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05-Jun-15 14:12. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

Galleria Borghese's malfunctioning air conditioning risks

Would you believe that the Galleria Borghese in Rome with 500 thousand visitors and a turnout of 3 million a year has been left for more than two months with malfunctioning air conditioning? Paintings of Titian, Caravaggio, Raffaello and the sculptures of Bernini and Canova are at risk of being damaged for the unsuitable temperature at which the masterpieces are preserved. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculptures and antiques begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V.


05-Jun-15 14:09. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (83)

Italian Pension Freezes Unconstitutional - what next

Mario Monti’s government reform blocked inflation-adjusted increases in pensions of more than 1,500 Euros per month. it was just one of the austerity measures introduced to face up to the crisis, but now it is causing a great turmoil as the country’s high court ruled that pension freezes introduced in 2012 were unconstitutional. Pensioners must be refunded but if all the pension increases are reinstated, the damage to Italian coffers would be between €12bn and €14bn. For this reason the government is likely to proceed cautiously and only give partial refunds. The problem being that If the government reinstated completely the inflation-adjusted increases in pensions, European rules on public deficit, debt and fiscal structural adjustment might be breached.


05-Jun-15 14:06. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (3)

Milan Expo Protests

On the first of May Milan Expo was inaugurated and opened to the public. “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is its motto. The Event was overshadowed by protests and clashes with the police. Among the pacific protesters there was a group of black blocs who caused damage to banks and shops and set fire to cars. Due to the cars on fire the centre of Milan was filled with smoke where groups of black bloc protesters, with their faces covered in order not to be recognised, threw stones and challenged police who were in riot gear. 180 suspects have been identified and only five have been arrested so far.


08-May-15 10:40. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (2)

McDonald advert causes storm before Expo

Italy rose up against the McDonald’s advert suggesting that Italian children prefer a “Happy meal” to Pizza. The provocative advert was released a short time before the beginning of Expo of which McDonald’s is sponsor. Considering that Expo is focused on alimentation, and that this is the year in which The Italian commission for UNESCO has chosen to present “L'Arte dei Pizzaiuoli Napoletani" to be included in the world heritage list. The Five star movement is going to ask Expo to cancel McDonald’s as a sponsor and to obscure the advert on television. The Pizza maker association “the true Napolitan Pizza Association” which represents pizza makers in Italy, has threatened legal action against the big fast-food chain.


08-May-15 10:37. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (4)

Italy to leave the Euro?

Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) party has already collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition calling for a law that would allow a referendum on withdrawal from the euro zone. The Five Star Movement was formed in 2009 by comedian and activist Beppe Grillo. The party was second in the 2014 European Parliament election with 21 percent of the votes.


08-May-15 10:35. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (6)

Refugee crisis continues unabated

A few days ago Italy recorded the worst single death toll among refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Up to 850 people died in a disastrous shipwreck while trying to reach the Italian coast. Concern has been expressed by the government and also by Pope Francis who appealed to the European Union and the international community to cooperate with Italy in facing up to this emergency. It is evident that the proportions of the phenomenon require a more extensive commitment at a European and international level. Italy is often the first European Union country where the migrants arrive. Most of them want to go to other countries but while their requests or appeals for asylum are processed, they are kept in reception centres, sometimes for too long.


17-Apr-15 15:32. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (3)

Italian Olive Trees under threat

A killer bacteria is affecting Italian olive trees. The region hit by the infection from the bacteria xylella fastidiosa is Puglia. Being Italy the second biggest producer of olive oil in the EU, after Spain, significant damage to the vegetation and the region’s economy is foreseen. The spreading of the disease could cause the cutting down of over a million trees. Italy has marked off an emergency area of 241,000 hectares (593,000 acres), that is at least 10% of some 11 million olive trees in the worst-affected Lecce area of Puglia. The infection causes the trees to wither away and die. Up to now there is no remedy.


30-Mar-15 10:47. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (3)

Pope Francis announces a universal Extraordinary jubilee

The much loved Pope Francis, on the second anniversary of his election, has just announced a universal Extraordinary jubilee. From the 8th of December (the day when Catholics celebrate the Immaculate conception) to the 20th of November 2016 , the “holy” door of St. Peter’s in Rome will be opened to all those who wish to repent their sins and be granted God’s pardon. The Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica had been opened for an universal Extraordinary Jubilee by the future saint, John Paul II, in 1983, to celebrate the 1950 years since the redemption carried out by Christ through his death and resurrection in the year 33.


19-Mar-15 16:21. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (4)

Football hooligans damage Rome - decency fighting back

The European League game between Feyenoord and AS Roma saw two days of street battle and serious damage to the “Barcaccia fountain” designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1627. On the 18th of February 7,000 fans of the Rotterdam football team Feyenoord arrived in Rome for the match. Shops were forced to shut down as the Dutch football fans took over the central marketplace known as “Campo de' Fiori” and left it a field of trash. Then hundreds of drunken Feyenoord supporters threw empty beer bottles at the baroque “La Barcaccia fountain” in Piazza di Spagna. The vandalism left the fountain chipped and splintered with broken marble fragments of up to 8 by 3.5 centimetres.


05-Mar-15 12:29. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Introducing Padre Andrea and Padre Giuseppe

Backhillonline had the pleasure of having a chat with Padre Andrea and the assistant priest, Padre Giuseppe, about their personal history and their achievements and aims for the future.


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