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24-Dec-15 12:14. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (15)

Catholic Jubilee security increased

The Catholic Jubilee has begun. Rome is expecting millions of pilgrims in a situation where the lord mayor has not been replaced and there have been many scandals regarding the administration of the capital city.

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24-Dec-15 12:10. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (15)

Lombardy burqa ban

In the aftermaths of the Islamic terrorist attacks, Lombardy, one of the most populous and wealthier regions in Italy, has decided in favour of a ban on wearing the Islamic veil and burqa in hospitals and local government offices. The measure is considered an extension of the Italian law which already prohibits helmets, clothing or any other items that make identification difficult.

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07-Dec-15 11:00. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (11)

Is eating Parma ham dangerous?

Is Parma ham good for our health or should we give up sandwiches and antipasto all at once? The meat terror spread as the Health Organization (WHO) report has recently put cured meats, such as ham, sausage and salami on the list of carcinogens. “Ham panic” reached Italy, but Italian food and farming groups promptly responded that Italian meat is the healthiest in the world, and the agricultural association Coldiretti credited the country's diet for one of the highest life expectancies in the world (80 years for men and 85 for women).

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07-Dec-15 10:58. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (36)

Has your Olive Oil been doctored?

Olive oil is a key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. The best quality, extra virgin, which comes from the first press of olives, can cost between 30 – 40 percent more than its lower quality. An Oil to be labelled extra virgin should meet some EU quality criteria, which take into account, for example, its degree of acidity. In June 2015, “Il Test” magazine analysed 20 bottles of extra virgin olive oil and found that 9 oils did not meet the European extra virgin standards, due to various defects. Seven well-known olive oil brands – Carapelli, Bertolli, Santa Sabina, Coricelli, Sasso, Primadonna and Antica Badia – are under exam by the anti-fraud police squad in Turin, because they might have been selling an inferior quality virgin olive oil as "extra virgin" olive oil. The companies involved all denied the allegations, as was reported by the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”.

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10-Nov-15 11:23. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (87)

Poste Italiane Privatisation

Italy is going to sell up to 40 per cent stake in Poste Italiane, Italy’s national postal service. The partial sale of Poste italiane is the biggest privatisation from the 90's, when stakes in groups including Eni and Enel were sold to investors, and it will raise a maximum of €3.9bn in proceeds. Poste Italiane reaches millions of Italian households and is a key selling point for the IPO. It represents a very large privatisation by Italian standards and opens up to a different economic policy. Poste Italiane is a 153-year old giant, it generates €28.5bn in annual group revenue, and holds €420bn in postal savings deposits, with 32m customers. The IPO is due to have a price range of €6 to €7.5 a share, giving the company an equity value of up to €9.8bn. As emerging markets led by China compete with slowing economies, low asset prices represent for Italy an opportunity to lure some investors.

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10-Nov-15 11:20. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (43)

Bartering to pay your tax bill in Italy

Bartering might make a big come-back at least as far as it concerns settling tax debt with the state. In some Italian cities if you owe taxes to the state it's possible to repay by doing works of social utilities, such as pruning trees, road maintenance and painting walls, in order to settle your debts with the municipal tax authorities. The novelty was introduced a year ago by the government to help families overwhelmed by the crisis, but in the big cities only Milan and Bari have actually decided to offer this opportunity to their residents.

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10-Nov-15 11:14. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (48)

Starbucks coming to Italy?

Imagine you are in Milan. You've been walking around all day and now you need a coffee, would you consider Starbucks as a possibility? As a tourist it might be a comfortable familiar place to rest in, feeling as if at home, as you know the prices, the environment, the soft armchairs and sofas, somehow you even know the kind of people you could be sharing your table with, but you are in Italy, shouldn't you try something more Italian than this? This dilemma hasn't been an option so far but it might became real as Starbucks, the world's biggest coffee chain, might open in Italy as soon as Christmas. According to Ruters talks are underway, and the newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the company was negotiating with the Italian businessman, Antonio Percassi, to bring the Starbucks brand to Italy.

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14-Oct-15 13:08. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (9)

Italy to defy EU to protect cheese trade?

Italy is the European leader in the world's dairy production but its’ position is threatened by the legalisation of cheeses made with milk powder imposed to Italy by the EU. For this reason the Italian Government has recently declared it will not respect the EU regulation on the legalisation of the use of milk powder.

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14-Oct-15 13:07. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (99)

Berlusconi publishing monopoly following acquisition of RSC Media Group?

Berlusconi's family owned publishing house Mondadori has bought RCS MediaGroup. Italy's competition watchdog will start an investigation to cast its verdict on the legitimacy of the new group, which represents a novelty in Europe where usually the leading group buys the third of forth in importance on the internal market, while in this case the first, Mondadori has bought the second in importance, RCS MediaGroup

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25-Sep-15 15:17. By peter ciccone | Comments (52)

Petrolheads and Prosecco at Classics at the Villa

A heady mix of classic Italian cars and food has helped raise more than £9,000 for the Villa Scalabrini charity. The first ever Classics at the Villa event, held on September 13th 2015, attracted more than 400 classic cars and 1,000 visitors – far more than the organisers expected. Money raised will be used to improve facilities at the Villa Scalabrini care home in Hertfordshire. The organising committee of Marco Fiori (Chair of the Friends of Villa Scalabrini), Giuliano Fuoco, Paolo Arrigo and Paolo Pettenati were delighted with the number and variety of cars showcased and the number of enthusiasts who made the trip.to Shenley. Whether the visitors were motivated by the glorious food on offer – or the cars – many also took the opportunity to visit the care home and find out more about its services. Plans are already in place to hold another Classics at the Villa event in 2016. And if you missed out, why not whet your appetite for next year by visiting YouTube http://youtu.be/RPOqWJPVIL4 and watching a video, or visiting the charity’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/villascalabrini1986?fref=ts

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