Posted tagged ‘italy’

Berlusconi does it again

January 26, 2009

read my post

Giuseppe Setola, Camorra Boss Captured

January 15, 2009

read my post

Italy Dispatches Military into Cities

August 6, 2008

The New York Times reports the use of military forces within the cities of Italy.

It seems the main target of this additional police presence is the immigrant community. By the look of things on the street, Italy has become a melting pot the likes of which has not been seen since lower Manhattan in the 1850s. Courageous people from the Balkins and North Africa have swarmed into Italy over the last decade or so. More recently Eastern European immigration has become the most prominent. No one seems to know how all the Chinese got here, but some reports say they are the largest immigrant population.

I’m absolutely opposed to this transparent attempt on the part of the Berlusconi government to appease the conservative fears and xenophobia of their constituents. These new arrivals to Italy are among the bravest people I’ve ever seen, people who took tremendous risks and went to incredible lengths to get here. It’s been on the news almost daily for the twenty years that I’ve lived here.

Italy is changing and by breaking a few heads, literally and figuratively, the government is not going to stop it.

Please let us know what you think by commenting.

Bella Napoli (that’s Beautiful Naples in English)

July 14, 2008

Naples is truly one of the most fascinating cities in the world, as this CNN article so well describes. The author, Rick Steves, really knows what he’s talking about. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Naples several times. Preceding one of my first trips, I’d been hearing a joke on TV. It said that in Napoli the drivers stop on the green light and go on the red. Everyone laughed; I figured it was an acknowledgment of the anarchy which is so prevalent in Italy, but which among the Neapolitans has become an art form.

Once there, I found myself competing on the streets with the local drivers. It was incredibly intense, but I was handling it. At the first intersection I came to, I began to understand. The light was green, but I could see that the intersecting cars approaching their red light were whizzing right through it. Naturally I stopped to let them go before proceeding. This happened a couple of times in succession. Then I came to another green light, and even when no cars were crossing in front of me, I stopped knowing that if any were approaching, they would run the red light. A little while later, approaching a red light, the cars in front of me were running it and the guy in my rear view mirror seemed ready to, so what could I do? I went through it as if it were green.

In Naples, they stop on the green and go on the red. I love it.

I agree totally with the assessment of Rick Steves, that Naples although a city of contrasts has a great charm and fascination. Nevertheless, there are serious problems. The garbage strikes have been in the news so much lately that everyone’s sick of it. But, what happened the other day due to poorly planned renovations is just frightening.