INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME -- Siena's Palio has refused an invite from the Buckingham Palace to perform at Windsor Castle as part of Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday celebrations this year, the event's officials say.

21 Jan 2016
Frances Timberlake

 ROME -- Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi is thought to be hiding a number of expensive watches given as gifts to the Italian delegation by Saudi Arabian officials on a state visit in November, a witness was quoted as saying Wednesday.

 The gifts led to a dispute amongst the delegation as to who was to receive the more expensive of the watches, all valued between 3000 and 4000 euros, before they were all confiscated by the prime minister.

21 Jan 2016
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has appointed a new ambassador to the EU in Brussels, in what is seen to be a show of defiance against Juncker and Merkel.

20 Jan 2016
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME -- Two restaurants have been shut down in Campo de' Fiori for extreme lack of hygiene, after a blitz by the city's sanitation inspectors. "The Romanesca" restaurant was found to be excessively dirty whilst the wine bar "Roma Beer Company" was home to roaches and larvae.

 The two spaces have been closed and will be subject to heavy sanctions. They will only be allowed to reopen following rigorous inspection by the ASL, Rome's sanitation services. The period taken for insect and larvae disinfection is normally between 10 and 15 days.

20 Jan 2016
Frances Timberlake

 ROME -- Italy has declared itself "ready" for military intervention in Libya, following the formation of a new government of national unity in the country on Tuesday. Italy is expected to lead an international mission, backed by Germany, diplomatic sources say.

 Paolo Gentiloni, Italian minister of foreign affairs, called the advancement "a crucial step forwards in a still fragile situation," declaring that there is now "a real opportunity for stability in the country, which must be seized by all" and that "Italy is ready to play its part."

20 Jan 2016
Isabel Sawkins

  ROME - Film director Ettore Scola, a leading figure in Italian cinema for more than three decades, has died in Rome aged 84.

20 Jan 2016
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 VATICAN CITY -- The Pope is soon to visit the Mosque of Rome, in an event that has been in the planning for around ten months.

 On Wednesday in the Vatican, in front of a general audience, the Pope will receive a delegation from the Mosque of Rome to formalise the planned visit. The event will take place as part of the Jubilee of Mercy, a celebration that Pope Francis reminded is common to both religions.

20 Jan 2016
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME -- Plans to build paying chemical toilets inside a palace on the central Piazza Rondadini have provoked confusion and controversy, according to Il Messaggero. The toilets, along with a new bag drop, are part of a private project organised in light of the Jubilee this year.

19 Jan 2016
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME -- A nine-year-old Italian boy was among the 29 people killed in the Al Qaeda attack in Burkina Faso last Friday, the Italian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

 The attack took place on Friday night in the Splendid hotel and neighbouring Cappuccino café in the west African capital, Ouagadougou, as Islamist militants took control of the hotel popular amongst foreigners and UN staff, burning cars outside to scare away nearby crowds.

18 Jan 2016

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