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Italian News Snippets: 3 February 2007

Some more news snippets from around and about…

  • There are many reasons why young Italians tend to live at home longer than their peers in other countries (high prices and high unemployment being two of them), but living with Mom and Dad is no reason to give up privacy for those special nights with your lover. A new park in Bari is meant to give “passionate young couples” a place to have sex without worrying that the parents might walk in.
  • I’m confused how someone whose creations include “foamed beef” can be called a “superstar chef,” but be that as it may… This Spanish chef says his Italian counterparts are “becoming a reference point for the whole world of haute cuisine.” Let’s hope they stick to food without the word “foam” in the title.
  • A rare violin made by a famed 18th-century Italian violin maker? $10 million. A sound-proofed practice space for your seven-year-old’s violin lessons? Priceless.
  • Y’know those cases where judges in the US gets in trouble because they want to display the Ten Commandments? Well, in Italy, judges get in trouble when they refuse to hang a crucifix in their courtroom.
  • The Vatican might not call it divorce, but getting a marriage annulled has the same results. The Vatican has just released the statistics of the marriages annulled in 2005, and the reasons for granting the requests varied from one spouse being too dependent on his/her parents to one partner being “totally in love with themselves.”
  • December 2006 was 86% drier (less rain and snowfall) than the year before. The situation is described as “critical” in the north and Tuscany, Le Marche and Calabria. Will this put a dent in summer tourism?
  • Italian researchers in Catania say they’ve found the 57 genes responsible for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and researchers in Milan “have found a natural ‘superdrug’ that halts miscarriages and could become a barrier to tumours and other diseases.” Wow. There’s more to Italy than fast cars and pizza, I guess.
  • A new movement to liberalize the Italian economy gets cheers from some and sparks protests by others. Of course, protests in Italy can be like car alarms going off in the US… They’re so common, does anyone pay attention to them anymore?
  • The Italian government is big on asking for looted art to be returned immediately, but apparently dragged its feet when asked by Ethiopia to return an obelisk Mussolini swiped in 1937. The obelisk was finally returned in 2003, but remains horizontal because UNESCO says putting it back up might damage a necropolis found under the proposed site. Pesky details…
  • More evidence that the fashion-conscious can be green at the same time – an Italian company is making organic linen.
  • American pop starlets aren’t the only ones looking to adopt children from other countries – more and more Italians are tired of waiting to navigate their own country’s complicated adoption system.
  • What’s better than owning a fleet of Italian sports cars? How about owning your own Formula 1 race track? The track at Imola is looking for new management.

I wonder if the new folks at Imola will need a PR pro?