A lot going on across Italy during February, with several concerts and shows, and a pinch of sport that never goes bad. If you happen to be in the peninsula during the shortest month of the year, you may don’t want to miss this!
Discover the most important facts in a nutshell.
This was a very full week, with some memorable events and returns.
Week 3rd of the calendar has been a very hectic period in the Italian peninsula.
Monday – Former terrorist and his forced return to Italy
Cesare Battisti is a former terrorist of the 70s in extreme left view groups. He had participated and led activities which brought to the dead of at least for persons, and was therefore arrested. He escaped jail and Italy in 1981 after been condemned for 12 years, has been arrested in Bolivia this week and returned to Italian jails this Monday 14th of January.
Battisti lived abroad all those years, covered by political asylum in France and then in Brazil, writing books and essays. In Brazil he had already been jailed, then left out for willing of the government.
The new Brazilian government, with president Bolsonario, decided to remove any political asylum and Battisti had escaped the country to Bolivia. Where after a few weeks of investigation was arrested. In a few days back to Italy, detained in the jail of Oristano, in the beautiful island of Sardinia.
Tuesday – Earthquake shakes the land
An earthquake of 4.6 of magnitude, had been localized at 11km east of Ravenna. In Emilia Romagna. The shake was well felt also in Bologna.
No major damages, nor injured luckily.
Thursday – Silvio is back. Risks of being the last swansong are quite high.
Silvio Berlusconi declared he’ll run for the spring elections for the European Parliament. Not being able to run in his own country, having lost his eligibility due to recent issues with the justice, he has opted for the continental stage.
Predictions aren’t looking good, but experts know he is known to come back in the latest weeks. Some says that there’s no chance and will be a fiasco.
Friday – National Basic income rules are ready
The introduction of a National Basic income, which was strongly supported by Movimento 5 Stelle has become law as part of the 2019 Budget.
The rules have been clarified:
Must have an income of less than 780 euro per month and will make sure that who earns less will at least reach this basic level of income. If someone earns 200 euro per month, will receive 580 and so on.
The income is deposited on a special card, from Poste Italiane.
Who owns apartments, houses or have different sources of wealth won’t be able to receive any income and strong sanctions have been introduced to avoid any fraud.
Saturday – Matera starts the day as capital of European culture
Opening ceremony for the year of Matera, the European cultural capital of 2019, with the presence of all the main Italian authorities, starting from the President of the Republic.
A fundamental year for the city of rocks, ready to get the important stage and promote its beauties and history with a series of countless events.
The chart with the top world producers and the secret of being at the top.
For the fourth consecutive year, also in 2018, Italy results to be the world top producer of wine.
Italian wine out beat once again the production from France, which has seen much better years in the past. Italy produced over 48 Millions hl of wine building up circa the 17.2% of the overall world production.
France followed closely with over 46 Millions hl of wine, representing 16%; Spain close the podium, with 40 Millions hl of wine, with the 14%.
United States reached 24 Millions hl of wine in 2018, far from the top 3, but also steadily on the 4th given the large gap to Argentina that achieved about 14 Millions hl of wine.
Then follows a long tail of countries with good productions, Australia, Chile, Germany and South Africa, following closely to the 10 Millions hl of wine per year.
Export of Italian wine have been growing almost in all the major countries importers, with the exception of Canada, which may be explained by the signatures on the CETA agreements.
And which ones are drank on Italians tables?
Italians tables see often a bottle of Chardonnay on top.
Next to it, are growing strongly some regional productions. sicilian Grillo, Primitivo from Puglia, followed by Ribolla from Friuli, Valpolicella from Veneto, and the evergreen Chianti classico.
From the 5th to the 9th of February, 2019, in the city of Sanremo, in Liguria, it will be time for ”il” Festival. The Festival.
From the 5th to the 9th of February, 2019, in the city of Sanremo, in Liguria, it will be time for ”il” Festival. The Festival.
Three presenters will be on the stage, Claudio Baglioni, a classic italian singer, and two actors and comedians, Claudio Bisio and Virginia Raffaele.
Twenty-four singers will be challenging in the most followed song competition in Italy since generations. Started in 1951, it was hosted every year in the sea-side location and since 1977 in the same theater, Theater Ariston.
Festival di Sanremo has been the perfect showcase and starting point for several singers who made their fortune also outside the peninsula.
Domenico Modugno won in 1958 one of his 4 awards at the festival, with the song ”Volare”. Becoming one of the most famous and interpreted songs of all times, in a multitude of genres, with singers such as Dean Martin and the Gypsy Kings making memorable versions.
In 1986 was the time for the young Eros Ramazzotti, with the song ”Adesso tu”.
The Festival had also been a perfect opportunity for younger singers too. With two names above all probably. In 1993 Laura Pausini and in 1994 Andrea Bocelli have won the category ”giovani” (young) and kicking off worldwide fame.
This year there will be one single category, no split in between established and young singers. Not yet published the list of the foreigner guests, which has never disappointed even the pickier TV critics.
One of the most fascinating and surreal scenarios, in the hearth of the Alps.
A bell tower emerges a few meter from the water of a deep alpine lake.
What an incredible scenario in front of the eyes of the lucky ones who have been able to visit Curon Venosta, in the north Italian region of South Tyrol, in provincia of Bolzano.
But how did this happen?
The beautiful Lago di Resia was created in the early 50s, artificially with the creation of a dike to build a reservoir for the production of electricity. In order to create it, two villages, Curon and Resia, previously inhabited by few hundred villagers, were abandoned and all the houses taken down to the ground.
Only the tower bell of the village, campanile della Chiesa di Santa Caterina was left standing, because considered an historical monument.
And resisted from the water, leaving the top emerging and one of the most fascinating and surreal scenarios.
When in Winter, the lake freeze and can be visited just walking to it. Some says the bells are still jingling. Albeit having being removed just few days before the lake was created.
The status of the car market in Italy, the directions and the top 10 of 2018.
2018 has been a mild year for the Italian car market with slight grow, just above 4% on 2017 and with a strong decrease towards the end of the year.
Decrease becoming strong in particular for the car powered by diesel, as restrictions and limitations to circulate are getting tougher in several Italian cities due to anti-pollution regulations.
Still solid instead the second hand market, justified by a decrease in recent years of purchase power and to a improved reliability of the vehicles offered in this segment of the car market.
The government is coming in help of the industry, thinking of new economical support to who purchases a new car, in particular electric ones. There’s a long debate around this, and in particular why electric cars haven’t started kicking in yet, in the country where a liter of gasoline costs more than in any other European country, with the exception at times of the Netherlands.
In any case, here below the top 10 most sold car in Italy in 2018. Number 1 may not surprise you though.
10 – VOLKSWAGEN POLO
9 – VOLKSWAGEN GOLF
8 – LANCIA YPSILON
7 – CITROEN C3
6 – RENAULT CLIO
5 – FORD FIESTA
4 – FIAT TIPO
3 – FIAT 500X
2 – FIAT 500
1 – FIAT PANDA
Reference, some of the data used are published by the prestigious Italian news agency ansa.it at the following link
Football match of human right one. Let’s figure out now what to wait the 16th for..
On January 16th, in Jedda, Saudi Arabia there will be the match of Italian SuperCup in between Juventus and A.C. Milan. The winner of last year Serie A, versus the winner, albeit in this case runner up of the National cup. Runner up, as Juventus won both competitions and needed an opponent.
As this prologue suggests, the match may not be the most interesting one, given the distance still clear in between the two teams in terms of shape and skills. Juventus is a giant, in Italy and Europe, since almost 10 years in a row. A.C.Milan instead, hardly remember the joy of the past 20 years.
This match may become more memorable instead for the human aspects and in particular on the role of the woman in Saudi.
Italian politicians for once with one single view
As a matter of fact, Italian politicians, from right to left, have suggested the possibility to have the match played elsewhere, given the restriction to women to visit the stadium. Two of the figures more far in the political landscape, Mr. Salvini, currently Inner Minister, with far-right view and Mrs. Boldrini, far-left wing and previously head of the senate, have vowed together against the choice from the Football Association of having the SuperCup hosted in Saudi Arabia.
In the meantime instead, Saudi government is keen to allow women visiting the stadium alone, without a partner. Which in the Islamic country seems to be a radical change of habit.
The debate continues and seems to move away the attention from the sport event, and more on topic related to basic human rights. The push from Italian politicians may actually have for once a much broader range of actions, amplifying the voices inside the countries against the limited freedom given to women in Saudi.
Here’s why pizza is really the most eaten food. And why it’s not always a good thing having so many varieties.
Pizza, probably the most loved food in the world. Definitely one with more varieties anyone could think of.
Surprisingly, also quite a topic when it comes to science. Several publications about pizza with over 420.000 results when searching pizza in GoogleScholar, the Google scientific portal.
In this first article it’s debated if Is it really good to have so many types of Pizza?
A study published on PlosOne, So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans? (more info in the references)
The effects of dietary variability in pepperoni pizza on two key outcome variables; i) compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) expectations about the satiating properties of pepperoni pizza (expected satiation). We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food.
An internet-based questionnaire was completed by 199 adults. This revealed substantial variation in exposure to different varieties of pepperoni pizza. In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza.
So, next time you are in front of a menu and are celebrating for the great variety of choice… well, think twice!
Here’s why pizza is really the most eaten food
As part of a survey, for the scientific article: Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia (with more info and links at in the reference at the bottom of the page) researchers ran a survey with 300 kids and those were the shocking results..Unsatisfactory areas include smoking fathers (32%), smoking in front of children (11.3%), overweight and obesity among mothers (60.3%), noncompliance using seat belts for both parents (56.3%) and children (68%), children watching television (T.V) more than 2 hours (50%), adherence to exclusive breast feeding (only 20.7%), and late solid food introduction (65.3%).
Frequent intake of unhealthy food items was 26%, 25%, and 24% for pizza, burger, and soft drinks. Unfortunately frequent intake of the following unhealthy food items was high: biscuits, deserts/chocolates, and chips which was 78%, 67%, and 72%, respectively. Conclusion. This study provides benchmark about the current situation. It provides health care workers and decision makers with important information that may help to improve health services.
What more impresses is the combination of unhealthy behavior and how they reflect on children approach to food!
Want to know what scientists think about? look up here
References: • Wiktionary, the free dictionary: https://en.wiktionary.org with Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) • Hindawi publishing: Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Magdy A. Darwish, Ghadeer Al-Saif, Suha Albahrani, and Amr A. Sabra – International Journal of Family Medicine, with Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) • PlosOne publishing: So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans? Charlotte A. Hardman, Danielle Ferriday, Lesley Kyle, Peter J. Rogers, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom – with Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)