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Milk Prices Now Fall at 60 Cents Per Liter

The falling price of sheep and goat’s milk pushed farmers in Sardinia over the edge recently. The falling prices of milk, now below 60 cents per liter, do not even cover the cost of breeding and feeding the animals. Additionally, locals were fed up with the poor quality of goods imported from other markets. Roughly 100 protesters stopped refrigerated trucks carrying imported pork from France and threw much of the product onto the ground. In a separate incident in Ortacesus, between 4,000 and 7,000 liters of sheep’s milk was spilled in front of the gates of the dairy company Serra. Minister of Agriculture Gianmarco Centinaio has called for a meeting to look into the farmers and protestors grievances.

New Investors for Alitalia

It has been reported that airlines Delta and EasyJet are prepared to make an investment of up to 400 million euros for a stake in the new Alitalia. Last week it was announced that advanced negotiations were begun with the two airlines to become industrial partners in the new Alitalia. The Italian State is also set to have a major role. Deputy Premier and Labor and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio mentioned that the combined stake of the Treasury and the state-owned Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) rail group in the new Alitalia could be over the 50% mark. It is estimated that FS would have a stake of approximately 30%, while the Treasury holdings are estimated to be between 15 and 25%. Alitalia has been in administration for two years.

Remarkable Fresco Unearthed

A stunning fresco depicting Narcissus gazing at his own reflection has been uncovered during new excavations at Pompeii. Project Superintendent Massimo Osanna said the myth of Narcissus was a very common artistic topic in the ancient city. Additionally, adjacent to the atrium where the fresco was found, a store room was discovered containing a dozen glass containers, eight amphorae, as well as a bronze funnel. The discovery was made during a dig at the Regio V section of the ancient Roman city and comes just months after the unearthing of another specular fresco depicting the Spartan Queen Leda. The discoveries have caused a change in the priorities of projects at Pompeii so that excavations will continue in the area and at least part of the ancient home will be opened to the public. Narcissus, in Greek mythology, was the son of a river god and a nymph who was distinguished by his striking beauty.

Florentine Treasure to Reopen

The Vasari Corridor linking the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace in Florence will reopen in 2021 following a projected 18-month, 10-million euro renovation project, although, as yet, no company has yet been selected to perform the renovation. The link between the two monuments was closed in 2016 for safety reasons. It is estimated that once reopened, the Vasari Corridor will attract approximately 500,000 visitors per year. The corridor is an enclosed passageway which begins on the south side of the Palazzo Vecchio, joins the Uffizi Gallery, crosses the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and then follows the north bank of the River Arno until it crosses the Ponte Vecchio. It was built in only five months by order of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1565. At that time, the meat market at the Ponte Vecchio was moved to another location to avoid its smell reaching into the passage. Its place was taken by the goldsmith shops that still occupy the bridge. The corridor houses hundreds of works of art, most of which are self-portraits. It covers part of the facade of the Church of Santa Felicita before crossing rows of houses in the Oltrarno district to finally reach the Pitti Palace.

Bulgari to Fund Ruins Restoration

Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi has announced that the archaeological area at Largo Argentina, site of some of Rome’s oldest temples, will be made accessible to the public thanks to a deal with fashion house Bulgari. Work on the area, which has long been home to a large (protected) colony of stray cats, should be completed during the second half of 2021. Bulgari, which funded the renovation of the Spanish Steps in 2016, will provide roughly 800,000 euros for the project. Martius Largo di Torre Argentina contains four Republican-era temples, which have become weather worn in recent years. In Roman times, it was known as Campus Martius and is also the site of the front of what was once Pompey’s Theatre, including the spot where Julius Caesar was famously assassinated on the Ides of March.

Zeffirelli to Stage La Traviata

Legendary director Franco Zeffirelli, who celebrated his 96th birthday on February 12, will be staging Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, ‘La Traviata,’ to open the 2019 Opera Festival on June 21 at the Verona Arena. “I love everything about La Traviata. Violetta is the perfect image of a woman, today and always,” said Zeffirelli. The Verona staging of the opera, which Zeffirelli first imagined in 2008, will run through September. Zeffirelli has staged the opera eight other times, including a historic performance in 1958 in Dallas and in 1964 at Milan’s La Scala. In the past, he has staged other operas at the Verona Arena, including Carmen, Aida, Turandot, Madame Butterfly, Il Trovatore and Don Giovanni, but he has never presented La Traviata at this first century Roman venue.