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After 20 Years, 'Dead' Doctor Found Living as Hermit

But the man, IDed as a Spaniard holed up in the woods of Tuscany, is gone again

(Newser) - For years, locals had reported seeing a "silent stranger" in the forests of Tuscany, Italy, per ITV News . His identity may finally have come to light after two mushroom pickers say they found the camp of a man with a "dirty face and large beard" in a heavily... More »

How Did 243 People Vanish Without a Trace Last Year?

It's unclear whether the refugees even made it on board the boat

(Newser) - When a rickety fishing boat smuggling more than 500 passengers across the Mediterranean capsized on Oct. 3, 2015 , the world took notice. More than 350 people, many refugees from Eritrea, drowned, and European leaders promised action, reports the New York Times . But when 243 passengers, again largely refugees from Eritrea,... More »

High Court Slams Amanda Knox Case for 'Bouts of Amnesia'

Prosecutors call out 'stunning weakness' of prosecution

(Newser) - Italy's top criminal court has scathingly faulted prosecutors for presenting a flawed and hastily constructed case against Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, saying today it threw out their convictions for the 2007 murder of her British roommate in part because there was no proof they were in... More »

Godfather Funeral Outrages Romans

Flower petals were thrown from a helicopter

(Newser) - Romans aghast at a spiraling Mafia probe found new reason for outrage yesterday over the Hollywood-style funeral of a purported local crime boss: It was replete with a gilded, horse-drawn carriage, flower petals tossed from a helicopter, and the theme music from The Godfather playing outside the church. Hundreds of... More »

Pope Blamed Jews for Medieval Quake That Moved River

Magnitude-5.8 quake put Po River where it is today

(Newser) - When an earthquake struck Italy in 1570, Pope Pius V blamed the destruction on God's supposed wrath against the Jews. Less predictably, the quake also shifted the course of Italy's longest river by 25 miles. The magnitude-5.8 quake struck near the northern city of Ferrara in 1570,... More »

40 Migrants Suffocate in Ship Bound for Italy

But navy rescues more than 300

(Newser) - At least 40 migrants died today in the hold of an overcrowded smuggling boat in the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya, but some 320 others on the same boat were saved by the Italian navy. The survivors included 45 women and three children. Migrants by the tens of thousands are... More »

Cops Crack Mafia's Bizarre Sheep Farming Code

Communication pointed to messages hidden at Sicily farm

(Newser) - Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has been on the run since 1993, but Italian police hope a series of raids early today will bring them closer to putting one of the most wanted criminals in Europe behind bars, per Deutsche Welle . Authorities say they arrested 11 alleged associates of... More »

This Is What 1K People Covering Foo Fighters Sounds Like

The project has been a year in the making

(Newser) - What started off as an idea in May 2014 and turned into logistical and technical gymnastics in the months leading up to the big event has just been pulled off. One thousand people from all over Italy gathered in a field in the northern town of Cesena to perform the... More »

Decaying Rome 'on Verge of Collapse'

Ancient city plagued by alleged corruption, garbage, rats

(Newser) - Rome wasn't built in a day, and thousands of years later, the city of 2.8 million remains home to some of the world's most remarkable fountains, museums, and churches. But it's also "dirty and disorganized," reports Reuters . Untamed grass and graffiti can be spotted... More »

Woman Fined for Tattling on Her Married Lover

And an appeals court in Italy upholds it

(Newser) - A woman in Italy is out more than $400 because she called up the wife of the man she was sleeping with and told her all about it. A judge issued the fine, and an Italy's highest court of appeals upheld the ruling, reports the Local . The woman argued... More »

How a Dollar Bill Left Widower, 86, in Tears

Peter Bilello was stunned when his granddaughter showed it to him

(Newser) - All it took was the sight of a dollar bill to make Peter Bilello cry. The story goes back 50 years to when the Italian native, now 86, visited his mother back in Italy, ABC News reports. "My mother, she knew this girl," he says. "And my... More »

Cabbie Charges Overweight Passenger for Blown Tire

Passenger pays, but files formal complaint

(Newser) - When a Rome cab driver's back tire blew as he was taking a passenger from the train station to a medical clinic, the cabbie decided it was the passenger's fault—because he reportedly weighs 336 pounds—and charged him an extra $56, the Road Warrior Voices blog reports.... More »

2 Countries Got Into a Fight Over ... Nutella

French minister accused spread of ravaging environment

(Newser) - France's environment minister caused an international brouhaha by picking on the wrong nutty spread. Segolene Royal singled out Nutella as the cause of environmental destruction, including climate change and "massive deforestation," and said people should stop eating it because it contains palm oil, the Guardian reports, prompting... More »

Teacher's Summer Homework List Goes Viral

Tasks include walking on the beach, dancing

(Newser) - Thankful your school days are over? An Italian teacher's summer homework list might make you want to get back to class. Though most Italian students put pen to paper for scholarly pursuits through their summer holidays from mid-June to mid-September, Cesare Cata—a secondary school teacher at the Don... More »

This Woman Just Set a Record in Space

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is close to being there for 200 days

(Newser) - Nearly 200 days in outer space is what Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will have logged when she touches down in Kazakhstan on Thursday, a feat that has given her the world record for the longest time in space by a woman on a single mission, USA Today reports. On Saturday,... More »

4K Migrants Rescued at Sea in 24 Hours

Smugglers sent them adrift once the weather cleared

(Newser) - More than 4,000 migrants have been rescued off Libya's coast in 22 separate operations in one day, with rescuers finding 17 people dead aboard a rubber dinghy, the Italian Coast Guard said today. The rescues, from 13 wooden fishing boats and nine motorized rubber dinghies, took place yesterday.... More »

Italian Army's New Task: Reduce the Cost of Weed

First crop is coming along nicely

(Newser) - While the Italian military's record as a fighting force may not be completely without blemish, it's turning out to be pretty good at growing weed. Medical marijuana is legal in Italy, but since it can be far too expensive to buy at pharmacies, the military was tasked with... More »

Italy Terror Bust Is One of Its 'Most Important Ever'

Police take down Sardinia cell with alleged ties to Osama bin Laden

(Newser) - Italian police say they have taken down a terror cell comprised of businessmen who financed al-Qaeda from Sardinia. Counterterrorism agents arrested 18 Pakistani and Afghan nationals in seven provinces today in "one of the most important operations we ever conducted," the lead investigator tells NBC News . "We... More »

Boat Disaster Captain Arrested

Tunisian charged with reckless homicide

(Newser) - Only 27 survivors have been rescued from a capsized boat thought to have carried as many as 900 people —and two of them have been arrested. Prosecutors say they have arrested the captain and a crew member of the boat in which hundreds are feared to have drowned in... More »

Italy Searches for Hundreds as Packed Boat Capsizes

Only 28 rescued so far as wave of migrants continues

(Newser) - Emergency services mounted a major search and rescue operation today north of Libya after a ship containing hundreds of migrants trying to reach Italy capsized in the Mediterranean. Italy's ANSA news agency said an estimated 700 people were aboard and only 28 people had been rescued. Barbara Molinario, spokeswoman... More »

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