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COMMUNITY

Here today, gone tomorrow

If you've been living in (or returning to) Florence for a while, you may have noticed that stores here have a way of disappearing practically overnight. One day you go out to get your carton of eggs where you've always bought your eggs, and instead of the friendly

ART + CULTURE

Gianni Agnelli

Someone once said that ‘the rich get richer and the poor get children'. The first part of this saying was certainly true in the case of Giovanni Agnelli, known as Gianni, possibly Italy's most important industrialist as chairman and major shareholder of the Fiat motor company, a life

NEWS

The Mediterranean Diet and the Italian paradox

The number one killer of Italians is heart disease. Also on the increase is the disturbing prevalence of eating disorders and obesity in children and young adults. These sad facts were recently shared at a conference on the Mediterranean Diet: Fact or Fiction, held in Florence at the New York

NEWS

Heard the latest about the Carabinieri?

There was this peasant who lived up in the mountains on a narrow road. One day, he saw a carload of carabinieri military police driving backwards up the mountain. Why are you driving backwards? he asked.Because were not sure well be able to turn around up ahead.Later, the

NEWS

Finds, fakes, and fines

  The street trader scoops up posters from the ancient, cobbled streets of Florence like a black-jack croupier; lifting the cards in one fell swoop–each tiny shard of stiffened paper ...

COMMUNITY

Foreigners get the vote

The political scene is heating up here in Italy as the countdown begins for the 2006 elections. The convoluted debates, internal factioning, and heavy accusations, have already begun as candidates and their parties begin vying for voter’s support to win the next 5-year run as Prime Minister.

COMMUNITY

The ‘Grassroots Mission’ of the U.S. Consulate

Most people who have spent some time in Florence are aware of the existence of the U.S. Consulate here. Some may have even used it for official reasons; for reporting lost passports, obtaining visas for entry into the U.S., for voting abroad in U.S. elections, etc. Or,

NEWS

Lurking in the shadows – Italy’s other economy

Italians call it the economia sommersa – the ‘submerged economy.’ There are umpteen methods for calculating it, just as many definitions and pseudonyms for it, and a variety of takes on its significance in the bel paese. With most estimates pointing at a value in the range of

COMMUNITY

Everybody outdoors

If you are anything like me you will have taken a look through your Florence guidebook on the flight over. Trying to be ‘good,’ I start with the section about the history of the city, but eventually the temptation to skip straight to the section on shopping or

NEWS

Organized crime still a force in the south

A wave of tit-for-tat executions has recently engulfed Naples, southern Italy’s main metropolis. The Camorra, the mafia-like criminal organization that controls large swathes of the city and other towns in Campania has been wracked by internal conflict since a splinter group of “Scissionisti”

NEWS

Vatican trivia

Vat Stats The Vatican became a city-state on February 11, 1929. It has 900 citizens and 3000 employees, including 100 Swiss Guards. One third of the Vatican is covered in gardens. Facilities include: a helipad, train station, hotel, radio station and post office.   Over 60 popes are buried

NEWS

The faces of the Italian Economy

Italy's Economy - As Bad as Most Italian's Think? Bring up one subject with your average Italian and you can expect a real ear-bashing – the economy. Italians love to lamentarsi, “si lamenta” (one complains), about many things, but especially about the grim outlook for the

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