Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chysler Fiat Marriage = Fiat Cars to Chysler Dealer Near You?

Last week, Chrysler and Fiat announced they signed a memorandum of understanding,, a non-binding agreement in which Fiat would receive a 35% stake in Chrysler, and could eventually raise its ownership stake to 55%. In return, Chrysler would have access to Fiat's small-car technologies. Each company would also have access to each other's plants and dealer networks. Fiat would also benefit by having access to Chrysler's dealership operations, which includes systems for tracking warranty work.

The deal between Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA could lead to seven new cars for the North American market. The news comes after the leadership teams of the two automakers, which included Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, held an informal meeting in Auburn Hills over the weekend.

Of the seven vehicles, three would be Fiat or Alfa Romeo, a person familiar with the deal said. Those vehicles would be based on four Fiat platforms, ranging from the smallest, the so-called A or microcar platform, to the midsize D-segment, and reskinned for the US market. Fiat's highly fuel-efficient powertrain technology would also be shared with Chrysler. For Chrysler, which is essentially valueless, it allows Jeep to enter markets such as Brazil and Italy where Fiat already has dealerships.

Ultimately, Fiat's small-vehicle platforms could help Chrysler compete in the small-car segment, in which Fiat specializes, and in the midsize segment, where Chrysler has struggled to compete against the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Fiat 500, a hot re-introduction of one of Fiat's most popular post-war vehicles, will surely enter the United States market and one or two of Chrysler's factories will be retooled to build the Fiat 500. Comau will re-tool Chrysler's factories and Magneti Marelli will sell more of its car parts, thus strengthening its business.

Fiat has little lose by the agreement, and much to gain, while Nardelli could use some intellectual and operations power to bail out Chrysler's inept management. If things go well we'll see Fiat's on the road by 2011, and if not then Chrysler will slide into bankruptcy and Fiat will pick the prized assets for a song. Either way, Fiat is well-positioned for its re-entry into the United States of America's markets.

After the jump video of 2009 Alfa Romeo Spider.

After the jump video of the new 2009 Fiat 500.

For more video of Italy visit WebVisionItaly.com

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Who's Buying Chrysler? Fiat?

Well they say there are silver linings in all things and with Chrysler's demise comes Fiat's solid entrance into the American market with the backing of governments and our banks.

I have to smile because of my memories of hopping into the boot of our 1974 Fiat convertible, cruising top down in what seems now the gold old days, riding in what was the first car I remember. We loved the convertible so much next came the four door, which was our last when it fell apart after over heating one day while driving to Cape Cod. Since then its been VWs.

Fiat benefits from the deal with Chrysler because it gains distribution for its Fiat 500s to sell in Chrysler's car dealerships around the United States. Both Fiat and Chrysler need their taxpayers money to stay afloat. And maybe if the little Fiat 500 can give the VW a run for its money, well maybe there will manufacturing jobs to build Fiat 500s on Chrysler's lines in Detroit and around the U.S. WebVisionItaly.com does hope Chrysler and Fiat can get from here to there without the government's money. WebVisionItaly.com is looking forward to the Fiat 500's entrance to the United States - it's been to long!

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Giro d'Italia 2009 Race Route and Stage Map

Giro d'Italia Route Map. Click for a video fly through of the 2009 Giro d'Italia race route in Italy.

100th Giro d'Italia: 1909 - 2009: Click below for daily recaps and Giro d'Italia current standings:

Stage 1 Venice
Stage 3 Grado to Valdobbiadene
Stage 7 Innsbrook Austria -Switzerland - Lombardy Italy

Giro d'Italia 2009 Race Schedule and Giro d'Italia Race Maps:

Giro d'Italia 2009 calendar is 21 stages and 2 rest days from May 9, 2009 - May 31, 2009.

Below is the Giro d'Italia schedule calendar, stages, and Giro d'Italia stage maps:

Saturday May 9 - map
Lido di Venezia, Venice, 20.5 km

Sunday May 10 - map
Jesolo to Trieste, 156 km

Monday May 11 - map
Grado to Valdobbiadene, 200km

Tuesday May 12 - map
Padova to San Martino di Castrozza, 165 km (uphill)

Wednesday May 13 - map
San Martino di Castrozza to Alpe di Siusi, 125 km (uphill)

Thursday May 14 - map
Bressanone to Mayrhofen, 242 km

Friday May 15 - map
Innsbruck to Chiavenna, 244 km

Saturday May 16 - map
Morbegno to Bergamo, 208 km

Sunday May 17 - map
Circuit Race in Milano, 155 km

Monday May 18 - REST DAY Giro d'Italia 2009

Tuesday May 19 - map
Cuneo to Pinerolo, 250 km (uphill)

Wednesday May 20 - map
Torino to Arenzano, 206 km

Thursday May 21 - map
Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore, 61 km (timetrial)

Friday May 22 - map
Lido di Camaiore to Florence, 150 km

Saturday May 23 - map
Campi Bisenzio to Bologna, 174 km

Sunday May 24 - map
Forlie to Faenza, 159 km

Monday May 25 - map (uphill)
Pergola to Monte Petrano, 237 km

Tuesday May 26 - REST DAY Giro d'Italia

Wednesday May 27 - map (uphill)
Chieti to Blockhaus, 181 km

Thursday May 28 - map
Sulmona to Benevento, 181 km

Friday May 29 - map
Avellino to Monte Vesuvio, 164 km

Saturday May 30 - map
Naples to Anagni, 203 km

Sunday May 31 - map
Rome, 15.3 km - map

Giro d'Italia 2009 teams should be announced in late January/ early February. Rosters will be announced in April.

For more about Italy visit http://www.WebvisionItaly.com, the only TV network about Italy in English.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Italy Travel: Venice

WebVisionItaly.com travels Italy to Venice, just in time for Carnival - Venezia Carnevale. After the jump more Venice inside tips and Piazza San Marco.

Venice is a magical city built over 400 islands. This city has always been a mercantile city. Piazza San Marco is the center of Venice and one of Europe's largest squares. A visit to Venice, one of Italy's maritime powerhouses, is to learn about how the context and physical location of Venice had everything to do with its rise to wealth and mercantilism. By living literally in the sea Venetians spent time looking outward with an open mind toward what was to be discovered in the Mediterranean and in the case of Marco Polo as far away as China. While the church was running its crusades Marco Polo was trading with Arabs and Asians, bringing spices, silks, jewels, and of course pasta back to Venice in the 12th century. The merchants of Venice such as Murano Glass is another example of the Venetians taking best practices from around the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas and incorporating them into their glass making style and process to create something uniquely Venetian. At the same time continental Europeans were not equipped to invade a sea-land empire to steal the wealth giving Venice the time and space it need to grow into the world's richest city. Inevitably Venice's location and its efect on the Venetians led to the Venetian's success in commerce and trade with foreign cultures and people. Venice is another example from the Italic peninsula of how importing the best practises of the cultures they traded with and then putting a unique stamp leads to long term success and prosperity, much like the Romans, and the Etrucans before them who created the first

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Milan Fashion Week - Fall 2009/2010 Men's Collection

Styles out of Milan fashion week shows Italian designers have toned down their fall-winter 2009-2010 menswear collections.

Instead of the colorful fabrics by Missoni and Dolce Gabbana are classic styles in wool worn by geeky models.

David Beckham was spotted at Giorgio Armani's Emporio collection, as he and his wfie Victoria "Posh" Beckham are the faces of Armani. The Armani jacket is softer than usual in ultra-light wools and fleece-like velvet, but knitted shawls and capes make their debut in the contemporary male wardrobe. Departing from his staple urban palette, Armani paints his new look in bucolic green.

Miuccia Prada almost all black and gray show featured jackets and coats with neither lapels nor buttons, slim slacks and plain sweaters. The only details in the collection were the myriad of studs, which dot white shirts, slacks and classic footwear.

Bottega Veneta downplayed over-the-top styles of yester-year with a brown palette, crumpled fabrics for small jackets and slim trousers, to the thick-soled loafers worn with coarsely knitted socks, and the soft leather bags, combined to create an acceptable disheveled look.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Italy Travel: Vicenza, Veneto Italy

Vicenza is easy day trip from Venice and Verona, where you'll find Palladio architecture.

For more Vicenza video and Italy travel video click WebVisionItaly.com Veneto http://www.webvisionitaly.com/category.php?id=248.

Click below for Isabella Dusi's introduction of Vicenza to WebVisionItaly.com viewers.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Galileo Galilei 400 Year Anniversary of Telescope and International Year of Astronomy

ANSA (Florence) - Events marking 400 years since Galileo Galilei's first landmark observations of the night sky kicked off in Florence, Italy, Thursday, part of global celebrations for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

The two-day official launch of IYA takes place in Paris but Tuscany will play a special part in the yearlong initiative as the birthplace and home of the 'father of modern science' - Galileo Galilei.

Galileo is called the father of modern science not because of his astronomy work, but because of how he approached the questions of the universe. Philosophers beginning with Aristotle concerned themselves with why things moved. Galileo focused on HOW things move through observations and measurements. Galileo sought quantifiable entities such as time, distance, and acceleration to describe the way everyday objects move, bend, break, and fall.

"Philosophy is written in this grand book the universe," Galileo said. "But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and to read the alphabet in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it."

Aristotelian philosophers of Galileo's day rejected this mathematical approach to physics, on the grounds that mathematicians pondered immaterial concepts, while Nature consisted entirely of matter. They viewed the study of mathematics as inferior—even irrelevant—to natural philosophy. Nature, in their view, could not be expected to follow precise numerical rules.

But Galileo was correct: "There will be opened a gateway and a road to a large and excellent science," he predicted, "into which minds more piercing than mine shall penetrate to recesses still deeper." Sir Isaac Newton, born within a year of Galileo's death, continued Galileo's work by codifing mathematical laws of motion and universal gravitation.

Posterity agrees that Galileo's great genius lay in his ability to observe the world at hand, to understand the behavior of its parts, and to describe these in terms of mathematical proportions. For these achievements, Albert Einstein dubbed Galileo "the father of modern physics—indeed of modern science altogether."

Speaking at the official inauguration ceremony, the president of Italy's National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), Tommaso Maccacaro, said the decision to hold the IYA in 2009 was perfect. ''There can be no doubt that 2009 was the right year to celebrate astronomy as it is exactly 400 years since Galileo made his first observations by telescope,'' said Maccacaro. ''These observations revolutionized our culture and our conception of the role of humankind within the universe''.

The biggest show of the year is a multimedia event at Florence's Palazzo Strozzi, opening in March, entitled 'Galileo: Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope'.

This will examine the history of conceptions of the cosmos, with archaeological finds, scientific instruments, star maps, drawings, paintings and precious manuscripts from around the world.

''The multidisciplinary nature of this show and the use of different multimedia will provide an absolutely first-rate experience for visitors,'' said Florence museum superintendent, Cristina Acidini.

''It will bring to life the instruments and models used by scientists that have studied the sky and the planets over the years''.

IYA will launch 'The Portal To The Universe' website, containing a host of news, photographs, videos and information open to everyone, allowing users to tap and share live data.

Galileo (1564-1642) created his first telescope in 1608, based on descriptions from the Netherlands where the device was invented.

He initially produced a lens able to magnify objects threefold and soon after created a lens with a magnification of 32.

This put him in a nearly unique position, as he was one of the few people at the time with a lens powerful enough to observe the sky.

He started making regular recorded observations in 1609 and in 1610, discovered three of Jupiter's moons. He initially thought they were stars but observing their changing position, soon concluded they were orbiting Jupiter.

Galileo later used his powerful telescope to observe the various phases of Venus.

Both sets of observations played a crucial role in his conclusion that the sun was at the center of the universe, rather than the Earth, as was commonly believed at the time.

Church opposition to Galileo's sun-centered model flared up immediately in 1612 and would dog Galileo for the rest of his life.

In 1633 he was tried and convicted of heresy and a ban was imposed on the publication or reprinting of any of his works. He was then placed under house arrest, where he spent the remaining nine years of his life.

For more about Italy visit http://www.WebVisionItaly.com

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Italy police recover stolen masterpieces

By ARIEL DAVID - January 14, 2009
ROME (AP) — Italian police have recovered 10 masterpieces, including a painting attributed to an artist who worked on the Sistine Chapel, that were stolen in 2004 from an ancient religious complex in Rome, officials said Tuesday.

The most important among the recovered works is the "Sacred Family," depicting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The work has been attributed to 16th-century artist Parmigianino. However, Rome museum official Claudio Strinati later told reporters that it was more likely the work of Flemish master Hendrick van den Broeck, a friend of Parmigianino who also decorated the entrance of the Sistine Chapel, best known for the frescoes painted there by Michelangelo. Strinati is an expert in 16th-century art.

Click for full story after jump

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is it Alitalia and Air France-KLM?

It is reported that Air France-KLM Board
approved today a bid of $425 million in
exchange for shares in CAI, the investment
group which tookover some of Alitalia's in
assets out of bankrptucy. CAI's Board
will vote its Alitalia shares at a meeting
Monday in Rome.

Click to read full story on Bloomberg.

It is reported Lufthansa the second-largest European carrier
after Air France, is in contact with Alitalia and there is “still the
possibility of making an offer.”

Alitalia was put into bankruptcy administration on Aug. 29 after
political and labor opposition ended two years of attempts to sell
the airline, which was 49.9 percent state-owned.

On Monday January 12 all Alitalia passenger operations

will fall to CAI, a group of 21 investors led by

Piaggio & C. SpA Chief Executive Officer Roberto

Colaninno and including the Benetton

family’s toll-highway operator Atlantia SpA and

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.

More on travel to Italy after the jump.

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Rome Walking Tour - Bernini's Baroque Rome

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born 1598 and is considered the embodiment of Italian Baroque. Join WebVisionItaly.com for a walking tour of Bernini's Rome from his early works at the Galleria Borghese to everyone's favorite Ecstasy of St. Teresa to his final years as the architect of the Vatican. Bernini started as a portrait painter but was recognized early as a great talent in sculptor. Bernini strived to unite the three arts, architecture, painting, and sculpture and used different mediums and light to achieve this dream. Enjoy this Bernini walking tour which includes the fountain in Piazza di Spagna and the fountain in Piazza Barberini. Bernini's most famous and most complex fountains may be found in Piazza Navona where he built the Fontana del Moro and the Fountain of Four Rivers.

View Larger Map

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Italy Travel - Carnevale di Ivrea

Carnevale di Ivrea has been through several iterations in the 400 years since its founding. Ivrea, Piedmont today features an exciting orange throwing festival and battle rooted in the middle ages when feudal lords twice annually would give beans to the people who were of course all poor due to the Lord's largess. The people would then ceremoniously toss the beans out the windows and into the streets giving the lords the proverbial middle finger. Sounds fitting in today's environment of $1.2 trillion deficits. Maybe even a lesson in there for we post-modern sophisticates. If your Italy travel brings you to Torino consider a stop in Ivrea, where the people took control of their town in a renaissance of public and civic spirit and pride and re-engineered their carnevale to represent freedom from the shackles of the past and a celebration of the towns new urban identity.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Galileo Revisited: May Faith and Science Co-Exist?

It is time to reconsider Galileo's great contribution to humanity in this year 2009 the 400th anniversary of Galileo's invention of the telescope.

While astronomy, like art, may seem the work of dreamers like Galileo, his invention of the telescope and subsequent contribution to man's understanding of the universe is integral to humanity's understanding of energy, space, time, and self.

Pope Benedict XVI stated Galileo the Italian astronomer and physicist helped the faithful better understand and "contemplate with gratitude the Lord's works."

In May, several Vatican officials will participate in an international conference to re-examine the Galileo affair, and top Vatican officials are now saying Galileo should be named the "patron" of the dialogue between faith and reason.

It's quite a reversal of fortune for Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who made the first complete astronomical telescope and used it to gather evidence that the Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.

The church denounced Galileo's theory as dangerous to the faith, but Galileo defied its warnings. Tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, later changed to house arrest.

In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension."

The Galileo anniversary appears to be giving the Vatican new impetus to put the matter to rest. In doing so, Vatican officials are stressing Galileo's faith as well as his science, to show the two are not mutually exclusive.

At a Vatican conference last month entitled "Science 400 Years after Galileo Galilei," the Vatican No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Galileo was an astronomer, but one who "lovingly cultivated his faith and his profound religious conviction."

"Galileo Galilei was a man of faith who saw nature as a book authored by God," Bertone said.

The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, which co-sponsored the conference, went further. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi told Vatican Radio that Galileo "could become for some the ideal patron for a dialogue between science and faith."

He said Galileo's writings offered a "path" to explore how faith and reason were not incompatible.

There were plans earlier this year to give Galileo a permanent place of honor in the Vatican to mark the anniversary of his telescope: a statue, to be located inside the Vatican gardens, donated by the Italian aerospace giant Finmeccanica SpA.

Italian news reports that this statue has been canceled and suggested the Vatican simply didn't want to draw so much permanent attention to the Galileo episode, which 400 years on, still rankles some.

We at WebVisionItaly.com look to the heavens during this Epiphany 2009 seeing the planets Venus and Jupiter lined up with the Moon, which makes us think about Magi following the stars that lead them to the baby Jesus. Of course astronomy, science, God, and religion may co-exist we think. Yet as war rages between Israel and Palestine it is manifest how precious rational human civilization is. How precious each soul is. Peace to all.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Italy Epiphany - Celebration and Festival of Astronomy and Gifts

The three kings, the Magi bearing gifts, followed the star to the baby Jesus. The Epiphany is the celebration in Italy when Christmas gifts are exchanged in Italy, a symbol of the three kings bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Italy High Speed Train: Milan, Naples, Florence, Rome and Bologna by TrenItalia

TrenItalia, or Ferrovie dello Stato is Italy's national train line. It is very easy to travel in Italy by train. A tip that always helps is to know the name and spelling of Italian cities in Italian language. Buy a ticket from a vending machine or from the person - either way you'll need this information to make your Italy travel easy.

TrenItalia recently introduced high-speed rail service. Italy's high speed rail routes run between Naples and Milan. This train service is called the Freccia Rossa, named after the gorgeous new red trains that run Italy's high speed rails.

TrenItalia high speed rail travel time and cost of train ticket between cities in Italy:

  • Rome to Milan by high speed rail to three and a half hours. -- Roma a Milano
  • Milan to Bologna by high speed train is one hour. -- Milano a Bologna
  • Milan to Florence 2 hours 10 minutes -- Milano a Firenze
  • Naples to Milan 4 hours and 50 minutes -- Napoli a Milano
  • Rome to Bari to 4 hours. -- Roma a Bari
  • Rome to Verona by high speed Freccia Rossa train to 4 hours. -- Roma a Verona
  • Rome to Venice by high speed rail to 4 hours. -- Roma a Venezia

1st Class
2nd Class
Milan - Bologna Centrale
Milan - Florence
Milan - Naples
Milan - Rome
Lemezia T.C.le - Rome
Rome - Bari Centrale
Verona P.N. - Rome
Rome - Venice

Italy High Speed rail prices good through January 15, 2009.

High speed rail travel in Italy includes free newspapers, beverages and snacks, so don't bother buying the water and snack in Termini, Milano Centrale, Napoli, or Firenze.

Click here for video How to Buy a train ticket in Italy.  For more about traveling by train in Italy click Italy travel travel.

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