Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Will Venice Create Electricity from Algae on Cruise Ship?

The city of Venice has announced a plan to produce 50 percent of its electricity needs from an algae-based power plant instead of fossil fuels. This is the exact kind of local thinking, innovation, and planning that the G20 meeting on April Fool's Day cannot create.

The water-filled city is turning what has become a nuisance into a renewable energy resource. The city will be producing electricity from two types of algae that are brought in clinging to ships and regularly grow over the seaport; Sargassum muticum and Undaria pinnafitida. The algae will be cultivated and treated in laboratories to turn it into fuel. The fuel will then be used to power turbines in a new 40 MW power plant in the center of the city.

In order to make the new power plant truly carbon neutral, any CO2 produced by the process will be fed back to the algae.

The algae plant project will cost the city $264 million and should be operating in two years. WebVisionItaly.com will follow the story - sounds so good let's hope it's not an April fools!

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Getty Museum and Florence Museo Archeologico Nazionale Partner

The J. Paul Getty Museum has announced that it has established a partnership with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence to exhibit works from that museum. The first work to be shown at the Getty under this arrangement will be “The Chimaera of Arezzo,” an Etruscan bronze sculpture dating to the early 4th century B.C. depicting the mythological beast made from parts of a lion, a serpent, and a fire breathing goat. The exhibition will also include antiquities from the Getty’s collection as well as works on loan from museums in Rome, Naples, Basel, New York, Boston, and Atlanta; it is scheduled to run from July 16 through Feb. 8, 2010. The Getty said it hoped to collaborate with the Museo Archeologico’s sister institutions throughout Italy in the months ahead.

For more about Italy visit WebVisionItaly.com

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Greece returns looted frescoes - Medieval works stolen in 1982, recovered on Greek island

Last week Greece returned to Italy two medieval frescoes looted from a tomb near Naples in 1982.

The frescoes of two saints were recovered by Greek antiquities police in a raid on Greek art traffickers on the Aegean island of Schinoussa in 2006.

They originally adorned the walls of one of the famous tufa chambers called Fornelle at Calvi south of Monte Cassino, site of the Ancient Roman city of Calves.

The particularly ornate chamber - many of whose frescoes are still missing - is believed to have been the tomb of 11th-century Count Pandolfo and his wife Countess Gualferada.

Handing over the frescoes, Greek Culture Minister Antoni Samaras said the event marked ''another important stage in collaboration with our Italian friends and partners in the fight against art theft''.

Italy and Greece launched a joint battle some years ago to crack down on trafficking and reclaim smuggled works from museums around the world.

Italy recently signed landmark deals with New York's Metropolitan Museum and the John Paul Getty Museum in California, among others, hailed as possibly paving the way for a wider-scale return of looted antiquities.

By setting a precedent that could be used by other countries, notably Greece, the accords sent alarm bells around the art world.

The 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization convention bans the import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Berlusconi inaugurates Frecciarossa - High- speed train links Milan to Rome in three hours

High- speed train links Milan to Rome in three hours

(ANSA) - Rome, March 24 - Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was aboard on Tuesday for the inaugural run of the high-speed Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) train which travels from Milan to Rome in three hours.

Riding for some of the trip in the locomotive, Berlusconi said that the last time he remembered being on a train was when he was a boy and left Milan with his parents on a local train to pick flowers at Lake Como.

The engineer even let Berlusconi sit in the driver's seat and the premier quipped how with everything computerised ''driving a train is a lot easier than governing the country''.

''This can be defined as an historic moment,'' Berlusconi observed, ''because it marks the beginning of the third era of rail travel in Italy; the first being the start of service on the Portici-Naples line in 1835 and the second the arrival of the Pendolino'' tilting express train in the 1960s.

The new high-speed (AV) train can travel at speeds of up to 360kph and the inaugural run on Tuesday was made possible by the completion of the mountain tract between Florence and Bologna, which reduced travelling time from one hour to 35 minutes from station to station.

''This difficult tract was completed in a relatively short period of time and involved boring a tunnel for 73 of the 79km between Bologna and Florence,'' the premier observed.

''Being able to travel from Milan to Rome in three hours is a way of making Italy even more united and is sure to give Alitalia some competition,'' Berlusconi added.

The now-private Italian airline flies between Rome and Milan in about an hour but their airports are significantly outside the city center and baggage claim can also add to the travel time. The Frecciarossa will not be in service between Milan and Rome until mid-December when the AV train will run from Turin to Salerno.

In order to compete with air travel, the FS Italian railways said that starting in December AV trains linking Rome and Milan will leave every 15 minutes for a total of 51 daily connections of which 19 will be non-stop.

FS said it will also introduce a more flexible pricing system to encourage the use of the AV trains by reducing rates depending on the time of year, departure times and day of the week.

Also riding with Berlusconi on the Frecciarossa's inaugural run were Cabinet Secretary Gianni Letta; Public Works Minister Altero Matteoli; the chairman of parliament's public works committee, Luigi Grillo; Lombardy Region President Roberto Formigoni, Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti; FS CEO Mauro Moretti; and Chairman Innocenzo Cipolletta.

The Frecciarossa was met on its arrival in the capital by Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno and Lazio Region President Pietro Marrazzo.

For video of how to buy a TrenItalia train ticket in Italy click How to Buy a TrenItalia Ticket.

For the Frecciarossa Italy train schedule click Italy High Speed Train Schedule.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Authentic Italian Pizza Vending Machine Cooks by Machine Fresh Authentic Italian Pizza?

(ANSA) - Rome, March 16 - Italian pizza makers said Monday they were unfazed by news that a Rovereto businessman has developed the world's first automatic vending machine for freshly made pizza.

''Something that comes out of an automatic machine has nothing to do with Italian pizza,'' said Pino Morelli, head of the Association of Italian Pizzerias (API), dismissing 56-year-old entrepreneur Claudio Torghele's 'Let's Pizza' invention.

''It might be alright for McDonalds and other fast-food chains or for foreign markets like the US, China and India, but anyone wanting to eat a real pizza has to go to a traditional pizzeria''.

Torghele's machine, which is set to debut in Italy and neighbouring countries this summer, cooks pizza from scratch in three minutes, first beating flour and water into dough and stretching the mixture into a disc before adding tomato sauce and fresh ingredients.

Torghele told the New York Times that customers can choose from four varieties (cheese and tomato, vegetable, ham or bacon) and pizzas will cost as little as 3.5 euros - a couple of euros less than the price in a sit-down pizzeria.

Customers can follow the progress of their pizza through little windows in the machine.

Morelli said he did not think the public would abandon pizzerias as a result of the invention, pointing out that Italian pizza-makers are ''envied and in demand across the world''.

''The craft of the pizza-maker has been rediscovered and the number of people wanting to learn the art of the pizza is growing,'' he said, noting that professional courses saw a 25% increase in uptake this year.

''It's a reliable and well-paid craft - for instance, an Italian pizza-maker can earn 7,000 euros a month in Australia, excluding food and lodging''.

Morelli added that while pizza makers ''certainly do not fear competition from any machine'', the image of the Italian staple could be at risk from the venture.

''The pizza is a symbol of the Made in Italy brand, and we should let it live and prosper in peace,'' he said.

The photo above is from Brandi Pizzeria in Naples, Italy, inventor and home of the Pizza Margherita made of the first time for Queen Margherita in 1889. The ingredients of the first Pizza Margherita remain today the colors of the Italian flag, basil is green, mozzarella is white, and tomato is red. The next time you travel to Naples Italy be sure to visit Brandi Pizzeria.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Piaggio's Vespa Sales Continues in United States

Piaggio, best known for its Vespa, Group Americas CEO Paolo Timoni discusses the Vespa's growth and Vespa's sales strategy in the United States.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Marches: Urbino Celebrates Young Raphael: Urbino played key role in Renaissance master's training

Marches: Urbino Celebrates Young Raphael: Urbino played key role in Renaissance master's training

(ANSA) Urbino, March 18 - The youthful experiences and early artworks of a man who would become one of the greatest Renaissance masters are spotlighted in an upcoming exhibition in this eastern Italian town of Urbino.

"Raphael" - Raphael Sanzio was born in Urbino in 1483, completed his training by age 17 and had already created a series of important artworks for his hometown by the time he left four years later.

Entitled Raphael And Urbino, the exhibition sets out to explore the two-way exchange between the youthful artist and his hometown, looking at how each influenced the other. ''This show will explain Raphael in the context of Urbino, not just as his birthplace but as a town that played a vital role in his training,'' said Marche region culture chief Lorenza Mochi Onori.

''Urbino remained an essential point of reference for the artist throughout his life, which can be seen in the fact he always signed his works 'Raphael Urbinas'''.

The main attraction will be 20 paintings and 19 drawings by a young Raphael.

These include 'The Resurrection of Christ', on loan from the Sao Paolo Museum in Brazil, 'The Holy Family with a Lamb' from the Prado in Madrid, and a section of an altarpiece showing the bust of an angel, from Brescia. In addition, the exhibit will also feature 32 paintings and 10 drawings by artists close to Raphael.

Raphael died in Rome in 1520 on his 37th birthday. He lives today inside the Pantheon, one of Rome's greatest buildings. Also buried in the Pantheon are Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Umberto's Queen, Margherita, which is who the Pizza Margherita is named during a visit to Naples, is also in the Pantheon next to Vittorrio Emanuele. Also buried in the Pantheon s another painter like Raphael Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi.

Despite his short life, Raphael rose to become one of the most acclaimed painters of his time.

He was taught by his father Giovanni Santi - a painter whom 16th century art critic and painter Giorgio Vasari dismissed as possessing zero talent - and inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

The work on display includes pieces by his father, who was court painter to the duke of Urbino and owned a busy workshop. The third section features a collection of locally produced Renaissance ceramics bearing images by Raphael. Of particular interest here is a rare ceramic created using an original design by Raphael rather than an engraving.

Raphael's vocation for art was apparent at an early age, and he is thought to have played an important role in his father's workshop.

His duties probably increased after his father's death in 1494, although he later trained under Umbrian master Pietro Perugino. Raphael was considered fully trained by 1501 and his first documented commission was an altarpiece for a church in Citta' di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino.

Over the next few years, he painted a series of works for churches in Urbino, many of which still survive. In 1504, he moved to Florence for four years before spending the final 12 years of his life in Rome, where Pope Julius II commissioned him to decorate four rooms in the papal apartment, now known as the Raphael Rooms.

The exhibition, entitled 'Raffaello e Urbino', is on show in the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino from April 4 until July 12.

photo: Raphael's The Holy Family with a Lamb.

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New treasure joins Herculaneum show - Major exhibition explores life in ancient Roman town

(ANSA) - Naples, March 17 - A new treasure from Herculaneum was unveiled in Naples on Tuesday, where it will join a major exhibition exploring life in the Ancient Roman town buried by Vesuvius in 79 AD. The show, running until April 13, already features over 150 artefacts and human remains uncovered over the last three centuries but the new relief, uncovered by accident last month, is stirring fresh interest. The marble sculpture, dating back to the 1st century AD, apparently depicts two separate scenes centred on Dionysius, the Greek counterpart of Ancient Rome's god of wine and merrymaking, Bacchus.

''The relief is particularly fascinating for scholars as we are not yet certain exactly the tale that is being reproduced on the work,'' explained Herculaneum's excavation chief Maria Paola Guidobaldi.

''It almost certainly shows Dionysius and what appears to be one of his female followers, a Maenad, dancing. However, there are also two other figures, one with men's hair and the other wearing female clothes that aren't yet clear.

''Nor are we certain what gift is being offered to Dionysius. It was very probably some kind of offering, perhaps a thanksgiving, much as people make today to patron saints''. The Greek marble relief was uncovered by accident in Herculaneum on February 18, during regular maintenance work.

It was located in a luxurious residential building on the northwest block of the town, which has only been partly excavated so far. The relief was fixed in the eastern wall of a large room, at about two metres above the ground. It appears to have been designed as a partner for another relief, located at the same level on the southern wall of the room, which was removed in 1997. ''The find is particularly important owing to the interpretation of the scene it shows, which is still an open question,'' said Pompeii Superintendent Pietro Giovanni Guzzo. ''So far no one has been able to find a connection between the two separate scenes dividing the relief, the dancer and the homage to Dionysius''.

The show is already hosting dozens of statues, skeletons, artefacts and textiles from the small seaside town south of Naples, which was destroyed in the same Vesuvius eruption that buried Pompeii on August 24, 79 AD.

While Pompeii was covered by hot ash and lava, its less famous neighbour disappeared under an avalanche of molten rock. This mingled with mud and earth and solidified, allowing fragile organic matter like wood, fabrics, wax tablets and papyrus rolls to survive.

Archaeologists began digging at the sites around Vesuvius like Stabiae and Herculaneum at the start of the 1700s and continue to make discoveries today.

The exhibition is divided into three sections, focusing first on the magnificent statues of gods, heroes and emperors found among the ruins. The second section is dedicated to noble Herculaneum families such as that of the proconsul Marcus Nonius Balbus, one of the town's main benefactors, and also showcases many statues found at Herculaneum's largest residence, the Villa of the Papyri.

In the third section, the skeletons of fleeing townspeople are on show alongside everyday objects giving visitors an insight into the daily life of common people.

While bodies in Pompeii decomposed in the ash, Herculaneum's solidified mud preserved the skeletons intact, providing researchers with an extremely rare opportunity to examine remains of Ancient Romans, who usually cremated their dead.

The exhibition also includes an additional section at the end devoted entirely to Herculaneum's fabrics, which, like the townspeople, have been preserved in astonishing condition thanks to the sudden avalanche of molten rock at extremely high temperatures. Herculaneum: Three Centuries of Discoveries runs at the Naples Archaeological Museum until April 13.

For more video about Italy visit WebVisionItaly.com, the only Internet television network about Italy life today.

photo: the Villa of the Papyri.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wed Me in Verona: Have your Wedding on Balconey of Romeo and Juliet in Verona Italy

The Italian city of Verona, home to literature's most famous lovers, is trying to woo the world's couples into tying the knot on the scene of Romeo and Juliet's most romantic encounter.

Under the scheme, to be launched in the next few days, spouses-to-be would say their vows on the balcony from which William Shakespeare's heroine is thought to have summoned her Romeo.

Verona Tourism Councillor Daniele Polato said Verona wants to be a ''wedding capital'' to rival the world's other popular wedding spots.

''We'll be offering tourist packages, the whole shebang, just like Las Vegas does,'' he told local dailies.

''It's a way of using the city's artistic heritage to boost tourism''.

The privilege of getting hitched where Juliet was famously wooed by Romeo in Shakespeare's play will not come cheap, however.

The 'Wed Me In Verona' marriage license alone will cost Verona residents 600 euros, people living within the city catchment area 700, European Union citizens 800 and non-EU couples 1,000 euros.

This compares to the 50 euros required for a civil marriage certificate in Italy. Mayor Flavio Tosi, who has courted controversy in the past with moves seen as anti-immigrant, stressed that there was no anti-foreigner bias at play.

''It costs extra because the administrative costs are higher,'' he said.


Juliet's House reopened a year ago after being scrubbed free of messages and bubble gum left by visitors to the star-crossed lover's shrine.

Officials were forced into the clean-up after a failed attempt to bring the site into the modern communications age.

A strict graffiti ban was issued and visitors urged to send their vows by e-mail and SMS to a huge computer display in the house's lobby.

To officials' dismay, the youngsters who flock to the site opted to stick to their felt markers and gum.

Verona makes much of the House - and the revenue it draws - despite historians' claims there is scant evidence it is the locale immortalised by the Bard.

The more poetic messages left here are often cited in foreign newspaper and magazine articles about trips to the home town of Shakespeare's famous couple.

The residence is believed to have once housed Juliet because it was the family home of the Cappello family, who, according to legend, were the Capulets of Shakespeare's play.

In fact the address is Via Cappello, Number 23.

Experts believe the real Juliet Capulet (Cappello) would have lived in the house in the 12th century, if she really existed.

The highlight of any visit to the home is Juliet's balcony, where visitors try to re-enact the famous ''Romeo, Romeo'' scene.

Apart from leaving love messages, there is also a ritual linked to the bronze statue of Juliet which stands in the courtyard.

Visitors to the house often caress the right breast of the statue as it's believed to bring good luck.

For more about travel in Verona and day trips to Venice, Padua, and Vicenza visit WebVisionItaly's Veneto channel.
photo: balcony after last year's clean-up

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Galileo Exhibit Opens Friday in Florence: Art, Science, Astronomy, and Ancient Artetacts - Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope

(ANSA) - Florence, March 13 - A sweeping exhibition of art, scientific instruments, star maps and ancient artefacts opened in Florence on Friday, March 13 at Palazzo Strozzi celebrating conceptions of the cosmos and the groundbreaking discoveries of Galileo Galilei. 'Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope' promises a dazzling array of exhibits, carrying visitors on a voyage through centuries of ideas about the universe and the cosmos. The exhibit runs through August 30, 2009.

More than 250 precious objects are on display from an array of fields, with paintings, drawings, telescopes, star charts, archaeological finds, mosaics, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts and functioning cosmological models. The exhibition, a key event in international celebrations marking 400 years since Galileo's first observations of the night sky, is divided into eight sections.

The first looks back to the dawn of astronomy, focusing on Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and the Biblical cosmos. The second and third parts explore Ancient Greek conceptions of the cosmos, the spherical model developed by Plato and Aristotle and the geometrical vision of Ptolemy. The fourth, fifth and six parts respectively spotlight Islamic visions of the universe, their Christianization and the rebirth of astronomy with Copernicus and his sun-centred theory. The seventh section focuses on Galileo, featuring one of his two surviving telescopes, while the exhibition concludes with progress made by Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton in legitimising his theories.

Also on display will be the middle finger from Galileo's right hand, mounted on a marble base and encased in a crystal jar. The digit was removed from his body in 1737, nearly a century after his death, when his remains were exhumed from an unconsecrated grave and transferred to Florence's principal Franciscan church, the Basilica of Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross).

The general excitement surrounding the anniversary of Galileo's discoveries has also revived talk of a second exhumation. Last year, a team of Italian and British scientists said they had requested permission from the Catholic Church to open the mausoleum in order to carry out DNA tests. The researchers said they were seeking further information on the degenerative eye condition that eventually left Galileo blind, as well as confirmation that the remains of the woman sharing his tomb are those of his daughter.

Sister Maria Celeste, one of the scientist's illegitimate children with his long-time mistress Marina Gamba, was sent to a convent at age 13 but remained close to her father throughout her life. But the church's director, Father Antonio Di Marcantonio, said ''an official request of this nature has not been received''. ''Furthermore, I have always made it clear I am opposed to the idea,'' he said. ''I see no point in breaking a tomb to disturb the final rest of a figure of the past. ''Besides which, exhumations entail extensive bureaucracy, requiring permission both from the Church and Florence's Superintendent's Office''.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Will Fiat CEO Marchionne Rescue Chysler?

Will Fiat CEO Marchionne Rescue Chysler?

The associated press reports that the Obama administration's auto industry task force met Thursday with representatives of General Motors' bondholders and the chief executive of Fiat Group SpA, who said the Italian automaker could revive the fortunes of Chysler LLC.

The panel held lengthy meetings with executives and lawyers for two important parts of the proposed turnaround plans for GM Corp. and Chrysler. Those companies are surviving on $17.4 billion in government loans and seeking billions more to stay afloat.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the team had been meeting "round the clock to come up with a solution to this crisis."

"There's no doubt that all the stakeholders involved are going to have to give in order to ensure that that restructuring takes place," Gibbs said.

Advisers to GM bondholders met with Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom, top aides to Treasury Secretary Geithner, and other members of the panel for two hours. GM is negotiating with its bondholders to cut two-thirds of its $27 billion in unsecured debt under the terms of the loan agreement with the government.

The advisers to the bondholders declined comment. They were expected to outline several options to reduce the Detroit automaker's unsecured debt and discuss whether the government would guarantee new bonds that GM would issue as part of its restructuring.

Earlier, Fiat's chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, said the task force was receptive to a proposed partnership that would give Fiat a 35 percent stake in Chrysler in exchange for new technology, but no cash.

"We can add value," Marchione said. "That's the real issue and it's a necessary ingredient of the revival of Chrysler."

Hurt by a steep decline in auto sales and past poor decisions, General Motors and Chrysler have requested an additional $21.6 billion to help them restructure. The government is trying to revamp the companies by March 31, but could call back the loans if the automakers fail to win concessions from stakeholders.

Adding to the concerns, GM's auditors said Thursday in a report there was "substantial doubt" that GM could stay in business.

Members of the task force are scheduled to meet with GM and Chrysler executives in the Detroit area on Monday and tour their facilities, said two officials familiar with the plans. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly.

Chrysler contends the alliance with Fiat would help both companies. Fiat could give Chrysler a broad array of fuel-efficient small and mid-size cars, something the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company lacks, and provide Chrysler with access to foreign markets.

Fiat's Marchionne has sought a U.S. partner to bring Fiat's successful update of the 500 subcompact and its sporty Alfa Romeo brand to the United States. He said the panel "wanted to know what the industrial alliance will look like and what it will look like after we're finished."

"I think they were intelligently critical of all things that were relevant, and rightly so. They're looking at taxpayers' funding," he said. "They recognize the magnitude of the problem and there is an absolute determination to find a solution."

Some members of Congress have questioned whether the government should save a company with a significant foreign stake in a major U.S. automaker. Marchionne said "nothing is going to be taken out of the U.S. and the main objective is to repay every single dollar of taxpayer funding before anyone gets anything."

After the jump WebVisionItaly-produced Fiat TV commerical. So Fiat if you need creative efficient ways to break into the United States market give WebVisionItaly a call. Or go to the big three advertising agencies who successfully broke the U.S. car companies. We'll be watching Fiat for its choice in creative direction in the U.S. market.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

AC Milan: Beckham Deal to Stay in Milan Coming Soon

associated press reports that AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said Friday that negotiations are "on the right track" to keep David Beckham at the Italian club for the rest of the season.

Galliani said he was confident of reaching an agreement with the Los Angeles Galaxy, but dispelled British news reports that a deal was already completed.

"We are going ahead with the operations and we are on the right track, but it's not yet official that Beckham will stay at Milan," Galliani told the ANSA news agency. "If there's a deal we could sign even in a couple of days."

"There are many chances he will stay. The important thing is that he keep playing with the Milan jersey. It doesn't matter when we sign the contract."

Britain's Sky Sports News and Press Association quoted sources saying that Beckham will stay through the Italian league season before returning to the Galaxy in the summer.

The England midfielder will play for the Galaxy between July and October and return to Milan next season, the reports said.

Beckham has been on loan at Milan for two months and was due to return to the Major League Soccer team next week. He has repeatedly expressed his desire to stay at Milan.

Galliani said earlier this week that a deal allowing him to extend his stay was near.

The 33-year-old Beckham wants to remain with Milan to improve his chances of making England's team for next year's World Cup.

He has scored two goals in 11 games for the Italian team and has looked in his best form since leaving Real Madrid two years ago.

Beckham joined the Galaxy on a five-year contract worth $32.5 million when he left Madrid, but early struggles with his fitness and the demands of traveling back to Europe to play for England lessened his impact.

For more about Italy visit WebVisionItaly.com.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Milan Fashion Week 2009/2010 Fall and Winter

Milan Fashion Week, which started last week February 25 and wraps up today March 4, 2009, in Milan is considered the king of the fashion weeks since Milano is considered the fashion capital of the world.

All the Italian designers who miss fashion week in New York and Paris are showing their new collections during Milan fashion Week.

Be on the look out for the following Italian designers showing their collections for the first time at Milan Fashion Week 2009: Alessia de Pasquale, Marta Forghieri, Antonio Romano, Alessia Xoccato, Carla Carini, Borsalino, Maryl's Joy, and Vinicio Pajaro.

Milan Fashion Week always brings out the Italian fashion designers we all know so well and love so much including Cucinelli who may have introduced a $50,000 suit in the wrong year, Armani, Blumarine, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Cavalli, Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, Ferragamo, Ferre, Gucci, La Perla, MaxMara, Missoni, Prada, Pucci, Tod's, Versace and many more.

After the jump video of Milan Fashion Week 2009/2010. More >

For more Italian fashion video visit WebVisionItaly's Fashion Channel.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Leonardo Da Vinci Self Portrait Found?

Rome, February 27 - An Italian science journalist and television presenter said Friday he may have discovered a self-portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci as a young man in Da Vinci's Codex on the Flight of Birds.

Piero Angela said he was flipping through a copy of the short manuscript written by Leonardo between 1490 and 1505 when he saw the drawing. ''I noticed that there was a drawing by Leonardo hidden between the words on the tenth page of his codex,'' he said.'' After extrapolating the red-chalk portrait with the help a graphic artist, a portrait of a Renaissance man emerged. Given the similarity, I thought that this could well be Leonardo himself''.

Angela said he compared the drawing with other portraits of Leonardo, and principally with Leonardo's famous self portrait of c. 1512-15, asking for help from a scientific investigation bureau in Rome.''The graphic artist then applied digital techniques used to age people or make them look younger, and astonishingly we found as amazing similarity - it was as if the two were brothers,'' he said. ''We also asked for the opinion of a maxillofacial surgeon, who said the two faces could well belong to the same many at different times in his life''.

Angela said the discovery ''had many exclamation marks, but very many question marks'', adding that it had not yet been possible to date the drawing. ''Thanks to other drawings present in the eight central pages of this codex, we think that Leonardo worked on these leaves between 1482 and 1489, when he was in Milan at the court of Ludovico Sforza. Then these pages were 'recycled' by the painter to write his codex''.

He stressed that the opinion of experts was still needed but said scholars to whom he had shown the drawing had told him it was an ''important discovery''. Angela will present his discovery on Saturday evening during a prime-time docu-entertainment show covering both history and science presented by his son Alberto and televised by state broadcaster RAI.

Earlier this month, a 16th-century portrait of Leonardo came to light in a hill town in Basilicata, southern Italy when a medieval historian was browsing through the collection of an aristocratic family. The oil painting shows Da Vinci in three-quarter profile and wearing a hat. Experts are investigating whether the painting could be by Cristofano dell'Altissimo, who painted another Da Vinci portrait in a similar style in the Uffizi in Florence, but have not yet ruled out the possibility that it too could be a self-portrait.

For more on Leonardo Da Vinci visit the exhibit Machines of Leonardo Da Vinci in Rome.

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