Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bargain Shopping at Castel Romano Outlets

Ok so I know how lucky I am when part of my job is to go and research upcoming events and things to do around Rome and then report back on them. So naturally I was more than happy to go check out this outlet shopping centre outside the city I had heard about. It's called Castel Romano and its only about 15km south of the Roman suburb of EUR. Not having a car, I hadn't had the chance to visit but yet. This week, with the summer sales on my mind, once I found out about the shuttle bus leaving from piazza barberini and only costing 21 euro, there was no stopping this shopaholic.

Not only are there big designer names like Cavalli, Valentino and D & G, but also Levis, la Perla and more Italian labels such as Pinko and Motivi. I found the shops to be especially good for womens wear, shoes and accessories. Oh, and did I mention shoes? I practiced the utmost restraint and only bought two pair (flip flops don't count, naturally). Had I known there is a "kiddie parking area" (that's right, you go there and park your kids with babysitters in a play area while you shop) I would have brought the little people (and probably stayed longer and spent MORE as a result. All the more reason to come back again my friends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Italian Nuns Make a "Habit" out of Breaking the Law?

Given the public backlash recently surrounding nuns and whether they have been granted too much freedom to act and do as they please, this most recent headline struck me as particularly interesting.

Let me set the scene for you as I envision it (naturally, based on the reported facts).

Three nuns are sitting around the convent and being pious when news that Pope Benedict XI has fallen in the bath and was taken to the hospital. The oldest nun, presumably the "boss" at her ripe age of 78, shouts "Fire up the Ford Fiesta, we've got to go"! Sister Tavoletta, 56, obeys the order and within moments the nuns peeled out and headed towards the Papal chalet at Les Combs. Tavoletta must have really put the pedal to the metal, because when local police stopped here, the "flying" nun was clocked at 120 mph (190 km/hr)!

After being handed a 375 Euro fine and having her license suspended, she vows to contest the fines. Presumably, the Vatican will foot the bill for Italy's top attorney for auto related lawsuits.

Out of curiosity, I wonder if that police officer now fears what might await him when his time comes and he marches up to the proverbial gates...perhaps he too might be handed a few violations?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Becoming Italian

Some of you may remember our recent controversial report about the Italian fear of drafts and other illness-provoking phenomena such as the evil eye, ice cold drinks, sleeping near open windows, et cetera.

Yesterday, as two kind Italian men performed the herculean task of mounting two giant air conditioners in my apartment, I could barely contain my excitement. Finally, after ten years in this country I would spend July and August with 24,000 BTU's of arctic cool air blowing down on me and my loved ones. I found myself giggling when any time I got too close to the stream of air coming out of the machine while holding my 6 month old baby, one of the men would shout "Signora, attenzione!" (Watch out, the air will hit him)! I humored them and moved away before they pulled out their telefonini and called the department of child services on me.

A few hours later, when all was said and done and I sat down to work at my desk (conveniently located nice and close to the air conditioner), within minutes my neck began to hurt. It became stiff, sore, and sent a chill through my whole body. Panic stricken, I grabbed that handy remote control and hit the off button with a quickness while contemplating the possibility that against all odds, I was truly becoming Italian.

Follow our blog to find out how the story unfolds as temperatures soar to a scorching 34 this weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Italian Anti-Immigration Law Stirs Public Debate

A new law passed on Thursday July 2, making illegal immigration a crime in Italy.

With the exception of heads of school and doctors, Italians are now required by law to report the presence of illegal immigrants. Violation of this law is now punishable by hefty fines of up to 10,000 Euro and even imprisonment for up to 3 years for those in violation. The government has asked for "citizen patrols" to enforce the new law.

No public services such as health care or education are to be granted to babies or children whose parents do not legally reside in Italy.

A petition against the law has been drafted by activities including Moni Ovadia, and those who wish to add their names may do so here.
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