* The U.S. Army Garrison Italy Public Affairs Office provides this courtesy summary and translations of local news to our community for situational awareness. The views expressed in this news summary are of Italian news organizations and do not reflect the official viewpoint of USAG Italy or the U.S. military.  Italian News translation team includes Angela Balbo, Anna Ciccotti, Laura Kreider, Chiara Mattirolo and Sophie Sweatman.

Italian News from Vicenza & Livorno – MAY 13, 2022

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COVID-19 Updates May 13, Ministry of Health, Corriere della Sera

Yesterday Italy reported 39,137 new infections, and 130 deaths. The percentage of positives against tests done was 15.6. According to the weekly monitoring by the Ministry of Health and ISS, there is a decrease in the occupancy rate of beds both in the medical area and in intensive care, and the incidence went down to 458 every 100,000. The RT is stable at 0.96.

In a video message for the Global COVID-19 Summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said yesterday that the pandemic is not over and “we are still behind on our common goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the population in every country by mid-2022.”

According to the new guidelines on travel safety drawn up by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (Aesa,) as of 16 May it will no longer be mandatory to wear a mask on flights within the European Union. The protective device is however strongly recommended for those who cough or sneeze and, according to the guidelines, “remains one of the best defenses against the transmission of COVID-19.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)


Writer's beloved forest near Asiago is reborn thanks to 2,000 trees – May 11, Il Giornale di Vicenza

The University of Padua will rebuild the woods in one hectare on the slopes of Mount Zebio in Asiago, an area heavily damaged by the Vaia storm a few years ago. The area was very dear to the famous writer from Asiago Mario Rigoni Stern, who lived nearby. The writer had an honorary degree in forestry and environmental sciences, and had repeatedly highlighted the close connection between natural laws and the behavior of forest ecosystems, criticizing the reforestation methods adopted on the plateau at the end of the Great War. “What Rigoni Stern talked about is precisely the area heavily damaged by the Vaia storm and the pre-existing forest surface has been completely destroyed,” explains Raffaele Cavalli, university professor and creator of the project. The area can also be reached on foot along one of the literary paths dedicated to him.” To raise awareness among the population, the fundraising office of the University has set up the “Bosco 800 Campaign,” thanks to which it is possible to make a donation for reforestation, 10 euros a plant. The damage to the Asiago woods resulted overall in almost 400 hectares of forest destroyed, equal to 10 percent of the total area. The mayor of Asiago commented: “Asiago is proud to be part of a project of such importance, guaranteeing sustainable management of the forest heritage and honoring the memory of Mario Rigoni Stern.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Feminist association alleges episodes of sexual harassment at Alpini rally in Rimini – May 11, Il Giornale di Vicenza

According to the trans-feminist association “Non una di meno,” on the occasion of their national gathering in Rimini last weekend, some Alpini allegedly committed violence acts and harassed the women present. At the moment, local law enforcement agencies say that no complaints or reports have been filed. Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini intervened saying that: “The behaviors reported by some women are very serious. Episodes that certainly must be ascertained by the competent bodies, but which cannot and must not be underestimated. It is wrong to generalize, but at the same time there must be no tolerance: harassment and violence must never and in no case find any justification and must be condemned without hesitation.” The Alpini continue to reject any accusation. “Before making certain declarations, it is necessary to ascertain the facts. There have been no formal complaints,” underlines the president of the Alpini association of Vicenza, Lino Marchiori. “The Vicenza section has a sectional councilor who is Giulia Ossato, a woman member of the Alpini, well-liked by everyone. Our respect for women exists both in form and substance.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Parking spaces hard to find in the heart of the city – May 11, Il Giornale di Vicenza

Finding a free parking space in the heart of the city is almost like looking for a needle in a haystack. According to the data elaborated by the professionals of Tps, Systemica and Tombolan studio, if we consider the morning time slot, the stalls reach a saturation level ranging from a minimum of 60 percent to over 80 percent. There are 11,583 parking spaces in the central area of ​​the city: there are 7,496 paid parking spaces, 118 parking spaces with a maximum of 30 minutes, another 209 with maximum 60 minutes. There are also 601 parking spaces reserved for residents, 359 parking spaces for private parking, 1,211 “non-regulated” parking spaces, 344 for the disabled, 155 for loading and unloading, 17 for taxis, 132 reserved for other categories, and 941 free. On average, in the morning (between 9 and 12 according to the surveys) 7,572 are occupied out of 11,583 available. The saturation level might look good, but a closer look at the map reveals that in the most central area it is very difficult to find a free space. And even if one moves outside the center, because many choose these areas to leave the car, taking advantage of the free parking. One of the proposed solutions is to encourage the use of buses with parking located outside the city walls. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

COVID-19, flop of the fourth dose. Only 5.6 per cent of the eligible get it – May 12, Il Giornale di Vicenza

A little less than a month after the launch of the last vaccination campaign, the fourth dose of the anti- COVID-19 vaccine is the flop of the year. To date, only 5.6 per cent of this high-risk population received the fourth dose, that is reserved for the over 80, the elderly in nursing homes and people over 60 with high frailty due to the presence of previous pathologies. But, experts are concerned. This decline in attention could be paid dearly, because the hospitalizations of patients in serious condition under the attack of Omicron 2 have decreased, but not stopped. And, most of the new patients are chronically ill patients who have not taken the fourth dose or have caught the virus for the second time. On Monday, Vicenza and Valdagno had 46 patients in the COVID-19 wards. In the meantime, the third dose campaign is also heading towards its conclusion. The percentage of people vaccinated with the three doses is around 80 percent. In the area, the die-hard no vaxxers are 10.5 percent. Novavax, the vaccine that was supposed to convert even the most stubborn deniers, convinced just 170 people. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Vicenza chefs win prestigious awards – May 12, Il Giornale di Vicenza

The chef of restaurant Tana Gourmet in Asiago was awarded “five hats” by the Guide to Italian Restaurants of L'Espresso, the highest recognition that places him at the top of national restaurateurs together with 17 other colleagues who have made the history of modern food catering in Italy and abroad. He went even further and took home another coveted award, that of the best lunch of the year for the inspectors of the Guide. “We have a great love for our work, it is a passion,” he commented. “We certainly have a bit of that spirit of resilience typical of mountaineers, which has always helped us to overcome difficulties.” In addition, other chefs from Vicenza have also been honored, in particular Giuliano Baldessari of the Aqua Crua in Barbarano, the Casin del Gamba in Altissimo, the young Matteo Grandi with the homonymous restaurant near the Basilica and the Spinechile of Corrado Fasolato located in Schio. Finally, an applause for the new entries: FuoriModena in Vicenza, the wizard of fresh fish Massimo Scopel with his Massimo Gusto in the city, Alla Pergola in Sarcedo, Casa Dimitri by chef Dimitri Mattiello and finally Maltraversi from Arzignano, with chefs Daniel Lazzaro and Andrea Lavezzi. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Vicenza visitors' treasure hunt among faded and forgotten signs – May 12, Il Giornale di Vicenza

The city’s tourist signage signs are in terrible condition. They’re either difficult to read or completely illegible. The signs easily blend into the city and appear to be “invisible” to those who don’t actively search for them. However, to those who do find them, they’re practically useless. Sadly, even the city maps and overhead signs are victims of random, old advertisement stickers, graffiti, and abandonment. For example, the sign in front of Palazzo Chiericati is not only ruined, but stripped of a few qr codes that refer to the city map in different languages. On the side of the Teatro Olimpico, the sign is destroyed by spray paint scribbles. Cracks are also evident in the two different panels placed on Corso Palladio in front of Santa Corona and at the San Gaetano Thiene intersection. The same goes for the Corso Palladio and Contrà Del Monte, where the signs aren’t only covered in graffiti and stickers, but also by bicycles that are parked around the signs. Wifiplaza signs are not doing well either, swallowed up by stickers and advertisements, and even billboards are suffering. (Summary by Sophie Sweatman)

Wolf caught on camera at dawn a stone's throw from the city – May 13, Il Giornale di Vicenza

Another wolf sighted, closer and closer to the city. This time in Monteviale, in via Tovazzi, the road that climbs from Valdiezza towards the town square. “It happened on Monday morning - says Walter Fortunato, a resident of Gambugliano who filmed the animal -, precisely at 06.44. I was driving and, I spotted what I initially thought was a dog. I got closer.  I have four dogs at home, and that was absolutely not one, both in terms of appearance and behavior.” The video went around the web, sparking many debates. “It is clear that genetic analysis would be needed to be sure - explains Enrico Ferraro, wildlife technician of the Associazione Cacciatori Trentini, who has been dealing with the subject for years - but with 99 percent probability that is a wolf.” The hills of the Vicenza hinterland are anything but unusual territory for these animals. “We see it with human eyes - continues Ferraro - but the Vicenza pre-mountain belt was the first to be colonized by the pack of Slavc and Juliet, the first party from Slovenia, and by the pack of Carega. When the mountain areas are full of packs, the wolves must go elsewhere in search of free territories.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Micro-company in Camisano creates innovative photovoltaic tiles – May 13, Il Giornale di Vicenza

The photovoltaic is there, but you can't see it. The photovoltaic tiles are born in Camisano Vicentino in the micro-company of the Quagliato family. Giovanni Battista, now 72 years old, has always had the passion for creating innovative solutions in the field of lighting. The question was: what is better, aesthetics or functionality? And, how to integrate photovoltaic panels in contexts to be preserved? Quagliato created and patented the invisible photovoltaic tiles in his company called Dyaqua, which since 2017 has been extended to his children Matteo and Elisa. The photovoltaic tile looks like an ordinary roof tile, but it has a special surface transparent to the sun's rays that allows to recharge the photovoltaic cells inside. Dyaqua was recently awarded for this technology, “capable of hiding in buildings and therefore perfect for the redevelopment of historical and cultural real estate.” In 2018, the first installation with “Invisible Solar” tiles was placed in the archaeological park of Pompeii. From there, a crescendo: “We receive orders from Croatia, France, Portugal, and England.” The prospects of Dyaqua are all set: “There are three of us, at the moment we only have a small limited artisan production and orders already until next February. We also evaluated expanding to a large-scale production, but we decided against it. This, too is sustainability.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)


Livorno surgeon saves a 3-month-old baby girl May 11, Il Tirreno

The little girl had arrived in Italy from Ukraine in the hope of being cured, with a tumor in her heart and epileptic seizures.  She arrived in Tuscany in recent weeks with her mother and was saved thanks to the collaboration between the Children's Hospital of Massa and the University Hospital of Pisa, in particular the Department of Pediatric Neurology. If today the newborn girl has a future much of the credit is due to the poly pharmacological therapy introduced by Livorno physician Alessandro Orsini, 39, a neurologist at the Santa Chiara Hospital in Pisa who followed the child from arrival to discharge. Orsini is indeed a point of reference in pediatric neurology: he graduated from the University of Pisa and obtained his specialization at Santa Chiara Hospital in Pisa, but his resume also includes experience at Oxford Children's Hospital, Meyer Hospital in Florence and Gaslini Hospital in Genoa, not to mention numerous publications of international relevance. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Pisa capital of the Star Wars universe for two days – May 11, Il Tirreno

A special weekend for all lovers of the Star Wars world. On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15, two days of fun and excitement including live performances, choreographed combat, costuming, Lego Star Wars, Padwan School, space workshops and lights at nightfall. The event will take place between Piazza XX Settembre, Logge di Banchi and Ponte di Mezzo starting Saturday 14 at 10 a.m.  On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 from 5 p.m. there will be a costume parade from Piazza Vittorio Emanuele through Corso Italia and the Ponte di Mezzo to Borgo Largo.  On Saturday at 9:30 p.m. there will be a battle on the Ponte di Mezzo where anyone in possession of the iconic light-sabers will be able to participate in a choreographed clash enriched with impressive music and backgrounds. Throughout the day on Saturday 14, visitors can stroll and admire the beauty of Pisa from above the city walls, meeting Galileo, Kinzica, Fibonacci, as well as pirates and medieval soldiers. While from the Wood Tower to the Piazza dei Miracoli it will be possible to participate in a special live role-playing puzzle game to try to figure out what originated the fracture in space-time that brought all these characters to the walls. Throughout the day on Saturday, the walls will be open, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., normal ticket 5 euros, special ticket 10 euros for the historical route. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

San Rossore, a day to clean up the beach and turn trash into artworkMay 11, IlTirreno

Nature, waste, art for the protection and enhancement of our territory's environmental treasures. It is called Eco Walk Day 2022 and is scheduled for Sunday, May 15 starting at 9:30 a.m. in San Rossore Park.   Participants will have the opportunity to walk to the beautiful beach of San Rossore at the estuary of the Dead River, an opportunity for environmental education for the protection of the territory. The initiative is free of charge and reserved for booked participants, who, divided into two groups, will leave at 9:30 a.m. from the San Rossore Park Visitor Center and reach the mouth of the Dead River aboard an electric minibus through a wonderful route inside the park. Anyone will be able to participate and make a contribution by collecting waste along the way. The collected waste will be given to an artist who will create an art work, symbolizing Eco Walk Day and then displayed on June 7 at San Rossore. Limited places are available. To make reservations write to (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Museum night, a European projectMay 12, La Nazione

On Saturday, May 14, the Night of the Museums takes place at the same time throughout Europe and is joined by about 3,000 museums in 30 countries. A nice opportunity to enter cultural places and admire masterpieces at an unusual time such as night, and at the symbolic price of only one euro. Here are the museums open in the vicinity. FLORENCE: Visit the Uffizi Gallery, from 7 to 10 p.m. the Accademia Gallery will remain open extraordinarily from 7 to 10 p.m., the ticket office will close 30 minutes earlier. The San Marco Museum remains open from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. the Archaeological Museum, opens from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., and the Bargello Museum until 10 p.m. with the ticket office closing an hour earlier. PISA nighttime opening, and free of charge, for the Egyptological Collections in Via San Frediano. Guided tours are scheduled at 9 p.m., 9:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. online reservations are required. Free opening for the Graphic Arts Museum on Lungarno Galilei 9, which will be open extraordinarily until 10 p.m. the Gipsoteca di Arte Antica in Piazza San Paolo all'Orto 20, it will be open until 11:30 p.m. and there will also be free guided tours. LIVORNO: Extended opening at the Fattori Museum, extraordinarily open from 7 to 10 p.m. with last admission at 9:30 p.m. the Museo della Città, will open from 8 to 10 p.m. and admission at a reduced rate, theatricalized readings on the secrets of Vittore Grubicy De Dragon, whose exhibition is currently underway, are also scheduled. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Pisa, a team of six will patrol on weekends – May 12, Il Tirreno

The Municipality of Pisa has signed an agreement for stewarding service in the city's historic center during the summer period, in support and collaboration with the Municipal Police and other law enforcement agencies in all those activities of reporting misbehavior and indecent behavior by users.  The service will start from mid-May and continue until September, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The goal is to reconcile the healthy enjoyment of the youngest with the due needs of safety and the quiet and livability of residents. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)