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Italy News: 09.07.08

Some Italian news for your Sunday reading pleasure:

  • A group of switchboard operators who were fired from their jobs at a hospital in Legnano, Italy did a striptease in an effort to get their jobs back. No word on whether they were rehired…
  • Pizza boxes in Italy with charicatures of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt & George Clooney on them? Really?
  • If you have endless patience, carpentry & general contractor skills, the emotional fortitude to rebuild & restore an Italian house within two years “while maintaining its historical character” – and one euro – you can become the proud owner of a house in Salemi, Sicily.
  • That new high-tech bridge in Venice, which isn’t exactly beloved by locals, has been christened Constitution Bridge.
  • If you thought it was tough to be gay in Italy, you’d be right. Now imagine being a gay police officer in Italy. Well, gays in the Italian police & military are starting to come out and demand freedom from discrimination.
  • Although many of the streets of Naples may be garbage free, the garbage crisis in Italy isn’t over – and now there are more reports about the Italian Mafia blocking efforts to clean up the trash.
  • The Italian government is involved with trying to create a new flagship airline to take the places of the failed Alitalia. The new airline would reportedly be smaller, and include some aspects of Alitalia (the profitable aspects) and some from its biggest rival, AirOne.
  • But wait – will Alitalia rise from the ashes? Again?
  • The Serie A soccer season in Italy got off to an unfortunate start when Napoli fans apparently got involved in a riot on a train to Rome last weekend. As a result, Napoli fans have been banned from all away games for the remainder of the season.
  • Italy’s national soccer team won their first game in the World Cup qualifiers on the road to South Africa’s 2010 tournament, where they’ll attempt to defend their title. But they barely won, and may have lost a couple players to injury. So even with a win, that’s not a great start, guys…
  • Can you see all of Rome’s sights in two days? Absolutely not. But this reporter at least gives you some tips on how to make the most of a short stay in the city.
  • It’s good to know that Berlusconi doesn’t always win. He sued The Economist in 2001 for defamation (regarding an article they ran titled “Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead Italy”), and the case has finally been decided. Berlusconi lost.
  • Italofile’s got a list of a few things going on in Italy this month.
  • Remember Gina Lollobrigida? Well, it turns out the former Italian movie star is also a sculptor. Her work is on display in Pietrasanta, near Lucca in Tuscany, through mid-November – after that it’s going to tour the US.
  • US Veep Dick Cheney is set to pay a visit to Napolitano and Berlusconi in Rome next week.
  • A new study in Italy says that people with university degrees live roughly seven years longer than those without.
  • Looking for something decidedly different to do in Rome? Take the kids (or your inner child) to one of Rome’s top tourist attractions – and it has nothing to do with ruins. It’s Rome’s animal park!
  • There are a couple Italy-related contests going on right now on the blogs of some of my expat friends – Alex is running a cooking contest, and Cherrye has a contest about Italian nicknames. Pop over to both & enter!