* 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 Anna Ciccotti, Angela Balbo, Chiara Mattirolo and Laura Kreider.


Vicenza Military Community

Darby Military Community

COVID-19 Updates - January 25, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Il Tirreno & Il Giornale di Vicenza
Italy registered 77,696 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, with 385 deaths, a positivity rate of 17 percent. Emilia Romagna is the region with the highest number of new cases (14,719), followed by Lombardy (+8,844), Lazio (+7,622), Piedmont (+7,526) and Veneto (+6,188).  There are currently 2,709,857 positive cases across the country, of which 283,494 in Veneto and 179,800 in Tuscany. In the updated map of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), all of Italy is in the dark red, i.e. the color that indicates the maximum epidemiological risk for Covid.
Newspapers discuss possible changes to the current measures, suggesting the Government will likely issue a new Green Pass certification with extended validity to those who have received the booster dose.  Articles report that the meeting between the Health Ministry and Regional Presidents, originally planned for today, was postponed to early February due to the current focus on presidential elections. Topics of discussion will include a possible removal of testing requirements for those entering Italy who are fully vaccinated, as well as changes to the criteria triggering changes in the regional risk color-coding. Leading news sources report that the EU reached an agreement over the free movement of European Green Pass holders within EU borders, which would not require any quarantine regardless of the pandemic situation in the country of origin. Articles highlight that data indicate that the fourth wave of the pandemic appears to be slowing down, but that the situation in hospitals remains a source of concern, as hospitalizations continue to increase, especially in regular COVID-19 wards.  Several papers note that Italy is approaching 10 million people infected since the start of the pandemic, meaning one in six Italians has been infected by the Coronavirus. Newspapers report that as of Monday, four additional regions are designated as orange zones – Piedmont, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Abruzzo, and Sicily.   (Summary by Anna Ciccotti)

Police’s ultimatum to Bar 27: “Possible suspension of license” - January 24, Il Giornale di Vicenza
The Vicenza police headquarters advised the owners of Bar 27 in Ponte degli Angeli that they have started the procedure to suspend the authorization for the administration of drinks and food for five days, because the bar seems to be "constantly frequented by individuals who are previous offenders or convicted criminals.” Just a few days ago, a 21-year-old Ukrainian was reported for firing a BB gun inside the bar and causing a stampede of terrified patrons in the middle of the night. The news left the owners of Bar 27 perplexed: “This is what happens to those who try to defend the law and report criminals.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Healthcare staff claims 124 cases of diehard non-vaxxers - January 24, Il Giornale di Vicenza
To date, 124 no-vax healthcare professionals of Ulss 8 Berica are suspended, at home and without pay, as a result of two decrees. They work at San Bortolo, and at the 5 other local hospitals and healthcare services of the Ulss 8. Some of them have been home since June 2020. Among the employees who have violated the vaccination obligation, 61 are nurses, almost 50 percent. Then, there are 38 socio-health workers, over 30 percent. Finally, 7 doctors, 5 radiology technicians, 4 midwives, 3 physiotherapists, a health physicist, a professional educator, a speech therapist, a psychologist, a laboratory technician, and a cardiovascular perfusion technician. Previously, the group was more consistent, and it reached 177 suspended. Faced with the uncompromising position of the hospital and the risk of staying home without pay, some took a step back and hurried to get vaccinated, obtaining immediate reinstatement as required by law. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Torri di Quartesolo, two WWII mortar bombs found near street altar - January 25, Il Giornale di Vicenza
It happens that people accidentally come across an unexploded device from the First or Second World War. Maybe during an excavation for road works, or simply returned from the ground. Quite different, however, is to come across two unexploded shells carefully positioned in plain sight. This is the curious case that took place yesterday morning in Marola, a hamlet of Torri di Quartesolo, in via Tribolo, where a passerby discovered two old bombs, positioned near a small street altar. Located a few steps from the banks of the Tesina river, the passerby noticed the two bombs by chance, while he was walking along the street altar that is owned by a family of gipsy descent. In fact, near the altar, an Italian mortar bomb from World War II was positioned in plain sight, without a fuse and tang, about 12 cm long. Another smaller device, 80 cm, was positioned next the other, partially hidden by the vegetation. The resident immediately notified the Carabinieri who closed off the road. Meanwhile, explosive experts from the 8th Paratrooper Engineers Regiment of the "Folgore" Brigade stationed in Legnago are examining the devices. An investigation is underway by Carabinieri. (Summary by Anna Ciccotti)

Vicenza, code-red air quality alert - January 25, Il Giornale di Vicenza
Deep red.  The maximum alert regarding smog remains effective for Vicenza and nearby municipalities at least until tomorrow. The series of higher values of ParticulateMatter10, i.e. 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air on an average of 24 hours, has been further lengthened, reaching 11 consecutive days and 14 days since the beginning of the year. A situation shared with a large part of the regional territory and also determined by the weather, given scarce rainy days and poor air circulation. Over the last 24 days, the regional environmental  control units recorded 14 overruns in Vicenza, Venice and Rovigo; 13 in Treviso 13, 11 in Padova, 9 in Verona (13 in Legnago). None in Belluno. The next regional bulletin on the PM10 alert is expected tomorrow. The trend of the last few days will certainly weigh, but above all the forecasts for the next few days, which are actually anything but reassuring. In fact, tomorrow there could be a further surge in PM10, with values ‚Äč‚Äčeven beyond 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air, causing the passage of air quality from "poor" to "very bad". City officials are considering additional measures to incentivize the use of public transport in an effort to improve air quality in urban areas. (Summary by Anna Ciccotti)

Rigoni of Asiago buys French organic chocolate firm - January 25, Il Giornale di Vicenza
Rigoni of Asiago, the well-known Vicenza firm with a turnover of 130 million euro and 245 employees has acquired “Saveurs & Nature,” a smaller but prestigious French company specializing in organic chocolate (bars, chocolates, cereal pralines, bonbons) that has 32 master chocolatiers among its employees. For Rigoni di Asiago, founded in 1923 and one of the most important organic producers in Europe, France is the most important export market. Founded in 2001 by Valérie and Jean-Michel Mortreau from a family of organic farmers, the company started in the scullery of the organic restaurant ‘RestObio’. Their organic chocolates were offered as an accompaniment to coffee, and the success was so great that the Mortreau family decided to devote themselves completely to the production of 100% organic chocolate. The company is located in Saint Sulpice Le Verdon. With this move, Rigoni di Asiago will strengthen its market position both in France and internationally. The project is to continue to grow Saveurs & Nature in France and foreign specialized distribution, and to combine their respective experiences and skills to accelerate innovation. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Vicenza, 161 people alone and homeless - January 22, Il Giornale di Vicenza
To date, Vicenza is the home to 161 people without an actual house. Most of them sleep in the city shelter, but 35 sleep outside, in makeshift bivouacs. From 2020 to today, the Cariverona bank in particular, has put 1.2 million euros on the plate to support projects and services for the homeless of the municipality and Caritas, also linked to the epidemic. The "Roads towards home" initiative presented yesterday will make it possible to maintain the street units, but will also allow the activation of a service center to combat poverty, a 24-hour social emergency service and access to a registered residence and post office box. Members of this initiative are the Diakonia association, the Vicenza diocesan Caritas services, supported by the Municipality and by the resources of the Cariverona Foundation. "The pandemic - explains the director of Caritas Vicenza Don Enrico Pajarin - has led to an increase in the number of citizens with critical issues in the sphere of non-deferrable primary needs, with often urgent and sudden requests. This project aims to increase the support and to make the actions to help them more and more effective.” "The support of the Cariverona foundation - says the president of Diakonia onlus Sante Marcante - allows us to increase the number of operators.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

99-year-young woman still drives her car - January 23, Il Giornale di Vicenza
On 3 July 2020, then 98-year-old Candida Uderzo from Breganze brilliantly passed the test to renew her driving license. On April 18, Candida will reach the ambitious milestone of 100. She is still in excellent health, thanks to a healthy lifestyle maintained with regular sport activity and a good diet. Despite some limitations imposed by the road code, Mrs. Candida usually drives on provincial and city roads, remaining within a specific distance. “Before the Vaia storm, I would get behind the wheel of my Fiat Punto Bianca and go in search of mushrooms in Marcesina, in Gallio - says Candida - It was a way to feel independent, and to have a picnic with my old friends.” If her license were to be revoked on April 18, she plans on riding her bicycle: “I use it daily for short trips, sometimes even to carry light bags. I opt for itineraries that make me admire the beauties of my country, as well as the country roads with little traffic.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Happy ending for 88-year-old woman who spent night in the woods - January 23, Il Giornale di Vicenza
A happy ending for 88-year-old Gesuina Mocellin of Campolongo, who went missing Friday afternoon. The old woman had gone out for a walk in the woods she loves so much, the same where she had spent her youth and adulthood with her family, raising grazing animals. She got lost and spent the night in a ravine, covering herself with foliage to warm up a bit. Saturday morning, after hours and hours of searching, she was found.  She was dazed, cold and with some bruises, but in good health. The searches started almost immediately, with the volunteers of the Valbrenta civil protection sifting through all the streets of the center, along the Brenta and the paths next to the town. When it got dark, a more extensive alarm went off that involved firefighters, mountain rescue, carabinieri, dog units of Marostica and two civil protection groups: about 50 rescuers set out in search of her, fearing the worst also for the presence of wolves in the area. But, she was able to make do until the rescuers arrived, and was found in a remote wooded area away from the marked paths. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Battle for peace: protesters rally at Camp Darby24 January, Il Tirreno & La Nazione
PISA. It is a "battle for peace" the one that Rifondazione Comunista and Una Città in Comune held Sunday morning in front of the military base of Camp Darby. The gathering was organized to protest against the project of the new rail connection that very soon will connect the small station of Tombolo and the Ammunition Storage Area. The ASA is used by the US military to store their ordnance and ammunition, and it is one of the largest weapon warehouse outside the United States. Protestors manifested for pacifism, but also for the preservation the natural territory, its environment and its inhabitants. According to the organizers, the Italian government has not only co-financed, but has rolled out the red carpet to the Americans, describing this project as a 'work for national defense' and for this reason exempt from urban planning compliance, in defiance of any assessment of its impact on nature and the territory, and without any clarity as regards to the safety of two cities, Pisa and Livorno. Local newspapers quote protestors highlighting that: “Every time a convoy or an aircraft plane full of weapons leaves here for Africa, the Middle East or Ukraine, our country is directly involved in a clash that brings the Italians absolutely nothing, despite what they tell us. We would like to deal instead with a government that responds to the crisis with investments in health, education, work and the environment and that can produce its own vaccines, not instruments of death.”