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Weekly News – Apr 05, 2018

Wet Blanket on Wet Beach Towels

Stintino, one of Sardinia’s most popular beach areas, is considering a ban on beach towels to help protect its spectacular white sands. It is one of several measures proposed to protect La Pelosa beach from losing sand. At the height of the summer, the beach attracts several thousand visitors each day. The town’s mayor has cited that scientific studies prove that sand adheres more to wet beach towels than dry. Beachgoers may also be forbidden from bringing large bags, also a suspected culprit for stuck sand, although there has been no study performed (yet). Access to the beach by car is already prohibited and soon the beach will receive a raised boardwalk to help keep foot traffic off the fragile sand dunes.

‘Resurrection’ Brought Back to Life

After a three-year-long restoration, Renaissance Master Piero della Francesca’s “Resurrection” can once again be admired in its original glory at the Civic Museum of Sansepolcro, the little Tuscan town where the artist was born around the year 1420. The long restoration carried out by Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure, also unveiled new details of the fresco’s history. It is now certain the painting was moved to its present location from another building. Art historians have historically dated the fresco from between 1450 and 1465, but new research has shifted the date to 1470. The original location and reason why it was moved are still unclear.

Saving the Northern White Rhino

An Italian company led by the man who produced the world’s first cloned bull and horse is now involved in the quest to help save the northern white rhino from extinction. The process will use surrogate southern white rhino mothers, following the death of the last male of the species. The assisted-breeding Avantea Company, based in Cremona, will aid the in-vitro fertilization, to be performed on one of the two remaining females, Najin, born in 1989 and her daughter, Fatu, born in 2000. Both were born in captivity. Avantea’s founder Cesare Galli produced the world’s first cloned bull, Galileo, in 1999 and its first cloned horse, Prometea, in 2003. Prometa went on to produce a foal, Pegaso in 2008. The two remaining females are protected round-the-clock by armed guards. Poachers have brought the species to the point of extinction, killing the animals purely for the Rhino’s horns, which sell for about $25,000 per pound on the black market.

Roman Potholes are First to Bloom in Spring 

After a winter that saw snow, Rome’s potholes, known as buche, are on the verge of reaching an all-time high. Still, they are not quite as bad as 2016, when half of the city’s buses suffered some sort of damage due to the craters. That year, even James Bond was not immune to the insidious holes. Daniel Craig received a nasty bump to the noggin while filming a movie scene. Perpetually embattled Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi has initiated two separate plans to tackle the problem. It was suggested tongue-in-cheek, that if the current plan doesn’t work, she should instead take credit for adding 4,000 new swimming pools to the Eternal City.

Italy’s Top Soccer League Back in Black

Italy’s Serie A clubs have generated a net collective profit for the first time in 17 years, but remain in a precarious position. Following the golden era of the 1990s and early 2000s, Serie A clubs last year registered collective losses of €222 million, which was an improvement on the previous season’s losses of €365 million. This year, Italy’s top flight is back in the black, with 11 of the league’s 20 clubs posting net profits. That still leaves nine teams in the red. Napoli posted the largest profit with €66.6 million, followed by Juventus (€42.6 million) and Lazio (€11.4 million). At the bottom of the financial charts were AC Milan, with losses of €74.9 million, Roma (€41.7 million) and Inter (€24.6 million). Teams receive about 56% of their revenue from television rights and 22% from brand merchandising. Only about 10% of revenues come from match-day ticket sales.

Cooks Who Can’t Boil Water

For the uninitiated, consider this as a public service announcement, as well as a lesson in Cooking 101. To cook pasta, boil water first! Three American exchange students in Florence learned this lesson the hard way when they started a fire in their apartment by attempting to cook pasta without the most basic of ingredients. The 20-year-old students brought home pasta from the supermarket and put them straight into a pot without any water and lit the stove. Instead of getting a delicious pasta dinner for three, the pot quickly burst into flames and caused a fire. The group called local firefighters who promptly extinguished the fire (using water). Apart from some damaged kitchen furnishings, no one was hurt. Local chef Fabio Picchi heard about the fiasco and took the opportunity to offer the women a free lunch and some basic cooking classes. “I think it can be useful to them,” he said. Now that is an understatement!