FURORE– Hidden away in the Lattari mountains high above the Amalfi Drive, the little town of Furore had a visibility problem. With celebrated neighbours like Positano, Vietri and Amalfi spread along Italy’s most spectacular coastline, few tourists ventured up the 7 kms of hairpin bends that led to a string of houses clinging like limpets to the dizzy heights. To add to its disadvantages, Furore had no central piazza where people gathered and no outstanding monuments. Its historic churches contained unsung works of art. Its history was largely undocumented.

6 Apr 2011

ROME — For the first time in almost 8 years Silvio Berlusconi appeared in a Milan court this week. It had little to do with the law and a lot to do with political theatre. After years of shunning the courts, he has decided that the best defence is attack and attack on his own terms, not the court’s. Until now, he appeared in the dock as little as possible; now he has said that he will dedicate Mondays to court appearances. Monday (or even Saturday) mattinées were never like the Berlusconi show.

31 Mar 2011
Philippa Malicka

ROME– The plot of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal is fairly simple and the chances are you will have heard something like it a hundred times before. Robert (Gianpiero Cognoli) and Jerry (Rinaldo Rocco) are best friends, they both work in the publishing industry and each is married. Robert is married to a woman called Emma (Sandra Paternostro) with whom Jerry enjoys a long affair, which ends at the beginning of the play. This is the first betrayal.

29 Mar 2011
Gianfranco Nitti

Rome — The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Fiat Spa have signed a 250m Euros finance contract in Turin to support the car firm’s research and development (R&D) plans, officials say. The EIB was represented by Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Italy, Malta and the Western Balkans, and Fiat by its CEO, Sergio Marchionne.

28 Mar 2011
Desmond O'Grady

ROME — Relics are an easy target -- David Farley hones in on probably the most bizarre — Christ’s alleged foreskin which for hundreds of years was preserved in Calcata, a township some 45 km (30 miles) north of Rome.

Farley, an American journalist, his wife and dog lived for almost a year in Calcata amid a quirky group of bohemians, artists and dropouts, some of them non-Italians. Several of the locals were just as colourful.

22 Mar 2011
Shelly Kittleson

CITTAREALE – The twin ‘evils’ of would-be asylum seekers amassing on Italy’s southern shores and Italy’s birth and employment rates in fast decline regularly appear on national dailies, with policy makers urging ever faster, stricter emergency measures.

22 Mar 2011
Philippa Malicka

ROME - Thousands of Italians took to the streets and tuned into their televisions last night to celebrate the opening ceremony of 150 years of Italian Unification.

The celebrations began amid assertions of controversy and division. MPs belonging to the Northern League, a key ally to Berluconi’s People of Freedom party, were expected to desert a unification ceremony in the Lower House today, despite the fact that the regionalist party’s government ministers were likely to attend.

17 Mar 2011
Amanda Hildebrand

ROME — As the rest of the world iresponds to Japan’s nuclear crisis by taking serious precautions while dealing with their nuclear energy, Italy still plans on continuing its goal of restoring nuclear energy by 2013. 

While reactors and power plants are currently banned under Italian law, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and others in the government are hoping to create nuclear energy, which comprises about 10 percent of the country’s power, instead of needing to import it.

16 Mar 2011
Amanda Hildebrand

ROME - Amid the excitement and anticipation for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the Interior Ministry is scrambling to protect the borders from illegal immigrants- most recently a ship holding mainly Moroccans fleeing from the unrest in Libya.

15 Mar 2011