Italy

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Finally, Pizza Officially Recognized as Art Form

It's part of the 'intangible cultural heritage of humanity'

(Newser) - The city of Naples, often in headlines because of its garbage woes and mafia violence, is celebrating international recognition of its tastier side, the AP reports. UNESCO on Thursday added the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, or "pizzaiuolo," to its list of "intangible cultural heritage of... More »

Pope Urges Traffic Police to Show Mercy to Drivers

But he's against people using cellphones while driving

(Newser) - Pope Francis says police should exercise the Christian virtue of mercy—even when dealing with Italy's notorious traffic. At a meeting with officers in charge of the nation's roads Monday, he praised their work but urged them to show mercy in the situations they encounter daily, the BBC... More »

World's First Head Transplant on Corpse a Success, Doc Says

Sergio Canavero says procedure on live patient will happen soon—but he has many doubters

(Newser) - The first step in what USA Today says would be an "audacious" therapy reportedly took place in China Friday: the world's first human head transplant, achieved with two corpses. And Sergio Canavero—the Italian doctor behind the alleged procedure, says he plans to do the same thing next... More »

Mafia's 'Boss of Bosses' Is Dead at 87

Salvatore 'Toto' Riina had been serving multiple life sentences in Italy

(Newser) - Mafia 'boss of bosses' Salvatore 'Toto' Riina died Friday in a hospital while serving multiple life sentences as the mastermind of a bloody strategy to assassinate Italian prosecutors and law enforcement trying to bring down the Cosa Nostra. He was 87. Riina died hours after the Justice Ministry... More »

Secret Room Where Michelangelo Hid, Sketched to Be Opened

It has been closed since its discovery in 1975 to keep the artwork safe

(Newser) - For two months in 1530, Michelangelo hid in a secret underground room beneath the Medici Chapels, "fill[ing] the walls with drawings" to forget his fears, as he later recalled. He had been commissioned by the Medicis, the most powerful family in Florence, to build the chapels—a mausoleum for... More »

80% of His Skin Had Been Lost. Doctors Grew Him a Replacement

Genetic treatment saved 7-year-old's life

(Newser) - A child who was expected to die from a devastating skin disease is alive today thanks to an experimental treatment that grew him a whole new skin. Hassan, a 7-year-old Syrian boy living in Germany, was born with a condition called epidermolysis bullosa that prevented the outer layer of skin... More »

26 Bodies Found Floating in Sea. All Were Teen Girls

Their remains were brought ashore in Salerno, Italy

(Newser) - They were mostly between the ages of 14 and 18, and 26 of them are now dead. CNN reports on the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea and describes an appalling scene: teenage girls' bodies floating lifelessly beside a nearly submerged rubber dinghy that survivors tried to cling to. The... More »

Woman Can't Stop Sweating Blood From Face, Hands

Doctors say 'most unusual' condition is hematohidrosis, but they aren't sure what causes it

(Newser) - You know there's a problem if you start coughing up blood—but how to react when you start sweating blood? Per the CBC , a 21-year-old Italian woman got to a hospital ASAP, and now doctors are puzzling over her "most unusual" case of bleeding from her face and... More »

Tourist Killed by Falling Chunk of Famous Church

Florence's Basilica of Santa Croce will be closed indefinitely

(Newser) - A 52-year-old tourist from Spain was killed Thursday by falling masonry in one of Florence's most famous churches, the Basilica of Santa Croce. The church, a top tourist attraction, is where Italian luminaries Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, and Niccolo Machiavelli are buried. The fatal accident raises questions about the state... More »

2 US Students Accuse Italian Cops of Rape

The women say the cops offered to drive them home then assaulted them

(Newser) - In a case that has shocked Italians, two American students are accusing two Italian national policemen of rape, ABC News reports. The women, 19 and 21, were leaving a disco early Thursday when they accepted a ride home from two Carabinieri paramilitary officers, who had responded to reports of a... More »

Parents Chase After Son, All 3 Perish in Volcano Crater

Tragedy at Solfatara

(Newser) - A 7-year-old boy is the sole surviving member of a family that was wiped out in a horrific accident near Naples, Italy, on Tuesday. Reports conflict, but in general they agree that the Italian family's 11-year-old son crossed a protective barrier and entered an area of the Solfatara volcanic... More »

Malaria Death of Young Girl Has Italian Authorities Mystified

'It's a mystery, almost impossible'

(Newser) - The death of a 4-year-old girl from malaria on Monday in Italy has local health authorities searching for answers and worrying about a resurgence of the deadly disease, NPR reports. Italy was declared malaria-free in 1970, and the mosquito that carries the disease no longer lives in the country. "... More »

Fugitive 'Cocaine King' Finally Messes Up After 23 Years

He now faces 30-year sentence in Italy

(Newser) - A fugitive Italian crime boss is in custody after 23 years on the run following what seems to have been a major slip-up: Authorities in Uruguay say 50-year-old Rocco Morabito, once known as the "cocaine king of Milan," was found after he used his real name to enroll... More »

Good News Times 3 in Italy Quake Rescue

Pulled from rubble: 3 siblings, including preteen who saved younger brother

(Newser) - A preteen being hailed as a hero in the earthquake that rocked Italy's Ischia island Monday was yanked out of the rubble Tuesday afternoon, as were his two little brothers, whom he's credited with saving. The BBC reports that 11-year-old Ciro was the last of the three siblings... More »

1 Dead, 7 Missing After Earthquake on Italian Resort Island

Reports vary on how strong the quake was

(Newser) - Italian officials say one person has died and seven people are unaccounted for after an earthquake struck the resort island of Ischia late Monday, the AP reports. Giovanni Vittozzi of the carabinieri's civil protection department tells Italy's Sky TG24 that several buildings in Ischia's Casamicciola town have... More »

Twist in the Case of Allegedly Kidnapped Model

Chloe Ayling admits she went shoe shopping with alleged captor

(Newser) - The talent agent who sent British model Chloe Ayling to Italy, where she says she was kidnapped and was to reportedly be auctioned on the dark web as a sex slave, has hit out at people questioning her story. Phil Green of Supermodel Agency says, "I can assure everybody... More »

Model Describes Terrifying Kidnapping Ordeal

She woke up in trunk of car after being lured to photo shoot

(Newser) - A British model allegedly kidnapped by a human-trafficking gang in Italy has shared details of her terrifying ordeal. Chloe Ayling, 20, says she feared for her life "second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour" after being drugged and taken to a remote farmhouse, the Telegraph reports. She... More »

Statue Missing From Italy Church Since 1946 Was in Family's Closet

Pennsylvania couple paid to have it returned to the church

(Newser) - A nearly life-size statue missing for decades from an Italian church is being returned by an American couple who finally solved the mystery of their family's odd relic, the AP reports. Ed Nader told NewsWorks the statue of St. Pantaleon, considered the patron saint of physicians, spent years in... More »

Thief Steals What's Left of Saint's Brain

Case containing the relic of John Bosco was stolen Friday in Italy

(Newser) - It would take someone with "profound moral misery" to do what was done on Friday, says the archbishop of Turin: A person posing as a pilgrim entered a basilica east of that city and stole a glass case that contained fragments of St. John Bosco's brain. He's... More »

Florence Brainstorms 'Elegant' Solution for Rude Tourists

Prepare to get wet if you picnic at city churches

(Newser) - The mayor of Florence says some tourists have no "decorum" these days—something he hopes to fix with a water hose. Mayor Dario Nardella says a small number of the Italian city's 12 million annual tourists—particularly day-trippers from cruise ships—have taken to "camping out" on... More »

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