Saturday, November 20, 2010

Roma Update

A lot has happened for Roma recently, sorry about the lack of posts, I've been pretty busy. In Serie A, they finally got out of that horrible slump that we saw in the beginning of the season, which was one of, if not the single, worst in the club's history. They got back on track at the end of October, but solidified their rise with a huge victory against Lazio in the derby.

In the Champions League, they recently beat Basel, which has left them in second place behind Bayern Munich, who they will face at home this week (get tickets if you can!)

Tonight they play Udinese in Serie A at home, game starts at 6!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The non-Italian on an Italian Diet

Here's the typical curve that non-Italians follow when they spend more than a week in Italy:

We start flying high...
1. Italian food is AMAZING, give me more pasta!
2. OMG it's sooo much better here than they make it at home!
3. I could LITERALLY eat pasta and pizza every day for the rest of my life!!

...technical difficulties...
4. Why do I feel myself wanting nachos? I'm in Italy for godssake the food here is DOPE.
5. OK, I mean one night of non-Italian food wouldn't hurt anyone. There's got to be some places that serve a good chicken salad.
6. Oh, there's basically nothing other than Italian food? Oh... that's ok... I'm in Italy after all, I should just enjoy it while I'm here.


I love a good amatriciana as much as anyone, yet those of us that have stayed here for an extended period of time know that, all stereotypes aside, the Italian diet is somewhat limited. In any American city, you can find anything from Vietnamese to Peruvian to fried chicken. I guess that's why they call it the melting pot.

But still, how is it possible that the choice of ethnic restaurants in Italy is so limited? Sure, there's your Middle-Eastern kebabs (love those), over-priced Argentinian steakhouses, and ubiquitous Chinese/Japanese places, but that's really where it ends. Don't go to any of Rome's Mexican joints if you expect anything resembling an authentic chalupa (or if you're on a tight budget for that matter).

The fact is that Italians just love their staples and don't really trust anything else. Of course I'm over-generalizing, but it's clear that there's very little demand for anything other than the traditional dishes. Tourists, who usually only make it through 1-3 of the curve, compound this demand.

Ask an Italian how they can eat pasta almost every day and you'll get "Ahh but there are many different ways to cook pasta!" every single time. The Chinese are not trusted in general, so it's no big surprise they are not lining up to eat their food (it's an urban myth that the cats of Largo Argentina are used in the restaurant next to it). Everything else is too expensive to eat with any regularity.

While I don't want to be the ball-breaking foreigner who rolls into another country and has the nerve to tell them to change their ways, a burrito joint here and there really wouldn't hurt anybody.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Parts of the Colosseum Open

Ever been to the Colosseum and said, "awww why can't we go all the way up to the third ring or down underneath where the floor used to be?" Well, now it's open to the public.

The underground corridors, as I'm sure everybody who took a tour of it (or saw Gladiator, for that matter) is well aware, is where the gladiators would prepare for the fight. Animals, slaves, and fighters were kept here and could be introduced into the middle of a fight by a series of lifts. Many say that this is the most interesting part of the Colosseum, showing off the Romans' architectural brilliance, as well as their flare for the dramatic.

Further, since these corridors were buried underground throughout much of history, they are much better preserved than the rest, which has been subject to thousands of years of the elements.

The third ring that has opened (previously you could only go to the first and second) would be where the lower class Romans (plebeians) sat for the fights (even if, I've always thought that they had it better than the rich patricians, who sat so close that they risked death by a stray arrow or javelin). However, aside from the better view of the inside, the third ring also offers great views of Rome itself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

36 Hours in Rome

In a new travel piece in the New York Times, 36 Hours in Rome, the newer, trendier aspects of Rome are explored instead of the classic tourist spots. It gives a list of (mostly) new things to do and places to go that likely won't be found in Rick Steves.

While I appreciate the desire to go off the beaten path, I can't help but feel that these are all expensive, ritzy places (located in the expensive, ritzy areas of Rome) made to seem as if they are hidden gems. It's like going to the upper East side of Manhattan and making a guide to the trendiest places in New York. Of course it's nice, but who can afford it?

I'd like to see a list of the countless not-so-glamorous, yet incredibly delicious restaurants, or the hidden treasures beneath Rome's surface that tourists often miss.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad Start For Roma

Bad start for Totti and the boys. First there was the 5-1 loss at Cagliari. Now to be fair, the season is young, and despite the lopsided score sheet, it counts the same as a hard-fought 1-0 battle.

But then there was the 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Again, it's still early and Bayern is clearly the stiffest competition Roma will face in the group.

However, if we remember last year, Roma started horribly, yet picked up their game to finish oh-so-close to the top spot in Italy. In hindsight, if it hadn't had been for that bad start, and all other results remained the same, they would have handily won.

Now it's easy to look back and speculate, hindsight is always 20/20, but maybe, just maybe, could we learn from the mistakes of last year and not take two months to get our game going?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Berlusconi Making Friends in All the Wrong Places

Well Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's whack-job dictator is back in Rome and Silvio is all smiles (again). For those unaware, Gaddafi has a history for outlandish actions and statements, like last year when he paid hundreds of young Italian women to come for a night out in Rome, only to sit them down and preach the Koran. In fact, in 2007 he said he wants to ''save European women.'' Then there was when he called for the dismantling of Switzerland, issuing a jihad against the country because his son was arrested there.

Well, he's not done, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn't seem to mind. Just the other day he went for round two with the young Italian women in another paid preach-fest, as well as called for Europe to convert to Islam. Then, he asked for five billion euros a year to keep Europe from ''turning black'' as a result of African immigration. You can't make this stuff up (hence all the links).

What's fishy though is that this all seems to be a side-show, during which serious ties are being strengthened between Italy and Libya. Italian firms are taking an increasing role in building up Libyan infrastructure, while Libya is investing heavily in Unicredit, one of Italy's biggest banks.

Given Italy's economic (La Repubblica reports that one in four young Italians is unemployed) and political instability, I'm not so sure that buddying up with guys like Gaddafi is sound politics.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Posts from Bloggers in Italy

Really excited that the article Tu vuo' fa' l'americano was featured on as one of the top ten posts from bloggers in Italy. Check out the list, there are some really great blogs from Italy out there.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roma Cesena 0-0

Not much to say after Roma's 0-0 tie yesterday against Serie A newcomer Cesena. Lots of opportunities, no finishes. Let's hope for more than that when they travel to Cagliari in two weeks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Champions League Draws Are Set for Roma

The match-ups are set for this year's Champions League (here is the table in pdf). Roma is in Group E and will open up the tournament against Bayern Munich on September 15. Considering how some of the other groups (like G) are stacked, I think we are sitting pretty.

Regular season starts tomorrow against Serie A newcomer Cesena (match preview here).

Here's a highlight reel of last year's goals to get you excited for the season, complete with commentary from legendary romanista Carlo Zampa (and some Lady Gaga):

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tu vuo' fa' l'americano

Nobody who has set food in Italy over the last few months hasn't heard the addicting (or annoying, depending who you ask) tune of 'We No Speak Americano.' It's dominated the Italian pop music scene for pretty much the whole summer, and is likely to be heard blasting out of tiny fiats driven by aviator/trucker hat/tracksuit-clad teenagers.

This song has a lot more history than you might think. The old-fashioned sounding song that it uses is a Neapolitan post-World War II tune that is basically telling Italians to be themselves. When American soldiers flooded Italy towards the end of the war, intermingling and socializing with their Italian counterparts, the Italians were somewhat impressed.

So much so that it was very common to imitate the Americans in the way they dressed, acted, etc. This became known as 'doing the American,' or 'fare l'americano.' Since then, fare l'americano is an expression used to describe someone who tries to impress others by acting like them, abandoning their own roots and traditions. Renato Carosone wrote this song in the Neopolitan dialect to tell Italians to stop 'doing the American' and be themselves:

tu vuo' fa' l'americano - You want to do the American
ma sì nato in Italy - But you were born in Italy
non ce sta' niente a 'ffa - You've got nothing to do with it
Comme te po' capì chi te vò bene - How can the one who loves you understand you
si tu le parle 'mmiezzo americano? - If you speak half American
Quando se fa l'ammore sotto 'a luna - When you make love under the moon
come te vene 'n' capa 'e dì: 'I love you' - What will come to mind, 'I love you?'

The rest of the translated lyrics can be found here (did you really think I understood Neopolitan?!)

Friday, August 6, 2010

The mess that is Italian Politics

If you dare try to follow Italian politics here's the latest: we've got conspiracy plots in the government, shady bills trying to get passed, important people quitting, and more shady power struggles.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What to Pack for a Semester in Rome

Packing for a three-month semester in Rome is no easy feat. You’ve got to strike a good balance between what is easy to transport and everything you will likely need, and I don’t envy you as you go through the process. While I can’t tell you what to pack, I can give you some of the most pertinent information, along with a few tips I’ve learned, so that you can make your own decisions.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Watch the World Cup in Style at the Fifa Village

Well the World Cup is well underway and it's full of surprises so far. Italy plays again today against New Zealand and the best place to catch it has to be the International Fifa Fan Fest in Villa Borghese.

It's basically a little park, free to enter, dedicated to the World Cup; it's got a giant screen that shows every game, a large turfed area to camp out and watch, a little field to play against friends, and lots of vendors selling beer and snacks (although you are absolutely allowed to bring things in, which is probably a lot cheaper).

You can find all information about it's location and other details on the official website (in English), the link for which is above.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Public Transportation Strike Tomorrow, June 11

There will be a public transportation strike (sciopero) tomorrow, June 11, in Rome. The ATAC website says that services will be available before 8.30 in the morning and between 5 and 8 p.m., but other than that all bets are off (I wouldn't exactly count on service being great in those hours either though).

So, just make sure you are within walking distance of one of these bars, pubs, or even cinemas that are showing soccer to catch the beginning of the World Cup!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Google street view an invasion of privacy?

One of the awesome things about Rome is that it is one of the few European cities (and the only Italian city, I think) that has Google street view. This helps so much when trying to plan where to go or get an idea of what your destination looks like.

However, Italy and Google haven't been seeing eye-to-eye recently. Saying that the street view is a breach of privacy, an Italian watchdog is investigating to see whether or not there are grounds to take action.

If you ask me, too many people were caught in places they weren't supposed to be. At the moment that these pictures were taken, there were inevitably people going in and out of sexy shops, which could be embarrassing, not to mention who-knows-what-else could be going on.

Either way, it's raising some eyebrows in a country that has been suspicious of the internet from the start, not to mention had other problems with Google in the past. I just hope they don't get rid of it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Inter wins Scudetto

That's all she wrote, folks. Even though Roma beat Chievo today, Inter did what needed to be done against Siena, maintaining their first-place position and thus securing the championship.

Despite all the "what ifs" about this season and the fact that it was such a heart-breaker to come so close, nothing but good things can be said about Roma. After an extremely poor start and coaching change, the giallorossi pulled it together the second half of the season to make an incredible run at the title, challenging an extremely strong Inter team that rarely makes mistakes.

Now, the only thing left is to see if Inter can complete their championship trifecta by winning the Champions League on Saturday against Bayern Munich (the other two were the Coppa Italia and Scudetto). Apparently coach Jose Mourinho was in tears after the win at Siena today, but I'm not buying it. If Inter wins next Saturday, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mourinho high-tail it out of Italy to the highest bidder (ehm, Real Madrid).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Arrivederci Spring 2010 Students!

Well it's that bittersweet time - time to go home for spring 2010 students in Rome. With only summer awaiting you and a load of good memories from your stay in the eternal city, Students in Rome would like to hear from you!

Tell us something that you have learned, pass on a funny experience, or offer a word of advice for the next group. We'll put any responses up on the site with attribution (or no, if you prefer), so help the next group of students by saving them a headache you went through!

Either comment on this post or send an e-mail to, responses can be as long or short as you like. We appreciate your contributions!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Roma beats Cagliari, championship not over yet!

After coming back to beat Cagliari 2-1 this afternoon, Roma have forced the championship to be decided on the last game day of the year. It all comes down to next week's games (Roma vs Chievo, Inter vs Siena). Basically, if one ties or loses and the other wins, the championship will belong to the winning team.

The infamous Inter coach Jose Mourinho has been throwing jabs at Roma in his usual attempt to play mind games, saying that they should pay Siena to try and win against Inter. Roma coach Claudio Ranieri responded by not responding (that is, refusing to get involved in Mourinho's childish games).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shopping Malls in Rome

Shopping in the center is a hallmark of Rome. However, for those of us who are here for long enough that the via del Corso loop gets old (and expensive), there are a number of giant, modern shopping malls in Rome that, although they are outside the center, are not difficult to get to. Check out the new article on Students in Rome.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inter wins Coppa Italia

That was an ugly one last night. Inter was able to frustrate and distract Roma, taking them completely off their game. It was full of fouls, insults, and one giant kick in the leg for Mario Balotelli, courtesy of Francesco Totti, resulting in a red card for the giallorossi captain.

While I would have loved to see Roma win this one, I think that last night Inter was the more deserving team. The Roma players couldn't get anything together.

So that's one title for Inter, as they chase two more in the coming weeks: Champions League (May 22 in Madrid against Bayern Munich) and the scudetto, which will be decided in the remaining few games of the Serie A season.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Want to soak up the sun? Go to the beach!

Anyone who was looking out their window on the flight into Rome knows that it is not far from the Mediterranean at all. In fact, the beach at Ostia is the go-to for Romans when they want to relax and cool off, mostly because it is so close and easy to get to.

Getting there with public transportation is really easy. What you need to do is take the Metro B to Piramide, which is also a train station, and take the train line that goes directly to Ostia. Once you get there you can either walk to the beach or take one of the buses a couple stops, nothing too difficult.

It's the same type of train as the metro and takes about 45 minutes (no worse than most normal journeys within Rome on the metro). According to the article linked to above, they are stepping up traffic to the beach on this train line, as well as offering a bus (although I would recommend the train, just for it's simplicity).

Reaction to Lazio-Inter

Well it looks like I'm not the only one to be upset about Lazio willfully conceding to Inter the other night. Here is a good article (in English) of both the situation and what the press around the world is saying.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lazio rolls over

Lazio bent over and took it with a smile tonight, doing what they do best against against Inter: losing. In front of a crowd of Lazio fans cheering against their own team, they played like 10-year-olds at recess. This was against an Inter who was practically sleeping, having tired itself out with Barcelona earlier this week.

It will be interesting to see what the press reaction is to this, considering how anticipated this game was and how many people were wary of this exact situation. Not only is it a disgrace to the game, the fans, and everyone involved in Italian football, but it's illegal. Let's not forget that Italy is the home of calciopoli, (match-rigging -- the most famous instance of which was in 2006 when they took away the championship title from Juventus after discovering that they paid referees).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Roma wins 2-1 over Parma

With a fantastic goal from talisman Francesco Totti, Roma has held out this weekend with a 2-1 win over Parma, keeping the dreams of a championship tantalizingly close. We are left praying for an Inter loss (or tie) tomorrow against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Changes to the site

So I've made a few changes to the website. I'm trying to keep up with the ever-changing integration with social networking sites (facebook) as well as make things a little more organized. There should be some new articles coming your way soon, I just need to find the time.

If there's anyone out there that would like to write an article, review, or anything else interesting, shoot me a message at, we'd love to have you.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lazio wants to win against Inter

Or so says coach Edy Reja. This comes amid suspicion that Lazio will go down easily against Inter to prevent Roma from winning the championship.

Let's just say that Lazio rolling over would not only be gutless, but illegal in professional athletics.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Primo Maggio Concert this Saturday

This Saturday, May 1st, is a holiday in Italy (their Labor Day) and is celebrated in Rome every year with a big free concert at San Giovanni. The lineup is mostly made up of Italian artists and the show will go on all day and even well into the night.

If you are not familiar with San Giovanni, it's just a couple stops from Termini on the Metro A, and has a lot of buses pass by it. Google map it here on our main page if your unsure. When you get off the Metro, just go under the old Roman aqueduct and you're there. It will probably be absolutely packed with people (that's last year in the picture above), so I am sure you won't have trouble finding it.

Getting a job in Rome?

Did you know that you can work on a student visa in Rome? It's probably not the number one thing on everyone's mind, but a few spare euros never hurt anyone either. By law you are allowed to work 24 hours per week.

Just remember that things are very different in Italy from the North America (as well as Great Britain and Australia, I assume), so don't expect a minimum wage, or even any sort of legal contract. Bartender jobs, etc will probably not pay more than 5 euros an hour. However, you're drinking for free, so maybe it evens out in the end.

If you're considering it, the first place to look is Wanted in Rome, an English-language website devoted to those of us living and studying in Rome. Check it out, but just be wary, as always, of those trying to take advantage.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Forza Lazio?

That's what Luca Toni says, and I guess it's the only hope we've got. Since Inter is one point ahead of Roma, they need to either tie or lose one of their remaining games, the most difficult of which is Lazio this weekend.

For most, it is a lost cause, considering Lazio won last weekend, and so is neither in danger of being relegated to Serie B nor is in contention for a top spot. This means that the game is wholly meaningless to them in terms of points. Considering also the animosity between Lazio and Roma, I wouldn't put my money on Lazio showing a feat of strength to beat the powerful Inter squad, knowing full-well that it would mean delivering the championship to their city rivals.

You never know though, which is why they play the games. If Lazio has any pride, they won't give the game up on purpose, but the fact remains that they are playing an Inter that is not only the strongest Italian team, but also playing very well right now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bickering in the Italian Government...

After seeing the feud that took place this week between Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and House Speaker Gianfranco Fini, I am not sure if I am happy with Fini for standing up to Berlusconi, or skeptical that he's just jealous of Berlusconi's power. I'd like to say the first was true, but am leaning towards the second.

BNL International Tennis Tournament in Rome

Don't miss the BNL International Tennis Tournament in Rome, which is going on now. It started yesterday, April 24th and will continue until May 8th, featuring most of the big names in tennis (Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, although no Andy Roddick).

I would recommend trying to get out to see the early rounds, since many matches will be happening at the same time, so you can wander from match to match and get the most tennis out of your ticket, whereas if you go later in the tournament you will only be able to see a few, or just one, match.

The tournament is located in the Foro Italico in the north of the city, right next to the Stadio Olimpico, where Roma plays. Search 'Foro Italico' on the google map on our main page.


The title-hunt just got a lot harder. After our 1-2 loss tonight against Sampdoria, Inter is in charge of Serie A once again, one point ahead of Roma. All is not lost, of course, but Inter must either lose or tie in the remaining games and Roma must win them all (or at least more than Inter).

We do have an ace in the hole, however, which is that if Roma and Inter finish the season tied in points, the scudetto would go to Roma based on head-to-head competition. Let's just hope Inter tires itself out with Barcelona on Wednesday...

Monday, April 19, 2010


Mirko Vucinic scored two goals last night to give Roma their biggest win of the season over crosstown rival Lazio. In the derby, Lazio scored first, then missed a penalty, but when Roma was awarded one in return, Vucinic put it home. He struck again not long after on a direct penalty kick just outside the box.

With few games remaining in the season and Roma sitting on top of Serie A, the excitement in Rome is tangible. I think people were honking in the streets until about 3 in the morning last night. The scudetto is close and you can feel it.

Roma's remaining games are against relatively weaker teams, so they are in control of their own destiny now. Inter, who is only one point behind, also faces an easy schedule for the last leg of the season and are ready to take home the championship if Roma slips up.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Museums Free this Week

All of Rome's state-run museums will be free of charge from the 16th to the 26th, taking part in the Settimana dei beni culturali, or annual culture week. The cultural ministry is also putting on several exhibitions, tours and other events to celebrate the week.

This is a great opportunity to get out and see some of Rome's incredible art and history FOR FREE. Just be wary that you aren't the only one taking advantage of this and the lines will be around the corner, so make sure to get there early!

Here's the full article on WantedinRome

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Mangia, mangia!"

Check out this recent New York Times article about a really cool program in Italy that allows you to go have dinner with a family, to get a more authentic experience, instead of a restaurant.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1st Place!!

With today's win against Atalanta and Inter's tie with Fiorentina last night, Roma is now in first place in Serie A!

Next week will be the ever-heated derby between Lazio and Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, as the season winds down and Roma tries to win their first championship since 2001.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"16-year old Italian Set to Make History at the Masters"

Meet Matteo Manassero, a 16-year old Italian from Verona who will be the youngest golfer ever to compete in the Masters.

Silence in Italy over church abuse scandal

While I'd rather not comment on the actual church scandal in progress right now (the whole thing really just disgusts me, and I think the facts speak for themselves), it is interesting to see the lack of attention that it gets in Italy, or specifically, Rome. Sure, it's not absent from the papers, but there is not nearly the craze and disgust that is taking place in the rest of the world - if you haven't seen much, here is a good summary of what different newspapers are saying in the United States.

Does anyone else think it's strange that the American press, a million miles away, has more freedom (or balls, maybe) to directly confront the church on this outrageous and shameful hypocrisy?

It could be a don't-ask don't-tell kind of thing; that is, Catholicism is so diffuse here that it is uncomfortable to hear about these scandals. For devout Catholics, I imagine that it takes a while to absorb something like this.

Or it could be just more of the Berlusconi media thing; that is, Berlusconi is buddy-buddy with the Vatican and doesn't want to make it look bad. Just count the hypocrisies: Berlusconi, a right-wing, conservative values, divorced, pro-life, orgy-attending, multi-billionaire defending a conservative values, child molesting, pro-life, lying, extremely rich institution, the Catholic church (note: I have nothing against Catholicism, only people who molest little boys).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Berlusconi vs Free Press, continued

Apparently Bruno Vespa, one of Italy's most famous television hosts, agrees with me on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's intolerance for freedom of the press. This is doubly significant because Vespa usually takes great pains not to criticize Berlusconi.

Things looking good for Roma

After a brief vacation for Easter, I'm back, and things are looking great for Roma. They beat Bari this past weekend 1-0, with 15,000 romanisti travelling with the team to the south of Italy. Meanwhile, Inter and Milan both won as well, so the standings have remained the same, with Roma in second place, one point behind Inter.

This week Roma will host struggling Atalanta, while Inter will go to Florence for a not-so-easy match, and Milan will host Catania.

A real story, however, is Juventus. The perennial powerhouse has lost its way recently, losing its last game to Udinese 0-3, leaving it in 7th place. This week they have imposed a "press silence," that is, they refuse to say anything or give interviews to the press.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Buona Pasqua a tutti!

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter! Hope you all eat well tomorrow.

Make sure to remember that EVERYTHING will be closed tomorrow and Monday. Easter Monday, Pasquetta in Italian, is also considered an important holiday. Things will open back up on Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enjoy this beautiful weather: Villa Torlonia

This is without a doubt the best period to be in Rome. The weather is warm and sunny, yet not overwhelmingly hot (like in August), so enjoy it! As I posted earlier this year, Rome has a lot of parks where you can get away from the smog, traffic, and confusion of the city and enjoy the weather.

Villa Torlonia is not such a well-known park, yet it is very beautiful. Located near the Policlinico Metro B stop, it's not difficult to get to (search "Villa Torlonia" on the Google map on our main page). I would recommend it, as Villa Borghese usually fills up quickly when the sun comes out, despite the fact that it is relatively not as big as other parks. Of course, this is one of many, but I just thought I'd give you a heads up!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Regional Elections in Italy

For any of you wondering why there are all these signs everywhere saying "Vota" this person or "Vota" that person, it's because there are regional elections happening right now. Here a summary of the important facts, for those of you interested:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Italian Judiciary Responds

Unsurprisingly, the ANM, the association of Italian judges and magistrates, agrees with my take on Berlusconi's persistent attempts to destroy any institution that tries to check his power.

Forza Roma!

What a win against Inter last night! This, combined with AC Milan's tie with Lazio tonight, means that Roma is in second place, just one point shy of an Inter Milan that has dominated the standings since the season started. The possibility of winning is within reach, and the excitement is tangible.

Making things even better, both Inter and AC Milan have difficult schedules for the remainder of the season, while Roma's is relatively easy. Not to get ahead of ourselves here, but the prospects are certainly exciting. Roma will travel to Bari, who really is not a team to look past, however not one of the Serie A heavyweights.

This week there will also be the next round of Champions League games, which are always fun to watch. Rai will play the Inter vs CSKA Moscow game on Wednesday, which should be a win for Inter.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Disco events this weekend

Here is your weekly roundup of events (sorry it's a day late, I've been busy lately):

Saturday, March 27th

Disclaimer: I'm just bringing these events to your attention, not promoting anything (even if they should pay me!!) or guaranteeing anything. Make sure, in one way or another, to read what they have written in the description, because there is often important information about prices, what to wear, what you have to do to get on the list, etc.

"Italy prepares for 'match of the year'"

Don't miss the so-called "match of the year" tonight between Roma and Inter. Game's at 6 o' clock at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, but tickets are long since sold out. Get your seat at a pub and let's hope for the best!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why I love

Much better than Hulu and its stupid no-Europe policy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Roma faces Bologna tonight

Well Serie A is really heating up right now, as the race for the championship gets closer and closer. Roma has real hopes of winning their first championship since 2001, which would turn the entire city into a giant party/mess/frenzy/riot/celebration for about a month.

Tonight, Roma travels to Bologna for a must-win game, before hosting Inter this Saturday for what is being anticipated as the biggest game of the year for the giallorossi.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why I hate Hulu


Airline strikes across Europe

A wave of airline strikes has swept across Europe as national airlines compete with low-cost companies like Ryan Air and Easy Jet, including several Alitalia flights. Double-check before heading out on a weekend trip to make sure that there are no strikes where you are going (or where you are coming from!)

How to Make a Monarchy 101

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is so upset with the Italian courts' latest rulings that he is planning a major overhaul of the whole system.

I think this is what comes right before emergency decrees and political assassinations in How to Make a Monarchy 101. The Italian courts are the only thing preserving some sense of justice and order in the Italian (ehm, democratic) government, and any good aspiring dictator would take them out first.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A word on the recent pro-Berlusconi rally

Some of you around Rome on Saturday might have seen the pro-Berlusconi demonstration that paraded through the city. The rally was held to support the Premier after multiple anti-government protests, culminating in a speech by the Prime Minister himself at San Giovanni that served to label anyone that is not with him a communist (so, basically like every other speech he gives).

At this point, politicians and pundits are left arguing over the number of people that were there, Berlusconi claiming there were a million, and the police in Rome that there were only 150,000 (ehm, welcome to Italy.) The left is saying that people were paid as much as 130 euros by unemployment firms to attend the rally, in addition to the free buses that were provided from around the country.

My two cents:

1. The problem with Berlusconi is not that he is conservative. The problem is that he is letting Italy rot while he reaps huge benefits, he is centralizing power and limiting freedoms, and is just overall corrupt. The biggest rally against the Prime Minister was called "No-Berlusconi Day," because it was not motivated by any political ideology, but just contempt for this individual person.

So, when he responds that all his critics are "communists," not only is it a false accusation, but irrelevant. Conservative Italians have just as much reason not to like him as liberal ones (or actual communists). The fact is that it is not a politically-motivated debate, it is personal.

2. The opposition to Berlusconi plays right into his hands. I can't understand why Italians think that to oppose a right-wing candidate, you must oppose it with far-left ideas. To show that people did not support the rally, they flew red flags on the streets where the parade marched. In anti-government rallies, all you see are communist flags. How stupid! Talk about making it easy for him to label the opposition communist.

Come on people, haven't you learned anything in history class? Communism would never work in Italy (take away a work holiday and then we'll see a real revolution). All this does is make a reasonable solution impossible, because, as usual, everybody is left bickering like 8-year-olds in a schoolyard. Why not criticize a problem for what it is and propose rational solutions instead of trying to fight fire with fire, leaving everyone burned.

3. People often make the comparison between Berlusconi and Bush, which I don't think fits. Being American, it is admittedly difficult to criticize after having a president ruin so much, however the situations don't correspond well. While Bush was ruining the world, he was doing what he thought was right, whether or not it actually was.

He was acting in what he and his administration perceived as America's best interest, while Berlusconi is not doing anything of the sort. Sure, I won't deny that private interests benefited from Bush's policies, but they weren't the motivating factor like they are for Berlusconi.

Whew! I feel better. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

Great weekend for Roma

Well this weekend has been a dream for Roma. After plowing through Udinese on Friday and watching Inter stumble with Palermo, our hopes that Milan would not win on Saturday were answered by Napoli.

This leaves Inter on top of the table with 60 points, followed by Milan with 59, while Roma sits comfortably in third with 56, not out of striking range. After a round of Wednesday games this week, in which Roma will travel to Bologna, they will host Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday the 27th, for what will likely be the biggest game of the season for both the giallorossi and the nerazzurri.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pete Tong in Rome and other disco events this weekend

Here's your weekly round-up of discoteca events:

Friday, March 19

Saturday, March 20

Disclaimer: I'm just bringing these events to your attention, not promoting anything (even if they
should pay me!!) or guaranteeing anything. Make sure, in one way or another, to read what they have written in the description, because there is often important information about prices, what to wear, what you have to do to get on the list, etc.