Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Your Way, Right Away, The Roman Way

Top ten reasons to live in Rome:

There are now ten Burger King locations in and around Rome. If the thought ever crossed my mind to move away from Italy, the option is now off the table.

I love the ad for the new Bacon Caesar Steakhouse sandwich, but I would never order it because the whopper cheese is and always will be my tried and true BK burger of choice.

Took this photo during a When In Rome Tours housecall at a hotel near Via Nazionale this morning, where this newest location just opened.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

If you want your house cleaned properly, ask an Italian.

Italians are the biggest neat-freaks in Europe, according to a recent reportbuyer poll. This comes as no surprise to me at all, given how for years I have felt nothing short of inadequate when it comes down to it. While I like to keep a tidy house, and even have household help to assist a few times a week, somehow there is always a hairball (from the dog-I hope) in the hallway or laundry basket that has spilled out onto the floor.

When I visit Italian friends I just sit and admire their spotless floors, sparkling appliances, and clean-as-a-whistle windowframes, doorframes, shutters, you name it. A few friends have admitted that if you open up cabinets or drawers, all hell breaks loose as toys, clothes and other incriminating evidence spill out all over the place. Yet still they manage to keep up with the appearance of an impeccably clean casa.

According to the study, Italians clean their house (not tidy, CLEAN) four times a week. There are very few things I manage to do four times a week. Cleaning the house, sadly, is not one of them. Hence it will be a long time before I get my house in gear and challenge any of them to a Betty Crocker clean-0ff.

On another note, the obsession with cleanliness does not count once the threshold to the outdoors has been crossed. At least in Rome, the streets are still a public dumping ground. The north of Italy is a bit less dirty, but still covered with graffiti and trash.

Study results from

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mafia Crocodile

Anyone who has seen the great mob hits like the Godfather, The Sopranos, Goodfellas, etc knows that Italian mafiosi will go to great lengths in the name of extortion.

From the $600,000 horse head in the bed of Godfather character Jack Woltz to the baseball-bat beatings dished out by the likes of Tony Soprano and friends, when it comes to making someone pay up, common sense should tell you that you don't want to mess with these guys.

In modern Italy, the mafia remains a reality but a subdued one that is often talked about but rarely actually seen. Once in a while, it rears its ugly head and when this happens, it does make headlines. Recently a 5.5 foot Crocodile was discovered near Naples in the home of a Caserta known mobster while police searched for arms and other implicating evidence.

According to the police, the crocodile is capable or snapping off a man's limb (or worse) with a single bite. Presumably the mobsters would take the animal along on occasions where more traditional money collection methods failed.

The suspect has now been charged with illegal animal posession, and the "pet" has been taken to an animal rehabilitation center.

photo care of elvis santana
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