Some news from Italy for your Sunday reading pleasure:
>> If you haven’t already seen it, you’ve still got time to enter to win a copy of “Italy: Instructions for Use” – it’s a book I reviewed on WhyGo Italy on Monday, and I’ve got a copy to give to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment on this post by Monday night!
- A particularly aggressive species of beetles has invaded the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the bugs are actually eating away at priceless works of art in the museum.
- I’m not a fan of creepy stuff in general, but for some odd reason I love bone churches – and there are several in Italy. You can read about a few of the Italian ones, plus several others, in my BootsnAll article, “9 of the Strangest Bone Churches in Europe.” Oh, and I’ve added another one to my must-see list since writing that article, too, now that James Martin sent me the link to this church in Umbria with mummies in it.
- The right-wing in Italy is vocally anti-immigrant, and PM Silvio Berlusconi hammered that point home with some recent comments. He said that a multi-ethnic Italy was “the left’s idea,” but that his party’s plan “is to welcome only those who meet the conditions for political asylum.”
- On a related note, the lower chamber of parliament in Italy has passed a bill that would make it a crime to enter or stay illegally in Italy. Under the proposed law, illegal immigrants would be fined, and the landlords who give them housing would be jailed.
- Verona is hoping the upcoming wedding of an Italian soccer star in “Juliet’s house” will help them achieve their goal of becoming a wedding capital of the world.
- It’s not just the Italian countryside that gets hit with earthquakes – a 2.4 magnitude earthquake was felt in Rome last week, and the epicenter was below Castel Sant’Angelo.
- As any language learner knows, the when you make a big mistake you’re not likely to screw up the same way again. Cherrye’s taking Italian classes in Calabria right now, and if you read this post you’ll understand why she’ll always remember the Italian word for “roof.”
- The Venice Biennale is coming right up – Venice’s festival of art, music, & theatre starts on June 7 this year and goes through the end of November.
- Last weekend, Italy reported its first case of “local” swine flu – meaning someone who had not visited Mexico or the United States had tested positive for the virus.
- The American art student who was being questioned about the death of an Italian man in Florence has confessed to the murder. The word is that the student has “psychological problems and had consumed drugs and alcohol” before he killed the 62-year-old man.
- Have you heard of the spot in Rome where you can look through a keyhole and St. Peter’s dome will be framed perfectly? It’s not easy to get a photo through the keyhole, but Gary of Everything Everywhere managed to get one this past week – and the story behind the photo is just as cool as the picture itself.
- Evidently the countries which do the most downloading and sharing of pirated online content are Spain, Italy and France.
- A recent poll suggests that Berlusconi’s divorce, paired with the fact that he’s spending an inordinate amount of time aroung an 18-year-old aspiring model and giving her lavish gifts, is making his approval rating go down.
- I’ve been getting up way too early (by my standards) for the past week to watch live coverage of the Giro d’Italia – Italy’s big bike race – and am looking forward to watching it at a civil hour for the remainder of the race once I’m in Italy. In the meantime, I love that my friend Alessandro took a few shots of the race as it passed through his neck of the woods. There’s a picture of the race official’s car, a motorbike, and the riders as they round a corner – but this picture of a couple kids waiting for the race to show up is particularly cute.
- I’ve heard enough horror stories about things getting “lost” in the mail en route to Italy that I think this post about how to mail things to Italy is worth paying attention to. I don’t think it’ll keep all “losses” from happening, but it could probably help eliminate a few of them.
- Visitors to Verona can now see a fully-restored altarpiece by Andrea Mantegna now that it’s back on display in San Zeno church after a two-year restoration process.
- A woodern carving of Christ on the cross which is said to be by Michelangelo and is currently “on tour” arond Italy is now on display in Naples at the Museo Diocesano di Largo Donnaregina.
- Italy Beyond the Obvious is back with part two of their list of Italy’s best bridges.
- I mentioned last week that Rome intended to “clean up” those famous talking statues which have been used for hundreds of years – well, that intention got Jessica of Rome Photo Blog pretty annoyed. And I totally understand why.
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