Italy Travel News 05/21/2012


Here’s a roundup of the latest news from Italy: May 11th through May 21st

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  • Less than half of Italians support gay marriage
    "Less than half" translates to 43.9%, which, frankly, is a higher number than I would have expected.
  • Pizza Shirt
    I love pizza & all, but – just no. (via @MorettiBeer on Twitter)
  • Another crackdown on ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate
    There have been yet more Calabrian mafia arrests, this time including some local politicians.
  • Making Pasta for the Pope: Abruzzo’s Mastri Pastai
    I think the title is a bit of a misnomer here, as there's only an incidental mention of pasta being made for the Pope, but this piece about the town of Fara San Martino in Abruzzo and its reputation for making some of Italy's finest pasta (including, yes, some made for the Pope) is interesting nonetheless. (via @tweetaly on Twitter)
  • Woman leaps to death from Leaning Tower of Pisa
    The woman who jumped from the tower in Pisa left no note, so officials are saying she's not among the high number of economic-related suicides in recent weeks, but it's still troubling. Apparently four women have leaped from the tower to their death in the past two years.
  • Man kills self, throws his two small children from window
    While it's not clear whether this particular murder/suicide can be linked to the recent spike in suicides related to Italy's economy, the killing of the two children makes this the most tragic suicide report I've heard so far.
  • Mafia boss breaks silence over Roberto Calvi killing
    30 years after the 1982 murder of Roberto Calvi, known as "God's banker," in London, one of the men accused of killing him (and later acquitted) is speaking out for the first time. Francesco Di Carlo says he didn't kill Calvi, and that one day he may reveal who did. Di Carlo now lives in central Italy. (via @andreavogt on Twitter)
  • Piazza Navona vandal acquitted on psychological grounds
    The man who threw a brick at the Trevi Fountain (but, thankfully, failed to do any damage) & later broke two dragon heads off a fountain in the Piazza Navona has been cleared of criminal charges but ordered to spend two years in a psychiatric facility.
  • Monti pledges to improve bike conditions in Italy
    Italy's PM says, "the government is committed to promoting policies of sustainable transport and reducing street accidents that involve cyclists." The article says Monti is a "known bike enthusiast."
  • Woman leaps to death from Leaning Tower of Pisa
    The woman who jumped from the tower in Pisa left no note, so officials are saying she's not among the high number of economic-related suicides in recent weeks, but it's still troubling. Apparently four women have leaped from the tower to their death in the past two years.
  • Rick Steves: Cinque Terre’s Floodlore & Casualties
    As the Cinque Terre rebounds from the floods of last October, Rick Steves just visited the area for the first time since those floods. I posted a video he shot in Vernazza to the WhyGo Italy Facebook page (it was a moving couple minutes, during which it certainly sounded like Rick was choked up), & this article has just succeeded in making me shed happy tears. Yes, there's still much to be done in the Cinque Terre, but it's really remarkable how far they've already come. (via @ryanvb on Twitter)
  • Six Pizzas in Rome That Will Make You Forget Naples
    My friend Katie Parla dishes on Roman pizza for Eater.com – and let me tell you, when Katie issues recommendations for food, you listen. (Well, I definitely listen. And I suggest you do the same.)
  • Six-City App Giveaways For Travelers by Fodor’s
    The six Fodor's city guides that are now free include Rome, so if you've got any plans to visit the Italian capital (or any of the other five cities) you can now get your Fodor's guide on your iPhone for free instead of $6.99. (via @WalksofItaly on Twitter)
  • Terrorist group claims responsibility for "kneecapping" attack on CEO
    An anarchist group has claimed responsibility for the shooting of a businessman in Genoa. They say they are planning at least 8 more acts of terrorism in response to the arrests in Greece of suspected members of the group.
  • EU sees Italy on track to balance budget
    This is good news, given the recent spate of suicides, attacks, and protests over frustrations regarding unemployment, high taxes, and general economic troubles (see more stories on these topics below). I really hope they're right in their prediction that the Italian economy "should begin to pick up in the second half of 2012."
  • Man self-immolates from ‘joblessness, taxes’
    Another economy-related suicide, this one in Sicily. Sadly, it's not even the first in recent weeks involving self-immolation.
  • Human-sized dummies hung around Rome in protest at suicides
    These protestors in Rome are calling for PM Mario Monti to step down.
  • Two tax inspectors attacked near Milan
    It's not just suicide rates that are rising – so, too, are attacks on tax collection agency Equitalia.