Cronaca – July 13, 2017


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Roman Fountains Run Dry

After the second hottest spring in 60 years and the driest in that same period, Italy has missed out on about a month’s worth of rainfall, leaving lakes and reservoirs severely depleted. Rome’s public water fountains, a symbol of the city, are a welcomed source of refreshment for thousands – residents, tourists, even pets. However, last week many of the capital’s drinking fountains were turned off due the drought. Rome is the home to more public fountains than any other city in the world, with well over 2000, but for the time being, tourists and residents alike will have to seek refreshment from another source. Almost all of Italy has experienced significantly less rainfall than usual this year, with the northern regions of Emilia Romagna and Tuscany affected the most. As the picture shows – the dog days of summer have arrived.


Restored Pompeii Buildings

Some 30 buildings in Pompeii have been restored and reopened to the public. This year visitor numbers have risen by a monthly average of 10-15% and are on par to exceed the record 3.2 million visitors last year. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, now until August 24, visitors can enjoy a sound and light display in the Forum area as part of a program called ‘Campania by Night – Archaeology Under the Stars.’ So far, 76 restoration projects have been financed under the 105-million euro Great Pompeii Project. Of these, 64 have been completed, nine are underway and three are due to start. Major buildings that have been reopened to the public include the Villa of the Mysteries and the House of the Vettii, the latter had been inaccessible for 12 years.

A Healthier Diet in Italy

According to ISTAT, the major statistical supplier for the country, Italians are paying ever-increasing attention to a healthier diet. Italy is already the healthiest country in the world. Now the statistics agency reported that Italian households, which spent an average of 447.96 euros a month on food last year, reduced purchases of meat by almost 5%, although still an important component to the monthly food bill, the contrast to spending in other areas indicates a trend. Spending on fruit rose by 3%, while spending on fish and seafood rose by almost 10%. Statistically, these three changes point in the right direction for an even healthier diet.


Lost in Translation

The Italian language is not only beautiful to listen to, there are many words that convey a feeling, thought and manner that just can’t be translated into English, unless perhaps an entire sentence is used. Here are a few of them – Abbiocco – in one word this conveys the feeling that one experiences after a large meal, both the drowsiness and the feeling of contentment. Why don’t we have a word like this? And then there is Meriggiare, this means to escape the midday sun by resting in the shade. The idea makes sense, but Italians convey the thought far more effectively than we do in the English language. How about the spot that is left on the table from the condensation of a cold beverage? Yes, we can call it a glass ring or a watermark, but in Italian it is Culaccino, it conveys displeasure with both the stain and the offender at the same time. Simply brilliant! Finally, there is Magari, the meaning of which depends on whom you ask and how you say it. It roughly translates into the word “maybe,” but there is a lot of variation based on the intonation. If could mean “it’s possible, but doubtful” (usually spoken with a furled brow). But on the other hand, when said as an exclamation, the meaning translates to a wistful, dreamy quality such as – “if only!” or “I wish!” Ah, la bella lingua Italiana!

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