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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
August
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Italy

mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
As I am continuously going on about Italy, let's share stories, experience and information about this country. (I know this topic was in the Forum some time ago, but I couldn't find it).

To start off, I was much encouraged by recent news that I have seen about how Italy is looking at introducing education on climate change and the environment in schools across the country.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/nov/06/italy-to-school-students-in-sustainability-and-climate-crisis?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco&fbclid=IwAR0_nVUYsswHrUaYr_iafGnRylvZyo0j8JOzCa7BdrqSQpyC9Mi0vSQbLjE

Here students were setting fire to a model of the Earth during a climate change protest in Milan.


Then there is the wonderful cuisine of Italy. In particular, Genovese pesto is a favourite: https://www.recipesfromitaly.com/original-pesto-genovese-recipe/



So let's discuss all things Italian here.

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    Today I visited Ventigmilia and after walking up to the old church, slowly ambled down to a nice little restaurant behind the market for a delicious lunch of black spaghetti with squid.

    It is quite a hilly town, so @Paulette I am not sure I would fancy cycling here.



    I think mushrooms are in season @Igor_Lovera.



  • PaulettePaulette Posts: 23,492 mod
    What a big mushrooms, but I think many of the gnomes are lost their home now ;)
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    @Paulette maybe the gnomes have moved to Zurich. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnomes_of_Zürich
  • VokVok Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    These mushrooms are humongous @mheredge . I wonder how they grew into this without worms settling in.

    I've never eaten black spaghatti. Were they good @mheredge ?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    The black comes from the squid ink @Vok and yes, it was delicious. There was a garlic sauce made using breadcrumbs which I think is also a typical trick used in the region.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,098 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 8
    Italy has an industry of quality copies of expensive brand leather goods. I know someone who has a fake Chanel handbag bought in Italy for €400 while a genuine piece’s price is about €2500. It has already lasted for more than five years and only experts can see the difference. It’s something like that the genuine piece’s seams are of six threads, while the fake ones are only of four.

    But the law-abiding Italian industry is also good, such as they are big at making hand-made clothes, so English now has the Italian-loaned word "sartorial" referring to all things of tailoring or clothes style.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    I think Italy has the dubious honour of being the most corrupt European country @Practical_Severard. But don't worry @filauzio, Britain is doing its best to catch up.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,098 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    I think Italy has the dubious honour of being the most corrupt European country @Practical_Severard. But don't worry @filauzio, Britain is doing its best to catch up.

    Is Italy the most corrupt? What about the Eastern European countries?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    I think Italy still beats them hands down @Practical_Severard.

    This sad story was in the FT today. 'Nearly 10 per cent of Italian nationals live overseas, and emigration rates are rising. Even worse, most of the leavers in recent years, are educated professionals in the prime of their working life. Although the Italian economy has recovered since the financial and eurozone crises, that hasn’t added up to optimism for the future. Quite the opposite.'


    https://www.ft.com/content/dc95fcc0-009d-11ea-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47?fbclid=IwAR20EMucd6ntXqyVUWgkIKeyUBFlhsJX8MuwCI27N2yp7mz7_9eua21Zmqs
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Italy has an industry of quality copies of expensive brand leather goods. I know someone who has a fake Chanel handbag bought in Italy for €400 while a genuine piece’s price is about €2500. It has already lasted for more than five years and only experts can see the difference. It’s something like that the genuine piece’s seams are of six threads, while the fake ones are only of four.

    But the law-abiding Italian industry is also good, such as they are big at making hand-made clothes, so English now has the Italian-loaned word "sartorial" referring to all things of tailoring or clothes style.

    It's quite strange, @Practical_Severard, that here in Italy we have a counterfeit fashion brands clothing items' economy thriving alongside the genuine one.

    Italy has one of the most famous worldwide fashion industry, and Milan, in particular, is acknowledged to be the world fashion capital.

    At the same time, though, we still can pride ourselves on an prosperous underground activity dealing with making copies of such extremely costly items.

    I can't explain why, maybe it has to do with some local, confined history, but it seems like, especially in some parts of Italy, there are entire societal communities which consider the national State as the enemy, its laws and rules something to defy, disobey.

    Such communities' members assume that they have the right to establish their own rules and laws: some members become active rebels towards The State's legality enforcement.

    What's even worse, the majority of the community, even though not directly and actively involved in the daily defiance against the government authority, still help, cover, remain tight-lipped in front of the judiciary's officials.

    They connive with such set criminal system and belong and thrive in such world apart we commonly name mafia.

    We have at least four different mafias in Italy and they get profits from diverse criminal industries, among which there is counterfeit fashion items.

    As for corruption, it is kind of the national sport here in Italy, @mheredge.

    We ask/offer bribes for virtually anything. Obviously it's always a subtle activity, you have to catch the suggestion, the whisper, the cue.

    In some cases, though, it has risen to a commonly tolerated practice; I'm referring to the public job competitions.

    No matter your education, skills, experience: you are doomed to invariably be out unless you have any high, powerful connections.

    Meritocracy is a chimera in Italy, unless you put up with the idea of working lower and lower relative to your education degree.

    That's why younger graduated, if they manage to keep undeprived of the last drop of dignified self-esteem, can't but flee such ungrateful country.

    Corruption is so innate in many Italians that is hardly possible to stave off, as it was of a river from reaching the sea.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • VokVok Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    filauzio said:

    No matter your education, skills, experience: you are doomed to invariably be out unless you have any high, powerful connections.
    Meritocracy is a chimera in Italy, unless you put up with the idea of working lower and lower relative to your education degree.
    That's why younger graduated, if they manage to keep undeprived of the last drop of dignified self-esteem, can't but flee such ungrateful country.

    @filauzio I'm afraid nepotism is commonplace and widely accepted everywehere not only in Italy. I'm not sure that there's a way around it apart from starting from an entry-level position and work you way up, proving you're better than those fortunate to be handed everything on a silver platter. Unfortunately, it can take ages before your hard work pays off and you get noticed.

    As to mafia stuff, Italy would stop being Italy and you'd have to call it differently, the moment it was wiped out. Pasta, pizza, wine and mafia are what I summon up when I hear the word Italy.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,098 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 11
    filauzio said:


    It's quite strange, @Practical_Severard, that here in Italy we have a counterfeit fashion brands clothing items' economy thriving alongside the genuine one.

    Italy has one of the most famous worldwide fashion industry, and Milan, in particular, is acknowledged to be the world fashion capital.

    At the same time, though, we still can pride ourselves on an prosperous underground activity dealing with making copies of such extremely costly items.

    Any country has its black economy sector @filauzio, that's why I don't see any reason to single out Italy for this. That bag issue is remarkable for me because of two reasons: that's a very good bag, both in the material and in the workmanship, that was an expensive item ( €400 isn't exactly in the economy range, AFAIK). So the main thing is that Italians know how to make bags, nevermind they do it legally or illegally. The demand for the bags like that one means that there are many people who like to show off elegant staff even if they can't exactly afford that. I think that they perfectly understand that the merchandise is counterfeit.
    And Russian expats claim that Italians have an unchallengeable taste in clothes. La classe non è acqua.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    I agree, the old boys network is rife in most places. It's not what you know but who you know @Vok and @filauzio. I know Thailand prides itself on fake designer bags and labels. I did not realise that it was such a rampant thing in Italy too. I suppose France too, must have its fake fashion industry, unless it relies on everyone else to fake Chanel, Yves St Laurent and so on for them.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,098 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 11
    @filazio, since this thread is about Italy I'll take my chance to ask your several stereotypic questions ("is that true that...") based on the accounts of Russian speaking bloggers who have posted about Italy. So, is that true that:

    - most Italian cashiers at checkouts and etc.. don't know about the contactless paying technologies such as PayPass with a bank card, ApplePay, AndroidPay, SamsungPay with cellulars, smartwatches, smartbracelets (THough their equipment is perfectly ready)?

    - Italian-issued debet bank cards allow only using an ATM, but one can't pay with it on the Internet for example?

    - heating a house for more than 21C is illegal?

    - all dwellers of a block of flats decide a common schedule when all of them should be having their heaters on and off?

    - some households keep their gas water heaters on balconies and wind can blow the fire off?

    - is there is the need to warn the public about a storm, especially in a danger of flood, council workers do it by slowly driving around the streets on a car with a megaphone?

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Vok wrote:

    ' ... @filauzio I'm afraid nepotism is commonplace and widely accepted everywehere not only in Italy. I'm not sure that there's a way around it apart from starting from an entry-level position and work you way up, proving you're better than those fortunate to be handed everything on a silver platter. Unfortunately, it can take ages before your hard work pays off and you get noticed. ... '

    The point is that in Italy, most time, there's not even the entry level position to start with, let alone the opportunity to work your way up... unless it was up your stairs' flight back home.

    I mean that if you come from a working-class background, you have no possibility to enter a decent workplace, the kind of job a graduate in their twenties should have the ambition and right to do.

    On the contrary, though, if you are the descendant of a well-off family, maybe your parents are lawyers, judges, doctors, accountants or professionals in general, you have the way paved to a successful career.

    When I was a student at university, I recall spending long days in study rooms facilities.

    There were guys there, who invariably passed all time at the desks playing cards and chatting away.

    Then, after some years, I found out the same guys were employed as lawyers, doctors and so on.

    This is not a proof, I'm aware, but an important Italian politician once said:

    When you think someone did something wrong you commit sin, but in the majority of cases you guess it right.


    @Practical_Severard wrote:


    - most Italian cashiers at checkouts and etc.. don't know about the contactless paying technologies such as PayPass with a bank card, ApplePay, AndroidPay, SamsungPay with cellulars, smartwatches, smartbracelets (THough their equipment is perfectly ready)?
    -

    In my experience I can say it's not the case: moreover, as a general rule, I could say it's more likely the cashiers are tech-savvy people who work as such because of lacking of high connections.

    In Italy is more likely that the equipments, the hardware don't work appropriately and people try to make up for it, moving heaven and earth.

    In this respect we are the opposite to German when any equipments keep working as though they were brand-new.


    - Italian-issued debet bank cards allow only using an ATM, but one can't pay with it on the Internet for example?
    -

    It can be for some banks, maybe. My experience is that you can pay on the Internet with any bank cards. The difference lies in the fact you can have two types of cards.

    The cards which take money directly from your bank account, which maybe you want to keep safe from any Internet's fraud, then devote exclusively to ATM's operations.

    The cards you put a fixed amount of cash into, then you use to pay on the Internet.

    This way, if anything goes wrong, you lose just that fixed amount of money and your account is safe.

    - heating a house for more than 21C is illegal?

    I think there are different rules for any different climate areas all over the peninsula.

    You have heating limits and fixed periods of time within which you can keep your heating on.
    Maybe the flats' block general boiler is checked for maximum heating allowed, not sure.

    However any households can choose their own comfort temperature by regulating their radiators' valves.

    There could be, maybe, some stricter rules in some periods of time due to air pollution issues.


    - all dwellers of a block of flats decide a common schedule when all of them should be having their heaters on and off?


    No, during the State allowed period of heating, they can turn their heater ( you mean radiators ? ) on or off at their own will.


    - some households keep their gas water heaters on balconies and wind can blow the fire off?


    yes, it's mandatory by law, for all for safe reasons; previously, you could keep them indoors provided the fumes were emitted outside by means of a pipe.

    Then you needed to open a hole in the room's wall where the heater was installed.

    It was meant to prevent deads due to inhaling carbon monoxide from bad burning.

    If wind blows fire off, then, there is a button to restart it.


    - is there is the need to warn the public about a storm, especially in a danger of flood, council workers do it by slowly driving around the streets on a car with a megaphone?
    -

    Perhaps in some places they do warn this way: in great towns, though, the alerts are given by TV, radio and Weather forecast apps.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,098 ✭✭✭✭
    edited 7:28AM
    filauzio said:


    >In my experience I can say it's not the case: moreover, as a general rule, I could say it's more likely the cashiers are tech-savvy people who work as such because of lacking of high connections.
    In Italy is more likely that the equipments, the hardware don't work appropriately and people try to make up for it, moving heaven and earth.
    In this respect we are the opposite to German when any equipments keep working as though they were brand-new.

    As far as I understand, modern cash registers harly break down and they mostly come from China.
    filauzio said:


    >My experience is that you can pay on the Internet with any bank cards. The difference lies in the fact you can have two types of cards.
    The cards which take money directly from your bank account, which maybe you want to keep safe from any Internet's fraud, then devote exclusively to ATM's operations.
    The cards you put a fixed amount of cash into, then you use to pay on the Internet. This way, if anything goes wrong, you lose just that fixed amount of money and your account is safe.

    So I understand that the both types are debet cards, just the latter is linked to another account. That blogger claimed that in Italy only credit cards, the ones with which you can spend the bank's money, are a means of payment.
    filauzio said:


    I think there are different rules for any different climate areas all over the peninsula. You have heating limits and fixed periods of time within which you can keep your heating on. However any households can choose their own comfort temperature by regulating their radiators' valves. There could be, maybe, some stricter rules in some periods of time due to air pollution issues.

    Yes, she mentioned the air pollution issue.
    > - all dwellers of a block of flats decide a common schedule when all of them should be having their heaters on and off?
    filauzio said:


    No, during the State allowed period of heating, they can turn their heater ( you mean radiators ? ) on or off at their own will.

    Not radiators. She claimed that most Italian houses didn't have central heating, rather than each flat had a heater of its own, probably, electrical. In this case heating a flat while neighbouring ones are cold is not exactly a successful venture.
    filauzio said:


    yes, it's mandatory by law, for all for safe reasons; previously, you could keep them indoors provided the fumes were emitted outside by means of a pipe.
    If wind blows fire off, then, there is a button to restart it.

    It must be a funny adventure if you have a flow-through water heater. Being in a shower all in soap foam when the water out of the blue turns icy cold... Brrr.... Then you have to go to the balcony to restart the boiler... I'd prefer a boiler with a tank, but again, can a balcony safely support 200 kg of extra weight? And, of course, this works well only under conditions when water doesn't freeze.
    filauzio said:


    > is there is the need to warn the public about a storm, especially in a danger of flood, council workers do it by slowly driving around the streets on a car with a megaphone?
    Perhaps in some places they do warn this way: in great towns, though, the alerts are given by TV, radio and Weather forecast apps.

    Thank you. Do they use a sms sendout? I mean emergency warnings, of course.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,664 ✭✭✭✭
    I can't use my UK debit card when ordering online on a number of French websites, including SNCF, French railways. It used to be extremely annoying before I decided to get a French debit card. I have to pay for this. The UK one doesn't charge even for non-UK transactions, though whether this will change after Brexit, who knows.

    @Filauzio said 'On the contrary, though, if you are the descendant of a well-off family, maybe your parents are lawyers, judges, doctors, accountants or professionals in general, you have the way paved to a successful career.' I remember being most put out when at an interview for a job at Barclays Bank when I was a job-seeking undergraduate, the interviewer wanted details about what my mother and father did for a living. I restrained myself from asking what did this have to do with my application but I think it was a bit of the same sort of thing. Speaking with a 'posh' accent (not Cockney or regional), I suppose they couldn't work out my class background quite so easily.

    I wish I could find a way to regulate my radiators better. I have one which seems to be impossible to turn off (hallway), two that I have turned off and now are virtually impossible to turn back on (bathroom and living room) and the bedroom and kitchen ones which are the only two where I can turn off and on. But since everyone seems to heat their apartments up so that they are like saunas, I doubt I will be cold this winter.
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