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Weekly News – May 03. 2018

But It’s Only a Game

Former World Cup winner Fabio Grosso, who coaches the Serie B soccer team in Bari found a dead rooster left outside his home in advance of his team’s league game against Pescara. The bitter rivalry between the two clubs on the Italian Adriatic coast has intensified since Grosso, who lives near Pescara, took over as coach of their southern rivals last year. The outside walls of Grosso’s family home in Spoltore were covered with graffiti, while a rooster, which is the symbol of Bari, was found hanging lifeless at the gate. Paper bombs were also exploded outside the team’s hotel the night before the match, in a bid to prevent Bari players from sleeping. The match ended in a 2-2 tie. “Unfortunately, the name of Pescara has been sullied by these few individuals,” said Grosso, a former Inter Milan and Juventus defender, who has lived in the Pescara area his entire life. He won the World Cup with Italy in 2006.

The Superdesign Show in Milan

In Milan, a tongue-in-cheek look at flat-pack furniture is under way. Called “IDEA – The Design Supermarket,” the items are definitely not the usual objects found in stores like Ikea. The collection includes a wardrobe for hiding lovers (should a spouse arrive home unexpectedly) and a pedestal intended for the individual who wants to place themselves on it. There is also a spare wheel for a car that requires assembly and in this age of technology where books are becoming a thing of the past, there is a bookcase that would contain just one favorite book. Other humorous designs include a dining table for those who are always on a diet, a cradle that looks like a boat (complete with oars), a portable shelter for dogs and a table with interchangeable legs. The show is directed by renowned designer Giulio Cappellini. Other designs were a bit more useful, if not as funny. The MIT Design Lab in Boston displayed a special fabric that responds to the level of air pollution, while environmentally friendly ecoBirdy presented a collection of children’s furniture made entirely from recycled plastic toys.

Attention Real Estate Investors!

The medieval town of San Gimignano in Siena, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990. The town and Cultural Ministry have agreed to select a private partner to run the 14th century ex-convent complex, which covers 10% of the historic center of town. Those who want to submit a plan have until May 31 to do so. It requires the investor to put up 22.3 million euros for a 70-year lease. Under the project, one-third of the buildings can be used for housing guests, such as a hotel, with the remainder dedicated to cultural activities like museums and exhibition spaces. The winner will be selected based on the project and management proposal as well as a financial investment plan.

Testing of Driverless Cars Begins in Italy

The Italian Transportation Ministry has now authorized road tests of driverless cars in Italy. The decree, contained in the 2018 budget law, permits both smart roads and road tests of driverless vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) last year joined an alliance led by BMW to produce driverless cars. Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, reached a deal with FCA in January to dramatically expand its fleet of autonomous vehicles.

The Best to Work for in Italy

Working-age Italians were asked to rate what they look for in an employer and which companies offer the best overall working environment. According to a survey of nearly 6,000 people carried out by human resources consultants Randstad, Italians’ top priority is work-life balance, followed by a good working environment, with pay and benefits in third place. Looking at 150 of the largest employers in Italy, Randstad identified five that best satisfied employees’ criteria. Most attractive overall was Lamborghini. The luxury car maker, headquartered near Bologna, came out on top for working environment, benefits, workplace safety, career development and reputation. Best for work-life balance was Florim, the Italian ceramics manufacturer, with sites near Modena, Bologna and Milan. Coca-Cola, which employs more than 25,000 people in Italy, was tops for financial stability, while Bologna-based car manufacturer Maserati was judged to offer the most interesting work. Brembo of Bergamo, the world leader in brakes for cars and motorbikes, took first place for cutting-edge technology.

Botanical Diversity

No other country in Europe has a greater variety of plants and flowers than Italy, according to the most recent list published by the international journal Plant Biosystems. Researchers at the University of Camerino, located in Marche Region, have compiled a list of 8,195 species and subspecies that have been identified within the country’s 20 regions. The greatest level of botanical diversity was found in the region of Piemonte, which contained 3,464 species. This was followed by Tuscany with 3,370, Lombardy (3,272) and Abruzzo (3,190). It is only in recent years that the work on the ground has been merged with a more extensive listing of the botanical species located throughout each of the regions of Italy.