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Uffizi Victorious in Court

The Uffizi Gallery has won a legal battle against a firm that set up websites to sell tickets to the Florence museum at inflated prices. The District Court of Arizona ruled that BoxNic Anstalt had committed ‘cybersquatting’ over its use of the Uffizi trademark and ordered it to stop using the uffizi.com, uffizi.net, uffizigallery.com and uffizigallery.net domain names. The museum said the ruling was an historic judicial victory against online ticket touting, stating that it is not just a victory for the Uffizi, for the culture ministry and the world of culture, it is also a victory for honest citizens. Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt said “We have landed a devastating blow against the vampires of the Web who have illegally and in bad faith, exploited our heritage and our image for years like parasites. These pirate sites deceived visitors from all over the world.”

Calculating the CPI

Italy’s national statistical agency, ISTAT announced that it has completed its annual revision of the goods used to calculate its consumer-price index. Similar to the United States CPI, it measures the price changes in a market basket of goods and services in various cities across Italy. New to the list for 2020 are products and services that seem to reflect the times, such as, electric cars, beauty treatments for men, nail salons and food delivery services. It also includes hearing aids for the first time, acknowledging the increasing average age in the country. Normally a number of products and or services are dropped from the list each year due to obsolescence, but ISTAT did not remove anything for 2020.

Happy and Healthy

Italians are feeling better overall despite the country being in the peak of flu season and with economic worries about the future path of Italy, following Brexit. The flu has thus far infected about 4 ½ million people, but new figures show that Italian wellbeing is actually on the increase. The report looks beyond the economic picture to assess how Italy is progressing, considering economic, social and environmental conditions. Over 50 % of the 110 comparable indicators have registered an improvement. Two in five Italians reported “high levels of satisfaction” with their lives and although subjective, the wellbeing measurements showed an increase of almost 2% over the previous year. The key takeaway is that Italians, on the whole, are feeling more optimistic now than last year!

Netflix and Italy

Streaming giant Netflix has announced it will set up an office in Rome to help expand its range of original Italian content. The U.S. subscription video service will open its first Italian base within the next few months. The move will allow the company to strengthen its creative partnerships and work on the growing number of movies and series made in Italy. Since launching in Italy in 2015, Netflix estimated that its subscribers have grown to two million by the end of 2019. Its newest release in Italy is “Black Moon,” a period series about women accused of witchcraft in 17th century Italy, which debuted last week. Netflix says it plans to invest €200 million in Italian productions by the end of 2021, calling Italy “a cradle of great storytellers and amazing talent.”

A Bad Habit

An Italian woman who evaded arrest for two years by posing as a nun and hiding out in convents has been caught. The 47-year-old was convicted of fraud in Sicily and was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison. She fled the island and found refuge by pretending to be a nun in search of hospitality in the northern regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. According to investigators, the woman phoned the convents pretending to be a sister looking for help and claiming she was severely ill. The woman, who is from Acqui Terme in Piedmont, repeatedly changed her identity as she moved from convent to convent. Last week her luck ran out when a nun from a Benedictine convent in Gallarate in Lombardy’s Varese province grew suspicious about her identity and phoned the police. The police found that the fugitive was in possession of a stolen ID card. They took her to a police station, where her true identity emerged.

Casa Leopardi to Open

The birthplace of Italy’s greatest romantic poet, Giacomo Leopardi, will be opened for the first time to the public on March 21. His birthplace, Casa Leopardi, is located in the town of Recanati in the region of Marche. The itinerary will include an art collection gallery, garden and the private chambers of the poet, which have been preserved by his descendants for over two centuries. The son of a count, Leopardi was a child prodigy. Still in his teens, he traveled by himself to Rome, where he achieved fame and later went on to Milan, Bologna and Florence, where he met Alessandro Manzoni, the other great Italian poet and writer of the century. His constant reflection on existence, the human condition and materialist inspiration earned him a reputation as a deep philosopher. Frail throughout his life, he died at age 38 in Naples in 1837. In 2014, a biography of his life was made into a film titled “Leopardi.”