FEATURES

29-Jul-13 13:00. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

Summer Sales Disappoint

The Summer sales have just begun but the outcome of the first week is not very encouraging. Costumers have already spent 15% less compared to the same period in 2012. The data is the result of a survey by Fismo-Confesercenti on a sample survey of retailers in some Italian cities. Considerable differences have been reported regarding the products and the locations, as for example the shops in tourist areas have sold more.

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29-Jul-13 12:57. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

Italians forced to cut down on quality

In times of economical recession people are forced to spend less. This time we talk about food, the Italian pride. The sad news is that Italians have spent this year more or less the same as last year but for lower quality products. In this way they managed to cope with austerity to the detriment of taste and health. According to Istat data more than 6 families out of 10 have cut on the quantity and quality of their food. The monthly expenditure remained substantially stable going from 477 Euros in 2012 to 468 Euros this year. The number of those who have reduced the quality and / or quantity of food purchased (from 53.6% in 2011 to 62.3 in 2012) grow this year and also the number of people who bought at discount stores has grown from 10.5% to 12.3%. The unusual fact is that the purchase of bread and cereals, meat, milk, cheese and eggs, has been reduced compared with an increase in spending for drinks.

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29-Jul-13 12:54. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

The Church to pay tax

Under pressure from the European Union Monti’s Government modified the law on tax breaks for profit-making church-owned businesses like hospitals and hostels. Now that the Italian fiscal year has concluded it’s time to work out the new profits coming from the taxation of the church’s properties. The quarrel on whether the church should pay property tax or not is a very old one. It all changed when the European union classified as illegal state aid tax free properties of the Church in Italy. In order to avoid the heavy fine from the European union for the taxes not paid by the Church on commercial real estates, Monti modified the law and promised to cut taxes thanks to the money that would come from the Church. Even though Monti avoided making any prevision on the amount of money that would have come from the new property tax, the final figure was much lower than what had been anticipated.

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09-Jul-13 18:16. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (16)

Big Brands Help Italy

Brands are not just labels, they can actually help you out! Strangely enough we are not talking about appearance, we talk about monument restoration, social support and preserving the Italian cultural heritage. Tod’s, Fendi, Prada, Trussardi and ONB (only the brave) are on the front line to revamp Italian economy. Obviously they’re not just disinterested heroes, because associating their names with the worldwide famous Italian monuments will give them an incomparable publicity.

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04-Jul-13 14:17. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (229)

Harrods in Porto Cervo

What if on your holiday in Sardinia you miss Harrods? Although this is a very unlikely circumstance because the natural beauty of the region might divert the attention of even the most shopping obsessed people; the luxury department store, one of the world's largest and most famous, might make you feel at home. So, if you suddenly become a billionaire you know where to go for your holiday shopping. This time the company’s offers are temporarily presented in a completely new environment: Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda. The new boutique is in a Deluxe Village, a luxury-shopping development.

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04-Jul-13 14:04. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Milking the system in Italy

In Italy some people are shrewder than others, but not in a good way. Dishonest acts, usually related to tax payment are quite frequent and usually honest taxpayers have to foot the bill. To prevent this the European commission has intervened in the case of the milk quota as dairy companies have exceeded EU milk production limits over a period of 15 years. The case concerns fines imposed on Italian dairies between 1995 and 2009 for exceeding strict annual EU production quota, fixed under the Common Agricultural Policy. The milk quota system was created to limit the overproduction of Milk in the EU. Every state has an established production limit. If that limit is exceeded a fine has to be paid.

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25-Jun-13 11:41. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Ancient Roman cement the best?

Once built a building in ancient Rome you could forget about it. They were meant to last forever and most of them did. A stroll through Rome, the eternal city, is enough to appreciate the efforts of the human kind against the deterioration caused by time. Why have roman buildings lasted longer than the most recently built ones? The “secret” of the Roman cement durability has finally been discovered, as a team of researchers from Italy and the United States analysed a sample of concrete which dates back to 37 B.C. The sample was taken from a breakwater in Italy’s Pozzuoli Bay, at the northern tip of the Bay of Naples.

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21-Jun-13 14:19. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Guida blu 2013

Legambiente and Touring club presented “Guida blu 2013”, the classification of the seaside resorts. The sail assigned in the “Guida blu” differs from the flags of the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) international recognition based on the quality of the bathing water. Among the other criteria the purification of waste water, waste management, regulation of vehicular traffic, safety, and beach services. The Blue Guide evaluates the natural and environmental characteristics of the Italian beaches, but also wants to reward those places which offer an excellent welcome, combining the beauty of the landscape with excellent management, accessibility and the right supporting services.

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13-Jun-13 14:28. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (7)

Franca Rame died aged 84

The Italian icon of cultural and political commitment Franca Rame has died at the age of 84. Rame, leading actress, playwright and militant leftwing politician was the wife and professional partner of the Nobel prize winner Dario Fo. Thousands of people paid tribute to the actress in largo Greppi, in front of the Strehler theatre in Milan. It was a triumph of red, the colour which Rame asked women to wear, and many did, together with men holding roses or wearing red scarves.

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03-Jun-13 12:55. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Lousy Spring Weather hits Italys' farms

Where has sunny Italy gone? I know, Italians should never complain about the weather in front of a Briton! As an Anglo-Italian though, I feel free to complain. Apart from jokes, it has been a very rainy year in Italy and this is a matter of fact which unfortunately - apart from upsetting tourists and all the people that are usually, at this time of the year, already sunbathing on the beach - has already caused serious damage to the land and crops in Northern Italy.

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