as a symptom of a greater ill in the sport. In particular, there is the question of players who acquiesced when asked by angry fans to remove their shirts – who, exactly, is running the show? The teams or the fans?
  • ART: Is It Right To Destroy In Order To Discover?
    This is another look at the controversy over drilling holes in a Vasari fresco in the hunt for a (supposed) Da Vinci behind it. Who, the author asks, gets to decide whether a Vasari or Da Vinci is more important? And is it ever okay to destroy one thing in order to discover another?
  • Timeout
    If you read Italian & you're a basketball fan, you might enjoy the blog on Corriere's website of Italian basketball player Danilo Gallinari, who plays for the Denver Nuggets!
  • Italy museum burns art to protest against crisis
    While I can sympathize with an art director who can't get funding for his museum, I can't get beyond thinking that destroying some of the art in that very museum in protest and to draw attention to a lack of funds is NOT OKAY. (via @GemelliPress on Twitter)
  • High-speed railway makes inaugural run
    The new NTV high-speed railway – a new endeavor that aims to compete not just with Trenitalia but also with low-cost airlines – made its debut run when the first NTV train left Naples on April 20th, headed for Milan.
  • $800-million ancient Rome theme park planned – in Rome
    This seems like it would be a joke – building a theme park of Ancient Roman sites a few KM from the actual Ancient Roman sites – but, apparently, it's not. Seriously, is there not something more useful that money could be spent on?!? Here I thought the country was in some kind of economic crisis… (via @percheroma)