Backhill News - the Italian news in London, UK Italian news
01-Jul-15 11:21. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (64)
After 75 years the Arandora Star tragedy still represents the deepest wound in the heart of the Italian community in the UK. The Arandora Star London Memorial Trust and the London Italian community have organised a series of events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Arandora star. The converted cruise ship carrying 1500 Italian, Austrian and German internees, crew members and “enemy allies” to Canada, was torpedoed by a German U-boat, off the North West coast of Ireland.
The disaster occurred on the 2nd of July 1940 when over 800 people lost their lives. 446 of them were Italians and 241 were from the London community.
Most of the facts surrounding the tragedy are still undisclosed despite an enquiry conducted at the time. The ship which had been painted grey did not have the International Red Cross markings to signify it was carrying civilians. Exit routes from the cabins had been sealed with barbed wire and the life boats were designed to take 500 persons. Half of the extra rafts provided were thrown overboard too early by inexperienced guards and floated away before anyone could reach them
01-Jul-15 11:17. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (238)
We always praise Italian cusine and if you ask an Italian which is the best food in the world they'll obviously choose their own. This idea could be supported by the result of the 50 world's restaurants top chart released by the “British magazine Restaurants”. Italians shoudn't get too cocky though as it could be quite disappointing to know that Italy came second place after Spain.
The award winning Italian restaurant is the Modena based “Osteria francescana” owned by chef Massimo Bottura. The restaurant moved up one place after being in the third position for the past two years.
01-Jul-15 11:14. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (386)
Houses, villages islands and now castles, monasteries, palaces and lighthouses are being auctioned. Agenzia del Demanio, and the Agency of State Property are handling auctions as part of a Government's long term plan to collect more than €2 billion (£1.46 billion) by 2017. Among the foreign investors Qatar is the most interested.
Private investors will be given leases of up to 50 years on the historic properties, in return for converting them into luxury resorts or boutique hotels.
The lighthouses on lease are situated in some of Italy’s most beautiful areas, from the northern coast of Sardinia to the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples.
05-Jun-15 14:12. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (6)
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 (144)
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 (6)
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 (3)
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 (6)
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 (9)
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 (7)
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.
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