Celebrate Italy’s 150th birthday in Torino

150 years ago, Italy became a country. Well, sort of. Venice and Rome didn’t join for another 9 years, so many Italians will be waiting until 2020 for the big celebration of the Risorgimento, as the unification is called in Italian. Nevertheless, as Italy’s first capital city in 1861, Torino (aka Turin, home of the famed Shroud) is celebrating all year, including the reopening today of the Risorgimento Museum, with free admission for the rest of March. This weekend also marks the reopening of the Automobile Museum, with a huge expansion and total concept overhaul, fitting for a country that gave birth to the Ferrari, the Lamborghini, the Alfa Romeo, and Torino’s own Fiat.

Beginning this summer, the history and evolution of Italian fashion will be celebrated just outside Turin at La Venaria Reale. La Venaria Reale will also host a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition starting in October 2011. Not to leave out food, visitors can attend “royal dinners” all spring through fall, sample traditional regional dishes, and learn about their history as part of the unification. Buon compleanno, Italia!

Learn more about Italy’s birthday events at eng.italia150.it and


Italian Musician Bites Ear of Alitalia Airline Worker

Alright, go on ahead and file this one under: World Gone Mad.

These are the kind of news pieces you read and say to yourself “what on Earth was this person thinking?” Wait, they weren’t thinking. Apparently, Italian musician, Raffaele Artesi, who could not board his flight to Naples due to overbooking, assaulted an airline worker by almost biting his ear off. As any educated traveler might guess this did not allow the musician to board the plane in Turin. Instead he was arrested and charged with assaulting the airline worker, Davide Ruzza. It was said that Ruzza’s ear lobe was left hanging and that after 16 years of working for the airline he would change jobs. Poor guy doesn’t want to risk his ears, nose, or life for that matter over an overbooking.

In addition to Artesi’s beyond childish behavior with victim Ruzza another worker was said to have been slapped and punched by other band members.

via Sydney Morning Herald