Italy by site April 8-16

Italy’s Love Affair with Fiat ? Find Italian Travel Companions ?Italian Ecards for Mother’s Day?Hear Avion Travel’s ‘Little Torment’

Hear Avion Travel’s ‘Little Torment’
The first release from latest album ‘poco mossi gli altri bacini’, the new track ‘piccolo tormento’ has got one of Italy’s most interesting pop bands on the charts…°
The clip…

Perdo Tempo
An earlier, brilliant effort…

Italian Ecards for Mother’s Day
Let your mamma know you’re thinking of her May 11 — with these Italian ecards, though modern moms may get an unintentional laugh out of some of the sugar-sticky traditional ones.

Find Italian Travel Companions
Women traveling to Italy this summer might want to use this message board to find some company for the road…Use the ‘clicca qui’ button in the first paragraph to read previously published messages.

Me & My Fiat
Italians& their Fiats — take a stroll through this mostly vintage photo gallery sent in by readers for a look at the way Italians & their wheels once were…

Italy by site May 1 – 8

Mini-mini Italian skirts ? Labor Day Concert: Live ? Celebrating Spring in Assisi ? Remembering Comic Actor Ciccio Ingrassia

Italian Designers shrink skirts for Summer
Italian designers are not to be outdone in the contest to see who can get women to show the most thigh for 2003. These sexy Italian mini-minis require courage & a certain budget, from the military look to flitty and flirty florals from designers like Giorgio Armani, Pucci, Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana at least offer a wide range of daring styles to choose from…
Take a look:

Labor Day Concert: Live
Follow the traditional May Day concert in Rome’s Piazza San Giovanni — live from 4 p.m. Italian time. This year’s politically charged version — between peace banners & protests over the labor reform law Article 18 includes guests like Nick Cave, Cabin, popsters Alex Britti, Enrico Ruggeri, Irene Grandi & staff favorites like Carmen Consoli, Vinicio Capossela and Franceso De Gregori.

Celebrating Spring in Assisi
The hometown of Saint Francis steps back in time for the Calends of May, originally a pagan festival rite to celebrate the coming of Spring held the first weekend in May. This burst of joy and vigor, music and song, costumes and flowers called the Calendimaggio — in antiquity, the "calends" were the first days of the month — is still deeply felt by locals. The highlight of the fest is a contest between two neighborhoods, the upper and lower halves of the city competing in a series of contests — the winning half lords its victory over the losers for the coming year.
From the official site, history and the 2003 program…

Remembering Comic Actor Ciccio Ingrassia
Known for slapstick gags with better half Franco Franchi, like many Italian actors Francesco "Ciccio" Ingrassia was also picked by important directors like Fellini, Comencini and the Taviani brothers. Ingrassia, 80, died in Rome of heart failure on Monday.
a fan homepage with movie posters, stills, clips :
his most famous lines, stills, bio:

In English:

Italy by site April

Italy’s Most Beautiful Women ?Easter Menus ? Donatello Awards: Love Conquers All ? Italian practice: zoomata to the rescue

Donatello Awards: Love Conquers All
Turkish-born but longtime Rome resident director Ferzan Ozpetek confirms his status as leader of the new Italian cinema — the delicate web of emotions in "La Finestra di Fronte" swept Italy’s film honors stomping over Gabriele Muccino’s cynical send up of the neurotic Italian family, "Ricordati DI me." Ozpetek’s story of a young mother who tries to help a former concentration camp prisoner deal with his past and in the process reexamines her own life and relationship with a new man won a total of 5 awards — including best picture, best actor (Massimo Girotti) and best actress (Giovanna Mezzogiorno).
Trailers, cast, making of…

Italy’s Most Beautiful Women
114,450 Italians voted the most belle women of Italy in a recent web poll — heading up the list is vaguely Nordic looking Martina Colombari with 25% of votes, she beat out Mediterranean beauties like Monica Bellucci and Maria Grazia Cuccinotta…

Easter Menus
Celebrate Pasqua like an Italian, with a host of recipes featuring seasonal foods– menus include vegetarian, traditional and chocolate-based….
In English — traditions & recipes… menu DI Pasqua

Italian practice: zoomata to the rescue
By reader request, a list of links to all our Italian lessons for everyday life. We are looking for ways to repackage tips & tricks on the site — in the mean time if you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see, drop me a line.

Anger with Style,Perfecting the ”Bad Words’

Italian resume workshop

Surviving Italian Job Interviews

Titles & Professions: Getting it Right

Basic Italian Real Estate Vocab

A Starter Kit for Euro Vocab

Sending a telegram: how & what

Italian for Mobile Phones

Gifts, what to say when it all goes wrong

Play time: Internet Games to Practice Italian

Soccer-inspired Vocab

Talk your way around a glass of wine

Italy by site April 3-10

Singer Gino Paoli Gets a Degree? Diesel Global Research Centre ? Stolen Art on Display in Rome ? Italian practice: Subway Stories

Stolen Art on Display
An entire exhibit of evidence that the special ‘art recovery’ arm of the Italian police is doing its job — from Russian icons to Greek statue heads, it’s a testimony to how much art the Bel Paese has and how much simply goes missing.
The Rub
: Rome- Complesso del Vittoriano – til May 20 – Hours: 9.30 a.m./6.30 p.m., every day. Free entrance.
Or take a virtual stroll through the exhibit here

Italian practice: Subway Stories
The first run of short stories timed for readers of the subway in Milan (passengers could pick a story based on how many stops traveled) was such a huge success that the city government decided to have another contest — here are this year’s winners (much more minimalist, considering the current climate) and the previous ones.

Diesel Global Research Centre
As readers are likely aware, zoomata staff loves playing with numbers — we got a much-needed laugh out of Renzo Rosso’s latest media prank: a pseudo global think tank elaborates millions of fashion stats before your very eyes…Number of socks pulled up, jackets with carnations in buttonholes, reindeer who’d like to wear Diesel..Join the mailing list as a "full-time" member of the ‘research staff’ and your life will improve by 3.24%.

Singer Gino Paoli Gets a Degree
Evergreen granddaddy of the Italian ballad Gino Paoli will receive an honorary degree from the university of Macerata this week — and will be holding a lecture on the theme of "inspiration in the afternoon" we’re guessing coming from tunes like "Gelato al Limone" and "Il cielo in una stanza" written about a few hours of his long-gone youth happily spent in one of Italy’s legal brothels.
Gino Paoli’s Love Songs

For a brilliant re-work of "Il Cielo," take a listen to Italian uber-model Carla Bruni’s first album.
Quelqu’Un M’a Dit

Italy by site: March 27-April 2

Italian Comfort Food ? Pacifist Fallout: Dario Fo’s TV & Gino the Chicken #149; Sergio Cammariere’s Heartfelt Jazz ? Italian practice: Cultural Literacy

Pacifist Fallout: Dario Fo’s TV & Gino the Chicken
Italy’s protest of the war in Iraq is quickly moving beyond peace marches — Nobel-prize winner Dario Fo with wife Franca Rame & son Jacopo have whipped together an antiwar drama with episodes that touch on censure and civilian casualties in war time. It’ll be broadcast Thursday 27 at 8:30 p.m. local time — from the official website as well as on regional TV channels and via satellite…Sure to cause a few waves…

Cartoon Gino the Chicken, who became a a cult favorite mixing a classic Neapolitan song as the soundtrack to a cartoon about Bin Laden, is back with a vengeance for the Iraq war…Our latest favorite — "Che Bombola" — (What a Bomb!) Gino trying to outsmart the oxymoron of ‘intelligent’ bombs in Baghdad, set to the tune of Italian swing classic ‘Che Bambola’ (What a Doll!) by Fred Buscaglione…

Italian Comfort Food
Taking the time to brew some Italian-style comfort food (pappa al pomodoro, zuppa di fagioli, acqua cotta) may be just the ticket — something nice to soothe before Spring really sets in…

Italian Comfort Food — the Cookbook

Sergio Cammariere’s Heartfelt Jazz
At best, there’s one artist from the San Remo songfest that you’d actually admit you listen to — he’s definitely it this year. The 40-year-old composer & musician just (rightfully) became a household name…Take a free listen to his smoky, elegant song stylings from the official site…

Italian practice: Cultural Literacy
The latest edition of Italy’s most popular encyclopedia the Garzantina Universale just came out — here’s a long page with some of the new additions, useful, if nothing else to realize you have to say ‘Torre Gemelli" (Twin Towers) but can say ‘no global’ in English…

Web-wise March 20-27

Italian Coverage of the War with Iraq ? Italian Cooking for Singles ? Berlusconi for your PC? Tracking down friends & relatives in Italy

Italian Coverage of the War with Iraq
If you’re looking follow events the way Italians will –or find out more what they think of it, here are the a few sources:

Special online edition of the Corriere della Sera:
Breaking events news ticker
An overview in graphics of the war zone…
An alternative source, specialized in global conflicts
Italian branch of Indy media

In English:
Wire stories from all the main sources about Italy…
Another source of breaking news in Italy…


Italian Cooking for Singles
It’s no wonder just now Bel Paese sites are coming up with singleton-sized portions — though there are ever increasing one-person households, it does seem an invisible part of the population or at least one not known for cooking a lot…Here are some quick but good ideas for eating da solo — like a plate of bresaola, arugula and grapefruit or a hotpepper omlette…

Berlusconi for your PC
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has come under a lot of heat from the locals for his positions on war with Iraq — added fuel to the criticism over the festering conflict of interest and endless trials over his business dealings…Get your own pocket-sized Berlusca — a berlusclock, singing ecard, wall paper etc.

Tracking down Friends & Relatives in Italy
Lost the number of the cute woman on the train to Perugia or coordinates for your third cousins in Calabria? Try signing up for Italy’s free “lost connections” service.

Web-wise March 13-20

La Perla Bikini Preview ? Celebrating Father’s Day, Italian Style ? Alex Britti’s Hot Pop ? Italian practice: Ask the Oracle

La Perla Bikini Preview
Think Farrah Fawcett, on the scrawny side — the big fluffy do’s are the perfect complement to these oh-so-1970s string bikinis, presented in Milan for the upcoming sunny season…Not for the timid…
Video — choose modem/adsl
photo gallery

Italian practice: Ask the Oracle
Discover your fortune with this online gadget — staff asked whether there was a possibility a round of drinks would be offered their sweaty brows, the answer was ‘good luck is on your side….’ Click on center of page, then think of a question while touching your forehead…

Alex Britti’s Hot Pop
So he didn’t win first place at the interminable San Remo songfest — but in a sort of moral victory, his 7,000 caffè is on radio overdrive. Seamless, catchy pop…
Scroll down the page to download the MP3
Alex Britti "3"

Celebrating Father’s Day
The spring is packed with celebrations — Carnival, women’s day, Easter and March 19, the day of St. Joseph patron of family life & carpenters is also when Italy celebrates Father’s day…
Origins of the St. Joseph’s table feasts, links to recipes…
The festa in NYC & traditions, recipes
Ecards in Italian…

Web-wise March 6-13

Vrroom: the New Vespa ? San Remo Songfest ? send Italian ecards for Women’s day ? Italian practice: sleazy true confessions

Vrroom: the New Vespa
Nothing like a new Vespa model, styled to look like an old Vespa model, to get our hearts racing. The Granturismo is the 138th Vespa model to hit the market & the first in this century –get an eyeful of it here…

Italian practice: True Confessions
Forget memorizing business-related dialogues, if you’ve got to practice reading in Italian it might as well be something smutty enough to hold your attention, right?
The Italian version of Glamour magazine has an online collection of reader ‘true confession’ type stories — from "I’ve fantasized about a coworker" to "He cheated on me with my best friend." Enjoy…

San Remo Songfest
Yes, it’s that time of year again — when the heavyweights (a category called "Big" in English) & newcomers of Italian song battle it out in 5 nights of agonizing prime time television. This is the 53rd edition and despite a much-needed revamp, it still looks like something from the early 1980s and feels like something from the 1950s — ratings are (finally) dropping somewhat accordingly. No matter — Italians will be humming the winners & losers for the next six months — so far the slick pop stylings of Alexia and the old wolves Little Tony & Bobby Solo are favorites…The intrepid can follow it via web (final on Saturday)
All the gossip you can stand…

In streaming — windows or real media

Send Italian ecards for Women’s day
This selection of Italian electronic greetings for March 8 leaves little doubt — International Women’s day has gone mainstream. There’s something for every woman on your list, from the savvy leather spinster (a woman in a field of mimosa — the flower-symbol of immigrant women killed in a New York City sweatshop fire fire in 1911) to the unrepentant girlie girl (a beauty contestant with the message ‘you’re my Miss’)…
Vast collection of links to Women’s day themed cards, also in English…

Web-wise Feb. 27- March 5

Ivano Fossati: Smooth Folk • Bad Girls Are Back: Fashion in Milan • Italian practice: Cooking for Carnival • Italians Pick Country’s Brightest Spots

Cooking for Carnival
Get the fat into fat Tuesday with these recipes — for those of you who don’t like fried foods (typical Italian carnival treats) there’s an alternate all-chocolate menu. The party starts here — from drinks to the final dessert, a good way to get into the spirit before Lent sneaks up.

Ivano Fossati: Smooth Folk
Fossati’s back with his own personal blend of well-written folksy songs on his latest album "Lampo viaggiatore." Listen to three tracks in streaming from his site …

Ivano Fossati: the classics

Bad Girls Are Back: Fashion in Milan
The moda-circus came to Milan this week — take a look at what fashion critics are calling the death of the good girl for winter 2004 dressing. Even the models at Blumarine with pastel satin dresses sporting tiaras had no-nonsense big boots…Click on the central picture for a link to galleries from single designers…

Italians Pick Country’s Brightest Spots
A campaign by Italian environmental organization FAI (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano) has got locals listing their favorite ‘places of the heart’ to save from neglect. A region by region look at places Italians love…

Web-wise Feb. 20-27

Italian ecards for peace • Next big thing: Muccino’s Film • Italian practice: Song lyrics • Remembering ‘Il Postino’ Star

Italian ecards for Peace
After an estimated million marched for peace in Rome last week, these ‘Pace’ ecards have been circulating like mad…

‘Il Postino’ Star Memorials
Massimo Troisi, comic actor who played the letter carrier with a romantic bent in ‘Il Postino,’ would’ve turned 50 this month.Troisi postponed heart surgery to make the film and died of a heart attack the day after wrapping the set. Numerous celebrations have been planned in Italy, here are some of the initiatives — including an exhibit of the famous bicycle and stills from the movie.

Relive the magic of IL Postino with the DVD…

Italian practice: Song Lyrics
Having a hard time making out Vasco Rossi’s nasal drift? Try searching for song lyrics at this well-stocked amateur site. Don’t blame us though, if the ditty seems even less meaningful once you’ve found out what it actually says…Click on the traduzioni section – -to find out how English lyrics are translated into colloquial Italian

Remember Me: The next big thing
Director Gabriele Muccino’s last film "L’ultimo bacio," centered around a neurotic Italian family with 30-something kids afraid to grow up, became a social phenomenon. Muccino launched "Ricordati di me" another version of a neurotic family — cheating parents & a daughter who wants, at all costs, to appear in TV.
View trailers, cast info & photos…