Authorities cracking down on absenteeism? We’ll see.

It’s amazing. Despite the fact that in recent years people have frequently gotten caught in very-well publicized investigations at post offices and ministries, a huge number of Italian public employees are apparently still convinced they can get away with it. Not murder, of course, but absenteeism taken to ridiculous extremes. This time it happened at […]

For Rome’s new mayor, an uphill road

Italy’s new young mayor, Virginia Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement party (M5S), earlier this month managed to convince a majority of Roman voters that a new broom will really sweep clean. But, boy oh boy, is she going to have her work cut out for her. Raggi, soon to be 38, a […]

La scoperta di acqua calda

The Italians use the above expression – the discovery of hot water – when they want to poke fun at importance given to something that to most people is pretty obvious. This is what many of us could say about the recent announcement that voting for both this June’s local elections and next October’s popular […]

The last of Italy’s postwar giants is dead

Marco Pannella, the founder of the Italian Radical Party and a long-time warrior for civil rights in Italy and elsewhere, died yesterday at the age of 86. Many young Italians of today probably don’t even know who he was. Or, if they do know his name, they may have come away with an image of […]

Will cyclist’s death be first Italian case of vehicular homicide?

It could be a first test case for Italy’s new law which makes some vehicle deaths into homicide. Yesterday, a 52-year old Roman woman driving a SUV hit a group of cyclists pedaling along the Via Aurelia outside the city. One of them died and the another two are in intensive care. To make things worse, […]

Tourism in Rome (or rather, Lazio) hit record highs in 2015

Tourism in general is going to have a rough time in coming months (possibly years?) as people become increasingly frightened by the spectre of terrorism and prefer (not me) to stay home rather than to travel. But in the meantime, Rome has been holding its own and, indeed, basking in the glory of knowing that […]

Rome left rudderless on eve of Holy Year (or not)

Well, Rome is now in a pretty pickle. Just four weeks from now, on December 8, the Jubilee or Holy Year (the year-long Vatican-sponsored celebration that many of us residents are dreading) is to begin and Rome, the Eternal City, is without a mayor. True, there is now a prefect – actually two prefects – […]

Trevi restored, thanks to the Fendi fashion house

If this seems like a plug for Fendi then so be it. The Italian leather and clothing fashion house spent $2.2 million dollars to pay for the restoration of Rome’s magnificent baroque Trevi Fountain. Restoration work began in June, 2014 and was concluded three days ago on November 3, when water from the  ancient Aqua […]

Alberto Sordi’s Rome mansion to become a museum.

Alberto Sordi was one of Italy’s greatest actors and comedians, many of whose iconic roles have passed into posterity as testimony to the problems and conquests of postwar Italy and, even more particularly, as commentaries on the character of 20th century Romans. Sordi,, who never married and had no children, died in 2003 at the […]

Italians behaving badly. Influx of immigrants bringing out the worst in some people.

Okay, so the residents of Casale San Nicola on the north side of Rome, between La Storta and Olgiata (if I’ve got it right) are worried. Some 250 families in an area that according to press reports  has it’s own problems, fear that housing some 100  immigrants and refugees (mostly black you can bet) in a former school […]

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