15-Oct-13 11:04. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (4)

50th Anniversary of the Vajont tragedy

On the 9th of October Italy remembered one of the worst man-made environmental disasters of all time: the Vajont tragedy. Fifty years ago, on the evening of the 9th of October 1963, the landslide of mount Toc, in the artificial lake created by the Vajont dam, caused a huge wave which killed 1910 people. Vajont is the name of the torrent which flows through the valley of Erto and Casso to reach the river Piave in front of Longarone and Castellavazzo, in the province of Belluno.


07-Oct-13 15:38. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Truffles, Chestnuts, Speck, Pumpkin - Autumn"Sagre"

Finally Autumn has arrived also in the “bel paese”. Anyway there’s no need to be sad because the month of October is full of exquisite and bubbling “sagre” all through Italy. Let’s just go through some of the most famous ones. From October the 10th to November the 17th , the town of Alba celebrates the most awaited event of the season, the 83rd edition of the fair of Truffle of Alba. The heart of the fair is the Truffle World Market, open Saturdays and Sundays, which includes in a single structure seekers and traders. A commission of quality control guarantees the quality of the products. The event is accompanied by pageants and events in costume.


01-Oct-13 14:10. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (4)

Costa Concordia salvage operation

One of the biggest Italian dishonourable events of the last few years, the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, which caused the death of 32 people, has turned into a success for Italian engineers as far as the operations to upright the ship are concerned. Italian engineers managed to lift and turn the ship using a platform and a system of cables. It was the first time that such a huge ship, over 951 feet long (290m) had been lifted. The ship of 114,000 tons was raised from the rocks and rolled up onto her keel. Parbuckling, a process used to break the ship away from the reef made use of more than 50 enormous chains and winches. The operation was carried out very slowly to prevent further damage to the hull, which had been partially submerged for months in 15m (50ft) of water and had been fully exposed to the elements.


26-Sep-13 14:21. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

TheTen commandments of Italian Cooking

The first time I saw a child putting ketchup on the lasagna I had just taken out of the oven I couldn’t refrain myself from screaming “Noooo you can’t do this!” The mother of the poor creature apologised saying, “I’m sorry I know it but this is how he likes it”. After many years of tolerating outrageous bad cooking and imprudent misuse of Italian ingredients, some of the basic rules of Italian cooking have been put on paper.


26-Sep-13 14:19. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Italian Documentary Sacro wins Venice Film Festival

The Italian documentary Sacro GRA by Gianfranco Rosi won the 70th edition of the Venice film festival. For the first time the jury, this year headed by filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, handed the top Golden Lion prize to a documentary. The last Italian director to be assigned the prize was Gianni Amelio with “Così ridevano” in 1998. The documentary by Gianfranco Rosi tells the life stories of people dealing with the most extensive urban highway in Italy, the Grande Raccordo Anulare of Rome.


12-Aug-13 15:37. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

Italians pay more for petrol

Cgia Mestre compared the prices of petrol and diesel in the European union countries. The result was that the price of petrol sold in Italy was the highest after the Netherlands. As for diesel, however, no one in the EU pays more than we do when they go to the petrol station. The reason is only one: taxes. Italian drivers pay on average 1,742 per litre while Dutch people pay 1,797 euro per litre. In Italy the price of fuel is heavily affected by taxes for a total of 1,030 euro per litre. Only in the Netherlands the taxes on fuel are higher than in Italy 1.059 per litre.


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.


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.


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.


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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