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Archives for 9/11/2001

9/11 Milan: The Key Test


A couple of weeks ago, a stranger came up to me on a train platform knotted with people in Florence. He looked about 50, had a sling on his arm and that unnaturally deep walnut color people here in Italy cultivate in the summer.

“Scusi, can I ask you something?”

“Uh, sure.”

I looked around to see if there was anyone listening, or if there were other people with him.

“My daughter left for Milan today, but she forgot something. Could you bring it to her?”

I didn’t know what to say. “I don’t know. What is it exactly?”


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 10:14 AM | Permalink

Prada Placement


“The Devil Wears Prada” is 109 minutes of product placement, starting with the title.
The thing is, it isn’t annoying. When plucky, fashion-proof heroine Andy reveals her ignorance by asking a caller how to spell “Gabbana,” we all laughed. (No, the movie’s not out yet in Italy, but we expats have our secret channels).


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 10:46 AM | Permalink

Italian blues in New York


Watching the Italian soccer team, also known as the azzurri or blues, play against the U.S. team while in New York was an eye-opener.
Well, it was more about trying to prop those eyelids open for 90 minutes. There are a million places to see the games in New York, just about every bar has a few soccer shirts or a poster flagging World Cup watchers in from the street.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 8:42 PM | Permalink

The Smell of Sancity: Pope Air Freshener


There is a lot to say about Pope Benedict XVI. He has taken the top off the popemobile, done away with the papal tiara, visited Auschwitz and taken a much harder line on contraception and same-sex marriage.
My question is: will he ever be popular enough to become an air freshener?


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 2:36 PM | Permalink

“Godfather” theme inspires Italian mobsters


Everyone could use some good music to get psyched up for work.
If you’re a low-level mafioso in Sicily, music from “The Godfather” is just the thing.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 9:05 AM | Permalink

Italian Churches: Pray to Sponsors


In addition to votive candles, priceless artworks and standard religious paraphernalia,
an Italian church now has a sign inside advertising two banks.
Banks have entered into the hallowed walls of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio in Padua because they are funding some much-needed restoration.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 2:29 PM | Permalink

Bye-Bye Berlusca, Hello Luxuria

new politics

Today Premier Silvio Berlusconi will step down. Kicking and screaming, he’s finally on his way out – but won’t be going very far and may not be gone for very long – while Europe’s first transgender parliament member Vladimir Luxuria, who won on the communist ticket, took her place in government last week.
Admittedly, I have a grudge against Luxuria. She ruined an 80s video show called “One Shot” – anyone remember the clip for Miami Sound Machine’s “Dr. Beat?” — by turning it into a talk show, with videos. Not the same thing.
I’m confident I can get past it if I can just figure out her political platform.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 12:56 PM | Permalink

Italy’s Muslim Cartoon Brouhaha


An Italian monthly published a cartoon about the Prophet Muhammad in hell.
Now that’s asking for controversy, isn’t it?
The story blossomed over Easter weekend, ending with editor Cesare Cavalleri “apologizing, as a Christian,” for any offence.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 9:21 AM | Permalink

World Cup Theme: “Da Da Da”


Right. Gearing up for the World Cup in Germany in June.
Soccer, folks.
You know, that sport the *rest* of the planet cares about.
What’s the big deal?
Teams from 32 countries, seven million fans and 40,000 prostitutes make for a sort of month-long, mega Super Bowl. That’s the World Cup.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 8:58 AM | Permalink

Italian Elections: Mah!

Got my vote…

Two very useful words to learn in Italian are “boh” and “mah.” They aren’t exactly words, but the kind of interjections people use a lot in everyday speech.
“Boh” is the equivalent of the American “I dunno” or “uh-ah-uh;” whereas “mah!” is a little harder to translate but is something like, “who knows,” “well!” “we’ll see” and “I wonder” depending on the context.
Since election results started coming in at 3:30 p.m. yesterday, it’s been one long chorus of boh-ing and mah!-ing, accompanied by a lot of eye rolling and shoulder shrugging.
There’s good reason for it: the Italian electorate is nearly perfectly split in two – despite a record 84% turnout. Italians may well feel they should’ve voted for Fonzie or Homer Simpson, as satellite TV ads urged them to.


Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 10:19 AM | Permalink

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