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Italian News Snippets: 07.08.07

Some Italian news bites for your Sunday enjoyment:

  • Venice is set to open a new bridge across the Grand Canal by the end of 2007 – the lagoon city’s first new bridge in hundreds of years. There are currently only three bridges which span the famous canal.
  • An anxiety-stricken woman in Genoa was recently given a written prescription from her doctor (a man) to have sex no more than twice a week in order to relieve her anxious state. What is almost more strange to me is why a woman who had suffered a serious panic attack was given a gynecological exam in the first place. Or haven’t we moved beyong the idea of female “hysteria” in Italy?
  • Perhaps similar “prescriptions” are being handed out all over Italy, because word is that the Italian birth rate is climbing.
  • After all my talk about how fabulous figs are, Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy has posted a recipe for fig sorbet. I’d like to think I might actually make some, but the truth is that decent fresh figs are so hard to come by around here (unlike in Italy!) that if I found some I’d probably eat them all before I could get any ice cream made.
  • The agriturismo holiday is becoming more and more popular, so don’t count on finding a vacant bed when you arrive in Tuscany in July.
  • I’m not the only one who thinks the new Fiat 500 isn’t as cute as the old one, apparently. And this fake ad for the classic version just emphasizes the fun attitude that goes with the little cars. The ad says, “What would the 500 be without imagination?” My favorite part is the list price for the old cars, which it says ranges from €250 – €30,000.
  • Want to get a taste of what makes a great Italian espresso experience? Here’s a hint – it has only partly to do with the coffee.
  • Deirdré caught an Italian military band on video recently, which is worth watching.
  • Nicole Martinelli has an interesting analysis of the Italian health-care system, and while it may seem enviable to US residents who are victims of a really messed up system, she points out that it’s not always perfect.
  • Italy is now on vacation – reports say five million Italians will be on holiday in July. Most of them stay in Italy, just heading to places like the Adriatic coast, while others head further from home.
  • A German WWII plane which crashed near Modena is to be exhumed – along with the body of its pilot.
  • The Naples trash crisis might be nearing an end with the government having been granted new powers to find a new dump site. Residents of the region around Naples already pay the highest trash taxes, so I’m not sure they’ve been getting their money’s worth.
  • Apparently Pavarotti says he knows that he’ll die soon.
  • An Italian agency specializing in student travel is coming under fire for saying that the more a student weighed, the less his/her airline ticket would cost.
  • If you thought gelato was just a cool summer treat, think again. Gelato caldo – or “hot gelato” – is on offer At Home in Rome.
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s papers have gone online, making it easier for the rest of us to see just how average we really are in comparison.
  • Few would deny that music improves the lives of humans, but now there’s word that music makes healthier plants. The study focused specifically on a vineyard in Tuscany, so don’t be surprised if that lovely Italian wine you have with dinner makes you want to sing.
  • Italy’s first lady was hit by a car a couple weeks ago in Rome.