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Clashes Halt Nazi War Criminal's Funeral

Catholic extremists offer to hold service for Priebke

(Newser) - The corpse of a Nazi war criminal is far from resting in peace in Italy: A hearse containing the body of Erich Priebke, who died last week while under house arrest for his role in the 1944 massacre of 335 Italian civilians, was attacked by protesters yesterday as it approached... More »

2 Cops Hurt in Shooting as Italy Gets New PM

Enrico Letta heads coalition government

(Newser) - As Italy's new government was taking the reins in Rome, two police officers were wounded in a shooting near the prime minister's office. One of the officers, who was shot in the neck, is in a serious condition, but it's not life-threatening, Reuters reports. A forty-something man... More »

Mussolini's 'Most Secret' Bunker Revealed

It was found in 2011, and will open to public this summer

(Newser) - You'll soon be able to visit a manifestation of Benito Mussolini's paranoia: his "most secret" bunker, unearthed beneath his Rome headquarters in 2011 and just revealed. During the restoration of the 15th-century Palazzo Venezia, architect Carlo Serafini came upon a trap door, reports La Stampa by way... More »

Rome Unveils 'Biggest Find Since the Forum'

Hadrian's auditorium once hosted poetry readings and speeches

(Newser) - Archaeologists have finished excavating a once-glorious arts center in the heart of Rome that was only discovered because of an underground railway line, the Guardian reports. "Hadrian's auditorium is the biggest find in Rome since the Forum was uncovered in the 1920s," said Rossella Rea, the project'... More »

Tourists Won't Be Able to Touch Colosseum Anymore

Iron columns will protect visitors from falling debris

(Newser) - The days of getting up close and personal with Rome's iconic Colosseum are coming to an end. The monument will soon be ringed by a protective barrier to keep tourists out of the reach of falling debris. Cast iron columns will be erected anywhere from 15 to 50 feet... More »

Pope Statue No Longer Looks Like Mussolini

Monument reworked to look friendlier

(Newser) - Rome was not happy after last May's unveiling of a statue of Pope John Paul II, which many decried as looking more like dictator Benito Mussolini (or, according to others, a Star Trek alien) than the late pontiff. Now the 16-foot bronze statue has been reworked to give it... More »

Thousands of Students Protest Across Italy

They oppose PM Mario Monti's austerity measures

(Newser) - Thousands of angry students protested government austerity measures across Italy today and injured up to six policemen in Rome, hitting them with stones while hiding behind homemade shields, Reuters reports. The students also tried rushing a Rome police van but were driven back by batons. Other protests against the policies... More »

Busted: Huge Pot Farm in Old Rome Subway

Raid yields $3.7M worth of marijuana

(Newser) - Mussolini probably never saw this one coming. An old metro tunnel in Rome built on the fascist leader's orders during the 1930s was covertly operating as a cannabis farm, reports Reuters . Police, using that most ancient detective device—their noses—caught the scent of marijuana just outside its entrance.... More »

Hundreds Stranded as Italian Airline Shuts Down

Wind Jet stops flights as Alitalia takeover talks fail

(Newser) - Hundreds of travelers have been stranded in Rome after the cash-strapped discount airline Wind Jet stopped all flights over the weekend. Many passengers are camping in the airport until they can find alternative transportation, reports the BBC . The Sicily-based firm is now close to losing its license after takeover talks... More »

Drunk Passes Out on Airport Baggage Belt

Norwegian takes a snooze in Rome

(Newser) - A drunk Norwegian tourist ended up taking a ride with his bag at Rome's Fiumicino airport. When the 36-year-old man found the checkout counter for his flight to Oslo unstaffed, he fell asleep on the baggage belt—still clutching his beer—and remained passed out as he and his... More »

Ailing Colosseum Getting $30M Overhaul

Tod's founder bankrolling much-needed facelift, to begin in December

(Newser) - Italian cultural officials have announced that the $30 million restoration of the Colosseum financed by the founder of luxury leather good maker Tod's will begin in December. Officials said the work is expected to take two and a half years, during which time the monument will remain open to... More »

11-Year-Old Flies to Rome Alone, Without a Ticket

He didn't have a passport either

(Newser) - Let's hope the terrorists never recruit Liam Corcoran. The 11-year-old managed to board a flight from Manchester, England, to Rome, Italy, yesterday, despite having neither a passport nor a boarding pass, the AP reports. Authorities are investigating the incident, which they dubbed an "extremely serious matter," and... More »

Vatican Hires Fox News Journo for Media Gig

Greg Burke will try to stop the 'blunders'

(Newser) - The Vatican has hired an American journalist from Fox News to smooth its rocky relationship with the media and help guide the Church through its latest scandal , reports Reuters . Greg Burke, 52, a member of the conservative Opus Dei group, will leave his Fox post in Rome to become communications... More »

Chinese Gangs Making ... Fake Italian Train Tickets?

'Leonardo Express' forgeries found in shipping container

(Newser) - Italian cops have seized phony train tickets worth a massive $35 million, but the forger of the "Leonardo Express" tickets didn't have the skills of the Rome airport train's namesake. The tickets, found in a shipping container from China, were paler than the genuine article and the... More »

Rome's Storied Trevi Fountain Crumbling

Budget cuts endangering city's ancient heritage

(Newser) - If Rome's famous Trevi fountain could chuck a coin into itself and make a wish, it would probably ask for some TLC. The 280-year-old monument's stucco reliefs are crumbling and a gargoyle's head came tumbling down on the weekend, reports the Guardian . Officials blame the damage on... More »

New Roman Shipwrecks Bust Ancient Sailing Theory

Roman finds are deepest in Mediterranean

(Newser) - Greece has tracked down the deepest ancient shipwrecks ever found in the Mediterranean, and they're challenging what we thought we knew about the Romans. While experts previously believed that ancient ships held to the coastlines for safety—instead of venturing into the open sea—the two wrecks disprove that... More »

Mobster's Tomb Opened in Quest to Solve Vatican Mystery

Bones removed from Roman basilica in search for missing teen

(Newser) - Italian cops cracked open the jewel-encrusted tomb of a murdered mob boss yesterday in a bid to solve the 1983 disappearance of a Vatican employee's teenage daughter. Experts opened the casket of Enrico de Pedis inside the crypt of a prestigious Roman basilica and discovered that he was the... More »

Letter Bomb Explodes in Rome

Tax agency director injured

(Newser) - A letter bomb exploded at Italy's tax collection agency today, lightly injuring the director general to whom it was addressed, police say. The letter exploded at midday as the director opened a yellow bubble envelope mailed to his attention at an office on the outskirts of Rome; he suffered... More »

Rome Dump Threatens Hadrian's Villa

Prince, environmentalists battle garbage plan

(Newser) - Old Hadrian can't seem to escape the city. The 2nd-century Roman emperor built a new villa and plush outbuildings in Tivoli to escape the noises and smells of Rome. But the city is about to open a new dump next door. There goes the neighborhood. Riding to the rescue... More »

'Occupiers' Arrested Across US; Rome Tallies Damage

Police handcuff 175 in Chicago for not clearing public plaza

(Newser) - Police arrested hundreds of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters today who endured chilly nights outdoors in Chicago, New York, Denver, and Arizona, the New York Daily News reports. As the Chicago Tribune has it, officers rounded up about 175 demonstrators who refused to clear Congress Plaza after 1am. The arrests... More »

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