La Bella Figura, translated literally means “the beautiful figure.” It can mean many things but for Italians it is a way of life and it means the way one appears and presents oneself in the world. Italians are very protective of La Bella Figura, they guard it with their lives and would do anything to preserve it. It might be hard for us to understand, but in essence Italians take pride in the way they look, not only physically, but also figuratively and most importantly how they look in other people’s eyes. They are obsessed about making the best impression everywhere and at all times. In their minds there is a certain way that one is supposed to behave and act, and if one doesn’t … oh, well then it is a Brutta Figura (ugly figure)!
This way of thinking permeates the essence of the Italian being. No wonder Italians are known for beauty, presentation, quality and luxury. For centuries, they have mastered the art of presenting oneself in the most perfect way possible. Beauty is valued and respected in Italy as one of the venerated assets of the culture. From the art to the architecture and all the way to the perfectly designed dress, the Bella Figura can be found in the style and fashion we love and follow today. Just think about the effort Italian women make every day when they put on their stilettos and walk down the cobblestone street, now that is dedication! Keep reading »
Mamma mia! The cast of “Jersey Shore” is moving to Italy to film season four, presumably so Ronnie can see what the inside of an Italian jail looks like, too. Sources tell TMZ that MTV is already scouting locations in Italy and working to get cast members their visas. Apparently, a dinner with Vinny’s “authentic Italian relatives” is already lined up, too. Get President Obama on the line … this qualifies as an international emergency, right? [TMZ.com] Keep reading »
We hear that Tod’s, the producer of Italian luxury goods, and the Colosseum (yes, as in the) may be teaming up. OK, so not really in the form of a collaboration, but apparently, Diego Della Valle, the company’s CEO, has offered 25 million Euros to Italy to restore the ancient structure. Thankfully, this doesn’t sound like some sneaky branding technique. Says Della Valle: “You won’t find a Tod’s shoe or bag hanging from the Colosseum’s walls. It’s an undertaking with great cultural relevance and that’s enough. We are ambassadors of Italy’s lifestyle and it’s really our duty to give off a strong symbol.”
Still, if the funding went through, it would make Tod’s look rather angelic–as well as up the brand’s cultural cred. [Wall Street Journal] Keep reading »
Being a mayor in Italy has to be fun, now that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has upped the country’s ability to create laws to combat “anti-social behavior.” Take, for example, Mayor Luigi Bobbio of the resort town Castellammare di Stabia. He is doing away with miniskirts, low-cut jeans, sunbathing, swearing, and playing football in public spaces. Breaking any of the aforementioned rules could result in a fine of up to $696. Egads! So I guess he just guaranteed that no cast member of the “Jersey Shore” cast will ever set foot in his town?
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Do you have an extra $68,000 laying around and an unbridled sense of irony? Then why not purchase the smallest apartment in the world! No, surprisingly, it isn’t a bathtub in someone’s Soho apartment — it’s a closet-sized space in Rome’s Piazza di Sant’ Ignazio. What do you get for your $68k? A bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet, as well as a sleeping platform and ONE window (accessible only by climbing over the bed).
What might possess someone to purchase this dinky domicile? Keep reading »
Before “Jersey Shore” appeared, calling someone a “guido” was offensive. Like, you did not do that unless you were cruising for an ass-kicking. Then there was this bizarre post-”Jersey Shore” era where you heard words like “guido” and “guidette” more on MTV than “boobs” or “oh my God, Heidi, you have to break up with Spencer!”
Not anymore, says Andre DiMino, head of UNICO, an Italian-American pride group. Keep reading »
Juuuust kidding. This is actually an Italian public service announcement to discourage women from drinking when there’s a bun in the oven and reads, simply, “When Mama drinks, baby drinks.” The disturbing ads, which will appear on buses, billboards and in women’s restrooms throughout the Veneto region, are in response to recent findings that 65 percent of Italian women indulge in a little vino during pregnancy. How do you say “fetal alcohol syndrome” in Italian? [Telegraph UK] Keep reading »