Famed soccer club AC Milan is forming a women’s team to compete in next season’s Serie A championship league, having bought out the Women’s team ACF Brescia. The Lombardy team finished this season by missing out in the cup final to Fiorentina and were edged out by Juventus in the women’s league. To date, the club has won two league titles and three cups. In a statement, AC Milan indicated that it was taking on the former Brescia team to help the Italian Federation’s project to develop women’s football, although its rivalry with Juventus may certainly play a part. Last year, the Torino powerhouse entered the world of women’s soccer by buying the license for nearby Cuneo Calcio Feminile. The Juventus Women, bolstered by investments from the Agnelli family, promptly lifted the league crown, no doubt causing blood to boil in the region of Lombardy.
According to seismologists in Rome, the first models to forecast earthquakes have been shown to work. Though there is still a long way to go, the tests have thus far provided accurate probability models, according to the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP) network. The first results of tests conducted by CSEP covered the 2009-2014 period. While only showing an accuracy of 5% in predicting an earthquake, the specific conditions that have been identified leave researchers hopeful that forecasting abilities will continue to improve over time. “The comparison between the forecasts made and the data observed also make it possible to identify the most effective model. After this initial round, another five years of testing on the models is expected,” said Warner Marzocchi, a seismologist with Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.
Italian Births Drop to New Low
The downward trend in Italian births that began in 2008 continued last year, when the number of newborns dropped to 458,151. According to the Italian national statistical agency ISTAT, this is the lowest level since the unification of Italy! It was the third consecutive year that Italy has registered less than half a million births. The number of births in 2017 was over 15,000 lower (-3.2%) from the recorded number in 2016 and almost 120,000 down from nine years ago. ISTAT said 390,000 of the newborns were of Italian parents, with the balance constituting foreigners living in the country.
New Archeological Discoveries in Rome
An exceptional discovery dubbed “The Athlete’s Tomb,” has been found in exactly the same condition it was left over 2,000 years ago. Located on the outskirts of Rome in the Case Rossse area, the find was unearthed during an aqueduct extension excavation. Four skeletons of three men and a woman were found in the tomb along with their ceremonial burial items. Archaeologists said they had been lucky to find the tomb intact, since it was only about seven feet below the surface of the field where the discovery was made. The bodies were accompanied by blue painted ceramic works, a bronze coin with the helmeted head of Minerva and the word “Romano” on the back, plates with the remains of food offerings including rabbit, chicken and goat and two iron strigils, which were used by athletes to clean themselves after sweaty physical activity. In an unrelated finding, an Imperial Roman villa was discovered along the banks of the Tiber River near the Milvian Bridge. A large floor area was uncovered, decorated in a multicolored marble floral motifs. The beauty of the floor has led experts to believe that the rest of the building was full of precious decorations.
94th Pitti Uomo
The 94th edition of Pitti Uomo recently opened at Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. In attendance was the new Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli, who formerly had been a Dean of the New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. Although fashion types may not be interested in numbers, this year’s 94th menswear fair has some impressive stats: 30,000 visitors are expected to attend and 1,240 brands are participating – 671 from Italy and 561 based internationally. The fashion industry in Italy has a 3.2% growth rate and revenues of over $100 billion, plus exports are up 5% to $70 billion. Although fashion statements at the Pitti Uomo varied from the sublime to the bizarre, one element appeared consistent – men’s facial hair still appears to be in style, as is evidenced by the above opening day photograph.
The Case of Lysippus
An Italian judge has ruled that a fourth century BC statue known as Lysippus must be seized and returned to Italy, regardless of where in the world the statue is located. Named after the famous sculptor who specialized working in bronze, the statue Lysippus was discovered on the sea floor off Pesaro, Italy in 1964. It was purchased by the Getty Museum in 1977 for $4 million – $16 million in today’s value. This most recent decision was the third verdict of the same kind by the Pesaro judiciary. Italy has long claimed that the statue was illegally smuggled out of the country and has demanded that the museum hand it back. In November of 2007, the John Paul Getty Museum was cleared of wrongdoing associated with the purchase of the ancient bronze statue, but it has yet to comply with the court’s demand for its return. Like the statue (pictured), we can only scratch our head wondering when the museum will right the wrong and return the valuable item.