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.
If you happen to be in Milan this weekend, I strongly encourage you to pay a visit to the International Travel Expo called BIT 2006 (16-21 February). With 5000 exhibitors, it’s the largest travel fair featuring Italy and other 120 countries in the world. I attended last year’s event, and I was impressed by the showcase of food, art and culture that each of the Italian regions displayed. Highly recommended!