31 January 2008


Just watched the BBC's Newsnight from a couple of nights ago. The theme tune reminds me of my childhood. When that came on I knew I was up too late. Anyway, there was a damning piece on it about Italian politics. It showed pretty pictures of Naples but with rubbish heaps in the foreground. Shame on the government.

The program also spoke of a book called "La Casta - How Italian politicians became untouchable". Sounds like an interesting read. Anyone read it?

Facts from the book include:

- Rome's Presidential Palace costs four times as much to run as Buckingham Palace.

- Italian members of Parliament are paid almost twice as much as their British counterparts.

- Of the 630 Italian MPs, 16 have previous criminal convictions

27 January 2008

For anyone waiting for the metro.

It's not going to pass anytime soon. A new metro station has been trying to open in Naples from since I can remember. It must be for over five years now. I'm sure there were some bureaucratic hurdles especially at the start otherwise it wouldn't be Italy. Then they discovered some Roman ruins so the project stopped. These were discovered well over a year ago. The latest is that last week a second world war bomb was found where they were working. So things have slowed down again. They discovered this during the day last week and in the night they tried to evacuate people in the near by hotels. Many of the guests, understandably so, decided to stay, reasoning that if the bomb hadn't exploded since the second world war it was unlikely that it would explode before breakfast. In fact, they're going to do a controlled explosion today so the area has to be evacuated. I'm sure there'll still be the odd rebel Vespa rider about though.

Buona Domenica.

21 January 2008

Delina is singing along to:

I heard it on in a shop recently. It's also been done by Gianluca Grignani:

I'm not sure who did the original. I prefer Laura's version. Her video makes me want to go to a concert and sing along "C'ééééééé che c'èèèèèè..."

20 January 2008


My parents have finally got broadband activated so now we can see each other on the webcam. Coool! They even installed the connection themselves. V proud of them. Using Skype and the webcams we can talk and see each other. I think their webcam needs tuning a bit as the quality wasn't perfect but we'll get round to that.

13 January 2008


It’s been a while. Happy New Year, Happy Befana, Happy anything else that has happened since the last installment. For Christmas I went to England. All very nice. Lovely cold weather, lots of turkey, sprouts, gorgeous gifts. We bought my parents a computer! They’ve been promising to buy one for ages so finally on Christmas eve we kids made an impulse buy and got it. It was a great surprise for them. We’d bought a web cam too before deciding to buy the computer and got them to open that first. We said “this is for when you finally get yourselves online”. Hahah. So now they’re battling with dial up but shortly they’ll be getting broadband then there'll be no stopping them. They’re doing well to say they’re never had a computer, they’re using Skype and email already. With broadband things will get better as I’ll be able to send photos and we can use the web cam properly. I tried to show them my blog, but it was impossibly slow. The You Tube links take forever to open on dial up.

New Years Eve was all’ Italiana round at OH's parents. In typical Neapolitan fashion the menu was fish and seafood based. Prawns, capitone, mussels, oven baked fish, oysters, plus some other seafood which I don’t know the names of. I tried a tiny piece of captione (eel?), it’s rubbery and fatty. Not for me. I fell to sleep from 10-11:50. Woke up to watch fireworks of every kind from the spectacular organised display ones to the home made ones. :S

New Years day we went out for a walk. The streets were covered in fireworks from the night before, look at these...Do they look dangerous or what?

It’s tradition to throw out old things so the streets had stuff all over, but it was about to get much worse....

Which brings me onto the rubbish crisis in Naples/Campania...I normally get a lift to work which means I avoid the situation on the streets, but on Friday I was a piede so I had a chance to see how things were going. It wasn't nice. Basically I couldn't always walk on the pavement because of the overflowing trash. You have to go onto the road to get around it all. Really grim. Each time I saw an enormous rubbish mountain I had to cross the road so that I didn’t have to walk near to it, then I crossed back over when I got to another one, zig zagging my way down the street. Here are some photos from Friday morning.

Notice how the heap is just outside a pharmacy. Poor them.

This one is blurred, but if you see where the traffic lights are, that's where the pedestrian crossing is.

When I came home in the evening surprisingly they had cleared quite a lot of the rubbish including the heap outside the pharmacy. The problems are very much still on going but they seem to have moved a lot of the massive heaps which were way out of control. I'm not sure where they've moved it to...

I should mention that in all of this, recycling is only touched on and NEVER have I heard mentioned about making less rubbish. Ie, by not using plastic plates and cutlery, by not letting the salumeria man wrap everything up in individual paper packets, not using numerous plastic bags (and gloves) when buying fruit and vegetables, etc etc.

Anyway, that’s me updated. A presto.