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Radar Reveals Roman City

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The contours of an ancient city north of Rome buried underground for 13 centuries, were revealed using a quad bike and a ground-penetrating radar. The splendor of long-buried Falerii Novi in the Tiber River Valley was revealed and mapped by experts without overturning a single stone. Instead, researchers used ground penetrating radar and satellite navigation to create sophisticated 3-D images of the once-lost town. It marked the first time that ground penetrating radar technology has been used to map an entire city. Falerii Novi, located a short distance from Rome is roughly one tenth square mile in area. It was founded in 241 BC and remained inhabited until around 700 AD. The 3-D images show a number of temples, public administration buildings and a bath complex, as well as a columned passageway thought to be a public monument. The mapping also revealed a complex system of water pipes not too different from those in modern cities.

Surgery and Olive Stuffing

A 60-year-old woman from the region of Abruzzo prepared 90 olive all’ascolana – Ascoli-style stuffed olives, while having an operation to remove a brain tumor. “It all went very well,” said neurosurgeon Roberto Trignani, following the two-and-a-half-hour procedure in Ancona. The surgeon has performed the operation 60 times during the past five years with patients conscious and engaged in other activities, which allows him to “monitor the patient while intervening on brain functions, permitting the surgical team to calibrate the actions.” The olives, made by wrapping pitted green olives around balls of seasoned meat are then coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs before being fried. As shown in the photograph, the patient prepared the olives during the procedure, although she was not permitted to fry the olives in the operating theatre. She quickly became a culinary hero in Italy, with many social media users expressing admiration for her kitchen skills.

Back to the Beach

As Italy emerges from the quarantine, attention is focused on how its residents and tourists can return safely to the nation’s extensive beachfront. The Italian company Nuova Neon Group 2 believes it has an answer. It has released designs for 6 ½ foot high plexiglas beach booths. Each transparent enclosure is large enough to house two sunbathers and an umbrella. “The idea was born with the dual purpose of both protecting and restarting beach activities,” said Nuova Neon CEO Claudio Ferrari. Another less expensive idea put forth is creating “hygiene tunnels” complete with disinfectant spray for bathers to pass through before entering the beach.

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Tracing App in Place

Testing of the Immuni contact-tracing app has begun in Italy. Designed to help the country manage phase two of the coronavirus crisis, the first trials of the app began last week in the regions of Liguria, Puglia, Marche and Abruzzo, before being rolled out nationwide earlier this week. A half million downloads occurred within 24 hours after being made available through Apple and Google Play stores. Use of the app is voluntary and following installation, requires only basic details, such as the user’s town of residence. After that, the system functions automatically. If two smartphones with the app installed are less than three apart, the exchange automatically generates codes that make it possible to trace previous contacts in cases when one of the users is diagnosed with the virus. The system then sends notification to users who have been in close contact with the positive case.

Via Fellini

Part of the Via Lungotevere Tiber in Rome will be named after the late great Italian film director Federico Fellini. The naming of the road near Piazza Maresciallo honors the famed filmmaker who was born in Rimini 100 years ago. Many of Fellini’s films, including La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2 and Roma, were set in the Eternal City. Fellini won the Palme d’Or for La Dolce Vita. He was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won four in the category of Best Foreign Language Film, the most for any director in the history of the Academy. Fellini received an honorary award for Lifetime Achievement at the 65th Academy Awards. His other well-known films include La Strada (1954), Nights of Cabiria (1957), Juliet of the Spirits (1967), Satyricon (1969), Amarcord (1973) and Casanova (1976). Fellini is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time.

Ravenna Festival to Kickoff

The 31st Ravenna Festival will begin this Sunday, June 21, with a concert by the Giovanile Cherubini Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Muti (pictured). The festival will feature a program of 40 events running until July 30. Several of the concerts will take place at the 15th century Rocca Brancaleone, which hosted the festival’s inaugural concert in 1990, also conducted by Muti. Other events are located at larger venues in Lugo and Cervia. The Ravenna Festival is not only about orchestral concerts; events feature dance, live theater, cinema and the figurative arts. One program includes a piece written by Valerio Cappelli on virtual relations in the time of the pandemic, featuring Sergio Castellitto and Isabella Ferrari, with music by Ennio Morricone. The festival is also preparing a digital platform that will broadcast the events so people can enjoy them for free from home.

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