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, […]

Not a perk? Well, we’ll just make it one.

It seems ridiculous, but the new management of the cafe inside the Chamber of Deputies has had to take drastic action. For the first time since 2006 when the sign one sees in many Italian coffee bars – Please get your receipt before ordering –  was first posted at the buvette of Montecitorio, the pay-first […]

Absenteeism and other bad behavior by Italian civil servants costs Italy millions

From time to time in Italy, an event leads the press, the politicians and, to a lesser degree, public opinion, to run wild over this or that issue. Generally, this interest runs its course and ends more often than not in “un bel niente”, nothing. It will be interesting to see if this is what […]

Italy on track to end status as Western Europe’s odd-man out

The Italian parliament is scheduled to vote late this month week on the country’s first comprehensive bill to legitimize civil unions for co-habitating couples and will be the first law here to allow same-sex couples to enjoy full civil rights, although no provision is made for same-sex marriage per say. Proposed and written by Monica […]

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 […]

A city unprepared. Even for bird droppings.

The last time it snowed sort of heavily in Rome was in February 2012 and for weeks afterwards Romans, who love to complain about whomever it is who is governing them (or trying to? or pretending to?), were carrying on about how the city was unprepared and didn’t have proper snow equipment. This was ridiculous. […]

Rome under attack……..from starlings.

While many Romans worry if and when their city will be attacked by ISIS fanatics, the immediate concern for many is whether their clothes or cars will be ruined by the massive onslaught of guano or bird droppings that for the last two months has been raining down on parts of the Italian capital. Every […]

Living in a foreign land: My Home Sweet Rome at the Anglo-American Bookstore

I will be talking about my book, “My Home Sweet Rome”  and about the pleasures and problems of living in a foreign land this Friday, November 27, at 18:00 at the Anglo-American Bookstore in Via delle Vite 103 in downown Rome. Come one, come all, and in the meantime HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my fellow […]

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 […]