A Sicilian man who went to renew his Italian ID card was told by the employee at the registrar that he had officially been dead for five years. The man, Antonio Bartolotta called it “absurd” and noted that “I have always paid all my taxes on time and my public health card was also sent to me.” According to town councilor Gaspare Nicotri, who is in charge of demographic services, the recent incident is due to Bartolotta not having been found during the 2011 census, although the records might have been misplaced. In any event, the councilor added, “the offices are prepared to register him again!”
Mixed Economic News
There has been plenty of economic news emerging from Italy. First to hit the airwaves was news that Italy had slipped into a recession during the last half of 2018. Then the news was quite different in the view of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who said that 2019 will be “beautiful” and that Italy will make an “incredible” recovery. “Everything points to a beautiful 2019 and the years to come, too. Italy has an incredible program of recovery,” stated the PM during an interview. “There is so much enthusiasm and so much trust on the part of citizens and there is so much determination on the part of the government; things are expanding so fast, I can barely button my jacket,” said Conte (pictured). Meanwhile, Ferrari announced that it had reached its 2018 targets and posted profits that were up 46% to 787 million euros. The iconic sports car maker said adjusted net profit was 20% up at 645 million euros. Ferrari estimated it would have earnings of 3.5 billion euros this year and earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and accretion (EBITDA) up 10% to 1.25 billion euros.
The Egyptian Museum in Turin
The Museo Egizio archaeological museum in Turin specializes in Egyptian archaeology and anthropology. It houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities, with more than 30,000 artifacts. The museum is now the model for a European Union project to revamp the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Alongside other prestigious European museums, it will help to breathe new life into the site which, with its 136,000 objects of Ancient Egypt on display, is by far the largest and most complete collection in the world. The project is of “high scientific and cultural value,” said the Director of Turin’s Egyptian Museum, Christian Greco. Having completed a revamping itself in 2015, the Turin museum will be the reference point for the work to be conducted in Cairo. In 2017, Turin’s Egyptian Museum was the most popular museum in Italy, with revenues of almost 200 million euros.
Gucci Eyes Milan Fashion Week
Milan Fashion Week is set to kick off this month with Gucci’s return to the runway. This year’s Fashion Week will host 173 collections with 60 runway shows, 81 presentations and 33 initiatives, including young designers such as Marco Rambaldi and the return of the big name Gucci. Last year the fashion house, which is part of the French group Kering, chose to show its spring/summer collection in Paris in what it called a “temporary transfer in honor of the City of Lights.” Despite continued growth, however, the Italian fashion industry is expecting a slowdown in revenue in the first quarter of 2019. The industry is looking at a possible drop from its 2.8% increase last year to a 1% rise in the same period this year. Milan Fashion Week continues through February 25th.
The latest shocking news from the Catholic Church was announced by the Pope, an admission of more sexual abuse, this time with nuns as victims, at the hands of male clergy. This is the first time that the Pontiff has publicly recognized the issue. “It’s true … there have been priests and even bishops who have done this,” the Pope said. “I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it.” His admission came after a reporter’s question on a recent article in a Vatican magazine that mentioned how some abuse had resulted in pregnancies, children not recognized by their fathers and even “imposed abortions.” The Pope also mentioned a female religious order in France that his predecessor Pope Benedict had shut down because of “sexual slavery on the part of priests and the founder.” Pope Francis said some clerics have been suspended and that another female religious order was being closed due to similar claims.
Rome’s Pros and Cons of Road Repair
Their ancient counterparts would have been sent to the Colosseum to be mauled by wild beasts, but prisoners in Rome have been assigned a less deadly challenge – mending the capital’s potholed roads. The beleaguered city council has turned to the inmates of the city’s Rebibbia prison to tackle the lamentable state of its roads. As has been reported previously, Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi had previously suggested using the Italian military to fix the roads. That idea received tremendous pushback. The new initiative has been met with far less opposition. The first phase got underway in Torre Spaccata, on the eastern outskirts of the city. As is shown in the photograph, some of Rome’s potholes are extremely large. The prisoners were trained for three months in the fine art of asphalt-laying by employees of Autostrade per l’Italia, the country’s roads authority.