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Italian News Snippets: 09.16.07

Some Italian news for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • For those of you who are always looking for “undiscovered Italy” (or anything beyond what tourists normally see), I give you Badolato in Calabria. And Badolato resident sognatrice is happy to help with your vacation planning, too.
  • Ever wonder how Italians are so food-obsessed and yet seem to keep their beautiful figures? Here’s how they avoid the universal evil that is junk food.
  • But if you’re looking for good food that doesn’t take hours out of your sight-seeing agenda in Florence, GeoBeats filmmakers Toni has a few tips for good quick eats in Florence.
  • Turns out “Vaffanculo-Day” was a success, at least in terms of gathering enough signatures to turn organizer Beppe Grillo’s proposal into a bill to oust certain politicians and change a few rules in the election of lawmakers. You can read more about Grillo, the protest he organized and the political changes which could be taking place here and here.
  • Thank goodness someone’s actually testing American debit cards in Europe so the rest of us don’t have to. Wandering Italy tested four, and recommends two.
  • The sound and light tours at Pompeii are back up and running this week, after being on hiatus for a year; the show looks like it makes an evening visit to Pompeii unforgettable.
  • If you’re into fashion and you’re going to be in Rome before the end of October, there’s a show at the recently re-opened Ara Pacis museum of 75 years of Valentino gowns.
  • I mentioned the How to Italy “Five Things I’ve Learnt About Italy” series last week, and if you’re interested in catching up with all of them this is the place to do it.
  • Is Ryanair moving its Italian hub from Rome to Milan?
  • Italy’s government will be stopping a Texas oil company from drilling at a UNESCO site in Sicily. Of course, to most of us it would seem that the UNESCO label would be enough, but I guess not.
  • What do you get when you combine a gorgeous 14th-century castle with abstract modern art? The Lucio Fontana show at Mantua’s San Giorgio Castle, running through early January.
  • Milan’s first documentary film festival opened last week and will run through the end of the month.
  • Ravenna is hosting its 5th “Mystery and Noir Festival” this year, and Sherlock Holmes is the guest of honor. The festival runs from September 27 through October 7.
  • Experts are saying the Mediterranean is warming, and others say Italy is actually heating up at a rate that’s faster than the rest of the planet.
  • A mission has begun in Sicily to find the remains of some 40 U.S. soldiers who were lost there during World War II.
  • Two more native Italian food products have recieved the EU seal – sweet chestnuts from Cuneo (south of Turin) and white asparagus from Bassano (north of Venice).
  • What’s up with all the people trying to either steal the coins from the Trevi Fountain or take a nude bath with them these days? Yeesh. The latest news is of the thief variety.
  • The state treasurer from Massachusetts and his family were held and questioned after returning from Italy because his teenage daughter had three peaches in her bag which she’d brought back from Italy and didn’t declare. Is this a case of dangerous Italian peaches, teenagers who should know better, or Homeland Security gone awry?
  • Next July, Fiuggi gets a new family-focused festival. The historic town is about 35 miles from Rome
  • Italians will band together to cheer on the national soccer team, but their real loyalties lie more with the region they’re from than the country itself. Here are a few reasons why.
  • To people like me who over-romanticize Italian life, it’s sobering to remember that it’s not perfect. Nothing is ever perfect.
  • If all the monuments and museums in Italy have you screaming for a little physical activity, hop on your bike and ride the Appian Way.
  • After the last Winter Olympics gave the world a glimpse of Turin, you might have it on your list of places to see next time you’re in Italy. Here is a link to a lovely set of videos on Turin and its surrounding area to whet your appetite even more.
  • If you have any dreams of being taken for a native during your trips to Italy, this book about
  • How to Pass for a Native and Have the Best Regional Food in Italy might be a great asset.

  • Venice’s newest bridge is on its way to completion, but not without controversy. If you’re heading to Venice anytime soon, this bridge is between the train station and the car/bus terminal on the other side of the Grand Canal.