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Drought Ruins Crops, Shuts Off Milan's Fountains

Archbishop visits area to pray for rain

(Newser) - The mayor of Milan signed an ordinance Saturday turning off the spigots of public decorative fountains, and the city's archbishop prayed for rain in a tour of churches as northern Italy endures one of its worst droughts in decades. The city ordinance follows the declaration Friday of a state...

'Completely Drunk' US Tourists Damage Rome Landmark

Woman was seen shoving electric scooter down Spanish Steps

(Newser) - This has been a rough year for Rome's iconic Spanish Steps. Authorities say two American tourists caused $27,000 in damage by pushing and dragging electric scooters down them, Business Insider reports. The pair, a 29-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, were seen on the marble steps in the...

Putin May Own Superyacht About to Sail Out of Italy
Superyacht Suspected of
Ties to Putin Is Seized

Superyacht Suspected of Ties to Putin Is Seized

Italian authorities boarded the Scheherazade on Friday

(Newser) - Update: The Scheherazade isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The 459-foot, $700 million superyacht that's believed to be tied to (and possibly owned by) Russian President Vladimir Putin was ordered by the Italian government to be seized on Friday, reports Reuters . Police impounded the six-deck vessel in the port...

Wild Boars Are Holding Rome Residents 'Hostage'

Some neighborhoods have introduced curfews

(Newser) - Rome is being overrun not by Visigoths, but by wild boar. The animals have been considered a nuisance in the Italian capital for years, but unpleasant encounters between boar and Romans appear to be on the rise, the Guardian reports. After a spate of attacks, including one in which a...

COVID Restrictions Ease in Time for Tourist Season

Greece relaxes flight rules, as Italy drops health pass

(Newser) - Italy and Greece relaxed certain COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, in a sign that life was increasingly returning to normal before Europe's peak summer tourist season. Greece's civil aviation authority announced that it was lifting all COVID-19 rules for international and domestic flights, except for the wearing of face...

77 Years After US Soldiers Stole Her Cake, a New One

US Army tries to make up for its shameless 1945 swipe from Italy's Meri Mion, now 90

(Newser) - What should have been an exciting entry into teenhood for Meri Mion was marred by the fact that someone stole the birthday cake her mom had baked for her. Now, 77 years later, an act of contrition from the perp—none other than the US Army, reports the BBC . The...

Giving Father's Name to Child Shouldn't Be Automatic: Court

Official says Italian government will support move to end discriminatory practice

(Newser) - Children should not automatically be given the father's surname at birth, a court in Italy has ruled, calling the traditional practice "discriminatory and harmful to the identity" of the child. Newborns should receive the surnames of both parents, the court said in a statement, the Guardian reports. Parents...

Bear Relocated After Bakery Break-in Walks 100 Miles 'Home'

'Juan Carrito' has returned to Italian mountain town

(Newser) - For a young brown bear in Italy, the call of the trash turned out to be a lot stronger than the call of the wild. The bear, named "Juan Carrito" by residents of a ski town in the Abruzzo region, has returned to the town after a failed effort...

You Can Now Get Paid to Get Married in Italy

New initiative will refund couples $2,250 for Lazio-based wedding services in 2022

(Newser) - The coronavirus pandemic has put a real damper on the wedding and tourism industries. But Italy is fighting back with a new $11 million initiative that aims to boost both industries while possibly funding your wedding. Any couple—Italian or foreign—who opt to marry or begin a civil union...

Woman Found Dead in Chair Had Been There Since 2019

Body of 70-year-old Italian woman Marinella Beretta found Friday

(Newser) - The residents of Como, Italy, have been invited to the funeral of a woman who died two years ago—and whose body was just discovered. CNN reports the decomposed body of Marinella Beretta was found sitting in a chair in her living room on Friday. The local fire brigade discovered...

Ex-Royals Sue Italy for $335M Crown Jewels

Children of Italy's last king say the treasure chest held at bank is rightfully theirs

(Newser) - The children of Italy's last king are suing the Italian state to reclaim the crown jewels, including more than 6,000 diamonds and 2,000 pearls. The Guardian has the story from Rome, where the descendants of King Umberto II have been fighting to get their hands on a...

Italy Re-Ups Mattarella, 80, for 7 Years

President had already rented an apartment for his retirement

(Newser) - Italian President Sergio Mattarella was pulled away from his impending retirement and reelected Saturday to a second seven-year term as the country's head of state, ending days of political impasse by party leaders that risked eroding the nation's credibility. Earlier in the day, lawmakers entreated Mattarella, 80, who...

Terrorists' Note on Doomed PM's Kidnapping Sells for Big Bucks

1978 letter from Italy's Red Brigades blew past auction estimate, goes for $29K

(Newser) - A 1978 note announcing the abduction of a former Italian prime minister by the group that would later kill him has sold for 15 times the estimate at a controversial auction in Rome. The two-sided letter from communist guerrilla group Red Brigades, written on the group's letterhead, was the...

19-Year Fight Over Loud Toilet Is Finally Over
19-Year Fight Over Loud
Toilet Is Finally Over
in case you missed it

19-Year Fight Over Loud Toilet Is Finally Over

Couple wins lawsuit over owners of neighboring apartment

(Newser) - Back in 2003, somebody flushed a toilet in the middle of the night in Italy and the couple in the neighboring apartment thought, boy that was loud. Nineteen years later, that couple near La Spezia has finally won their legal case against the neighbors for too-loud flushing at night, reports...

Texas-Born Princess Tries, Fails to Sell an Opulent Villa

There were no takers for Villa Aurora at $400M

(Newser) - Texas-born Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi is having a hard time unloading a 16th-century Italian villa loaded with countless priceless pieces of art and appraised at $533 million—despite a price tag far lower. A court-ordered auction of the "Villa Aurora" estate in Rome failed to draw any bids on...

Cops Nab Fugitive Mafia Boss Thanks to Google Street View

Convicted killer Gioacchino Gammino had fled Italy for Spain

(Newser) - An Italian mafia boss and convicted murderer who escaped from prison in Rome 20 years ago has been arrested in Spain—thanks in part to a sighting on Google Street View. Authorities say they already believed 61-year-old Gioacchino Gammino to be hiding in Spain, though the sighting of him and...

It's the First Study to Examine Sicily's Child Mummies

Researchers to examine 41 'tiny dolls' mummified in Sicily's Capuchin Catacombs

(Newser) - The Capuchin Catacombs in Sicily, Italy, are famous for their nearly 1,300 mummified corpses on display to the public. Now researchers plan to conduct the first-ever study devoted to a subset of those mummies—the children. Specifically, researchers from Staffordshire University in the UK will examine 41 mummified children,...

Pope Francis: Grandeur Isn't the Key

Larger crowd than last year's attends Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica

(Newser) - Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve Mass before an estimated 2,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday, going ahead with the service despite the resurgence in COVID-19 cases that has prompted a new vaccine mandate for Vatican employees. A maskless Francis processed down the central aisle as the...

Oldest Known Grave of Baby Girl Found in Europe
Rare Find: Infant Girl
Buried 10K Years Ago

Rare Find: Infant Girl Buried 10K Years Ago

Burial suggests females were highly regarded at the time

(Newser) - The earliest known burial of a female infant in Europe has convinced some archaeologists that humans living 10,000 years ago considered females as members of society at birth—a find that might be surprising considering many women didn’t gain personhood under law until the 20th century. The child,...

Guy Who Tried to Get Shot in Fake Arm Gets Vaccine for Real

Dentist in Italy says phony limb was protest against vaccine mandates

(Newser) - Update: An Italian dentist who tried to get a COVID vaccine in a fake arm says he got the vaccine for real the next day. Dr. Guido Russo told a talk show Wednesday night that he's not anti-vaccination, but he wanted to protest vaccine mandates, the AP reports. "...

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