December 21, 2012 |
LONDON - Prime Minister Mario Monti, the technocrat who guided Italy through economic turbulence for 13 months after scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi left office, resigned Friday to make way for new elections. Monti, a former economics professor and European Union commissioner, was appointed to the office, with a Cabinet of academics and economists and broad support to bring the country back from the brink of financial disaster. "A year ago this government was launched, and today - not because of a Maya prophecy - we must bring it to an end," Monti quipped as he spoke to colleagues at an annual reception.
December 15, 2012
We recently toured Rome with private guides from Gioia Private Tours & Trips. They provided a wealth of fascinating history, facts and perspective while we covered the top sights as well as lesser-known sites, with no waiting in line. It was worth the price. Roberto Contursi, Gioia Private Tours & Trips, 4 Francesco Netti; 011-39-335-525-2852, http://www.tours-europe.com . Half-day tour about $353; full day about $523. Admission fees not included. Cost covers up to three people in a golf cart or up to six in a regular vehicle.
December 10, 2012 |
LONDON - Turmoil engulfed Italy on Monday as the country braced for the imminent resignation of its prime minister, the intended comeback of his disgraced predecessor and the prospect of months of political and financial instability after a period of relative calm. Elections originally expected to be held around April are now likely to take place in February, cutting short the present government's time to enact measures aimed at reviving Italy's moribund economy and bringing down its enormous public debt.
December 3, 2012 |
The Angels have released their spring-training schedule, which will begin with Feb. 23 split-squad games against the defending World Series-champion San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale, Ariz., and against the Chicago Cubs in Tempe, Ariz. Tickets for the team's 18-game home Cactus League schedule range from $12 to $34 and are available through the team's website ( www.angels.com ), the Ticketmaster national sales line (1-800-745-3000), the Southern California sales line ( 663-9000)
November 29, 2012 |
Gondolas aren't the only way to see Italy by water. Oregon-based Tofino Expeditions offers a new sea kayaking tour that introduces paddlers to the Mediterranean coastal villages of the Cinque Terre and the waters off Sardinia. The 11-day trip, led by Tofino founder Grant Thompson, begins and ends in Genoa. Participants take the train south to the Italian Riviera and begin day-long paddle tours to Vernazza and Corniglia, where paddlers spend the night, and then to Portovenere and Montersso.
November 15, 2012 |
The Eurozone is back in a recession, its first in three years, as gross domestic product for the debt-plagued 17-nation bloc contracted 0.1% in the third quarter from the earlier quarter. Two consecutive quarterly slips make a recession - in the second quarter, the currency collective tightened 0.2%, according to the official European Union statistics agency Eurostat. Compared with the third quarter last year, the Eurozone's GDP was down 0.6%. It's one more piece of bad economic news for the Eurozone.
November 12, 2012 |
About the only thing the once and future Lakers coaches have in common is … well, a first name. One of the more tumultuous weeks in Lakers history - and that's saying something - has taken the organization from Mike (Brown) to Mike (D'Antoni). They have gone from hiring a coach with no history with two of the team's cornerstones, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, to someone possessing rich and deep back stories with Bryant and Nash. D'Antoni, 61, will put the ball back in Nash's hands, something the best point guard of his generation will understand from their four seasons together in Phoenix when Nash won two most-valuable-player awards.
November 3, 2012 |
When in Florence, Italy, be sure to visit the small Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Museum of Precious Stones, to see how artisans used semi-precious stones and marble to create beautiful artwork hundreds of years ago. Opificio delle Pietre Dure, 78 Via Alfani, Florence; 011-39-055-26511, http://www.opificiodellepietredure.it . Closed Sundays and holidays. Admission about $5. Cheryl Kohr Palos Verdes Estates
October 31, 2012 |
ROME - The Italian Parliament on Wednesday approved anti-corruption legislation aimed at addressing a series of scandals involving graft, extravagant misuse of public funds and rampant cronyism that have outraged the economically distressed nation. The new regulations call for stiffer prison sentences for public officials found guilty of bribe-taking, abuse of office or influence peddling. They also add the crime of corruption between private parties, as well as protective measures for whistle-blowers.
October 30, 2012 |
Uncooperative weather has damaged grapes worldwide, causing global wine production to shrivel 6.1% to its lowest point since 1975, according to a Paris trade group. Between dwindling vineyard space and tough climate conditions that pummeled mega-producers France and Italy, wine output worldwide for this year is forecast to be 243.5 million to 252.9 million hectoliters - or 6.4 billion to 6.7 billion gallons - according to the International Organization for Vine and Wine. That's the smallest amount in 37 years, Director General Federico Castellucci said at a Paris news conference Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.