Italian man prefers jail cell to Granpa’s house

An Italian man, under house arrest and ordered to live with his grandfather in Rome, recently fled the home and ran to a police station where he turned himself in and begged to be arrested.  He had been sentenced to six months of house arrest at his grandfather’s home after a run-in/scuffle with the police.

He pled with the officers to cancel the house arrest and put him in jail, claiming he couldn’t stand living with his grandfather.

The court was unmoved, however.  They returned him to Granpa’s, and added another 80 days to his sentence for the escape.



July 20, 2006 at 2:14 pm 2 comments

Multi-energy fueling station in Tuscany adds hydrogen

Tuscan governor Claudio Martini said today his region has put itself at the forefront of the renewable energy movement with the addition of hydrogen to a “multi-fuel” station at Collesalvetti, a town on the Florence-Pisa-Livorno highway. The project is a joint effort between the local government and Italian energy giant ENI, whose subsidiary AGIP runs the station.

The station already offers several fuels with low environment impact (such as natural gas). Today it added 100% renewable hydrogen that is generated on-site from solar panels and wind turbines. It should be able to generate enough H2 for 40,000 km of driving, and will be used to power a handful of local, experimental public and private vehicles that use the fuel.

In addition, the solar panels and turbines help power the station itself, and what’s left over can be put into the local power grid.

Link and link (Italian)

July 19, 2006 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

First punishments in soccer scandal handed down

An Italian court has handed down punishments to the major soccer teams involved in a match-fixing scandal that has engulfed the sport there, and which had hung over Italy’s winning performance in the World Cup.

Juventus, one of the prime offenders, was relegated to Serie B (a bit like the minor leagues), along with Fiorentina and Lazio. Milan, however, was allowed to stay in Serie A, but was docked 44 points, which means it will not have an opportunity to contend for the UEFA Champion’s Cup next year.

All the punishments are subject to a round of appeals.


July 19, 2006 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Vespa eyes US market

Fresh from an invigorating IPO, Piaggo is looking to market its trademark Vespa scooter more aggressively in the US, a market which has long been dominated by Japanese brands like Honda and Yamaha.

Company officials are even working with local governments to help make towns and cities more “scooter-friendly.” Which effort we heartily applaud, even if they do have ulterior motives.


July 19, 2006 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Two on a scooter: finally legal…

Surprisingly, considering the high number of deaths involving scooters yearly (about 14,000), the Italian government recently passed a law making it legal for two people to ride on a motorino together.

This has long been the practice in Italy.  In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the motorino used as a ‘station wagon,’ with mom, dad, and kid (or kids), plus bags, all crammed onto the small seat of the scooter.


July 10, 2006 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

Italy: Football champions of the world!

Italy outlasted France in a brutal World Cup final today that saw one of France’s greatest players ejected from the stadium. Forza Azzurri!

There’s only one professional sport in which it is possible to truly be the champion of the world: soccer. Or, in the rest of the world’s vocabulary, football. Or, in honor of Italy’s victory today, calcio.

France came out strong, scoring in the 7th minute on a questionable penalty. But Italy struck back immediately with a legitimate, hard-won goal in the 19th minute. What followed was a grueling defensive game for Italy as they were constantly pressed by an agressive French offense that took over twice as many shots as Italy. Another Italian goal was stolen away late in the game after a close off-side call.

But the most bizarre event occurred in overtime (110th minute) when French star and team captain Zinedine Zidane capped off an exchange of trash talk (and his career) by head-butting Marco Materazzi in the chest, knocking him to the ground. A tense minute followed in which it was unclear whether any of the referees had seen the ugly foul, but ref Horacio Elizondo finally stalked toward the offender with red card held high. Since Zidane has promised to retire this year, it looks like he’ll be ending on a very sour note indeed.

Zidane red carded
For more on the game, check out MSNBC’s coverage here and here.

July 9, 2006 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Italy vs. France

So they won, again! And now Italy will be playing France on Sunday, at 8 pm German time.  About 24 million Italians (more than a third) watched the semi-finals on TV, so it’s estimated the turnout will be even higher for the ‘big game.’

This game will be a fine on-the-field living out of real-life rivalry. The French (according to the Italians) call the Italians their ‘poor cousins.’ The Italians then get annoyed because the French ‘think they’re better in everything.’

We’ll see on Sunday who’s better. At least on the soccer field.

July 6, 2006 at 8:19 am Leave a comment

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