Italy News: 07.27.08
Before we begin, here’s a quick announcement – I’m sure you noticed, when you looked at this post that something was different this week. (You noticed, right? Please say you noticed.) I’ve been running this weekly feature of a list of some of the news & such from Italy that I find interesting, pertinent, or amusing (and sometimes all three) for quite awhile now – but it’s always been called “Italian News Snippets” in the past. Well, those days are gone, my friends! From now on, I’m calling this “Italy News” – because they aren’t really snippets, they’re my summaries and/or snide comments about news from The Boot. So, let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?
Nothing else has changed; the summaries (and snide comments) will remain the same, & you’ll be able to find all news-related posts under the News tag. Okay, that’s all I had to say. Carry on.
Some Italian news for your Sunday reading pleasure:
- Now, I don’t want you to think I’m promoting this kind of thing, but I did find someone’s list of the 12 best hotels in the world for an affair… Including a hotel on the Costa Smerelda in Sardinia, Italy.
- Some sunbathers in Italy apparently had no trouble continuing to catch the rays while the bodies of two drowned Gypsy girls lay on the beach nearby.
- Italy’s parliament made it official – Berlusconi is now officially immune from prosecution while he’s in office. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the Prime Minister.”
- A man who argued that he was unable to have sexually assaulted a teenager because she was wearing jeans at the time has had his sex assault conviction upheld by the top criminal court in Italy, who said jeans were “no chastity belt.” Of course, the same court said in 1999 that it’s “impossible to forcibly remove a woman’s jeans if she resists.”
- Not only will the decorum police in Venice hand out hefty fines for anyone picnicking in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, there’s a new city ordinance against eating or drinking anywhere in Rome’s historic center. Susan Spano of the LA Times says that the law seems to be targeting the city’s homeless population, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be ticketed for slurping a gelato as you stroll through a Roman piazza, but one never knows – what if you happen to bump into an unhappy policeman one day?
- As someone whose family tree is half-Jewish, I’m always curious about how predominantly Catholic Italy deals with Jews and Jewish culture. So I’m pleased (and a little surprised) to read that Italy is the country that takes part more enthusiastically than any other European country in the European Day of Jewish Culture.
- Note to self: remember to not leave your 3.3m-long python in your car when you visit Italy. People might talk (to the police).
- The facade of Milan’s Duomo has been undergoing renovations since 2003 – but it’s slated to be done in six months.
- The legendary Bridge of Sighs in Venice is going to be restored over three-year period starting this September, so be prepared to include a bit of scaffolding in your photos.
- Leave it to the sun-worshipping Italians to come up with a study that says sunbathing actually “prevents tumors.” Oy vey.
- Even before I saw this article about inmates outside Milan making ice cream as part of their rehabilitation, I would’ve testified under oath about the healing powers of Italian gelato.
- Not that I care personally, but you might wonder what Berlusconi’s favorite food is. And no, he doesn’t feast on the flesh of his opponents. Not literally, anyway.
- If you’ve ever lamented that you didn’t live during Roman times (or don’t recall your previous incarnation as a Roman citizen), then take heart – there’s a fellow who’s trying to bring chariot racing back to Rome.
- There are two Michelin-star restaurants in Sicily, and The Times Online visited both of them.
- If you’re going to be visiting the charming walled Tuscan town of Lucca, you could do worse than check out Pasticceria Taddeucci and their traditional Tuscan & Lucchese treats.
- Here’s a little note about one particular company’s walking tours of Rome.
- The words “Tuscany” and “budget travel” may not always be found in the same sentence these days, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to have a great Tuscan vacation. Here are some budget travel tips for Tuscany.
- Anyone who hasn’t been immunized against measles is being warned that there’s “an impending epidemic” of measles in Northern Italy at the moment, among other European countries.
- I love Italian pop music, but Italian rock bands have historically struggled to make a successful go of it beyond Italy’s shores. That may be changing – and clearly I’ve got a few more CDs to buy.
- Although we’re coming up on the most expensive time to travel in Sardinia (August), keep the island in mind for future trips when it’s less crowded and you can enjoy its many charms.
- Italian makers prosecco – that lovely sparkly wine – are hoping to increase production so that prosecco can rival French champagne on the world market.
- Here’s another way to save money on your trip to Italy this summer – stay in a WorldHotels property, which is letting American visitors pay dollars instead of euro in a one-to-one exchange.
- Man, if only everything involving the Italian bureaucracy was as easy as this writer’s experience getting a codice fiscale in Rome.
- The NY Times has released another in its “36 Hours” series – this time it’s in Palermo.
- A mafia godfather’s daughter gets married in Corleone, while dad sits in a prison cell.
- It only seems fair, if Italy is campaigning the world over to get looted antiquities returned, that it return antiquities looted from elsewhere, right? Well, it seems Italy has just returned 13 artifacts taken from Iraq after the U.S. invaded the country.
- A medieval town in Northern Italy is being slowly restored, despite several hurdles and roadblocks, by a group of people spurred on by American expats living in the town.
- Milan’s Ecopass, which required the cars that polluted more to pay more fees to drive in the city center, will reportedly go on vacation in August – just like the rest of Italy.
- A 2,600-year-old tomb near Ancona is telling tales of a far-reaching trade network.
- Ferrari’s getting help from Michael Schumacher to create yet another fast red car.