Sunday, January 31

Tante Belle Cose - A new decade dawns in Italy

January may have just ended, but the New Year is ushering in all kinds of new & wonderful happenings here in Italy:

I returned to Rome to find a new building had gone up within the shopping center they’re building in my neighborhood.  Generally, I’m against such constructions (especially since…do we really need another shopping mall in Rome??), but I was nonetheless impressed.  The shopping center itself has taken years to erect, and so, to find a whole spanking new building (nicely designed, I might add) where a huge pit had been just two months previously, well, I thought was pretty cool.
After all, given the recession, it could have gone the other way and ended up as yet one more eco-mostro cement skeleton littering the landscape.

Then, I saw they had roped off the nearby thoroughfare – presumably to cut down the rest of the trees City Officials seem to find so offensive.  Instead, there they were, bulldozers.  Ripping out the patchwork of tree trunks from those they felled the year before.   
And, miracles of miracles, actually replacing those stumps with new trees!
Too bad these trees will not reach the heights of their predecessors (the city is sick of paying for damages when branches fall), but they’re a definite improvement to the mini-forum of 3 ft columns lining the roads.
But why they did not turn the corner and replace a few of the nearly petrified forest of tall stumps (they've been that way some 20-odd years) on every other nearby street is beyond me…

And, to top it all off, the ciliegio sulla torta...(drum roll, please)...While at a dinner party, I discovered that Minister Bersani (a while back) had succeeded in passing a law whereby the banks are no longer allowed to charge 80 or 100 euro or more for you to close your bank account!!! 
For every expat on earth who ever fled Italy, refusing to close your accounts -- you can come out of hiding!!  Close them with relish and never see another mountain of bills – errr, I mean bank statements – from Cassa di or Banca del ever again. 
Yes, the decade is off to quite a nice start.

3 comments:

Dave514 said...

Francesca:
Two things, first,the new Mall sounds good and are there enough parking spots?

Second, El Duce still is popular, maybe Alessandra's doing see, http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article7010252.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093

You might like to do a blog as to why it is. It could be people like the imitation one in power now, the one called The Psycho Dwarf!

Davide

cuz liz said...

So, I'm hoping you have been tossing my Banco Posta statements the last 6 years? I was thinking they were charging me each month for an empty bank account. Phew!

Francesca Maggi said...

Liz - I've been tossing away...your's and Tony's!!! Haven't seen any in awhile. But, here's the poop:

I think I recall that, because they had virtual graveyards of all the inactive accounts from people who just abandoned them, they finally were to be closed by the banks themselves.