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06-Nov-17 14:15. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

The tin of tomato sauce supply chain

When we buy a tin of tomato sauce we don’t often think about the labour process which allowed its creation, along the entire supply chain. We are becoming increasingly aware of the ingredients of the products we buy, but do we really know if the labour involved complied with the protection and security of the workers? The tomato industry has been frequently accused of taking advantage of migrants forced to work in slave-like conditions. In July 2015, Abdullah Muhammed, a 47-year-old legal Sudanese immigrant died from a heart attack while working in the fields of Nardó, in southern Italy. Allegedly the man would have been saved if he had been allowed to see a doctor. Muhammed worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, without breaks, with no access to medical staff and earning an average of €30 a day.

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06-Nov-17 14:11. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Truffle prices rise due to scarcity

A bad start for the truffle season: there are few available and at a high price. The white truffle stock market gave them on average at 35 euros per kilo and 45 euros for the most prestigious types, a peak price recorded only during bad harvests. This is going to be one of the worst seasons ever because of the summer drought. However, the Truffles available are healthy dry and scented and the most famous truffle fair in Italy, the white truffle Fair in Alba, has already recorded only in its first weekend more than 10,000 participants.

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06-Nov-17 14:09. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Healthcare Tourism in Italy?

Dental care in Eastern Europe (Croatia and Hungary), Hepatitis C. treatments in India, assisted procreation in Spain and gender selection in Cipro. These are some of the most popular healthcare tourism destinations. Italy is now willing to step into the market. The country is planning to capitalise on its recent ranking as the world's healthiest nation in the Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries, as well as underlining the added all-round benefits of Italy's culture, tourism and Mediterranean diet. The idea is to promote Italian medical expertise to private patients from non-EU countries. According to Italy's minister of foreign affairs Angelino Alfano the non-profit Health in Italy network - a concept which originated at Rome's Policlinico Universitario Campus Biomedico - could result in an increase in health turnover of over €5 billion a year.

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12-Oct-17 12:15. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Wild Boar Population soaring

Italy has been facing a wild boar emergency in the last years, as their number has increased invading also big cities. Wild boar is an important animal in Italy. There are many dishes in the Italian tradition based on the meat of wild boar: wild boar stew, ragù, and sweet and sour wild boar, just to name a few. In the early 1900s the wild boar was only in some areas: the Maremma Tosco-Lazio, Gargano, Abruzzo, Calabro-Lucano Apennines, Sardinia. Since the 1960s, the wild boar was repopulated due to the introduction of European wild-boar species. Another reason for the increase in the wild boar population was farmland being abandoned leaving more space for wild animals.

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12-Oct-17 12:12. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Climate change bringing new cultivations to Italy

According to the farmers’ association, Coldiretti, climate change brought new cultivations to Italy, such as bananas, finger lime, and sturgeon caviar. Together with new food there are also old specialties reintroduced by farmers and now included in the “Made in Italy” products. The “manna” the biblical food sent by God to save the Jewish population during the desert crossing, is now cultivated by Sicilian farmers. The manna is extracted from the ash tree. Every day, in summer, in the country side around Castelbuono and Pollina, the ash trees bark is incised to let their sap flow and dry, to obtain the “manna”, particularly popular among the local people for its medicinal properties and its nice and sweet taste. Another product which is now included in the “made in Italy” is mulled wine of roman origins. It is produced by boiling mush of red and white grapes in copper vats, left to ferment and rest for years in wooden barrels. Then there is hydromel, considered the oldest fermented drink even older than beer.

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12-Oct-17 12:10. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Brexit and likely impact on the Italian academic community in the UK

The Embassy of Italy in the United Kingdom conducted a survey among the Italian academic community in the UK to understand if there are already explicit consequences of Brexit. Interesting data emerged: 82% of Italian academics in the UK, participating in the survey, are willing to relocate in another EU country, and many are concerned about discriminations in grant concessions to EU researchers. Italians are the second largest foreign academic community in the UK. Between 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years, there was a significant increase in the number of Italians in UK universities. Since Brexit was announced the survey suggests a trend among some Italian academics to start looking for new opportunities outside of the UK. There are almost 6,000 Italians working in UK universities, the survey analyses the responses of 632 of them. Of these, 82% (i.e. 518) are considering to leave the UK, largely as a consequence of Brexit.

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25-Sep-17 12:30. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Eataly World - an Italian food theme park

If you are an Italian food lover there will soon be a new must-visit spot in the Emilia Romagna region: "Eataly World" a massive Italian food theme park. The park is scheduled to open on 15 November in Bologna, Italy. There will be over three dozen restaurants, a gigantic market, and a variety of "multimedia experiences" based on food, farming, and craft. All over the World, Italy is known as a unique place in terms of food variety, culture, tradition and biodiversity. FICO Eataly World advertises its initiative saying it wants to offer to the public the excellence of Italian food and wines, and the beauty of the Italian agri-food industry, including the traditional skills of its artisans and the expertise of the best food industries.

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25-Sep-17 12:28. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Is Prosecco bad for your teeth?

Is prosecco bad for you? some British dentists have recently claimed that prosecco causes chronic tooth decay. Newspapers used extreme headlines, as for example the “Daily Post” in Wales, which wrote that prosecco “could be rotting your teeth”, and even more, “The popular tipple is causing a rather horrifying dental issue being dubbed prosecco smile.” The Guardian gave six reasons to give up prosecco based on the consideration that it causes bad hangovers and gets you drunk fast. The Italian reaction to this unjustified attack to one of their best-selling products all over the world, was pretty harsh. The newspaper “Corriere della sera” wrote, “Prosecco has become one of the symbols of the difficult future relationship between Britain and the rest of Europe”.

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25-Sep-17 12:26. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

A year after the earthquake in Central Italy

From the 24th of August to the 30th of October 2016 three major earthquakes have destroyed the towns along the border of Abruzzo, Umbria, Marche and Lazio, causing the death of 299 people. As a consequence of the three earthquakes in central Italy, 26 thousand people were evacuated and allocated in prefabricated houses, hotels and camps. One year after, many hilltop towns and villages are still left in ruins causing frustration among the residents for the slow pace of reconstruction. Commemorative ceremonies were carried out to remember the victims. A memorial was set up in the park in central Amatrice where people came to pay their respects to their loved ones killed in the Amatrice earthquake the year before. To this day, only 10 percent of the estimated two million tons of rubble in the damaged towns and villages has been cleared away, while even the restoration of basic services such as power and water supplies remain unsolved.

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07-Aug-17 16:36. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Disneyland effect on Italian Cities

Are the main Italian cities going to become ghost towns brought to life only by tourists? According to a new report from the University of Siena, Airbnb, a worldwide accommodation service, is pushing permanent residents out of historic city centres, creating a “Disneyland effect” in places such as Florence. According to the study, residents prefer to rent out properties to tourists rather than living themselves in big cities. For example, in Florence, one in five properties in the historic centre is being rented out through Airbnb, turning the city into a “theme park for tourists”. Every single flat on a short-term let is one flat less in the regular long-term market, depriving the market of properties that could be used by permanent residents. Almost 20 per cent of the entire housing stock in the historic centre of Florence is listed on Airbnb. This situation is even more worrying in the historic city of Matera, in the south of Italy, where more than 25 per cent of the local housing stock is available to be rented on Airbnb.

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