Eurozone bank transfers

Eurozone banks now have to charge the same fee for international money transfers of up to 12,500 within the zone as they do for domestic transfers. The new regulation came into effect on 1 July after...

Lazio needs blood

Even though Lazio's regional government set aside 1.5 million euros for a campaign urging blood donation during the summer the region is still cronically short of blood. Recently people have been queu...

A shop with a conscience

The Bottega del Mondo in Axa lives up to its name, with products from all over the world. No different from the supermarket around the corner, you might say. But it is. The botteghe are Fairtrade sho...

Electricity blackouts

With the re-opening of factories and offices after the long summer holidays Italians face the prospect of electricity rationing in September. Italy has been feeling the shortage of electricity since t...

Sea and stabilimenti south of Rome

As sure as tiger mosquitoes, stampeding tour groups and migrating swallows, the arrival of summer in Italy is heralded by the publication of Touring Club Italias guide to the countrys best beaches. Th...

Italian banking made easier

Admit it. How long did you spend deliberating which bank to trust with your hard-earned euros? Did you compare interest rates, fixed charges, the price of a standing order? Or did you go for the bank...

Taking Rome home

Have you ever wondered who buys those glittery miniature colosseums, spoons with the popes likeness and bronze-like gladiator figurines? And more importantly, why? Whether you call them knick-knacks,...

Working miracles in the forum

Ascroll of cloth rolled down, with a snatch of script on it. The laid-back, grinning audience of 300 read out with a roar: We dont want war! The superpower (Rome) went to war anyway. The reason was...

A rose to beat the heat

Although I know this will win me no popularity, I must confess that there were certain aspects of the June heat wave that pleased me. On our farm in Canale-Monterano near Lake Bracciano northwest of R...

Beaches north of Rome

Staying in Rome for the summer? If you want to beat the heat and learn a bit about Roman and Etruscan history at the same time, the nearby beaches of S. Marinella and S. Severa are good places to star...

Vatican corridor reopens

The passageway linking the Vatican with Castel S. Angelo is now open to the public. The corridor was built in 1277 to provide an escape route for the pope, and was most famously used by Pope Clemente...

Summer shopping

The end-of-season summer sales continue until 22 August in Rome. All shops must close on 15 August, Ferragosto, the feast of the Assumption, with the exception of those in Ostia, the city's closest se...

Testaccio traffic restrictions

The lively nightspot of Testaccio southeast of the historic centre is closed to non-resident traffic every weekend night until September. Traffic police are patrolling Via Galvani, Via Ghiberti, Piazz...

New highway code

New road rules were introduced at the start of July in an attempt to improve road safety in time for the summer holidays, when millions of Italians traditionally jump into their cars. Italy has one of...

Holiday transport

One hundred million vehicles are expected to take to the roads of Italy during the holiday season 24 July-2 September. If you want to avoid the worst of the jams, the Societ Autostrade advises against...

Summer at Villa Borghese

An ambitious cultural programme to mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of Villa Borghese to the public continues throughout the summer, including exhibitions, musical and theatrical events, film...

Costly calls

If you receive an e-mail or an SMS message to your Italian cell phone from an unknown source instructing you to dial a number beginning with the digits 899, beware: the call could cost you as much as...

Italian sunglasses boom

Italians put other nationalities in the shade when it comes to wearing sunglasses, with 56 per cent of citizens wearing theirs every day, according to the Associazione Nazionale Fabbricanti Articoli O...

Sea fresh or from the farm?

It should have swollen eyes, if you prod it the flesh should be as compact as a hardened muscle, and it should have a tang of the sea about it. When cooked but not too much it should be just as firm...

The heart of the immigration debate

Just a few days before it took over the EU presidency, the Italian government had a difficult situation on its hands. The concentrated arrival in Sicily of migrants heading north from Africa in the fi...
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