This month I take a look at some wonderful updates from past events...
The best news is that today’s a day off for many of us as we celebrate La Festa della Repubblica! Reinstated in 2000, it all started in 1946 on the day in which Italians voted for the kind of government they wished to have (although they still seem to be working on it, with Berlusconi seeking improvements on their very constitution). Needless to say, they voted OUT the monarchy, who were unceremoniously showed the door, and a DO NOT ENTER sign posted for any male heirs at the border.
Fifty years on, they were allowed to return to Italy apparently to serve as fodder for reality and talk shows while running prostitution rings between Switzerland and Italy.
Of course, their return is not without controversy (and I'm not talking about the above!). First, Victor Emanuel refused to say on TV (actually, he emphatically shook his head ‘No!’) that he would uphold the constitution if allowed back in. Then, the family asked for their money back on their bad investment (to the tune of 260 million euro), as if they had nothing to do with WWII to begin with.
It’s as if they had merely asked the newly formed Republic to hold onto their stuff in a sort of safe deposit box in the shape of a boot until they came back from a long holiday in the Maldives. In any case, the Italian government countered with a lawsuit of their very own, asking for damages…In my opinion, they’re lucky they weren’t strung up in the piazza like Mussolini.
America’s National Italian American Foundation has started a fund for the Abruzzi Earthquake victims. They take pains to underscore that EVERY euro cent will go straight to the victims. The event was kicked off in none other than the world’s most renowned ruin, the Colosseum, with a concert by Andrea Boccelli.
Now, if perhaps some of the funds could be devolved toward its restoration…
First the tourists are banned, now the street peddlers. In its effort to make Italy a living museum sans life, all commercial activity has been banned across all of Rome’s piazzas, except for the annual Christmas market in Piazza Navona.
This will clean up the counterfeit vendors, but, hey, where will I get my roasted chestnuts each winter?
This isn’t new, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a fabulous ad on Vanity Fair trying to tell the truth about Prosecco and so-called American Champagne. The Italians (and French in Champagne) are busy attacking copycatters, or in the very least, getting people to think twice and buy the real McCoy (or real Maccheroni, so to speak).
A recent ruling by the WTO in the U.S. looks set to perhaps fly in the face of this overt protectionism…perhaps leaving it to palates versus publicity to make a difference in choice of potables.
They do have a point here. I mean, those of us who grew up on gummy mozzarella cheese and tuna helper pasta have (hopefully) by now graduated to burrata and DeCecco…