ROME - The Italian government has strongly criticised the plans of the far-right Austrian coalition government to give Austrian citizenship to those living in the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige. Future Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his ally, ultra-right Heinz-Christian Strache of the Freedom Party, are looking to grant passports to the mainly German-speaking population on the Italian-Austrian border.
TURIN - The Jewish communities of Italy were dismayed as the remains of Victor Emmanuel III, the penultimate monarch of Italy who signed Fascist laws against Jews, were flown from Egypt to be laid to rest in Piedmont Sunday. Emmanuel’s body has been buried beside his wife Elena, recently moved from Montpellier, in their family museum Vicoforte 70 years after his death.
ROME - The leader of the populist Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, announced Sunday that an Italian referendum on leaving the euro was not off the table. Speaking on Italian state television, Di Maio explained that his party will not rule out the option of a vote on leaving the single currency if the Five Star party is elected and fails to renegotiate economic terms with the EU. “If we succeed, Europe will be changed and we won’t need a referendum on the euro. Otherwise, we’ll ask Italians if they want to stay in or not.”
NEW YORK - As 2017 comes to an end, two iconic American restaurants are set to close. Bouchon in Beverly Hills, the creation of Thomas Keller, will close its doors. Chef Keller has cited “adverse conditions that prevent the running of a profitable operation” as the reason for the restaurant’s demise.
ROME - A young woman dressed in a long, colourful skirt and wearing large, golden earrings roves in front of Termini station. Out of all the tourists and commuters, the woman approaches only elder men. She asks them for a cigarette and engages them in conversation. The men smile, offer her a cigarette and become interested. Now and then, one of the men leaves with the woman. When she reappears in Termini, I try to get her attention.