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Amanda Knox case and Human Rights

Human Rights

The Amanda Knox frenzy hasn’t finished. There is a lot more to come.

The Italian Justice system, like all systems, has its strengths and weaknesses. But the most important aspects to consider is “does the Italian Justice system have the confidence of the 60 million people that it serves?”, and following that, “does it adhere to international human rights”? … Continue Reading

Brain Drain in Italy?


“Italy is losing its best and brightest to a decade of economic stagnation, a frozen labor market and an entrenched system of patronage and nepotism. For many of the country’s most talented and educated, the land of opportunity is anywhere but home.”

A new Time Magazine article is looking at how Italy’s young are leaving their country for better opportunities abroad. … Continue Reading

What Makes Rome Irresistible?

Child on Campo de' Fiori

People make a lot of fuss about this city, and Rome is sometimes still referred to as “Eternal City”, or “Caput Mundi” – latin for capital of the world. But does its ancient role as former centre of the Roman empire merit such attention? Is Rome only a relique, visited by kindly disposed people who see greatness in its ancient remains, gracefully overlooking its considerable flaws? Or is it still, today, a capital worthy of ranking among the great cities of the world? … Continue Reading

The Italian Way Of Communication

People talking in the Jewish District

With all of the bad news coming out of Italy these days – the catholic church abuse scandal, the electoral shift to the far-right – I thought it was time to remember why so many of us love Italy: The italian way of life has an unique charm about it which can paint even the bleakest of situations a pretty pink. … Continue Reading

Public Morality In Italy


In a new article published in The Guardian, John Hooper offers an insight into the nation’s values by analysing how Italy is commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of Bettino Craxi, the Italian prime minister for four years in the 1980s, who died in exile as a fugitive from justice. … Continue Reading

Appreciating Trastevere: Shut Up And Watch

February 1, 2010 Cultural Musings, Culture & People Comments Off
Vicolo del Bologna at night

This is a response to the previous post (“False Promises of a Romanticised Trastevere?“). As the article says, Trastevere is full of foreigners (and that includes Romans and Italians who just aren’t locals). And they are there to get a feel for the local delights.

But you need to look deeper. In most places around the world you look deeper and just find nothing or worse. The falseness or absurdity of it all. But not in Trastevere. … Continue Reading

Living With Parents At 36: Interview


The case of young (or not-so-young) italians living at home is generating a lot of international media interest right now, especially as one italian minister is now provocatively calling for a new law forcing young italians to leave their parents’ homes at 18. The Guardian has just published an interview by John Hooper with 36-year-old Maurizio Schiavi, living in Rome with his parents. … Continue Reading

Parent Allowance At 32 Is Adequate


A judge has ordered an Italian father to pay a monthly allowance of 350 EUR  to his 32-year-old student daughter, who is living with her mother, while writing her thesis for a degree in philosophy and supporting herself by offering dance lessons. … Continue Reading

White Christmas In Italy


International commentators observe that Italy is experiencing a rise of xenophobia. Martin Kettle of The Guardian even goes as far as to say: “My love affair with Italy is over. The romance is dead. Now I see the country for what it is: rightwing, racist and corrupt.” (I’ve changed my mind about Italy – The Guardian) … Continue Reading

Soaring Divorce Rate: Blame Mamma?

A wedding in Rome

The strong, catholic family values apparently prevalent across all levels of italian society have deeply impacted on the way in which the country is viewed – by italians and foreigners alike. However, changing reality may be quite different than the static prejudice arising from such observations. One way in which Italy’s society may be changing is indicated by the sudden and explosive rise of divorce rate over the last few years. … Continue Reading

In Rome? Consider Going Home

Locals and visitors in Rome

With his excellent article about quality of life in Rome, Sebastian Cresswell-Turner (Telegraph, August 2003) has managed to thoroughly depress me. Several years after his article was published, his descriptions still ring true. To build a life in Rome is as difficult as ever, especially if you are a foreigner without family connections. … Continue Reading

New Drinking Habits For A New Generation

Young people on Piazza di S. Maria in Trastevere

As highlighted by several influential news services (last by the BBC in August 2009), Italy is battling a new problem: Drinking and randalising youths, touring the city centres, and drinking on the street. Italy was once better known for its refrained attitude to drinking, but the new phenomenon of binge drinking is rapidly growing among the younger generations. … Continue Reading

Graffiti: Vandalism? Art? Democracy?

Arch near Campo de' Fiori

Several recently published reports heavily criticise the graffiti in Rome. The BBC published an article in August 2009, pretending to provide a balanced view and diverse opinions on the topic, but instead simply picking up on Prime Minister Berlusconi’s moaning about graffiti in Rome – one of his skillful moralising digs at the political left – and leaving it at that. … Continue Reading

Art, Culture And Variations Of Italian Coffee


While coffee beans are neither grown nor harvested in any part of Italy, the coffee roasted and blended here is among the best in the world. Romans are just as proud of their coffee as inhabitants of any other part of Italy. But ‘proud’ is probably the wrong term: Good coffee is considered such an utter necessity that when the famished contestants … Continue Reading

The Experience of Eating Out

A restaurant on Campo de' Fiori

Although Rome is known for its delicious food, service-mindedness is not a concept generally understood or practiced in most restaurants or bars. Prompt and friendly service simply does not go with the attitude: Roman waiters are a proud bunch and will not risk appearing servile.

This does not mean that you will not come across great waiters … Continue Reading

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Sneak Peek At Upcoming Articles

  • The Process of falling for Rome.
    30 November, 2012

    I never knew the minute I stepped off the train from Grosseto at Rome’s Termini station in late June 2012 that six month’s later I would be planning a move to the Eternal City.

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