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Italian News Snippets: 08.05.07

Some Italian news snippets for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • There were demonstrations in Rome this week after two gay men who were arrested for kissing in front of the Colosseum.
  • An Italian politician has had to resign after “being caught at a hotel with a prostitute who had overdosed on drugs.” And in response, the leader of his political party has suggested that the Italian government pay for lawmakers to be able to bring their wives to Rome so they don’t have to turn to prostitutes. Right.
  • Dan Brown would be pleased – an Italian IT expert says he’s found secret images of both the Virgin Mary and a Knight Templar in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, “The Last Supper.”
  • The Jewish catacombs under Mussolini’s former villa are being opened up and will soon be tourist attractions.
  • If you’re struck by a sudden hunger in Italy, please, for the love of God, don’t go to McDonald’s. The Italian version of fast food is the “tavola calda,” and Shelley mentions a good one in Rome here.
  • Italian art officials have finally reached an agreement with California’s Getty Museum for the Getty to return 40 antiquities which were in dispute.
  • Poor Mona Lisa can’t catch a break; poor girl’s smile has been debated for centuries, and now an art buff and rheumatologist says she had fatty blood.
  • Even though the actual numbers of illegal migrants coming to Italy is going down dramatically, Italians are more afraid of what they think are incoming floods.
  • Two former stars of the TV show “L.A. Law” have turned their love of Italy into a new book.
  • Rome is the site for the City Chase World Championships in September this year. It sounds nutty, but could be an interesting way to see the city.
  • Researchers are trying to develop a way to use mobile phones to avoid high traffic areas in Rome. My first thought is that if everyone’s doing that, they’ll all end up in secondary traffic jams on the “alternate” routes the phone suggested. But maybe that’s just me.
  • It’s good to know that Italian politicians on both sides of the aisle can come together over the important stuff. Like saving a popular soap opera from going off the air. Stuff like that.
  • Here’s a bunch of useful information if you are planning to bring your laptop to Italy with you on vacation.
  • Italy is loosening its ties to help fight global warming. Don’t get the connection? If men can open their collars to cool off, maybe the air conditioning doesn’t have to kick in.
  • EU officials say Italy must fix a problem with its pension reformcurrently the retirement ages for men and women are different (65 for men, 60 for women) and the EU says that can’t stand.
  • The Italian government is considering putting national airline Alitalia up for sale again, after a failed auction attempt earlier this summer.
  • The Vatican released the “ten commandments of driving,” and the Italian government is trying to get people to understand cars should not be used as weapons, and yet one Cardinal was up in arms about the bad traffic in Italy. Methinks this is a bigger problem than even the Pope realized.
  • The NBA’s Stephon Marbury says he will relocate to Italy in two years. Lucky fellow.
  • Is Italy the land that feminism forgot? Or is that a bigger “land” – like most of the world? Or am I just being cynical today? Hmm… Fine line…
  • Dell’s new small business system is called the “Vostro” – which is just Italian for “yours.” Am I the only one who thinks that’s interesting?
  • Wow, I could’ve used these insect-repellent sheets in Croatia last year – brilliant Italian inventors!