Philip Willan

ROME - A giant Australian steer named Knickers recently became an internet star because of his huge bulk, but Italian famers insist their own Chianina oxen are the largest cattle breed in the world.

 Standing 1.94 metres tall at the shoulder and weighing 1,400 kilos, Knickers is exceptionally large for his Holstein Friesian breed and his black and white frame was set off to advantage against the small brown Wagyu cattle who were grazing around him in photos that went viral on internet. The Wagyus were six years younger than Knickers and grow to a maximum height of 1.40 metres.

29 Dec 2018
Insider View

ROME - Virginia Raggi was “ready to restore Rome to the splendour it deserves” in May 2016 upon her municipal election victory. Yet Rome's streets continue to overflow with rotting waste and rampant rodents. Indeed, the Eternal City perhaps better resembles a modern ruin than an ancient one.

 Raggi’s administrative proposals have been slammed by Romans and mainstream media alike. She has been at the centre of critical scrutiny, labelled a “hot potato” by one publication, “a great disappointment” by another. Yet is it not time we cut her some slack?

29 Dec 2018
Insider reporters

 FLORENCE -- Around 7 a.m. on Thursday a truck driver hit one of the supporting pillars of the Vasari corridor, the passageway which connects the Uffizi museum to Palazzo Pitti, crossing the Arno river. The corridor was designed in the 16th century by architect and art critic Giorgio Vasari and is considered a pearl of Florentine renaissance style architecture.

29 Dec 2018
Insider reporters

 ROME -- Silvia Romano, the 23 year-old volunteer abducted by gunmen in Kenya last November, is alive and is in Kenya, says Noah Mwivanda, Kenyan Coast Regional Police Commander. Since Nov. 20, the police have been searching the area surrounding the village of Chakama, 80 km from Malindi, where she was kidnapped.

28 Dec 2018
Insider reporters

 CATANIA -- An earthquake measuring magnitude 4.8 rippled through the area north of Catania on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily early on Wednesday, causing some damage to buildings and a few injuries, officials said.

 Television footage showed damage to older buildings in the towns of Santa Venerina and Zafferana Etnea.


26 Dec 2018
John Phillips

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called Tuesday in his urbi et orbi message for peace around the world, saying that the universal message of Christmas is that “we are all brothers and sisters.” He urged an end to a constellation conflicts ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

25 Dec 2018

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis appealed to the international community Sunday to show solidarity with tsunami-stricken, mainly-Muslim Indonesia and urged people living far from their families to turn to the Church at Christmas.

 “My thoughts go in this moment to the population of Indonesia, hit by violent natural calamity, that caused serious loss of human life, many missing and homeless and heavy material damage,” the pontiff told pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for his weekly Angelus address.

23 Dec 2018
Francesca Halliwell

ROME - Baby Alessandro Maria Montresor, who has been in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant for some time now, was reportedly operated on at the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù hospital earlier today. “Alex has undergone a haematopoietic stem cell transplant,” a source at the hospital confirmed.

21 Dec 2018
Insider reporters

ROME — Brazilian FAO honcho Adoniram Sanches Peraci has been appointed Regional subdirector for central America for the UN agency, based in Panama, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, has announced.


 FAO sources told the Insider they had expected that the D-1 subdirector post would go to Fernando Servan, the embattled human resources director at FAO headquarters in Rome, but in the end the nomination went to Peraci.

21 Dec 2018