Based on a research by the Italian Trade Commission, the first thing that comes to mind to Americans when they think of Italy is good food and wine (46%). To Chinese is fashion (21%) and soccer (20%). To Russians are nice places to visit (16%). I guess I should talk more about food on this blog 🙂
The Cappuccini monks publish every year the most popular almanac in Italy: Il Calendario di Frate Indovino (the almanac of monk Indovino). Started more than 60 years ago, this publication is filled with popular proverbs, advice on good and natural health, humor and wisdom. Each day of the year has associated one or more saints, yet not enough to represent all 10,000 named saints from history.
In January 2005, Italy has introduced a new law that prohibits anybody to smoke in restaurants, coffee shops and other public services. Oddly enough, Italians have reacted positively to this law. Business owners have promptly installed high tables, external gas heaters and plenty of ash trays outside their premises. The result is a win-win situation where customers inside can enjoy a smoke-free environment, and smokers outside can still have their cigarette while practicing some people watching.