Milanese honour at stake
Don't freak out over the title of this article like I did – although some in Milan are up in arms. Seems that there's a new MonopolyItalia board being designed and they're letting Italians vote on the city names that will line the board. Milan isn't in the top 22, and city officials think that's a travesty.
Fake balsamic vinegars damage economy
Stories of counterfeit Italian food products show up now and then, and the latest involves fake balsamic vinegar. A new label for balsamic that isn't aged as long has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of fake vinegars sporting the new label. Producers hope to clarify the rules regarding labeling so customers know what they're getting and people making the real thing don't lost bucketloads of money.
Is Your Olive Oil Really Extra Virgin?
This isn't just related to Italy, but since the link above is about vinegar it seemed only appropriate to mention olive oil, too. Turns out the U.S., which currently has no regulations on olive oil, is being flooded with olive oil that claims it's "extra virgin" but is actually nothing of the sort. New standards are supposed to be in place later this year, but they'll be voluntary – not mandatory. So buy your EVOO carefully, folks. (from @michellefabio on Twitter)
“Our Paolo” is Italian
Italians are rejoicing after a dismal showing by their national team in the World Cup, as there are reports that Paul the octopus, who successfully predicted the results in all the World Cup games he was presented with, was actually captured in Italy. Italians are calling him "Our Paolo" already.
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Ancient Italian artefacts get the blues
Some prehistoric artifacts from Italy are beginning to turn blue after having been removed from the ground, and scientists are racing to figure out how to preserve them better and stop further discoloration and degradation. (from @michellefabio on Twitter)
Grom Loves World
If you've been to Italy recently, you've probably had gelato in a Grom shop (or you should next time you go). Yes, it's a chain, but it's the best possible kind of chain – they use top quality ingredients and now, as you can see on this "Grom Loves World" website, they also use biodegradable material instead of plastic. Yet another reason to love Grom like they love the world.
Should you rent a car in Italy? (Answer these 3 questions)
My friend Madeline does a nice job of highlighting the three basic things to think about before you decide whether renting a car or sticking to public transportation is the best option for your Italy trip.
Italian Gelato 101
If you want to know more about that tasty frozen treat you're going to eat so much of in Italy, here's a good history of Italian gelato.
The Language of Can Openers in the Italian Countryside
I love this piece by David Farley, who wrote "An Irreverent Curiosity," about hunting for a can opener (after forgetting the Italian word for can opener) in a tiny hilltop town in Italy. And if you haven't yet read his book, I once again admonish you – read his book. (via @italofileblog on Twitter)
Five Favorites Things About the Amalfi Coast
This isn't a list of five favorite places on the Amalfi, this one's less literal – it's five favorite things about the Amalfi, like the color of the water, written by an American expat who lives there.