Tourist information: Life & style
Tenor Raimondi Dies
Italian tenor Gianni Raimondi has died, La Scala said Wednesday.
La Scala called Raimondi, who accompanied Maria Callas more than any other tenor, ''one of the greatest voices in our history''.
Raimondi, 85, died Sunday at his home near Bologna, leaving instructions that the news of his death be released after his funeral.
The tenor sang opposite Callas for the first time in La Traviata, directed by Luchino Visconti in 1956.
In all, he performed at La Scala 270 times.
The famous Milan opera house recalled another memorable performance by the Bolognese tenor, opposite Mirella Freni in 1963.
Vittorio Foa Dies
One of the grand old men of the Italian left, Vittorio Foa, died on Monday aged 98.
The leader of Italy's main centre-left party, Walter Veltroni of the Democratic Party (PD), paid tribute to Foa as ''one of Italy's best sons''.
''Vittorio Foa personified for me the model of a militant for democracy...a man with a contagious optimism and extremely high personal disinterest''.
Born in Turin in September 1910, Foa graduated in law from Turin University in 1931 before becoming an anti-Fascist activist in the Justice and Liberty Movement.
He was fingered by an informant for Mussolini's OVRA secret police in 1935 and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment the following year.
After serving with the Resistance, Foa was a representative of Italy's short-lived liberal-Socialist Action Party at the postwar Constituent Assembly.
He later joined the leftwing trade union CGIL, becoming one of its leading members, before a parliamentary career first as a Socialist MP and then as as a Senator for the PD.
Alfa Romeo's Mito European Car Of The Year 2009
Alfa Romeo's sporty subcompact MiTo model has been voted European Car of the Year 2009 by a panel of sector journalists, a statement from the Fiat Group said on Monday.
The car was chosen for its level of technology, price and design for which it received 462 points compared to 348 for the second-placed Lancia Delta, also from the Fiat group, and 295 points for the Ford Fiesta, which placed third.
''We are very pleased that such an authoritative jury recognised the strength and modernity of our concept to place the great attributes of Alfa Romeo into a compact car,'' said Alfa Romeo CEO Luca De Meo, who is also the Fiat group's marketing director.
''This prestigious award represents for us an encouragement for our project to relaunch our marque to which we are dedicating great passion,'' De Meo added.
A statement from the Fiat group said that the MiTo was the first time that Alfa Romeo has produced a subcompact sports car and that this project was ''aimed at recruiting a new generation of Alfa-lovers''.
The name is an acronym for Milano (Milan) - Alfa Romeo's home city - and Torino (Turin) - the home of parent company Fiat - which in Italian also means legend.
Fiat and BMW are reported to be putting the final touches on an accord to produce common platforms and components for their respective Alfa Romeo and Mini marques by the end of the year.
The Italian and Italian automakers last July signed a memorandum of intent to develop a common platform for the Alfa Romeo MiTo and the latest evolution of the Mini.
Morandi's Quiet Success Focus Of Three New York Shows
New York is paying tribute to Giorgio Morandi with three exhibitions exploring the work of one of Italy's greatest 20th-century artists.
Although Morandi's work was exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art nearly 60 years ago, this is the first time the city has devoted an event entirely to the Bologna-born artist (1890-1964).
The centrepiece of the Morandi tribute is an exhibition at the Met, running until December 14.
Described as the most important retrospective devoted to Morandi anywhere in the world, the exhibit has drawn enthusiastic responses from leading critics in the New York Times and The New Yorker.
Entitled simply 'Giorgio Morandi: 1890-1964', the show spans the artist's entire career, from his early metaphysical works to his late still lifes.
It features 116 paintings, drawings and etchings arrayed in chronological order, highlighting the recurrent motifs of his work: still lifes and landscapes, along with the occasional self-portrait.
The second Morandi event is an extremely rare selection of 22 drawings and watercolours, on show at the Italian Cultural Institute until December 5.
Institute Director Renato Miracco explained: ''These are works that have never been displayed in public before, all from private European and American collections and donated by Morandi himself.
''Around 1,200 of Morandi's paintings are familiar but almost nothing is known about his watercolours and drawings, which total a few dozen at most''.
The third event explores Morandi's prints, which are considered a body of work in their own right.
He completed 133 etchings in total and was professor of etching at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1930 until 1956.
The exhibit is on show at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at New York University until October 30.
Born in Bologna in 1890, Morandi lived quietly with his three sisters, venturing further afield only occasionally for exhibitions of his work.
He fought in the First World War but returned home after a breakdown and following this episode, his focus grew ever more narrow. He repeatedly returned to the same themes in his still lifes, subtly altering composition and tone to create entirely different works.
Unlike other artists of his time he steered clear of politics and was one of only a few to avoid the taint of Fascism.
Morandi won early popularity and enjoyed great critical acclaim throughout his career but his work was sometimes overlooked in favour of flashier counterparts.
His quiet, contemplative still lifes and landscapes are today hailed for their complexity and subtlety
Italian Rower Sees Land After Eight Months
An Italian seeking to row across the Pacific Ocean, from Peru to Australia, has sighted land after 236 days on the open sea.
Alex Bellini said on the website of the organization sponsoring his feat that he was ''moved'' to see land and had a great desire to walk after over 6,500km and eight months of rowing in his seven-meter craft.
The land Bellini spotted is Matthew Island located southeast of New Caledonia and about 2,500 from his final destination in Australia.
During his eight months at sea, Bellini said he had to fight against winds and opposing current which took him off course and at one point forced him to row for 38 hours straight, with only short breaks to eat.
Bellini rowed in a similar boat from Genoa to French Guiana in 2004.
Berlin Cops To Ride Moto Guzzi
Italian motorcycle-maker Moto Guzzi has won a contract to supply the Berlin police force with its Norge 850 model, a statement from the Piaggio Group company said on Monday.
The contract with the interior ministry of the region (Land) of Berlin calls for the delivery of 35 bikes by the end of the year.
The Norge, which can also come equipped with a 1,200cc engine, is a Grand Turismo (GT) or sport touring bike with an integrated fairing and a six-gear transmission with a shaft drive.
Dante- Mad Thief Nabbed
A Palermo serial thief was caught Friday with a copy of Dante's Divine Comedy under the seat of his motorbike.
Fabrizio Tuminiello told police after an attempted carjacking that he'd become a fan of Dante because of actor Roberto Benigni's popular TV readings from Italy's greatest poet.
Tuminiello, 41, apparently killed time between robberies with a few verses from the Comedy, police said.
The carjacker, who has a long record for theft, was taken to jail in this Sicilian city.
He was allowed to keep his copy of Dante.
Italy Match To Fund Gehrig's Research
Money from Italy's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro later this month will be used to set up a new research unit on Lou Gehrig's disease, the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) said Tuesday.
Lou Gehrig's disease, a killer nerve-wasting condition whose scientific name is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), appears to strike ex-soccer players much more than the general population.
The FIGC said 150,000 euros ($210,000) of the gate receipts from the October 15 game in Lecce would help former Italy squad doctor Paolo Zeppilli form a team to investigate the illness.
''I have to thank (FIGC chief Giancarlo) Abete for this chance,'' Zeppilli said.
''We all wanted to do something''.
He said a panel would choose young researchers and use three labs to study players' DNA and try to find the causes of ASL.
''The upsetting thing is you see more ALS in the soccer community. Some say it could be due to doping but if that's the case then why aren't other sports similarly affected''?
A new drive on Gehrig's was sparked by the news earlier this month that former AC Milan and Fiorentina striker Stefano Borgonovo was suffering from it.
Borgonovo, 44, is the second well-known player to be hit by ALS, a form of motor neurone disease whose more popular name comes from the US baseball player who became the first sports star to die of it in 1941.
It killed ex-Genoa captain Gianluca Signorini in 2002 at the age of 42.
The TV images of the bed-bound and paralysed Borgonovo, and his vow, in a computer-generated voice, to beat the disease, shocked the soccer world but rallied support.
His former clubs AC Milan and Fiorentina arranged a fundraising game for October 8.
Borgonovo, who played with Roberto Baggio in Florence and was Marco Van Basten's understudy at Milan while winning three Italy caps, has set up a foundation to aid research into Gehrig's.
''I want to find the money for researchers to find the penicillin of 2008,'' he said.
Borgonovo, who scored 14 goals in his 1989 season with Fiorentina and netted the winner that put Milan through to its second straight winning Champions League Final in 1990, first started showing signs of the disease in 2005, when he began losing control of his speech.
Like other Gehrig's patients, his descent has been swift and he now has no control over his arms, legs or most body functions including speech.
TURF CHEMICALS MIGHT PLAY A PART, SAYS PROSECUTOR.
Raffaele Guariniello, a Turin prosecutor who is investigating the early deaths of 35 ex-footballers from Gehrig's, said:
''Among the hypotheses we are focusing on are the use of doping substances and the repetitive stress or cumulative trauma of being hit on the legs or heading the ball so much.
''A third hypothesis, which we are putting a lot of work into, is the use of toxic substances to maintain pitches''.
Guariniello said the latest data indicated that professional soccer players were six times more likely to get Gehrig's than others.
His team has just completed a survey of former basketball players and cyclists, failing to find one case.
In another, ongoing probe, it has yet to uncover any incidence of ALS among rugby players.
''There seems to be some factor that is specific to soccer, which we are trying to identify''.
The most wonderful thing about Italy is that there is something for everyone.
Romantic cities, breathtaking scenery, perfect climate, mountains to ski and walk in, lakes to be sailed on and holidayed beside, festivals to be watched and this all leads to a lifestyle that could be called perfect!
The people themselves are charming and relaxed, they have a great love of life, they are great lovers of food and drink and their restaurants are happy, buzzy establishments, which are a delight to eat in.
Art lovers can choose from a variety of towns and cities and even small villages to peruse at their leisure the vast array of art galleries,
exhibitions and churches.
There are thousands of ruins and statues to be found, from Pompeii, site of an old Roman town flattened by Vesuvius in 79 AD,
to the Grizzi Palace in Florence.
Life in Italy makes it very easy for visitors to meander around from numerous art galleries or open-air theatres, or wander around Rome or Venice or any of the other towns to get a feel of the history and the centuries of life that has taken place there.
But it is not just the visitor to Italy that will be able to enjoy this lifestyle, whilst work is to be done; the Italians still are able to indulge in ‘La Dolce Vita', a lifestyle full of romance, culture and fine foods!
Italian cooking must be high in the ranks of the most delicious, richest and most varied of all cooking, with dishes for every occasion.
Food plays a major part in the lives of Italians and their culture.
Every region has its speciality, not only pasta but all varieties of meat and fish are cooked to old, handed down recipes, mouth watering puddings, and of course, nobody can beat their ice creams!
Most regions also make their own wines, and the wine caves produce some of the top labels of wine in the world.
It is a cultural given to sit in a café at the end of a hard day's work and tipple a little Soave before returning home for dinner!
Shopping may not be a national past time but it is taken very seriously.
The major cities, Rome, Milan, Florence are full of the most wonderful shops selling everything from designer clothes to the newest and hippest furniture to be found anywhere in the world.
Milan has its furniture fair every year and furniture makers from far and wide will go there to see what is happening at the leading
edge of furniture design.
Leather is also a good buy in Italy, Italians know their leather and the finest gloves, shoes, jackets and bags are worn by virtually all Italians.
They glory in being chic, and are generally always beautifully turned out.
Sport is a very important part in the lives of many Italians. Football being their main passion, with hundreds of football clubs with
top soccer teams playing for their country.
Volleyball is also much enjoyed as is rugby, with the rugby team playing for the European Challenge Cup.
These are just some of the elements that make up Italian culture.
Everything about Italy exudes quality and style - from their clothes to their music.
It is no surprise, for example, that both the top opera singers and top fashion designers all come from Italy.
In summary, the Italian culture is one of great flamboyance, colour, enjoyment and passion.
It would be difficult to find any other national culture to match Italy's rich diversity and depth of emotional vibrancy.