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The captain of the Costa Concordia has been sentenced to 16 years' jail after the ship ran aground off the coast of Italy two years ago. EPA/Luca Zennaro

If a company causes death at sea, don’t assume that means jail time

Late last week, an Italian court sentenced the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, Francesco Schettino, to 16 years' jail after finding him guilty of multiple charges of manslaughter. On January…
If Campi Flegrei ever goes off, you won’t want to be in Naples - or Europe! Emanuele Nicastro

The very useful art of assessing a supervolcano without making it erupt

Ever heard of Campi Flegrei? It is a supervolcano in southern Italy. Literally translating as “fields of fire,” only the Yellowstone caldera in the United States has more potential to devastate. The Naples…
Neapolitans have given fishmongers and celebrities alike a place at the nativity for hundreds of years. acetosa888

More than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus? That’s old news

There’s a scene in the film Love Actually where a little girl announces that she’ll be playing “first lobster” in the school nativity play. “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus…
Dark dealings in Italy’s capital. Rosino

Politicians fiddling while Rome burns?

Italian politics has been rocked by a scandal in the country’s capital. Politicians stand accused of working within a pervasive and wide-reaching criminal network dubbed “Mafia Capitale” to skim money…
Italian striker Mario Balotelli is a pioneer in a society that still struggles to accept its multiethnic composition. EPA/Kai Foersterling

Super Mario: can Balotelli defy racism to be Italy’s World Cup hero?

Mario Balotelli is already an international football star and has the potential to become one of Italy’s greatest ever strikers. But is Italy ready to accept a black player as its next football hero? Balotelli…
The EU election result will affect Matteo Renzi’s domestic reform programme. EPA/Ian Langsdon

EU election: first electoral test for new PM Renzi in Italy

In Italy, as elsewhere, elections for the European parliament have always tended to be “second order”. This means that voters see them as less important than the “first-order” elections for the national…
Bribe me Berly one more time! Chris Ratcliffe/PA

Europe’s elites are more like Berlusconi than you think

Silvio Berlusconi has finally learned the outcome of being found guilty of tax fraud last May. He was originally sentenced to four years in prison, but Italian law prevents over-70s from doing prison time…

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