FEATURES

26-Jan-12 14:41. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (9)

Body Language Italian Style

Can you spot an Italian purely on body language? A nice video on Italian gestures can be found at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0n4Vw6twKo or for a more comprehensive list of gestures http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHZwYObN264 Giulia Lombardo explains

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17-Jan-12 11:43. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (112)

“Il colpo della strega”, a very Italian ailment

“Il colpo della strega”, a very Italian ailment My aunty knows everything about ailments. No, she is not a doctor. She is Italian! Her knowledge comes from years of personal, luckily most of the time hypochondriac, experience. According to my dad she started talking about disease and having all sorts of medical check- ups when she was very young. Fortunately, despite her passion for diseases her health has always been really good. I remember her keeping a picture of her operated foot in her bag and she had the habit of showing it after lunch. Once she even mentioned to have arthritis on the tip of her nose! Also her dog had all the medical check-ups available, even though she is a healthy happy dog. Apart from the jokes on my aunty, Italians are quite obsessed with health problems. Anyone who has lived in Italy or has Italian origins knows that the most popular subjects at a family lunch are food and diseases, not severe ones of course!

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17-Jan-12 11:34. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (7)

Changes in Italian family life

The traditional big Catholic Italian family with lots of children, leaving home only to marry someone, is a picture of the past. The traditional Italian family has changed dramatically in the last decades. Marriage, divorce, the habit of living by themselves and the female role in the family are the main factors affected by those changes. Italy has become one of the European countries with the lowest percentage of marriages celebrated every year. From the 70’s to now the number of marriages has decreased by a half. Moreover, separations and divorces are becoming more popular (apparently almost 4 marriages out of ten end up in court).

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10-Jan-12 11:42. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (6)

Shedding a few pounds after Christmas

The Christmas holidays are over, everything is back to its normal routine, but hang on a second! My trousers don’t fit me anymore! Even though it happens every year, we usually welcome the few more pounds of weight we gained from the Christmas holidays’ meals as a shocking surprise. Well, yes, the stereotype is true, Italians spend usually their winter holidays eating all the time! A lunch can literary last 5 hours or easily slide into dinner without ever leaving the chair you were sitting on. Of course many other things have happened in the meanwhile, for example board games, cards, family arguments and lovely chats might have been the reasons of this reluctance to leave the table. The one million dollar question is now, “ Is it possible to lose weight eating Italian food, the accused architect of your holiday fat?”.

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05-Jan-12 15:20. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Driving in Italy

Some big cities have a big problem with parking spaces. Some people leave home to go to work and they don’t really know when they’ll be back because it might take hours to find a parking place. Leaving a message for the rest of the family has become a habit in Italy so as not to waste time searching for where the car has been left. There are times when it is possible to forget and start panicking thinking that the car has been stolen or the police have taken it away. “Sotto casa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHGigSBHrGA an awarded short movie by Alessio Lauria plays with this stereotype

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03-Jan-12 17:58. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Restoration of the Colosseum

The Colosseum is close to being 2,000 years old and feels its age. Begun in 72 AD, the Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre, is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, executions and re-enactments of mythological dramas. The need for a restoration of the symbol of the city of Rome and the Roman era has been debated for the last 30 years but because of economical problems it never started. The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno found it impossible to make use of public resources to preserve the Colosseum so he opened the door to private investors.

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19-Dec-11 18:01. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

The Italian Nativity Scene

The main focus of Christmas decorations in Italy is usually the Presepe or Presepio, the Nativity scene. Il Presepe is traditionally set up on December the 8th, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, together with the Christmas tree, the decorations remain until Epiphany, the 6th of January. Every year Saint Peter’s Church in London hosts a Presepe. Peter Bertoncini has been making it every year for the last 40 years. The presepe (5mX10m) is placed at the right side of the altar. Peter Bertoncini, Alessandra Tondelli, Anna Giacon, Francesco e Domenico Giacon have been working at it for about 60 hours spread over three weeks. This year’s presepio edition is slightly different from the previous one, for example the background is light blue because it is set at dawn while last year it was dark blue because it was night.

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09-Dec-11 14:41. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

The Immaculate Conception Feast

The Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 8th of December. The Immaculate Catholic devotion is connected with the apparitions of Lourdes (1858) and ichnographically with previous appearances in the Rue du Bac in Paris (1830). December 8th is a holy day and a national holiday in Italy. There are celebrations throughout Italy and churches hold special masses to honour Mary. The Immaculate Conception is a Catholic dogma, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December the 8th, 1854 with the papal bull “Ineffabilis Deus”, which explains how the Virgin Mary was preserved free from original sin from the first instant of her conception.

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05-Dec-11 18:07. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Who eats what at Christmas

Giulia Lombardo looks at the vast range of different typical Christmas menus across the regions - big variations of ingredients and styles including 13 courses, all based on fish, in Basilicata

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28-Nov-11 11:50. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (522)

Christmas Markets in London

Christmas is the most important festivity in the UK. As any other big event it needs to be prepared and of course, as in children’s games, the setting up: shopping cooking and attending Christmas carol representations is a huge part of the fun. From the end of November there will be many Christmas markets, all over London. The institution of Christmas Markets in the UK was very popular until Oliver Cromwell banned the traditional celebration of Christmas. Much later, during the Victorian era there were many markets selling Christmas related products but they were not known as Christmas Markets. They gradually became popular again and now they are flourishing everywhere in London. Belgravia, Hyde Park, Old Spitalfields,Barbican, Southbank, Greenwich and Chelsea Physic Garden host some of the most interesting markets in the capital.

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