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Elegant Chaos

This next Monday, watch for the first race of Il Palio Di Siena. For several weeks before the race the streets are filled with parading, feasting, practice races in the afternoons and lots of hyped up Italians. Each neighborhood of the city trains a horse to represent it and is much rivalry that stems back to medieval times. A riderless horse can win, unless the feather on top of the bridle is knocked off, there are no rules once the race begins, may the Madonna let the best horse win.
posted by Viomeda on Jun 29, 2007 - 16 comments

Writers in Italy: Le Conversazioni

Le Conversazioni: Last summer a group of writers including David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, and Jeffrey Eugenides gathered on the Isle of Capri to discuss language and identity. This year's lineup includes Ethan Coen, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Claire Messud, and Chuck Palahniuk.
posted by mattbucher on May 31, 2007 - 8 comments

All your base are belong to US

Italian housewives travelled to Washington DC from their hometown of Vicenza, a UNESCO heritage site for its famed Palladian architecture, to protest the planned expansion of the US military base there. A huge tent has been set up to train local residents in non violent, peaceful non cooperation. They use pots and pans rather than guns and knives. How do you say "the Base" in Italian?
posted by infini on May 27, 2007 - 9 comments

Happy Birthday Maria

Maria Montessori, the first woman to graduate from an Italian medical school, changed the world of education, although she left her own child in the care of professionals for most of his life. Her work is available online.
Her method is controversial, both for it's rigidity and it's lack of focus on grades and testing, but research points to the positive impact of the method on social and academic skills as well as math skills specifically. This site includes historical photos of Montessori and her schools around the world (site uses frames, sorry no direct links - click EsF/historical photos) A traveling exhibit marks this year as the 100th anniversary of Montessori's birth. A bit more on youtube.
posted by serazin on Mar 2, 2007 - 19 comments

Death of italian soccer

After the death of the policeman Filippo Raciti during the fights happened during and after the soccer match between Catania and Palermo, Italy is trying to decide what to do against violent ultras.
The Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies had a big impact on the english soccer. Is Italy going to start an effective crackdown against football violence?
posted by darkripper on Feb 4, 2007 - 22 comments

Uncompromising alternative

The art of Flavio Constantini. Naval officer turned anarchist Constantini (1926- ) paints rebels, martyrs, assassins, writers, and architecture, all with a special quality of light.
posted by Abiezer on Dec 23, 2006 - 4 comments

No not a riot but the implications are obvious

Italian police impound the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art's toilet that flushes to Fratelli d'Italia. Prosecutors said the anthem "should never be open to ridicule."
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 7, 2006 - 25 comments

An 8.6 gigapixel stitched image of an Italian fresco

This [very slow loading, but persevere, it's worth it] website "probably" contains the biggest digital image in the world. Some details are here.
posted by tellurian on Oct 23, 2006 - 56 comments

Bruco, the Texas Italian Caterpillar Concrete Dome

Giant Concrete Caterpillar. Driving on I35 south out of Dallas to Austin, you pass through Italy, Texas, and on the side of the road is Bruco, the Texas Italian Caterpillar, and the home of the Monolithic Dome Institute, makers of fine homes, restaurants, and churches. These domes are green and disaster resistant. (See previous thread). They also can be visually interesting. These domes are concrete as opposed to R. Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic domes, such as Epcot Center or the incredibly interesting Eden Project.
posted by dios on Oct 10, 2006 - 19 comments

Io schiavo in Puglia. I was a slave in Puglia.

I was a slave in Puglia. A long first-person exposé, in English, about immigrant slave labor in Italy, from Fabrizio Gatti writing in the Italian newspaper L'Espresso. "I can hire you. Tomorrow," he promises. "Do you have a girl friend?" "A girlfriend?" "You have to bring me a woman. For the boss. If you bring him one, he'll put you to work right away. Any girl will do." He points to a twenty year-old woman and her companion, working on the conveyor belt of a huge tractor that is being used to gather tomatoes. "Those two are Romanians, just like you. She slept with the boss." "But I'm alone." "No work for you then." Photo galleries. Italian version (includes additional sidebars not found in the English version, including local and government reaction to the exposé and more photo galleries under the sidebar "Reportage Fotografico.")
posted by Mo Nickels on Sep 4, 2006 - 16 comments

The real Da Vinci Code?

I know who brought Leonardo's greatest drawings to Britain. I may not be a Harvard professor of religious symbology or know much about the bloodline of the Magdalene, but I do enjoy a mystery and so I set out to solve this one. And I succeeded. Final proof is elusive, always, but in this case the circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming, I think I've got my man."
posted by Len on Aug 30, 2006 - 6 comments

River Art

Ahmad Nadalian's work can be found all over the world. He is an artist that carves symbols on rocks and then leaves them at the site where they were created (sometimes burying them).
posted by tellurian on Aug 2, 2006 - 7 comments

A podcast for learning Italian.

learnitalianpod - a thoroughly archived podcast that can teach you to speak Italian. RSS
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2006 - 26 comments

C'mon, you knew it was going to happen...

The World Cup! This is your spoiler-free post... Don't be a dick. Don't post a FPP revealing who won!!!
posted by Cyrano on Jul 9, 2006 - 228 comments

Tor! Goal! Rete!

Two goals worth a million words. In Arabic, English, Chinese, Portuguese and yes, German. Italy's 2 goals against Germany, from 8 different commentators, one of them being Diego Maradona. Heavy YouTube usage unfortunately, although the post links to the leading Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.
posted by keepoutofreach on Jul 6, 2006 - 26 comments

The future from the past

Fabio Feminò has an enormous collection of science fiction magazines to share with us. AWESOME!
posted by tellurian on Apr 4, 2006 - 5 comments

Mr Berlusconi!

Silvio Berlusconi humps a meter maid. Ubiquitous youtube link.
posted by wilful on Mar 29, 2006 - 56 comments

Fake money 2000 years ago

Great fakers scammed ancient Italy. An ingenious counterfeit-coin scam has been rumbled by scientists in Italy. But no one is going to jail, because the forgers lived more than 2,000 years ago.
posted by riffola on Mar 28, 2006 - 7 comments

La Bella Napoli

Just wandering through the streets of Naples. (make sure to peruse each link as each has more to be seen!)
posted by snsranch on Feb 16, 2006 - 9 comments

50% off for Iranian Olympic skiers

In the Muslim world, the major argument against punishing European governments for the cartoon scandal is that it was not caused by those governments, but by private newspapers. Italy's Reform Minister tries to put things right.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 15, 2006 - 48 comments

guess who?

"I am the Jesus Christ of politics," says this controversial leader. He's also Napoleon, but taller, and recently told people: "Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile." Think we're the only country whose leader makes planetary gaffes? Think again--and elections are coming. You've got to admire the balls on a guy who owns much of his country's media, yet says: "If I, taking care of everyone's interests, also take care of my own, you can't talk about a conflict of interest."
posted by amberglow on Feb 12, 2006 - 37 comments

CIA Arrest warrants

At last, someone is going to take the legal route. Italian authorities have issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA Agents suspected of involvement in the US kidnap/torture policy. "The new warrants allow for the suspects' detention anywhere in the 25-nation EU, a prosecutor said." That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry.
posted by cassbrown1 on Dec 24, 2005 - 45 comments

Edoardo Agnelli was a moslem

Iranian students demonstrate outside Italian embassy in Iran.Chanting anti-Zionism slogans, the ralliers called for the withdrawal of the Zionists from the occupied Palestine.
They also called for the Italian government's explanation on the Nov 15, 2000 assassination of the Eduardo Agnelli suspiciously at the hand of the zionists. Edoardo Agnelli, born in June 9, 1954 in New York of a Christian father and a Jewish mother, had converted to Islam four years before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. He was the only son of the Italian tycoon Gianni Agnelli -director and the main shareholder of Fiat and Ferrari automaking factories - who died of prostate cancer in January 24, 2003.
Some pictures which prove he was a Moslem.
posted by persia on Nov 3, 2005 - 103 comments

"La Pistola Fumante"

The Great Italian Yellowcake Scam. Three- part translation of a three- article series in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that "attempted to reconstruct the who, where and why of the manufacture and transfer to British and American intelligence of the dodgy dossier for war." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Oct 26, 2005 - 17 comments

Giant pink bunny invades Italy.

A large pink rabbit will visit Italy for 20 years. Yet another controversial work of art by Gelitin from Vienna. (via Guardian)
posted by myopicman on Sep 22, 2005 - 40 comments

Virtual Rome

Virtual Rome [via]
posted by peacay on Sep 17, 2005 - 8 comments

images from the Regata Storica in Venezia

Yesterday Venice had its annual Historical Regatta, a traditional rowing competition whose origins date back to the 13th century and is held each year on the first Sunday of September. As it coincided with the Venice Film Festival, photographers were probably busier snapping pictures of George Clooney and fellow stars... so there's not much online about this year's event yet, but for your visual enjoyment here's a quick selection of images from past editions of the regata (more from this gallery of last year's event), showing both the rowers in the actual competition as well as the historical parade in traditional costumes; a few black and white images from the past (sorry, small and not good quality but still interesting): the regata in 1918, in 1956, in 1969, and in the 1970's; and, from the age before photography, famous paintings and engravings.
posted by funambulist on Sep 5, 2005 - 7 comments

Museum of Seaside Bathing/Tourism

~Balnea~ Virtual Museum of Sea Bathing and Seaside Tourism
This beautiful and comprehensive Italian site records the development of human association with the sea from the 18th to the 20th century. Art works, posters and photographs display the evolving nature of seaside architecture, fashion, lifesaving, cafes/amusements, sun protection, pavillions and more. There are even vintage essays and partially digitized books (some are in english) as well as beach tunes (midi files) for those so-inclined. [site map] via
posted by peacay on Aug 4, 2005 - 3 comments

You know he was driving stick shift, honey...

So that's what "Organ Donor" means on my driver's license - Gay tourists are hereby warned to butch it up at Italian car rental offices. [via mofi]
posted by AlexReynolds on Jun 8, 2005 - 26 comments

The ransack of Italy

The ransack of Italy is finally becoming big news. The Getty had a reputation for buying Italian antiquities of "uncertain provenance". It recently returned some treasures, but has remained in the market; it also kept the Morgantina Aphrodite. But, perhaps, not for much longer. Marion True, a senior curator there, has just been indicted by the Italian authorities "on criminal charges involving the acquisition of precious antiquities".
posted by andrew cooke on May 20, 2005 - 10 comments

there was no checkpoint

From her perspective, it was just opening fire by a tank. Giuliana Sgrena, the freed Italian journalist who was shot at by American troops upon her release, sets the record straight: there was no checkpoint, she was on a secure VIP road that runs directly from the Green Zone to the Baghdad airport, and her car was shot at from behind. Transcript, audio, and video of an interview with Naomi Klein, who talked to Sgrena in Rome.
posted by muckster on Mar 28, 2005 - 40 comments

Long Lost Leo

"Researchers have discovered the hidden laboratory used by Leonardo da Vinci for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence."
posted by ScottUltra on Jan 13, 2005 - 28 comments

Canadian campaign in Italy, WWII

The Italian Campaign The Globe and Mail has been running an excellent series on the Italian Campaign during WWII by Canadian troops. There are photos, artifacts, and articles, including one by Farley Mowat. (x-posted to MoFi)
posted by livii on Nov 11, 2004 - 6 comments

Dino & Sibilla

With our shipwrecked hearts. Ninety years ago Dino Campana, impoverished and outcast poet self-published his book Canti Orfici (.pdf file) ("Orphic Songs", mastefully translated into English by poet Charles Wright). The birth of the book wasn't marred only by Campana's mental illness (soon afterwards, he was committed to a mental institution). Initially, the "Orphic Songs" were submitted for possible publication to the poet/painter Ardengo Soffici, who promptly lost the manuscript. Campana spent the next six months reconstructing the book from memory. Finally in 1914, with the help of a local printer of religious tracts, he self-published a first edition of around 500, selling only 44. Campana attempted, with marginal success, to sell the remainder of his portion of the run (the printer had taken half the books as partial printing payment) himself at cafes in Florence. He is now remembered as one of Italy's greatest, most imaginative poets (with biographies ,award-winning movies about his troubled life and his dangerous, scandalous love affair with fellow writer Sibilla Aleramo. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 14, 2004 - 11 comments

Francesco Petrarch & Laura deNoves

Francesco Petrarch & Laura deNoves.
posted by hama7 on Jul 24, 2004 - 6 comments

Italian mummies

Long ago in the town of Palermo in Sicily some monks got together and decided that they wanted to start praying to one of their own after he had passed to the Great Beyond so they embalmed him. Four hundred years and 8,000 corpses later you can see the Capuchin Catacombs for yourself.
posted by euphorb on Jul 11, 2004 - 18 comments

Double Crossing the Rubicon

"Crossing the Rubicon" is a phrase widely believed to refer to the moment when Julius Caesar and his army crossed the stream separating Gaul from Italy, a move which meant civil war and commonly used to mean "point of no return". Now Swiss archaeologists are challenging that theory with a phrase that should be "Double Crossing the Rubicon".
posted by stbalbach on Apr 12, 2004 - 14 comments

Serious News And Soft Porn: Are They, In Fact, The Same Thing? ;)

All The Nudes That Are Fit To Print: It's no exaggeration to say La Repubblica is Italy's finest newspaper. It's liberal, modern, intelligent and independent. Along with Spain's El Pais; France's Libération and Le Monde; the UK's Guardian; Germany's Die Zeit and Portugal's Público, it's one of the mainstays of the European Left and Centre-Left. And yet its website offers calendars in the, er, Pirelli tradition of time-keeping. Imagine the New York Times being similarly... liberal. Can soft prOn and serious reporting live together? Is it an Italian thing? The only other example I can think of is Spain's Interviú, a magazine which in its heyday mixed superb (again, left-leaning) investigative journalism with politically incorrect - and photographically retouched - tits and ass. (NSFW, obviously, unless you're somewhere in Southern Europe or Louisiana.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 29, 2003 - 49 comments

Country wide blackout ongoing in Italy

Italy-wide blackout ongoing I'm right in the middle of a nation wide blackout. 2 hours without electricity so far, luckly sunrise is near. Guess now I know what they guys in U.S. East coast has felt. Link goes to italian language realtime news on event, for interested italians abroad.
posted by elpapacito on Sep 27, 2003 - 22 comments

How Italians differ from other Europeans.

Venerdì del Flash Via Universal Rule. Ahhh, ho perso l'aereo perché c'era lo sciopero!
posted by e.e. coli on Sep 26, 2003 - 4 comments

Spam, Spam, Spam

Italian spammers face jail. The ruling follows estimates by the European Commission that spam e-mails cost EU companies approximately 2.25bn euros in lost productivity last year.
posted by MintSauce on Sep 4, 2003 - 7 comments

Yes... or no?

Giuseppe Garibaldi, who united Italy in the 1860s, was asked by Lincoln to lead the army during the US Civil War. Garibaldi said he would if Lincoln officially declared that the aim of the war was to end slavery. Lincoln replied that he couldn't at that time, and so Garibaldi moved on to other things. But what if Giuseppe had gotten involved? The Papacy would clearly have denounced the North (indeed, the pope was the only world leader to recognize the Confederacy). The French hated him; the English loved him. Had he led the Federal troops, would France have jumped in on the side of the South? Would England have then jumped in on the Union side to counter? A whole different world history, perhaps, hanging on a yes/no question.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 12, 2003 - 12 comments

Sinatra Karaoke

The summer wind came blowing in... from across the sea. It lingered there and touched your hair to walk with me..." It's time to clear your pipes, stretch those cords, make with the air microphone and make a complete fool of yourself in front of your horrified monitor. Yes, it's Sinatra karaoke! From Italy! Just scegli la canzone e buona cantata! Start spreading the news...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 9, 2003 - 6 comments

A modern-day fascist Cagliostro

The Imam who cursed the Pope and Kofi Annan. "It's hard to summarize a story as complicated as this in a few lines: Fatwas, Mormons, ufologists, secret services, the Supreme Solomonic Order of the Princes of Shekal, coups in Somalia, nuns, a mysterious murder, an African dictator and a "God intoxicated" Communist dictator."
A gem of nefarious weirdness, so bizarre it has to be real. Very annoying pop-ups but still worth it IMHO.
posted by talos on Jun 1, 2003 - 2 comments

They love to see you smile.

McDonald's gets bad review, sues critic. "McDonald's has labelled as "defamatory and offensive" an influential Italian food critic, who poured scorn on the quality of the fast-food giant's cuisine. The corporation has sued Edoardo Raspelli, a critic and commentator for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, after he compared its burgers to rubber and its fries to cardboard, in an article last year. McDonald's is seeking undisclosed damages, possibly as much as the 21m euros (£15m; $25m) it spent on advertising in Italy last year. " Is it really defamation if it's true? What if every restaurant that got a bad review decided to sue?
posted by kayjay on May 31, 2003 - 33 comments

Alberto Sordi

Alberto Sordi, one of the greatest italian actor of all times, died today. Just wanted to let all the italians around the world without .it TV access know. He'll be so incredibly missed.
posted by elpapacito on Feb 25, 2003 - 6 comments

No License? No problem!

Not old enough to drive a car? Get a minicar! It seems that Italy's teens have solved the problem of not having a license to drive until they are 18 years old, through the use of minicars. Supposedly, they have a governor that holds them to around 30mph (though kids say they get souped up), and they can't be over 772lbs... But the key is you can drive them if you can't see well enough for a license, have your license revoked, or are as young as 14, you can drive one off the lot right now! Some links to manufacturers are at the bottom of the Washington Post's article.
posted by djspicerack on Jan 3, 2003 - 18 comments

When museums were cemetaries

Futurism and the Futurists is a comprehensive (but oddly self-promotional) website showcasing the ideas, biographies, and works of the Italian Futurists. Enjoy the painting, poetry, the fabulous theatre "sentesi," and of course, all those lovely manifestos.
posted by Pinwheel on Dec 20, 2002 - 15 comments

World Cup Conspiracy.

World Cup Conspiracy. Here's one for the X-Files. The Azurri believe they were the victims of a conspiracy to oust them from World Cup 2002.

Alessandro Del Piero broke his usual cool exterior as anger seeped through. "In ten years of my career I have never complained," said the Juventus star, "but in four games too many strange things have happened."
posted by percine on Jun 18, 2002 - 19 comments

i can't believe country leaders keep doing very stupid things

i can't believe country leaders keep doing very stupid things what do you think of the attitude of silvio berlusconi, italy's ultra right prime minister? i don't give a damn about his decision, but he (and also other silly country leaders: bush, fox, blair, etc.) should try to prevent this going public! there's also an incredible fact about poverty… and you thought aids was a problem?!

also… are really so desperate the communists (a.k.a. left wing)? it's a shame they did this!
posted by trismegisto on Jun 16, 2002 - 26 comments

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