07-Nov-12 17:18. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Risng cost of Italian wine

The grape harvest production this year has been just a little less than last year. Hot weather and drought had, as “Confagricoltura” reported, a negative influence on grapes during the Summer. In Tuscany, Umbria, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna the shortage of water had a bad impact on the volume of white grape and the high temperatures anticipated the harvest of at least 15 days. In the rest of Italy, apart from Sicily, the production has been less than usual, but the quality hasn’t been affected and there has been a very low incidence of plant diseases.


29-Oct-12 17:31. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

The many facets of Chestnuts

The smell of roasted chestnuts is a typical flavour of Italy which accompanies the beginning of the cold season. Chestnuts can be eaten roasted, boiled and in many other ways. There are some delicious products derived from chestnuts: a typical Italian cake “castagnaccio” is a flat, dense cake made from chestnut flour. “Montblanc” is a mountain of whipped cream with meringue underneath, topped with chestnut paste and marron glace’. Even marron glace’ gelato exists, the creamy, smooth ice cream is studded with bits of marron glace’. Chestnuts can also be used to make beer: Italy produces an extraordinary number of chestnut beers. The most famous and easy to find in Rome is “Birra del borgo”.


26-Oct-12 10:08. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Corruption in Italy - some statistics

According to the Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino corruption in Italy is as bad as it was 20 years ago, when the “Tangentopoli” (Bribesville) scandal broke out in the early 1990s. A few days ago “Libera”, “Legambiente” e “Avviso pubblico” made public their report on corruption, “Corruzione, le cifre della tassa occulta che impoverisce ed inquina il paese” which also takes into account the most recent data of Eurobarometer 2011.


17-Oct-12 13:10. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (10)

EC to fine Italy for failing to tax Churches?

Just a few days ago the “Consiglio di Stato” rejected the decree of the “Ministero del Tesoro” on taxation of some of the Church’s properties. In 2010 the EU investigated on whether tax free properties of the Church in Italy could be classified as illegal state aid. The European Commission, is going to heavily fine Italy for the taxes not paid by the Church on commercial real estates.


17-Oct-12 13:05. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (12)

Employment in agriculture up but poor weather hits harvests

What emerges from an analysis of “Coldiretti” based on Istat data for the second quarter of 2012 is that during the financial crisis there was a hiring boom in agriculture which is the sector with the highest increase in the number of employees (a record increase of 10.1 per cent), in sharp contrast with the general trend that shows high levels of unemployment. The positive trend in agriculture is particularly important because it is the result of a record growth of 13.7 per cent in the north but also of 3.5 percent in the south, while there is a slight decrease in central Italy (- 3.2 per cent).


09-Oct-12 13:22. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Gelato Museum

Nowadays, in the industrialised world everyone can afford it and even in difficult economical times Coldiretti estimates that Italians will spend 2.5 billion Euros on gelato this year! Though, it has not always been like this. A long time ago ice-cream was a symbol of power, because ice and salt were expensive ingredients that only aristocrats could afford. This is only part of the precious information on ice-cream you’ll find at the new free entrance Carpigiani gelato museum which collects for the first time in a museum the complete history of Gelato, recipes and machineries from the first invention to the modern techniques of ice-cream production.


09-Oct-12 13:19. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Bicycles more popular than cars in Italy!

In the last year, the sales of bicycles in Italy has surpassed for the first time, since World War II those of cars. This is what the newspaper Repubblica recently reported, analysing bicycles sales and car sales during the last year.


01-Oct-12 15:15. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Milan Fashion Week September 2012

Armani presented an androgynous style for his collection, made out of masculine tight jackets in contrast with more gentile trousers. The most acclaimed was Miuccia Prada’s collection which surprised the audience with a Japanese-inspired style. According to many fashion journalists Prada confirmed to be one of the most independent and creative artists in the industry.


10-Sep-12 15:41. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (5)

London Sagra and Procession 2012

The Italian community gathered as usual around St Peter’s church for the annual Procession in honour of “Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo”, held in the middle of July almost every year since 1896. The procession is the first outdoor Roman Catholic manifestation of faith since the time of Henry the VIII's Reformation and it is now one of the few events of this kind in London. Thousands of Anglo-Italians and tourists joined the “Sagra” and followed the procession which joyfully moved around the perimeter of the Church. The “sagra” was introduced in the 70’s by Beppy Giacon and Florindo (Fred) Rizzi to encourage people of the community to participate after the Italians no longer lived in the area. At the beginning, the event was held in the car park, then they obtained authorisation to use the street.


10-Sep-12 15:37. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (6)

"La crisi cambia la spesa e le vacanze degli italiani"

“Mamma mia!” the stereotype of Italians eating pasta all day is now more than ever becoming closer to the truth! The report "La crisi cambia la spesa e le vacanze degli italiani" on the first 5 months of 2012, of Coop Italia for the National assembly of Coldiretti reported that Italians eat more pasta (+3%) and less meat (-6%) while food consumption decreased by 1.5 %. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that they pay more attention to their health and that they control their weight. People are spending more on cheap foods, for example bread +3%, pasta and white meat (+1%).


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