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Letters from Rome

June 16, 2008

Ancient Roman Slave Cemetery Found at Ostia Antica

Judith Harris

The little community of slaves laboring at the port at Ancient Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber River, was desperately poor, but when the eight-year-old boy died, they endowed his...

June 6, 2008

Naples Walks Alone, on Burning and Bloodied Sidewalks

Judith Harris
Interiors of the castle in Ottaviano (Naples). It has been the headquarters of Raffaele Cutolo, boss of Camorra (Neapolitan mafia) in the 1970s and 1980s. Now it is proprerty of Italian State.

"The territory is divided into fiefs; leadership is turned over to a capozona (local boss); membership is expanded through blood ties; and they show an extraordinary capacity to...

May 20, 2008

Garbage, Gypsies, Gamorra, Girls and Gays: Waiting for Mr. Berlusconi

Judith Harris
A subway station in Naples

Not since the 1970’s and the Years of Lead has Italian society been confronted with such an onslaught of problems, all at the same time, and all on ghastly display here in...

May 11, 2008

Aldo Moro Anniversary: Between Memory and Art

Judith Harris
The prison cell prepared for Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades, as reconstructed by artist Francesco Arena.

A disquieting installation on view in a chic new Roman art gallery on Via Somalia evokes the myriad mysteries still surrounding the kidnapping and assassination of the president...

May 4, 2008

Aldo Moro Anniversary: Time To Tell the Truth

Judith Harris
Photo posted on Flickr by Pietro Monti (pietromonti57)

On May 9, 1978, the President of the Christian Democratic party was found in Rome, murdered by the Red Brigates. New revelations today emerge to challenge official versions of...

April 30, 2008

Rome Turns Right

Judith Harris
Celbrating their victory in Rome, far rightists raise arms in Fascist-style salutes and yell "Duce, Duce!"

Berlusconi chalks up his second victory this month. “We’ll be licking these wounds for as long as we have tongues, and maybe longer,” was the mournful comment of Alessandro...

April 18, 2008

Italy's Shifting Political Balance

Judith Harris
The tomb of Goffredo Mameli, the XIX century patriot who wrote the Italian national anthem.

With the far left out of Parliament, and the Greens facing extinction notwithstanding the toxic waste dumps of Naples and contaminated mozzarella, the Northern league and...

April 16, 2008

The End of Ideology?

Judith Harris
Election Results for Italy's Chamber of Deputies

“Hanno detto di lui peste e corna, ma poi l’hanno votato tutti.” (They said all they could about him, down to calling him "cornuto", but then they all voted for him.)

April 6, 2008

Italy's Elections: Viagra for the Doldrums?

Judith Harris

Italy faces a serious migraine headache. Experts are already predicting a frustrated and frustrating new legislature with a brief shelf life.

March 30, 2008

Mozzarella Politics, Naples (Italy)

Judith Harris
The production of mozzarella in Teano, Caserta (north of Naples)

The source of the problem is not the farmer. It is illegal dumping by criminal bands who are in bed with predatory politicians, and this means that the problem is political.

March 17, 2008

Of Emperors, Murders and the Ides of March: the Ghosts that Haunt Italy's Elections

Judith Harris
The President of "Democrazia Cristiana" Aldo Moro, kidnapped by the Red Brigades on March 16, 1978, and killed on May 9 the same year.

On the complicated and dark political history shaping Italy's coming elections next month.

March 13, 2008

Out of the archives: Vatican doubts over the Duce

Judith Harris
Left: Pope Pius XII. Right: Mons. Domenico Tardini

New access to archival documents of the Vatican shed evealing light on the relatiuonships between th Catholic Church and Fascism.

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