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Media circus

Political stability is not one of Italy`s strong points. Left-wing governments succeed right-wing governments and vice versa. Since World War II, the average lifetime of Italian governments has barely exceeded one year. Ordinary Italians put very little trust in their political leaders and they are forced to mistrust their national media as well. Politics and media are accepted to be run by the same people. Former and possibly future president Silvio Berlusconi, owner of three TV stations, is a good example of the close links between media and politics. How do Italians deal with an entire press system that does not even pretend to be independent?

Posted by Bruno

Napoli profile

My next city in line does not have the best reputation ever. I arrived in Naples last night and walked straight to the youth hostel before seeing anything. After a good night`s sleep, I left the hostel this morning to find some locals to tell me about the city. Hoping to find out whether it`s really as bad as people in Rome and everywhere else wanted to make me believe.

Posted by Bruno

Meeting the Pope

If Rome doesn`t have it all, it has at least got most of it. For people looking for remnants of ancient civilizations, it has got monuments dating back centuries. For fashion fans, it has got designer shops specialised in shoes, handbags and all sorts of accessories. Rome has got a pleasant climate all year round, it has got art, performances, beautiful people. For some, all of the above are just nice add-ons. They have come to Rome with one primary objective: to see the Pope.

Posted by Bruno

Pasta and Coffee

Pizzahut and Starbucks do not figure among the many international companies with subsidiaries in Rome. Pizza, pasta and coffee and different in Italy from anywhere else. Better, according to the Italians. In their opinion, coffee has got no taste in most countries outside Italy and pasta gets systematically messed in the hands of non-Italians. Here`s an overview of how Italians think their cherished culinary masterpieces are supposed to be prepared and presented.

Posted by Bruno

Italian passion

From all nationalities I have come to know during the last few months, the Finnish and the Estonians seemed the least `flirtuous`. Italians have positioned themselves at the other extreme of the scale. In Italy, love is art waiting to be expressed. Whether in reference to love, to business or to anything else: compliments open doors. Italians, regardless of gender, like to be admired and they go out of their way to make a good impression on whoever they think is worth it.

Posted by Bruno

Airline Skyeurope helped me get from Cyprus to Vienna and from Bratislava to Rome in the last 48 hours. Italy is country number 15 on the list and since today is my first day, the usual introductory questions pop up: what`s going on in this country and what is on people`s minds?

Posted by Bruno