Are there any dress codes in Rome?

  Have a look around and the answer (a resounding “no) will become immediately clear. Some time ago, Romans, and many other Italians as well, decided to emulate us Americans and go casual, and they have done so with a vengeance, although men and women have chosen different routes (more about the ladies in a […]

Say it in Italian, please

Italians (with the exception of Mussolini, perhaps) have never been chauvinists. Unlike the French, they have never tried to ban the use of foreign words, forcing people to call ordinataire what almost the entire world knows as a computer. But, says a small group of purists here, enough is enough. And they are right. Using […]

Earthquakes abound but are geologists becoming extinct?

Which country in Europe has the most earthquakes? Italy. Which country in Europe has the most landslides? Italy. And which country is failing to produce qualified geologists at the highest rate? You guessed it. Italy. These questions were posed, recently, on the front page of the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, by one of its […]

Italy a dying country? It’s not only numbers that count!

Italian health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, whom by the way I generally consider a pretty sharp lady, says Italy’s lowest number ever of live births means the country is “dying” and that something must be done. I’m not so sure that there is anything really new about this nor whether it is really Italy’s biggest problem […]

Italy elects new Italian president

Sergio Mattarella, a jurist and former Christian Democrat politician, was elected today as Italy’s new President of the Republic by an overwhelming majority of the 995 “grand electors” – members of both houses of parliament together with representatives of the country’s 20 regions. Mattarella, 73, succeeds President Giorgio Napolitano, who resigned his office on January […]

Many Italians angered by alleged ransom payout

Many Italians are furious about the alleged gigantic ransom – the rumor is 12 million euros – that the Italian government is said to have paid to jihadists in Syria to free two, young would-be women aid workers. Government officials have denied paying anything since the official line here is that ransoms must not be […]

Italian coast guard and navy shine in rescues

While the Italian government still has little to show for its plans to help the country out of its economic doldrums, the Italian Coast Guard, its Navy and Air Force get kudos for saving travelers aboard a stricken ferry and rescuing hundreds of illegal migrants arriving from war-torn and/or poverty-struck countries and abandoned in the […]

Genoa flooded again

This is what happens when governments – local and national – fail to act. Three years after one of the most disastrous floods it has known, the Italian city of Genoa and manyof the surrounding smaller towns, are covered in mud. There were, fortunately, few fatalities but enormous damages to private and public property. After […]

Is the waiting worth it? I say yes.

Many Italians complain about their national health service (SSN) but from the American point of view it is often enviable. Everyone has their own health service doctor whom they can see without charge (a home visit instead costs something), many pharmaceuticals are free of charge as is Emergency care and the state, or rather the […]

Every four minutes…..

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government has been trying to convince the country   –  especially Italy’s unions – that new modifications to Italian labor laws (the one’s that limit a company’s freedom to fire excess personnel) are a must. But while the arguing goes on – with it now looking like the young premier will have […]