Italy PM replaces penis on statue, angers experts
The good news: Berlusconi pulled a 2nd century Roman statue out of a storeroom and it's now on display in his office. The bad news: he replace a couple missing pieces (including, yes, the soldier's family jewels) much to the consternation of art historians and restorers.
In Italy, secret pop-up restaurant gives directions via SMS
There's much to be said for the traditional Italian dinner in a hidden trattoria, but I love dining innovations, too. This "Street Dinner" concept sounds like a fun one – receiving SMS messages on the night of the dinner to direct you to a place to pick up your own table & chairs, & then where to go to get dinner itself. Sort of like a dinner scavenger hunt, only you're told exactly where you're going.
Another Best Memory of Venice
Blogging friend (and Venice resident) Monica Cesarato put out the call not long ago for contributors to talk about their best Venice memories. I had an insanely hard time picking just one… So I didn't. That didn't stop me from writing about Venice anyway, of course.
Travel Gift Guide
If you've got a traveler on your list this holiday season, or if you're a traveler who wants some ideas of what to put on your own holiday wish list, then this guide to travel-related gifts for all different kinds of people (including Italophiles!) will come in handy.
Holy Beer, Batman
GP2, named for Pope John Paul II (that'd be Giovanni Paolo in Italian, hence the G), is a new pub in Rome – and it's Vatican-approved. It even has the Vatican symbol on the sign. The idea is to promote the community aspects of a pub – GP2 includes an area for lounging, has WiFi, and shows movies occasionally. (via @NG_Rome on Twitter)
Italian Town Bans the Common Cold
Yes, the mayor admits that his move to "ban the common cold" was a publicity stunt to draw attention to the hospital crisis in his town (it will only offer emergency health care starting in January because of a lack of money from the state), but still. It makes a good headline, no? And with Italy's fondness for seemingly silly little laws, you just never know whether they're serious or not. (via @MyMelange on Twitter)
San Gimignano: City of beautiful towers
Good overview of the hilltop Tuscan town of San Gimignano – it's a popular spot for day trips, but also makes a nice base from which to explore the area. (via @MyMelange on Twitter)
Newark to Naples, $384 round-trip
What an amazing deal! Newark-Naples at $384 round-trip – including taxes – for Tuesday flights (going & coming back) from now through March. (via @NapoliUnplugged on Twitter)
Abruzzo 2011 Calendar – All Profits To Charity
This Abruzzo calendar looks lovely, and all the profits go to the Italian Red Cross.
Riots in trashy Naples
The photos in this piece are enough to put anyone off a trip to Naples – except the headline is misleading. These riots aren't in Naples, they're in a Naples suburb (Terzigno) – the town that's trying to keep a new garbage dump from being located within its borders.