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Italy's ancient sites are beautiful but not always handicapped-accessible.
If you're heading to Italy soon, we're totally jealous. We can't get enough of its wonderful cities: Bologna, Venice, Rome, Florence—we just want to move there already. Before you go, here are some tips we've gleaned during our own Italy travels:
· Beware of petty crimes. According to the U.S. Department of State, crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities. Be on guard at crowded places like Milan's Central Station and the Trevi Fountain. And thieves in Italy often work in groups or pairs to divert your attention.
· Italy isn't handicapped-accessible. Italy's beauty lies in its ancient buildings, but most aren't equipped with wheelchair ramps and elevators. Buses aren't generally wheelchair-accessible, either.
Yes, we know that's a radiation icon, but we mean it in a Hazmat capacity
A fat lady singing can't do anything for asbestos removal, as Milan's La Scala is finding out. Back in spring, officials in Milan discovered the toxic stuff in the famed opera house's ceiling, and they've just now closed down the 270 seats of the uppermost tier in order to begin removal.
This poses a problem for the tourists who, in last few months, have possibly been exposed to asbestos from officials rustling up there, but thankfully it's been confirmed that there's no spread of asbestos. Ticket holders will either be offered an upgrade to better and less toxic eating, or, if that's unavailable, then a simple refund. No loud Italian opera for the cheapskates, we guess.
Most famous for his "Abraham Obama" image pictured above, Ron takes inspiration from cartoons, corporate branding, and the works of Andy Warhol. As a result, his paintings and posters are bright riffs on popular culture meant to inspire re-examination of the symbols we see everyday; for example, his work was featured in the movie Super Size Me.
Although we occasionally are lucky enough to spot some of his posters around the corner, heading to Milan to see his oeuvre sounds way more exotic. The Don Gallery will host the exhibition from today through August 25.
Italy's new high-speed train service, Freccia Rossa ("Red Arrow"), made its inaugural high-speed rail service yesterday from Milan to Rome. The new service now lets travelers get from the fashion capital to the Eternal City in just three hours. (Currently, the trip takes about four hours.) Passengers can also get from Florence to Bologna in just 35 minutes, down from one hour.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi rode the inaugural trip, even posing in the pilot's cabin wearing the chief engineer's hat. He looks so...cute?