After an absence from Italy of nearly 500 years, beavers are back. The species, which was once widespread across Europe, has been spotted in Italy’s northern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The animals are believed to have wandered over the border from neighboring Austria. An adult beaver was filmed in a forest near Tarvisio, a town that lies in the triangle where Italy, Austria and Slovenia converge. Footage showed the beaver, which weighed around 30 pounds, clambering out of a pond and grooming itself with its front paws. The presence of beavers in the area was first suspected by local hunters and forest rangers, who spotted gnaw marks on the trunks of trees. They alerted experts from the University of Turin, who set up camera traps that caught the beavers on film.
A Candidate Once Again
Silvio Berlusconi has thrown himself back into politics and will run in May’s European Parliament elections after a court recently lifted his ban from public office. The 82-year-old former Italian Prime Minister said he was entering the elections as a candidate for his center-right Forza Italia party in Sardinia. He told supporters on the Mediterranean island, “At my ripe old age, I have decided out of a sense of responsibility to go to Europe, which lacks a deep world vision.” Berlusconi has made comebacks before from legal woes, personal scandals, heart trouble and political setbacks. The court ruled that he could run again, citing his good conduct. The politician’s Forza Italia party dominated Italian politics for 25 years, but is now well behind the League and the 5-Star Movement in terms of national popularity. “We need to change this government, which includes the 5-Star Movement that is led by people who have no experience and are incompetent,” said the billionaire.
On World Pizza Day, messages of support poured in for the owners of Pizzeria Sorbillo, a famous Naples establishment, following a bomb that exploded outside the entrance. No one was injured by the late-night explosion, but it damaged the restaurant’s entrance on the city’s busy Via dei Tribunali. Owner Gino Sorbillo placed a sign in front of the pizzeria stating, “Closed due to bomb,” but was able to reopen a few days after the incident. The pizzeria became a tourist attraction in itself, drawing visitors from far and wide after winning accolades for making some of Italy’s best pizza. After the success of his original location, Sorbillo has since opened other venues in Naples, Milan and New York. “It hurts me that it hits those who strive to improve this city; it’s an attack that worsens Naples and which worsens the world, but they will not stop me,” he said.
The Youngish Rings of Saturn
It turns out Saturn’s rings are younger than previously thought and only came into being about 100 million years ago, when the last of the dinosaurs were dying out. This startling revelation, according to a study led by Rome’s Sapienza University, was funded by the Italian Space Agency. The study is based on data captured by the Cassini probe during its dive into the planet’s atmosphere. Saturn’s rings are much younger than their planet, which was formed around 4.5 billion years ago. The Cassini data also supplied new information about Saturn’s mammoth winds, which blow at over 400 miles per hour and provided information about the nucleus of Saturn, which makes up 15% of the planet. The mass of the core is 18 times that of Earth and is comprised of heavy elements. The origin of the rings is still only a hypothesis. One of the most likely reasons suggests the impact of a comet, which may have disintegrated one of Saturn’s moons.
Preserving the Eternal City
Rome’s Special Superintendent for Art and Architecture has presented a new plan for safeguarding and promoting the Eternal City’s historical districts. The objective is to increase the protection and promotion for historic villas and buildings in the city by respecting the characteristics of the various neighborhoods, rather than conserving just individual buildings and decorations. Already chosen as the pilot area for the new protections is the city’s 2nd district, which includes historic areas such as the Coppedè and Trieste neighborhoods. This was a natural choice, following the outcry after a historic villa on Via Ticino was knocked down in 2017 and Villa Paolina (pictured) on Largo XXI Aprile came under risk of demolition when it was purchased by a company that planned to “modernize” it by increasing its internal volume.
Juve over AC Milan
It took just over six months, but Cristiano Ronaldo has won his first trophy with Juventus since joining the Turin soccer titan during the summer. The superstar striker led a dominant Juventus over longtime rivals AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup, bulleting in a header just after the hour mark to seal the win 1-0 over their rival in the annual one-off meeting. “Happy about my first trophy with Juventus,” the star said in a tweet with a photograph holding the cup. “Mission accomplished.” Ronaldo has now scored a remarkable 19 times in 30 appearances.