Return to home1930 Feb 18,
Luigi Pirandello's "Come Tu Mi Vuoi," premiered in Milan.
1930 Apr 21, Silvana Mangano,
actress (Death in Venice, Barabbas), was born in Rome, Italy.
1930 Jun 29, Oriana Fallaci,
Italian journalist, was born.
1930 Jul 23, Earthquake struck
Ariano, Italy, and some 1,500 were killed.
1930 Gino Severini, artist,
published Fleurs et Masques in London.
(SFEM, 2/1/98, p.6)
1930 Futurist Italian poet,
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti denounced pasta as obsolete and urged
Italians to try more avant-garde combinations like cooked salami
sauced in espresso and spiked with eau de Cologne.
(WSJ, 12/29/95, p.A-11)
1930 In Italy Battista “Pinin”
Farina founded Pininfarina SpA, a car design firm.
(SFC, 8/8/08, p.B5)
1930 Mt. Stromboli in Italy
erupted and hurled 30-ton rocks onto houses 3 km away and caused a
tidal wave as the entire island mountain rose.
(PacDisc. Spring/’96, p.30)
1931 Sep 16, Omar Mukhtar
(b.1862), Libyan hero, was hanged by Italian authorities in the
concentration camp of Solluqon. From 1912 he had led an insurrection
against Italian invaders.
1932 Jan 5, Umberto Eco,
Italian novelist who wrote "The Name of the Rose," was born.
1932 Apr 17, Graziella Sciutti,
Italian opera singer, was born.
1932 Aug 4, Luigi Beccali
(1907-1990), Italian athlete, won Olympic gold in the 1500 meters.
He gave a Fascist salute at the winners’ podium.
(WSJ, 4/12/08, p.R2)(http://tinyurl.com/6al4up)
1932 Sep 11, Valentino, fashion
designer for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was born in Milan, Italy.
1932 Oct 25, Mussolini promised
to remain dictator for 30 years.
1932 Nov 5, Mussolini freed
1933 Mar 19, Italy's dictator
Benito Mussolini proposed a pact with Britain, France and Germany.
1933 Jun 26, Claudio Abbado,
composer, conductor (London Symph-1982), was born in Milan, Italy.
1933 Giulio Einaudi (d.1999 at
87) founded the Giulio Einaudi Editore in Turin, a publishing house
that he built into a wellspring of fine literature, intellectual
thought and political theory. In 1994 the firm became part of
Mondadori, part of the media empire of Silvio Berlusconi.
(SFC, 4/8/99, p.C5)
1933 Mussolini decided to
transform Campione, a destitute fisherman’s village, into a showcase
for Italy’s prosperity. Subsidies were curtailed in 2001.
(WSJ, 1/16/00, p.A1)
1933 Francesco Illy founded
Illycafe in Trieste, Italy. He invented the compressed air coffee
machine (patented in 1934), the predecessor of the espresso machine
as we now know it.
1934 Feb 18, Aldo Ceccato,
conductor (Detroit Symph Orch 1973-77), was born in Milan, Italy.
1934 Feb 24, Renata Scotto,
soprano (Violetta, La Traviata), was born in Savona, Italy.
1934 Jun 23, Italy gained the
right to colonize Albania after defeating the country.
1934 Sep 20, Sophia Loren,
actress (Desire Under the Elms, Black Orchid), was born in Rome.
1934 Dec 5, Italian and
Ethiopian troops clashed at the Ualual on disputed Somali-Ethiopian
1934 Attilio Bertolucci
(1912-2000) published his 1st collection of poems "November Fires."
(SFC, 6/15/00, p.A34)
1934 The Italian film "La
Signora di Tutti" starred Isa Miranda and was directed by Max
(SFEC, 9/5/99, DB p.50)
1934 Charles Ponzi, Italian
immigrant, check forger and scam artist, was deported from the US to
Italy where he got work in Mussolini’s treasury and embezzled money
from the fascists.
(SSFC, 7/14/02, p.G2)
1935 Feb 18, Rome reported
sending troops to Italian Somalia.
1935 Feb 27, Mirella Freni,
lyric soprano (Madame Butterfly), was born in Modena, Italy.
1935 Mar 23, France, Italy and
Britain agreed to present a unified front in response to Germany.
1935 Jul 18, Ethiopian King
Haile Selassie urged his countrymen to fight to the last man against
the invading Italian army. He had previously warned the League of
Nations of the dangers of appeasement.
1935 Oct 3, Italy
1935 Oct 6, Italian army
occupied Adua, Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
1935 Oct 11, The League of
Nations met and voted 50 to 4 (Austria, Hungary, Italy and Albania
opposed) to condemn Italy for the attack on Ethiopia.
1935 Oct 12, Luciano Pavarotti,
Italian opera tenor, was born in Modena, Italy.
1935 Dec 30, Italian bombers
destroyed a Swedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.
1935 Mussolini presented a
gift of 3,000,000 gold francs to Albania; other economic aid
(www, Albania, 1998)
1935 Mussolini exiled Carlo
Levi (1902-1975), Italian journalist, artist and doctor. As a Jew
and for his antifascist activities he was exiled until 1936 to two
isolated villages in the province of Lucania.
1935 Bruno Ducati (d.2001) and
his brothers Adriano and Marcello began producing condensers and
radio equipment in Italy. They switched to motorcycle production
after WW II.
(SFC, 5/17/01, p.A25)
1935-1936 The Italian army used chemical warfare
against Ethiopia in violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol.
(NH, 10/98, p.18)
1936 Jan 5, Daggha Bur,
Ethiopia, was bombed by the Italians.
1936 Mar 1, Giulio Bargellini
(b.1869), Italian artist, died in Rome.
1936 Mar 23, Italy, Austria and
Hungary signed Pact of Rome.
1936 Mar 29, Italy firebombed
the Ethiopian city of Harar.
1936 Apr 18, Ottorino Respighi
(56), Italian composer (Pines of Rome), died.
1936 May 2, With the Italian
invasion Ethiopia’s Emp. Haile Selassie left for French Somaliland.
He went into exile for 5 years during which time he was based in
1936 May 5, Italian troops
occupied Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 1757 Italians and 1593 Eritreans
were killed, more than 275,000 Ethiopians were killed.
1936 May 9, Fascist Italy took
Addis Abba and annexed Ethiopia as Benito Mussolini celebrated in
(AP, 5/9/97)(HN, 5/9/98)
1936 Jun 30, Haile Selassie
asked the League of Nations for sanctions against Italy.
1936 Jul 4, The League Council
voted to end economic sanctions against Italy with the collapse of
Ethiopia. The cancellation of economic sanctions against an
aggressor state marked the failure of collective security under the
League and was a harbinger of conflict in the upcoming years.
1936 Sep 29, Silvio Berlusconi,
later 2-time PM of Italy, was born to middle-class parents in Milan.
(WSJ, 3/30/06, p.A12)
1936 Nov 1, In a speech in
Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his
country and Nazi Germany as an "axis" running between Rome and
Berlin after Count Ciano’s visit to Germany.
(AP, 11/1/97)(HN, 11/1/98)
1936 Nov 18, Germany and Italy
recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
1936-1939 The Spanish Civil War has been commonly
referred to as "a rehearsal for World War II" by historians because
of the intervention by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet
Union, and their use of the war to test new weapons and military
techniques. It was fought between the liberal Second Spanish
Republic government and right-wing rebel forces, including the
fascist Falangists, monarchists and Nationalists. The rebels had the
support of the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to Germany and
Italy. The Government supporters, called Loyalists, had the support
of communists, socialists, anarchists, the Soviet Union and
volunteers from around the world who formed the International
Brigades. Between 400,000 and 1 million were killed in the war,
ultimately won by the rebels. In 2008 Paul Preston authored “We Saw
Spain Die: Foreign correspondents in the Spanish Civil War.” In 2012
Paul Preston authored “The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and
Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain.”
(HNQ, 9//00)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.97)(Econ, 3/24/12,
1937 Jan 9, Italian regime
banned marriages between Italians and Abyssinians.
1937 Apr 27, Antonio Gramsci
(b.1891), Italian communist, philosopher and political theorist,
died. He said that to eliminate the bourgeois state one must seize
the institutions that reproduce the dominant class’s thought
1937 Jun 10, Luciana Paluzzi
(Fiona Volpe), actress (Five Fingers, Thunderball), was born in
1937 Jul 20, Guglielmo Marconi
(b.1874), Italian engineer, inventor of wireless telegraphy, marquis
(radio, Nobel 1909), died in Rome.
(ON, 11/99, p.10)(MC, 7/20/02)
1937 Sep 6, The Soviet Union
accused Italy of torpedoing two Russian ships in the Mediterranean.
1937 Sep 25, German Chancellor
Adolf Hitler met with Italian Premier Benito Mussolini in Munich.
1937 Dec 11, Italy withdrew
from the League of Nations.
1937 Dec 23, London warned Rome
to stop the anti-British propaganda in Palestine.
1937 An Italian Alfa Romeo 8C
2900B Cabriolet, later called one of the finest classic cars in
existence, was produced. In 1999 it sold for $4 million.
(SFC, 8/31/99, p.A26)
1937 The 1,700 year-old Axum
Obelisk was dismantled and removed from Ethiopia by Italian forces.
Mussolini used it to commemorate the 15th anniversary of his march
on Rome. In 1998 Italy agreed to return it. The border war delayed
the return to 2003.
(AM, 5/01, p.10)(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A2)
1938 Mar 1, Gabriele
d’Annunzio, Italian poet, writer and political leader, died. In 2013
Lucy Hughes-Hallett authored “The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio: Poet
Seducer and Preacher of War.”
1938 Jul 14, Italian Premier
Mussolini published an anti-Jewish and African manifesto prepared by
1938 Sep 1, Mussolini cancelled
the civil rights of Italian Jews.
1938 Sep 5, Achille Gaggia,
Italian barman, applied for a patent for an espresso maker that
forced boiling water through coffee at high pressure. The Gaggia
company was founded in 1947 and formally formed in 1948.
(Econ, 6/11/11, SR
1938 Sep 29, British, French,
German and Italian leaders signed the Munich Agreement, which was
aimed at appeasing Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of
Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, inhabited by a German-speaking
minority. The treaty ceded three areas of Czechoslovakia to other
powers: the Sudetenland was annexed into Germany, the Teschen
district was given to Poland, and parts of Slovakia went to Hungary.
British PM Neville Chamberlain gained a brief peace agreement from
Hitler at Munich and without consulting the Czechs agreed that Nazi
forces could occupy Sudetenland. Some mark this "appeasement policy"
as the decisive event of the century. Chamberlain predicted "peace
in our time." French PM Edouard Daladier was very depressed from the
meeting. In 1980 Telford Taylor published "Munich: The Price of
Peace." It is a detailed political & diplomatic history of the
1930's in Europe, culminating in the Munich conference. Taylor later
helped write the rules for Nuremberg Trials. In 2008 David Vaughan
authored “Battle for the Airwaves: Radio and the 1938 Munich
6/9/96, Z1 p.5)(SFC, 6/16/96, Z1 p.6)(WSJ, 6/8/98, p.A21)(AP,
9/29/06)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.B2)(Econ, 10/11/08, p.115)
1938 Nov 10, Fascist Italy
enacted anti-Semitic legislation.
1938 Nov 17, Italy passed its
own version of anti-Jewish Nuremberg laws.
1938 Dec 17, Italy declared the
1935 pact with France invalid, because ratification's had not been
exchanged. France denied the argument.
1938 King Victor Emmanuel III
supported dictator Benito Mussolini and signed racial laws that
expelled Jews from government and university jobs and the military
and restricted their work, schooling and right to own property. Some
8,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps from which only about
(SFC, 5/6/97, p.A11)
1938 In the Langhe region of
Italy Giacomo Morra initiated the Int’l. Truffle Fair in Alba.
(SFEC, 9/27/98, p.T4)
1938 In Italy Ugo Cerletti
(1877-1963), neurosurgeon, and psychiatrist Lucio Bini (1908-1980)
pioneered the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), electric
shock, to cure patients of depression.
1938 Enrico Rebuschini, a
northern Italian priest, died. In 1997 he was beatified by Pope John
(SFC, 5/5/97, p.A8)
1938 G. Trolli, an Italian
physician working in the Belgian Congo (Zaire), reported a condition
called konzo meaning "tied legs." It was later related to cyanide
poison from improper preparation of cassava root.
(NH, 7/96, p.14)
1939 Feb 24, Hungary signed an
anti-Communist pact with Italy, Germany and Japan.
1939 Apr 7, Italy invaded
Albania, which offered only token resistance. Less than a week
later, Italy annexed Albania. [see Apr 8]
1939 Apr 8, Italy, under
Fascist dictatorship led by Benito Mussolini seized the country of
Albania. The Albanian parliament voted to unite Albania with Italy;
King Zog fled to Greece. Under Mussolini’s totalitarian rule Italy
embarked on expansion and military conquest. Ethiopia fell victim,
conquered by Italy in 1936. Italy’s foreign policy cooperation with
Germany began in 1936 and both joined forces to intervene in the
Spanish Civil War on the side of Francisco Franco’s rebel forces.
Italy’s military alliance with Germany was struck in 1939. [see Apr
(HN, 4/8/98)(www, Albania, 1998)
1939 May 7, Germany and Italy
announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin
1939 May 22, The foreign
ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo
Ciano, signed a "Pact of Steel" committing Germany and Italy to a
military alliance forming the Axis powers.
(HN, 5/22/99)(AP, 5/22/07)
1939 The Italian film
"Ossessione" (Obsession) featured the debut of Massimo Giroti
(d.2003 at 84). It was a loose adaptation of "The Postman Always
Rings Twice" and was directed by Luchino Visconti.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.A17)
1939 Italy passed a law for the
Protection of Artistic Patrimony. It required that art over 50 years
old be offered to the government for acquisition before export.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.64)
1940 Mar 5, The British
surprised Mussolini by taking seven Italian coal ships.
1940 Mar 9, Britain freed
captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister,
Ribbentrop's visit to Rome.
1940 Mar 18, Adolf Hitler and
Benito Mussolini held a meeting at the Brenner Pass across the Alps
during which the Italian dictator agreed to join in Germany's war
against France and Britain.
1940 Apr 12, Italy annexed
1940 May 16, Bernardo
Bertolucci, director (1900, Last Emperor), was born in Parma, Italy.
1940 Jun 10, Italy declared war
on France and Britain; Canada declared war on Italy.
1940 Jun 11, The Italian Air
Force bombed the British fortress at Malta in the Mediterranean.
1940 Jun 24, France signed an
armistice with Italy after the axis country attacked a portion of
southern France during Germany's blitzkrieg.
(AP, 6/24/97)(HN, 6/24/99)
1940 Aug 11, Italian forces
attacked Observation Hill in British Somaliland. Capt. Wilson and
Somali gunners under his command beat off the attack and opened fire
on the enemy troops attacking Mill Hill, another post within his
range. The enemy finally overran the post at 5 p.m. on the 15th
August when Capt. Wilson, fighting to the last, was reportedly
killed. 2 months later he was awarded a Victoria Cross. In April
1941, however, Wilson was found alive in a prisoner of war camp in
Eritrea. Wilson died at age 96 on Dec 23, 2008.
1940 Sep 12, Italian forces
began an offensive into Egypt from Libya.
1940 Sep 9, Italian troops
under Marshal Graziani attacked Egypt. Rodolfo Graziani (1882-1955)
became known as the “Burtcher of Ethiopia.”
1940 Sep 27, Nazi-Germany,
Italy and Japan signed a formal alliance called Tripartite Pact, a
10 year military and economic alliance strengthening the Axis
1940 Oct 4, Adolf Hitler and
Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps, where the
Nazi leader sought Italy's help in fighting the British.
1940 Oct 25, The Greek Army
beat back an invasion by Mussolini’s forces.
1940 Oct 25, Hitler visited
Mussolini in Florence.
1940 Oct 28, Italy invaded
Greece, launching six divisions on four fronts from occupied
Albania. Greece successfully resisted Italy's attack.
(AP, 10/28/97)(HN, 10/28/98)(MC, 10/28/01)
1940 Oct 28, A meeting between
Hitler and Mussolini took place in Florence.
1940 Nov 11, Britain’s Royal
Navy attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto.
1940 Dec 9, British troops
opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War
II and seized 1,000 Italians in a sudden thrust in Egypt.
(AP, 12/9/97)(HN, 12/9/98)
1940 The film "Piccolo Mondo
Antico" was directed Mario Soldati.
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A25)
1940 The film "St. John the
Baptist Beheaded" starred Toto.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1941 Jan 20, Hitler met with
Mussolini and offered aid in Albania and Greece.
1941 Jan 22, British and
Australian troops captured Tobruk from Italians.
1941 Feb 6, The RAF cleared the
way as British took Benghazi, Libya, trapping thousands of Italians.
1941 Feb 16, The Italians lost
their last position in the Sudan.
1941 Mar 9, Italians launched a
large-scale counterattack across the center of the front against
Greece, which, despite the superiority of the Italian armed forces,
failed. After one week and 12,000 casualties, Mussolini called off
the counterattack and left Albania 12 days later.
1941 Mar 21, The last Italian
post in East Libya fell to the British.
1941 Mar 28, The Italian fleet
was routed by the British at the Battle of Matapan off the coast of
Greece. More than 2,000 Italian sailors died and five Italian ships
were destroyed. Mavis Batey (1921-2013) of British intelligence had
decoded a message that signaled the attack three days earlier.
(HN, 3/28/99)(SFC, 11/29/13, p.C4)
1941 Mar 29, Terence Hill,
actor (Super Fuzz, They Call Me Trinity), was born in Venice, Italy.
1941 Mar 29, The British sank
five Italian warships off the Peloponnesus coast in the
1941 Mar 30, The U.S. seized
Italian, German and Danish ships in 16 ports.
1941 Apr 6, Italian-held Addis
Ababa surrendered to British and Ethiopian forces.
1941 Apr 17, Yugoslavia
surrendered to Germany ending 11 days of futile resistance against
the invading German Wehrmacht. More than 300,000 Yugoslav officers
and soldiers were taken prisoner. Italian and Albanian forces
attacked and jointly occupied Yugoslavia.
(SFC, 4/5/97, p.A20)(AP, 4/17/97)(MC, 4/17/02)
1941 May 18, Italian army under
General Aosta surrendered to Britain in Ethiopia.
1941 Jul 28, Riccardo Muti,
conductor (Philadelphia Orch), was born in Napoli, Italy.
1941 Nov 18, Mussolini's forces
left Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
1941 Dec 9, China declared war
on Japan, Germany and Italy.
1941 Dec 11, The US declared
war on Germany and Italy. Germany and Italy declared war on the
United States; the U.S. responded in kind.
(WUD, 1944, p.1683)(TL, 1988, p.112)(AP,
1941 The British seized Eritrea
from the Italians.
(WSJ, 5/26/00, p.A22)
1942 Jan 29, German and Italian
troops took Benghazi in North Africa.
1942 Aug 27, Cuba declared war
on Germany, Japan and Italy.
1942 Dec 4, U.S. bombers struck
the Italian mainland and Naples for the first time in World War II.
(AP, 12/4/97)(HN, 12/4/98)
1942 Dec 18, Hitler met with
Mussolini and Pierre Laval.
1942 The film "Malombra" was
directed Mario Soldati.
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A25)
1942 Lev Nussimbaum (37),
Orientalist and writer (aka Essad Bey or Kurban Said), died in
Italy, while researching a biography of Mussolini. In 2005 Tom Reiss
authored “The Orientalist,” a biography of Nussimbaum, whose books
included the novel “Ali and Nino” (1937), translated to English in
(WSJ, 2/17/05, p.D8)(SSFC, 3/6/05, p.B3)
1943 Jan 14, Italian occupation
authorities refused to deport any Jews living on their territories
1943 Jan 22, Battle of Anzio:
1943 Apr 7, Adolf Hitler and
Benito Mussolini met for an Axis conference in Salzburg.
1943 Apr 28, German-Italian
forces launched a counter offensive in North-Africa.
1943 May 18, Allied bombers
attacked Pantelleria in the Mediterranean Sea.
1943 Jun 2, 99th Pursuit
Squadron flew its 1st combat mission over Italy.
1943 Jun 11, The Italian island
of Pantelleria surrendered after a heavy air bombardment.
1943 Jun 15, The 8,000-ton
Rosandra, an Italian merchant ship, sank after being torpedoed by a
British submarine a day earlier off Albania's southern coast. 6
people died but 173 were safely evacuated to land. In 2010
underwater archeologists reported the discovery of the ship.
1943 Jul 9, American and
British forces made an amphibious landing on Sicily. The 'man who
never was' pulled off one of the greatest deceptions in military
history--after his death.
1943 Jul 10, During World War
II, U.S. and British forces completed their amphibious landing in
(AP, 7/10/97)(HN, 7/10/01)
1943 Jul 19, More than 150 B-17
and 112 B-24 Allied bombers attacked Rome for the first time.
(AP, 7/19/97)(HN, 7/19/98)
1943 Jul 22, The American
Seventh Army forces led by Gen. George S. Patton captured Palermo,
Sicily. Gen Patton moved his troops across Sicily through August.
1943 Jul 25, Benito Mussolini
was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III and
placed under arrest. Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis and
re-asserted his authority.
1943 Jul 26, Otto Skorzeny's
commando group arrived in Rome.
1943 Aug 13, The British bombed
Milan. Elmer Alifano was an injured American held captive in a Milan
hospital during the bombing where he received more injuries and
where a third of the Allied prisoners were killed.
(SFC, 9/29/97, p.A19)
1943 Aug 17, The Allied
conquest of Sicily was completed as U.S. and British forces entered
(AP, 8/17/97)(HN, 8/17/98)
1943 Aug 28, Mussolini was
transferred from La Maddalena Sardinia to Gran Sasso.
1943 Aug, Italy's surrender to
Allied forces weakened Italian hold on Albania; Albanian resistance
fighters overwhelmed five Italian divisions.
(www, Albania, 1998)
1943 Sep 3, The British Eighth
Army invaded Italy, landing at Calabria, during World War II. Italy
signed a secret armistice with the Allies, but it was not announced
until Sep 8.
(AP, 9/3/97)(HN, 9/3/98)
1943 Sep 4, British 8th army
landed at Taranto in South Italy.
1943 Sep 8, Italy surrendered
to the Allies in WW II.
1943 Sep 9, Allied forces in
operation Avalanche landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War
II. They encountered strong resistance from German troops.
(AP, 9/9/97)(HN, 9/9/98)(MC, 9/9/01)
1943 Sep 10, German troops
occupied Rome and took over the protection of Vatican City.
1943 Sep 12, German
paratroopers took Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he was being
held by Italian resistance forces. Waffen-SS troops under Otto
Skorzeny freed Mussolini at Gran Sasso in the Abruzzi Mountains.
(AP, 9/12/97)(SFC, 4/25/97, p.A15)
1943 Sep 13, Germans counter
attacked at Salerno.
1943 Sep 14, German troops
abandoned the Salerno front in Italy.
1943 Sep 23, Benito Mussolini
formed a rival fascist government in Italy.
1943 Sep 24, German forces
executed 117 Italian officers on the Greek island of Cephalonia. The
massacre became the basis for the 1994 bestseller Captain Corelli's
Mandolin by British writer Louis de Bernieres. On Oct 18, 2013 an
Italian court handed a life sentence in absentia to former German
army corporal Alfred Stork (90) for his role in the execution.
1943 Sep 29, General Dwight D.
Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice
aboard the British ship Nelson off Malta.
1943 Sep, Trieste was occupied
by the Germans and held until the end of the war. Many of the city’s
Jews perished at the nearby Risiera di San Sabba Nazi death camp.
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.C3)
1943 Sep, Pope Pius XII offered
Vatican assets to ransom Jews from the Nazis and in Italy ran an
extensive network of hideouts for escaping Jews.
(WSJ, 4/25/97, p.A18)
1943 Oct 1, Allied forces
captured Naples during World War II. British troops in Italy entered
Naples and occupied Foggia airfield.
(HFA, '96, p.38)(AP, 10/1/97)(HN, 10/1/98)
1943 Oct 12, The U.S. Fifth
Army began an assault crossing of the Volturno River in Italy.
1943 Oct 13, During World War
II, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.
1943 Oct 16, In Italy the Nazi
SS police and Waffen SS began rounding up the Jews of Rome. There
was an anti Jewish riot in Rome as the Jewish quarter was surrounded
by Nazis, and Jews were evacuated to Auschwitz. Pope Pius XII made
no public protest, though he did send some messages of disapproval
(WSJ, 10/18/99, p.A46)(MC, 10/16/01)
1943 Dec 2, Italy’s Bari harbor
was attacked by German bombers. They achieved a complete surprise
bombing shipping and personnel operating in support of the Allied
Italian campaign. 27 cargo and transport ships and a schooner were
sunk. The release of mustard gas from one of the wrecked cargo ships
added to the loss of life.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raid_on_Bari)(Econ, 9/14/13, p.20)
1943 Dec 3, Battle of Monte
Cassino, Italy began.
1943-1947 Thousands of Italians were killed by
Yugoslav partisans in and around the Istrian peninsula, which had
fallen to Italy after the 1st world war. Mussolini’s fascists had
brutally Italianized the peninsula prior to the arrival of the
(Econ, 8/28/04, p.48)
1944 Jan 4, The British Fifth
Army attacked Monte Cassino, Italy.
1944 Jan 6, In Italy lava began
flowing from the conelet of Mount Vesuvius. Lava flows continued
into March with several explosions thru the end of March.
1944 Jan 15, The U.S. Fifth
Army successfully broke the German Winter Line in Italy with the
capture of Mount Trocchio.
1944 Jan 20, Allied forces
began unsuccessful operations to cross the Rapido River and seize
1944 Jan 22, US troops under
Major General John P. Lucas made an amphibious landing behind German
lines at Anzio, Italy, just south of Rome. Major General Lucas
commanded Operation Shingle, a surprise landing behind German lines
in Italy. General Lucas harbored grave doubts about the chances for
success in this, the most daring operation of the Italian campaign.
The seaborne operation was planned as a way of outflanking German
strength on Italy’s Gustav Line and swiftly capturing Rome, but
almost nothing went according to plan.
(HNQ, 4/4/01)(AP, 1/22/08)
1944 Jan 30-1944 Feb 2, At
Cisterna, Italy, some 250-300 US Rangers died as part of the battle
of Anzio. 8 rangers escaped and hundreds were captured.
1944 Feb 2, The Germans stopped
an Allied attack at Anzio, Italy.
1944 Feb 7, The Germans
launched a [counteroffensive] second attack against the Allied
beachhead at Anzio, Italy. They hoped to push the Allies back into
(AP, 2/7/97)(HN, 2/7/99)
1944 Feb 15, American bombers
attacked the Abbey of Monte Cassino in central Italy in an effort to
neutralize it as a German observation post. In 2003 Matthew Parker
authored "Monte Cassino: The Hardest Fought Battle of World War II."
(HN, 2/15/99)(Econ, 9/20/03, p.80)
1944 Mar 2, A train disaster
killed 521 people in Salerno, Italy.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)
1944 Feb 15, American bombers
attacked the Abbey of Monte Cassino in an effort to neutralize it as
a German observation post in central Italy.
1944 Mar 1, Massive strikes
took place in Northern Italian towns.
1944 Mar 2, In Salerno, Italy,
fumes from a locomotive stalled in a tunnel suffocated 521 people.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)(AP, 2/18/04)
1944 Mar 4, Anti-German strikes
took place in North Italy.
1944 Mar 15, Allied bombers
again raided German-held Monte Cassino, Italy.
1944 Mar 19, At Cisterna,
Italy, Germans, increasingly worried about resistance, rounded up
the entire town and marched them north. Many ended in labor camps
and farms as far north as Tuscany.
1944 Mar 23, A bomb
assassination against Southern Tirol congregation in Rome killed 33.
1944 Mar 24, In occupied Rome,
the Nazis executed more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack
by Italian partisans, who the day before killed 32  German
soldiers [policemen]. The Ardeatine Cave massacre near Rome, Italy,
took place. In retaliation to the systematic murder of Nazi officers
by the Italian underground, an SS officer ordered that 10 Italian
civilian men be shot for every Nazi officer killed. The age of the
civilians did not matter and so many teenagers and boys were among
the dead found in the caves. Argentina extradited former Nazi
officer, Erich Priebke, to Rome in 1995 to face trial for his role
in the Ardeatine Caves massacre.
(AP, 3/23/97)(WSJ, 10/3/95, p.A-21) (WSJ,
11/21/95, p.A-1)(HN, 3/24/98)
1944 Apr 22, Hitler and
Mussolini met at Obersalzburg.
1944 May 11, Allied forces
launched a major offensive against German lines in Italy.
1944 May 13, Allied forces in
Italy broke through the German Gustav Line into the Liri Valley.
1944 May 15, A partisan attack
on a movie theater killed 5 German soldiers in Genoa. 4 days later
SS Officer Friedrich Engel ordered the killing of 59 Italian
prisoners in reprisal. In 2002 Engel (93) was sentenced to 7 years
in prison for the order.
(SFC, 7/6/02, p.A14)(AP, 2/14/06)
1944 May 18, The Allies in
Italy finally captured Monte Cassino, Europe's oldest Monastic
house, after a four-month struggle that claimed some 20,000 lives.
The Polish 2nd Army corps, at a staggering loss of life, captured
the convent of Monte Cassino.
(HN, 5/18/99)(AP, 5/18/02)(SC, 5/18/02)
1944 May 19, The Gustav line,
the German defense line in Italy, collapsed under heavy assault by
1944 May 19, Friedrich Engel
(1909-2006), a Nazi SS officer, oversaw the massacre of 59 Italian
prisoners near Genoa. An Italian military court convicted Engel in
absentia in 1999 and sentenced him to life for war crimes connected
to a total of 246 deaths. In 2002 a German court convicted Engel of
59 counts of murder and handed him a suspended seven-year term.
1944 May 29, British troops
occupied Aprilia, Italy.
1944 May 30, Caligula’s ships,
extracted from Lake Nemi, were set ablaze and destroyed. Blame was
cast on German soldiers and American artillery.
(AM, 5/01, p.31)
1944 Jun 3, Nazis pulled out of
1944 Jun 4, The US Fifth Army
under Gen. Mark Clark, entered Rome, beginning the liberation of the
Italian capital during World War II.
(AP, 6/4/97)(Econ, 4/12/08, p.94)
1944 Jun 7, Italian partisans
shot at least one German soldier in a radio transmitter unit that
included Matthias Defregger. Eventually, 17 men, ranging from 17 to
65, were shot in retaliation, and much of the village of Filetto di
Camarda was burned. Defregger later became a Bishop and faced
charges in 1969 for the murders. The charges were dropped in 1970.
1944 Jun 26, German troops near
the Italian village of Falzano di Cortona herded 11 civilians into a
barn and blew it up. Gino Massetti (15) survived and in 2008
testified in the trial of former Wehrmacht Lt. Josef Scheungraber,
the company commander accused of ordering the reprisal killings and
four others after two German soldiers were killed. In 2009
Scheungraber (90) was convicted of 10 murders and jailed for life.
(AP, 10/7/08)(AFP, 8/11/09)
1944 Jun, German soldiers in
the Hermann Goering division, named after the head of Adolf Hitler's
air force, shot and killed more than 200 civilians and destroyed
most of the homes in the Tuscan town of Civitella to avenge a deadly
attack by partisans. In 2008 Italy's Court of Cassation ordered
Berlin to pay a total of euro1 million (US$1.3 million) to nine
family members of victims of the massacre. Germany rejected the
1944 Aug 4, British 8th army
reached the suburbs of Florence, Italy.
1944 Aug 11, German troops
abandoned Florence, Italy, as Allied troops closed in on the
1944 Aug 12, Churchill and Tito
met in Naples.
1944 Aug 28-1944 Sep 9, In
Italy 10 citizens from Forli were killed "without need and without
any justified motive" by a platoon led by German officer Heinrich
Nordhorn. In 2006 an Italian military tribunal convicted Nordhorn
(86) in absentia in the killings of the 10 civilians.
1944 Aug 31, The British Eighth
Army penetrated the German Gothic Line in Italy.
1944 Aug, Some 300 SS troops
surrounded Sant'Anna, Italy, which had been flooded with refugees,
ostensibly to hunt for partisans. Instead, they rounded up and shot
villagers, according to survivors. Others were herded into enclosed
areas such as basements and killed with hand grenades. In 2005 a
local court convicted 10 Nazi SS in absentia.
1944 Sep 5, Flight Sgt.
Maximilian Volke, a German ace pilot, took off from a northern
Italian air base with three other fighters to intercept a group of
American bombers. He was shot down by gunners in one of the US
planes. His plane and remains were found in 2007.
1944 Sep 29-1944 Oct 5, Nazi
murders took place in Marzabotto, Italy, under SS-major Reder.
Retreating Nazi troops killed some 1,000 women, children and elderly
while allegedly pursuing resistance fighters. In 2002 German Pres.
Rau apologized for the massacre. In 2007 an Italian military
tribunal gave life sentences in absentia to 10 German former SS men
for massacring about 800 Italian villagers. They had laid waste to
the villages of Marzabotto, Grizzana and Vado di Monzuno near
Bologna, as the Germans retreated before Allied troops.
1944 Dec 2, Filippo Tommaso
Emilio Marinetti (b.1876), Italian ideologue, poet, and editor, died
in Bellagio, Italy. He was main founder of the Futurist movement
[see 1909]. In 2006 Gunter Berghaus edited “Critical Writings by
F.T. Marinetti,” translated by Doug Thompson.
(http://tinyurl.com/y7v7f3)(SFC, 10/24/06, p.E2)
1944 Dec 26, In Italy two
platoons of the segregated 92nd Infantry Division fought the German
14th Army at Sommocolonia. Of 70 "Buffalo Soldiers" and 25 Italian
Partisans only 18 survived. In 1977 Lt. John Fox and 6 other black
Americans were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. By the end
of the war 2,916 Buffalo soldiers fell breaking the Gothic Line.
(SFC, 7/13/00, p.A15)(Ind, 1/11/03, 5A)
1944 The US 10th Mountain
Division expelled the Nazis from the mountains of northern Italy.
(SFC, 12/13/96, p.C3)
1944-1945 This period in Italy was covered by
James Holand in his 2008 book “Italy’s Sorrow: A Year of War,
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.93)
1944-1945 In Italy the Bolzano camp in the Alpine
South Tyrol area served as a transit point for Jews, Italian
resistance fighters, Italians drafted for factory work and German
army deserters who were being shipped north.
1945 Jan 28, The US Army 10th
Mountain Division first entered combat in the Apennine Mountains of
(ON, 4/2011, p.7)
1945 Mar 12, Italy's Communist
Party (CPI) called for armed uprising in Italy.
1945 Apr 17, Mussolini fled
from to Milan.
1945 Apr 23, US troops in Italy
crossed the river Po.
1945 Apr 27, US 5th army
1945 Apr 27, Italian partisans
1945 Apr 28, Italian dictator
Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by
Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country. In 1961
Charles F. Delzell, a historian at Vanderbilt Univ., wrote
"Mussolini's Enemies: The Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance.” In 2005
R.J.B. Bosworth authored ”Mussolini’s Italy.” In 2007 Philip Morgan
authored “The Fall of Mussolini. In 2009 the diaries of Clara
Petacci were published as a book.
(AP, 4/28/97)(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)(Econ, 10/8/05,
p.92)(Econ, 7/14/07, p.89)(Econ, 11/21/09, p.55)
1945 Apr 29, The German Army in
Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. Venice and Mestre
were captured by the Allies. In 1956 Norman Kogan, historian at the
Univ of Connecticut, wrote "Italy and the Allies."
(HN, 4/29/99)(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)(MC, 4/29/02)
1945 May 2, German Army in
1945 May 2, Yugoslav troops
1945 May 2, The Soviet Union
announced the fall of Berlin and the Allies announced the surrender
of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.
1945 Aug 2, Pietro Mascagni
(81), Italian composer (Cavalleria Rusticana), died.
1945 Carlo Levi (1902-1975),
Italian journalist, artist and doctor, authored “Christ Stopped at
Eboli,” his first documentary novel.
1945 John Hersey won a Pulitzer
Prize for his novel "Bell for Adano." It was later made into a
Broadway play and a movie. The story was modeled on Major Frank E.
Toscani (d.2001 at 89), military governor of Licata, Italy.
(SFC, 1/30/01, p.A22)
1945 The Italian film “Rome
Open City” was directed by Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977). It was
about the German occupation of Rome and was the first film of his
(SFC, 1/22/10, p.E2)
1946 Apr 28, Domenico Leccisi
(d.2008 at 88) and 2 other Italians marked the first anniversary of
the death of Mussolini by digging up his body in a Milan cemetery.
They passed the body to 2 monks, who buried it in a nearby
monastery. The theft sparked a nationwide manhunt for the group. The
body was later returned for burial in Predappio, Mussolini’s
(SFC, 11/5/08, p.B15)
1946 May 9, King Victor
Emmanuel III of Italy abdicated and was replaced by his son, Umberto
II. He served until a June referendum abolished the monarchy.
(HN, 5/9/98)(SFC, 1/30/01, p.C2)
1946 May, The Teatro alla Scala
reopened under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. It closed at the end
of 2001 for restoration to be completed in 2004.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C9)
1946 Jun 2, The Italian
monarchy was abolished by referendum in favor of a republic.
(AP, 6/2/97)(HN, 6/2/98)
1946 Jun 10, Italy replaced its
abolished monarchy with a republic.
1946 Nov 2, Giuseppe Sinopoli,
conductor, was born in Venice, Italy.
1946 Curzio Malaparte, an
Italian fascist intellectual, authored “Kaputt,” an autobiographical
novel that described the cruelty of Nazi fanaticism.
(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.W8)
1946 The Italian film “Paisan”
was directed by Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977). It was comprised of
6 short films dealing with the Allied liberation of Italy.
This was the 2nd film of his war trilogy.
(SFC, 1/22/10, p.E2)
1946 In Italy Umberto II
(d.1983) ruled for just 26 days before he was sent into exile. Italy
established itself as a republic.
(SFC, 5/6/97, p.A11)(SFC, 6/3/96, p.A12)
1946 Enrico Piaggio designed
the 1st Vespa motor scooter as a practical solution to
transportation needs in postwar Italy. Corradino D’Ascanio,
helicopter pioneer, came up with the idea for the 2-wheeled Vespa
(SFC, 8/16/03, p.F1)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.64)
1946 In Italy the Carpigiani
firm, a maker of ice-cream making machines, was founded. Bruto
Carpigiani (d.1945) had designed the first machine and his brother
Poerio did the marketing.
(Econ, 8/18/07, p.55)
1947 Dec 27, The new Italian
constitution was promulgated in Rome.
1947 Dec 28, Victor Emmanuel
(b.1869-1947), also known as Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy
(1900-1946), Emperor of Ethiopia (1939-1943) and King of Albania
1947 Georgio Strehler (d.1997)
founded the Piccolo Theater in Milan.
1947 The Ferrari automobile
began to be manufactured.
(WSJ, 6/9/97, p.A1)
1948 Feb 2, The United States
and Italy signed a pact of friendship, commerce and navigation.
1948 Mar 25, The Italians
banned a compromise with Yugoslavia and demanded the return of
1948 Jun, In Rome Father Karol
Jozef Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, completed his thesis “The
Problems of Faith in the Works of St. John of the Cross” and earned
a doctorate in philosophy. In July he returned to Poland as an
assistant pastor at Niegowic.
(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.A12)
1948 The Italian film “Germany
Year Zero” was directed by Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977). It was
the 3rd of his war trilogy and was about the privations of German
survivors in postwar Berlin.
(SFC, 1/22/10, p.E2)
1948 In Italian general
elections the Communist Party won 31% of the vote.
(Econ, 6/11/11, SR p.9)
1948 Italy’s new constitution
outlawed the Fascist Party.
(WSJ, 6/17/04, p.A15)
1949 Apr 4, The (NATO) North
Atlantic Treaty Organization pact was signed by the US, Great
Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy,
Portugal, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Canada. It provided for
mutual defense against aggression and for close military
1949 Nov 21, The UN Assembly
decided for the eventual independence of Italy’s former colonies. In
the meantime they remained under UN supervision. United Nations
granted Libya its independence in the year 1952.
(EWH, 1968, p.1176)(HN, 11/21/98)
1949 The Italian film "Bitter
Rice" (Riso Amaro) starred Silvana Mangano. It was directed by
Giuseppe de Santis (d.1997).
(SFC, 5/19/97, p.A24)(SFC, 2/11/06, p.E1)
1950 Nov 4, The European
Convention on Human Rights was signed in Rome. 5 protocols were
added later. Alleged violations were handled by the European Court
of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
1950 The Italian film "Mamma
Mia, Che Impressione!" starred Alberto Sordi in his first role.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1950 Giaur was formed in Italy
by the great Berardo Taraschi (previously of Urania) and the
Giannini brothers, the name coming from Giannini and Urania. The
engines were mainly Giannini units, although Fiat and Crosley items
were also used.
1951 Jan 10, [Harry] Sinclair
Lewis (65), American author of 23 novels and 3 plays (Nobel 1930),
died in Rome of a nervous disorder. In 2002 Richard Lingeman
authored "Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street."
(HNQ, 5/18/98)(WSJ, 1/18/02, p.W8)(MC, 1/10/02)
1951 Sep 11, Stravinsky's opera
"Rake's Progress," premiered in Venice.
1951 Sep 19, Italian civil
servants struck for a pay increase.
1951 Nov 26, Illona Staller,
Italian member of Parliament (La Cicciolina), was born in Budapest,
(MC, 11/26/01)(AP, 11/26/02)
1952 May 6, Maria Montessori
(b.1870), Italian physician, educationist, died In Holland. She
opened her 1st school in San Lorenzo, Italy, in 1907.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Montessori)(SFC, 1/6/07, p.B1)
1952 The film "La Provinciale"
starred Gina Lollobrigida and was directed Mario Soldati and based
on a novel by Alberto Moravia.
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A25)
1952 An Italian law made the
praise of fascism a crime.
(WSJ, 6/17/04, p.A15)
1953 Feb 20, Riccardo Chailly,
conductor (West Berlin Symph Orch), was born in Milan, Italy.
1953 Jul 15, Eugenio Balzan
(b.1874), Italian journalist, died in Lugano. In 1933 he moved to
Switzerland, living in Zurich and Lugano, where he invested his
fortune with success. He left a substantial inheritance to his
daughter Angela Lina Balzan (1892–1956), who at the time was
suffering an incurable disease. Before her death, she left
instructions for a foundation, the Balzan Prize Foundation. Since
then it has two headquarters, the Prize administered from Milan, the
Fund from Zurich.
1953 Nov, In Italy the Iso
Isetta microcar was introduced in Turin. The car originated with the
Italian firm of Iso SpA. In the early 1950s the company was building
refrigerators, motor scooters and small three-wheeled trucks. Iso's
owner, Renzo Rivolta, decided he would like to build a small car for
mass distribution. By 1952 the engineers Ermenegildo Preti and
Pierluigi Raggi had designed a small car that used the scooter
engine and named it Isetta—an Italian diminutive meaning little ISO.
1953 Dec 5, Italy and
Yugoslavia agreed to pull troops out of the disputed Trieste border.
1953 The Italian film "I
Vitelloni" starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1953 Italy founded ENIPower, a
state attempt to break the oligopoly of the “Seven Sister,” the
major oil companies of the day.
(Econ, 8/21/04, p.53)(Econ, 7/22/06, p.64)
1954 Jul 31, Italians Lino
Lacedelli (1925-2009) and Achille Compagnoni (1915-2009) first
scaled Pakistan’s K-2, the world's second-highest mountain. In 2004
Lacedelli authored “K2: The Price of Conquest.”
(AP, 7/27/04)(SSFC, 11/29/09, p.C8)
1954 The Italian film "The Poor
and the Noble" starred Toto (Antonio de Curtis) and Sophia Loren.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1954 The Italian film "Senso,"
a historical romance, starred Farley Granger and Alida Valli. It was
made by Luchino Visconti.
(SFEM, 9/10/00, p.21)(SFC, 3/30/11, p.C4)
1954 The film "La Strada" was
directed by Federico Fellini.
(SFEC, 4/13/97, DB p.42)
1954 Amintore Fanfani (d.1999
at 91) became the head of government. He resigned after 12 days
following a vote of no confidence in Parliament. He later became
head of the UN Gen'l. Assembly.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.C6)
1954 Italy regained Trieste,
which had been held by the United Nations. In 2001 Jan Morris
authored "Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere."
(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.R2)(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.R2)
1954 Ardito Desio (d.2001 at
104) of Italy organized the 1st expedition to reach the top of K2 in
Kashmir, the world’s 2nd highest peak. In 1962 Desio became the 1st
Italian to reach the South Pole.
(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A33)
1955 Aug 16, Fiat Motors
ordered the 1st private atomic reactor.
1955 The film "Toto Against the
Four" starred Toto.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1956 Feb 2, Figure skater
Tenley Albright became the first American woman to win a gold medal
at the Winter Olympics in Italy. She achieved this despite an ankle
(NYT, 2/3/1956, p. 26)
1956 Jul 25, The Italian luxury
liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship
Stockholm in 200 feet of water 50 miles southeast of Nantucket
Island, Mass. 46 people of its 1,706 passengers and crew were
killed. The Dorea was headed from Genoa, Italy, to NY, and sank
eleven hours after the crash.
(WSJ, 5/30/97, p.A1)(AP, 7/25/97)(SFC, 1/1/99,
p.A16)(SFC, 7/30/99, p.D5)(AP, 1/14/12)
Nov 1, Pietro Badoglio (85), Italian general (1922-43), Premier of
Italy (1943-44), died.
1956 Giorgio Bassani, author,
won the Strega literary award for his work: "Five Stories About
(SFC, 4/14/00, p.D5)
1957 Jan 16, Arturo Toscanini
(b.1867), Italian-US conductor (NBC), died in NYC. He led the NBC
Symphony from 1937-1954. In 1978 Harvey Sachs wrote his biography.
In 2002 Sachs edited "The Letters of Arturo Toscanini," his
correspondence with Ada Mainardi.
3/25/01)(WSJ, 4/30/02, p.D7)
1957 Mar 10, Thousands of
soccer fans rioted in Italy.
1957 Mar 25, The Treaties
establishing the European Economic Community and the European Atomic
Energy Community were signed in Rome. The Treaty of Rome enabled
people, goods, services and money to move unchecked throughout the
Union. The Council of Ministers represents the governments of the
members. Major decisions are made by the Council of Foreign
Ministers. A 20-member Commission composed of appointed
representatives of each member state serves as the administrative
arm and members represent the Union. The Commission proposes and
executes laws and policies. A European Parliament is composed of 626
members elected by the electorates of the member states and they sit
in party groups. The Commission proposes, the Parliament advises,
and the Council decides. The goal was to create a common market for
all products but especially coal and steel.
1957 May 9, Ezio F. Pinza,
Italian bass (La Scala of Milan, NY Met Opera, Broadway musicals),
1957 Jul 4, In Italy the new 13
horsepower Fiat 500 (Cinquecento) was launched in Turin. In 1965
Fiat introduced the 500 F model. The car could get 58 mpg from its
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.69)(SSFC, 5/1/11, p.J1)(SFC,
1957 Jul 23, Giuseppe Tomasi di
Lampedusa (b.1896), Sicilian aristocrat and writer, died. His
classic novel “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard), was published in 1958.
It included the line: “If we want things to stay as they are, things
will have to change.” David Gilmour later authored the biography
“The Last Leopard” (1991).
(WSJ, 12/9/06, p.P24)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.61)
1957 Jul 28, The Situationist
International (SI) was formed at a meeting in the Italian village of
Cosio d'Arroscia with the fusion of several extremely small
avant-garde artistic tendencies: the Lettrist International, the
International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus (an off-shoot of
COBRA), and the London Psychogeographical Association. The groups
came together intending to reawaken the radical political potential
of surrealism. The group also later drew ideas from the left
communist group Socialisme ou Barbarie.
1957 The Italian film "La
Grande Strada Azzurra" ("The Wide Blue Road") starred Yves Montand
and Alida Valli. The tale of a fishing community was directed by
Gillo Pontecorvo (1919-2006).
1957 The film "Nights of
Cabiria" by Federico Fellini featured his wife, Giulietta Masina, as
a Roman prostitute.
(SFEC, 10/11/97, DB p.36) (WSJ, 8/7/98, p.W4)
1957 The Italian Mille Miglia
automobile race, begun in 1927, was cancelled following the crash of
a Ferrari driven by the Marquis de Portago. He and his co-driver
were killed along with 10 bystanders when the car ran off the road
at 90 mph.
(SFC, 4/28/98, p.A13)
1957 At this time only 2% of
Italian homes had refrigerators. By 1974 this increased to 94%.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.63)
1958 Edward Banfield, American
sociologist, authored “The Moral Basis of a Backward Society.” It
was about poverty in southern Italy.
(Econ, 6/11/11, SR p.12)
1958 Domenico Modugno made a
hit with "Volare." The Italian song won the 1958 Eurovision contest.
(SFC, 11/30/02, p.D1)(Econ, 5/14/05, p.57)
1958 The film "Big Deal on
Madonna Street" starred Vittorio Gassman and Toto. It was directed
by Mario Monicelli.
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.D7)(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1958 A new law shut down the
(SFC, 9/25/00, p.A12)
1959 Oct 7, Mario Lanza
(b.1921), undisciplined opera singer and temperamental movie star,
died of a heart attack in Rome. Born with a glorious Italian tenor,
Lanza resisted all professional urgings. He first came to light
while in the Army, then started singing publicly, first on radio,
then in movies. He signed a contract with MGM studios, where he made
such movies as "The Toast of New Orleans," and "The Great Caruso."
His heroic bellow sold records and filled concert halls. Lanza put
several teachers through hell because he would not learn to read
music, and he began to believe his hype as the century's greatest
talent since Enrico Caruso (a thought which made Mrs. Caruso gag and
Met Opera General Manger Rudolf Bing to ask: "Mario Who?"). He spent
money as fast as he earned it, pampering himself through his life.
He was fired by MGM because of his unpredictably in weight, ranging
from compactness to obesity, often within a month's time.
1959 The Italian film "The
Great War" starred Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)(SFC, 6/30/00, p.D7)
1959 The Italian film "Kapo"
told the story of a Jewish girl trying to escape from a
concentration camp. It was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (1919-2006).
1959 In Italy Steno Marcegaglia
founded the Marcegaglia steel works.
1960 Feb 27, Adriano Olivetti
(58), Italian engineer, manufacturer, died.
1960 Jul 1, French and Italian
Somaliland gained independence and united with the Somali Republic.
(PC, 1992, p.973)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.44)
1960 Aug 25, The 17th
summer Olympics opened in Rome. Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994), was the
first African American to win three gold medals in a single
Olympiad. Her athleticism was remarkable since Rudolph contracted
polio as a small child and spent six years in a steel brace. With
therapy and hard work, Rudolph overcame her handicap to excel in
basketball and track. As a celebrity, she worked to break many
gender and racial barriers. Rudolph died of brain cancer.
(WSJ, 7/19/96, p.R6)(HN, 6/23/98)(chblue.com,
1960 Sep 11, The 17th Summer
Olympics closed in Rome. In 2008 David Maraniss authored “Rome 1960:
The Olympics That Changed the World.”
1960 The Italian film "La Dolce
Vita" starred Marcello Mastroianni (1924-1996), Anita Ekberg and
Laura Betti (d.2004).
(SFC, 12/20/96, p.A4)(SFC, 8/3/04, p.B6)
1960 The Italian film "The
Passionate Thief" starred Toto and Anna Magnani.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1960 The Italian film "The
Traffic Policeman" starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1961 Nov 11, Congolese soldiers
murdered 13 Italian UN pilots.
1961 Calisto Tanzi dropped out
of university to concentrate on the a family delicatessen business
near the Parma railway station: Calisto Tanzi & Sons - Salamis
and Preserves. In 1966 Calisto Tanzi adopted the new ultra-high
temperature (UHT) Swedish pasteurizing technique to produce
long-life milk. In 2003 the company filed for bankruptcy.
(WSJ, 12/22/03, p.A6)(WPR, 3/04, p.18)
1961 Leonardo Del Vecchio
founded Luxottica, a maker of eye shades and prescription glasses,
in Belluno, Italy. In 1990 the company was listed on the New York
(Econ, 10/8/05, p.73)
1962 Apr 5, St. Bernard Tunnel
was finished and Swiss and Italians workers shook hands.
1962 Jul 14, Borehole for Mont
Blanc-tunnel, between France and Italy, was finished. [see Aug 14]
1962 Aug 14, French and Italian
workers broke through at the Mount Blanc Vehicular Tunnel. [see Jul
1962 Giorgio Bassani (d.2000 at
84) authored his semi-autobiographical novel: "The Garden of the
Finzi-Continis." In 1971 a film version by Vittorio De Sica with
Dominique Sanda won a Hollywood Oscar for the Best Foreign Film.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, DB p.40)(SFC, 4/14/00, p.D5)
1962 Nicolo Tucci ( d.1999 at
91) published his first English novel "Before My Time." Tucci had
worked for the propaganda ministry of Benito Mussolini, but moved to
NY in 1938 and took up anti-fascist propaganda.
(SFC, 12/16/99, p.A33)
1962 The Italian film "Mafioso"
starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1962 The Italian film "Momma
Roma" was directed by Paolo Pasolini.
(SFC, 11/11/99, p.B1)
1962 Valuables stripped from
Jews during the war were moved to a vault in central Rome.
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.C3)
1962 Gianna Beretta Molla (39),
an Italian pediatrician, died a week after giving birth to her 4th
child. In 2004 she was among six new saints named by Pope John Paul
II because she'd refused to end her pregnancy despite warnings it
could kill her.
1963 Feb 16, 1st round-trip
swim of Straits of Messina, Italy, was made by Mary Revell of US.
1963 Jul 25, Ugo Cerletti
(b.1877), Italian neurosurgeon, died. In the 1930s he and Lucio Bini
pioneered the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), electric
shock, to cure patients of depression.
1963 Sep 9, In Italy a
landslide into Vaiont Dam emptied a lake and killed 3-4,000 people.
[see Oct 9]
1963 Sep 29, The second session
of Second Vatican Council opened in Rome.
1963 Oct 9, A dam in Piave
valley of Italy, broke and about 2,000 died. [see Sep 9]
1963 Oct 10, A dam burst in
Italy, and over 3,000 died. [see Sep 9, Oct 9]
1963 Dec 30, Alessandra
Mussolini, actress (Ferragosto OK), was born in Naples, Italy.
1964 Jun 18, Georgio Morandi
(b.1890), reclusive Italian painter, died in Bologna.
1964 Robert Rauschenberg won
the grand prize at the Venice Biennale. This established him in the
art world with his idea that art is reality reshuffled.
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.E1)
1965 Mar 13, Corrado Gini
(b.1884), Italian statistician, died. He developed the Gini
coefficient, a measure of the income inequality in a society. Gini
was also a leading fascist theorist and ideologue who wrote “The
Scientific Basis of Fascism” in 1927.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrado_Gini)(Economist, 10/13/12, SR
1965 Apr 2, Rolf Hochhuth's
play "The Deputy," which blamed Pope Pius XII for war crimes, was
banned in Italy.
1965 Jul 16, Mount Blanc Road
tunnel between France & Italy opened.
1965 New Directions published
"Eugenio Montale: Selected Poems." Montale (1896-1981), an Italian
poet writer and translator, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in
(SFEC, 2/28/99, BR p.8)
1965 The film "Hawks and
Sparrows" starred Toto and was directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1965 Luciano Benetton was one
of 4 family members who launched the Italian Benetton clothing
(Econ, 11/3/07, p.82)
1966 Nov 4, In Florence, Italy
the River Arno overflowed and damaged the Uffizi Gallery. Whole
libraries of valuable ancient documents were soaked. 33 people died
in the flood and blame fell principally on Enel, Italy’s largest
power company. In 2008 Robert Clark authored “Dark Water: Flood and
Redemption in the City of Masterpieces.”
(WSJ, 10/29/96, p.A21)(SFC, 4/6/01, p.D4)(Econ,
1966 Nov 4, A devastating flood
swamped Venice, damaged monuments and covered the city in mud. 5,000
people were made homeless.
(SFC, 12/11/98, p.D4)(WSJ, 3/8/02, p.AW9)
1966 Dec 19, Alberto "La Bomba"
Tomba, Italian skier (Olympic-gold-1988, 92), was born.
1967 Jan 27, Luigi Tenco (29),
one of Italy's most famous modern singers, was found dead in his
hotel room with a single gunshot wound to the head, hours after
learning that his song had been eliminated from a national music
competition. In 2006 prosecutors exhumed his body and said they had
laid to rest suspicions that he had been murdered.
1967 Robert Katz (d.2010 at
77), American writer and historian, authored "Death in Rome." It was
a meticulous reconstruction of an infamous 1944 Nazi massacre. A
subsequent movie based on it, called "Massacre in Rome," stirred
controversy because it suggested Pope Pius XII did not intervene to
stop the massacre even though he knew about the Nazis' plans.
1967 A ski-lift was built from
Cavalese to the top of Mount Cermis.
(SFC, 2/19/98, p.B10)
1967 Italy passed a set of
labeling laws similar to the French 1935 Appellation d’Origine
Controlee (controlled place of origin). The AOC laws were meant to
protect growers and properly identify a wine’s origin. They were not
intended as an indicator of quality. The Italian DOC laws
(Denominazione di Origine Controllata) regulated grape growing zones
and wine production practices.
(SFC, 1/8/96, zz-1 p.4)(SFC, 6/30/99, Z1 p.6)
1967 Film actor Toto (b.1898 as
Antonio de Curtis) died.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.D1)
1968 Mar 16, Mario
Castelnuovo-Tedesco (b.1895), Italian composer, died.
1968 Michelangelo Pistoletto,
artist, rolled around Turin his giant ball of pulped newspaper. The
exploit was captured on film.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.E4)
1968 The Sant’Egidio community
was started in Rome by a high school student with ideals of prayer,
mission and solidarity wit the poor. By 2008 it had 60,000 members
in 70 countries and had become active in faith-based peacemaking.
1968-1985 In Italy serial killings during this
period left 16 people dead in the Tuscan countryside. In 1994 Pietro
Pacciani (69) was convicted of 14 murders and sentenced to life in
prison following trial that was televised. He was cleared in 1996
and ordered to face a retrial, but died in 1998. Pacciani's friend,
Mario Vanni (70) and Giancarlo Lotti (54) were convicted of their
involvement in five of the double murders. Vanni was given a life
sentence and Lotti received a sentence of 26 years in prison. In
2001 Florentine authorities reopened the case amid speculation they
were investigating up to a dozen wealthy Italians who orchestrated
the ritualistic killings by manipulating a trio of voyeuristic
peasants. In 2006 Mario Spezi, a journalist who has worked with the
American thriller author Douglas Preston on a book about the
killings, was arrested and accused of slander and sidetracking the
1969 Feb 2, Giovanni Martinelli
(b.1885), Italian opera singer, died. He enjoyed a long career at
the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and appeared at other
1969 Feb 27, President Nixon
arrived in Rome from West Berlin amid protests by thousands of
1969 Jul 4, The Italian
coalition government under Mariano Rumor (1915-1990) fell apart.
1969 Jul 4, Erwin Blumenfeld
(b.1897), German-born fashion photographer and artist, died in Rome.
His books included “My One Hundred Best Photos” (1981) and the
autobiography “Eye to I,” published in English in 1999. In 1996
William Ewing authored “Blumenfeld: A Fetish for Beauty.”
p.E13)(www.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/blumenfeld.html)(Econ, 11/9/13, p.88)
1969 Oct 18, The painting
"Nativity" by Caravaggio was stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo
in Palermo, Sicily. Peter Watson, English novelist, later wrote "The
Caravaggio Conspiracy," an account of his 1981-1982 attempt to
recover the work.
1969 Oct 22, Giovanni
Martinelli, Italian opera singer (NY Met), died on his 84th
1969 The film “The Italian Job”
starred Michael Caine and Noel Coward. The crime fable was set in
(SFC, 2/11/06, p.E10)
1969 The Italian film
"Qeimada" starred Marlon Brando in a tale against colonialism. It
was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (1919-2006).
1969 The Italian film
"Satyricon" was directed by Federico Fellini with music by Nino
Rota. It was based on a satiric novel by Petronius Arbiter.
(SFC, 3/5/01, p.E3)
1969 The Italian film “Una
Storia d’Amore” featured American opera star Anna Moffo (1932-2006)
in what appeared to be a nude scene.
(SSFC, 3/12/06, p.B7)
1969 Right-wing militants
carried out a series of bombings that Italian authorities and the
media pinned on anarchists. Giuseppi Pinelli, one anarchist that was
interrogated by the police, was reported to have fallen from a 4th
floor window during interrogation. The event inspired Dario Fo to
write his 1970 play: "Accidental Death of an Anarchist."
(WSJ, 10/10/97, p.A20)
1970 Jun 27, Reinhold and
Gunther Messner of Tyrol, Italy, reached the 26,650-foot peak of
Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan. Gunther (24) died during the
(WSJ, 12/10/03, p.A1)
1970 Jul 18, Arthur Brown
(b.1942), English rock singer, was arrested for stripping on stage
in Palermo, Sicily.
1970 Mario Soldati won Venice's
Campiello Prize for his novel: "L'Attore" (The Actor), a study of
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A25)
1970 The film "Brother Sun,
Sister Moon" was directed by Franco Zeffirelli and shot in Assisi,
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A21)
1970 In Italy divorce became
(SFC, 1/29/00, p.E3)
1970 In northern Italy radicals
linked up to form the Red Brigades, led by sociology students Renato
Curcio and Margherita Cagol.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1971 Jan 25, In Milan, Italy,
firebombs damaged the Pirelli tire factory.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1971 Apr 5, In Sicily, Italy,
Mount Etna began a series of eruptions.
1971 Nov 26, Giacomo Alberione
(b.1884), Italian priest who also believed in using modern means to
bring God to the faithful, died. He had founded the Paoline Family,
which includes a publishing operation printing many religious books
as well as Famiglia Cristiana, a top-selling weekly that covers
issues of daily life, from homemaking to education, and religious
1971 Dec 29, In Italy Giovanni
Leone (1908-2001) became president. He resigned 6 months before the
end of his 7-year term amid allegations of links to a payoff scandal
involving Lockheed Corp.
1971 The film "The Garden of
the Finzi-Continis" by Vittorio De Sica with Dominique Sanda won a
Hollywood Oscar for the Best Foreign Film. The film was based on the
book by Giorgio Bassani (d.2000 at 84).
(SFEC, 11/17/96, DB p.40)(SFC, 4/14/00, p.D5)
1971 The Italian film
"Handsome, Honest, Australian Emigrant, Looking for an Italian
Virgin to Marry" starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1972 Feb 17, Giulio Andreotti
(1919-2013) began serving his first term as the 41st prime minister
1972 May 5, Alitalia’s DC-8
Flight 112 crashed west of Palermo, Sicily; killing 115.
1972 May 17, In Italy Luigi
Calabresi, head of the political dept. of the Milan police, was
killed. He had been falsely suspected of having killed the anarchist
Giuseppe Pinelli in 1969. In 1988 Leonardo Marino, a former far left
Lotta Continua militant, confessed that he drove a getaway car and
that Adriano Sofri (b.1942), a writer, had masterminded the killing.
On July 28, 1988, Sofri was arrested with Ovidio Bompressi and
Giorgio Pietrostefani for the alleged murder of Calabresi. Sofri was
convicted in 2000.
1972 Aug 15, The Italian town
of Grazie di Curtatone began its Int’l. Street Painting Festival.
This revived a 16th century practice by itinerant artists who
traveled from village to village for religious and folk festivals.
(WSJ, 5/16/06, p.D6)
1972 Italo Calvino (1923-1985),
Italian novelist, authored “Invisible Cities.”
(Econ, 12/8/12, IL p.12)
1972 The Italian film "The Most
Beautiful Evening of My Life" starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1972 The Italian film "The
Scientific Cardplayer" starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1972 The Italian film “The
Seduction of Mimi” starred Giancarlo Giannini. It was directed by
(SFC, 2/11/06, p.E10)
1972 Luigi Calabresi, head of
the political dept. of the Milan police, was killed. In 1988
Leonardo Marino, a former far left Lotta Continua militant,
confessed that he drove a getaway car and that Adriano Sofri, a
writer, had masterminded the killing. Sofri was convicted in 2000.
(WSJ, 3/12/02, p.A22)
1973 Jul 10, Italian Red
Brigades kidnapped and held hostage Jean Paul Getty III (1956-2011),
nephew of Gordon Getty. Only after his ear was chopped off and sent
to a Rome paper did his father J. Paul Getty II, agree to lend money
for a ransom. After 5 months Getty senior negotiated a deal and got
his grandson back for $2.7 million. Paul III was permanently
affected by the trauma, and became a drug addict.
p.7)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Paul_Getty)(SFC, 2/9/11, p.A4)
1973 Sep 26, Anna Magnani
(b.1908), Academy Award winning Italian actress, died in Rome.
1973 Nov 13, Bruno Maderna
(53), Italian-born composer and conductor (Satyricon), died in
1973 Dec 10, In Italy the
personnel chief of Fiat was kidnapped and held for 8 days.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1973 Nino Rota (1911-1979),
Italian composer, composed his "Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano."
1973 Italian tire maker Pirelli
introduced steel-belted radial tires.
(Econ, 2/27/10, TQ p.5)
1974 Apr 18, In Genoa, Italy,
the Red Brigade kidnapped deputy attorney Mario Sossi. He was held
for 35 days.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)(http://tinyurl.com/39vg4e)
1974 Jun 17, In Italy 2 people
died in a Red Brigades attack on a right-wing party’s office.
1974 Sep 8, In Italy Renato
Curcio and another Red Brigades leader were arrested.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1974 Nov 13, Vittorio de Sica
(b.1902), Italian film actor and director, died in France.
1974 Nov 16, In Rome the first
UN World Food Conference ended. At the conference, which had opened
on Nov. 5, governments examined the global problem of food
production and consumption, and solemnly proclaimed that "every man,
woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and
malnutrition in order to develop their physical and mental
1974 Cesare Sirtori, a Milan
heart researcher, encountered a patient with a high cholesterol
level. In 1979 Sirtori found that the patient carried a mutant gene,
apolipoprotein A-1, a crucial component of HDL involved in clearing
LDL from the body. This led to a new drug in 2003 that seemed to
shrink arterial blockages.
(WSJ, 11/5/03, p.B3)(SFC, 11/5/03, p.A15)
1975 Feb 17, Art in by Cezanne,
Gauguin, Renoir, and van Gough, valued at $5 million, was stolen
from the Municipal Museum in Milan.
1975 Feb 18, Italy broadened
its abortion law.
1975 Feb 18, In Italy Renato
Curcio, Red Brigades leader, was freed in a daring prison assault
led by Margherita Cagol. She was later killed while trying to kidnap
a businessman and Curcio was recaptured.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1975 Aug 26, An international
plan began to show significant results to stop Venice from sinking
into the sea. Venice was built on 118 small islands. By the early
1960s, rising seawater and floods threatened Venice. Scientists
determined that Venice was sinking, and that much of the city would
disappear if swift measures were not taken.
1975 Sep 30, In Rome Donatella
Colasanti (17) was found bloodied and battered, but alive in the
boot of a car. Beside her was the dead body of her friend Rosaria
Lopez (20). Both had undergone hours of torture before Lopez was
finally drowned in a bath. Colasanti had escaped the same fate only
by playing dead. Andrea Ghira was found guilty in the "Circeo
Massacre," named for the town near Rome where two girls were held
captive for 36 hours and then left wrapped in plastic in a car
trunk, where one girl died. He was convicted in absentia for the
slaying. In 2005 his body was found in a cemetery in a Spanish
enclave in Morocco, where he was buried in 1994.
1975 Oct 6, Chilean Vice Pres.
Bernardo Leighton and his wife, Anita Fresno, were shot in Rome.
Anita was left permanently disabled. In 2000 Chilean authorities
arrested former Gen. Eduardo Iturriaga for the shooting.
1975 Oct 16, Vittorio Gui
(b.1885), Italian composer (Batture d'aspetto), died.
1975 Oct, Eugenio Montale
(1896-1981), Italian poet, won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In
1999 two collections of his poetry were translated and published in
English: Collected Poems 1920-1954" and "Satura 1962-1970."
(SFEC, 2/28/99, BR p.8)
1975 Nov 1, Pier Paolo Pasolini
(b.1922), Italian poet, author and director was murdered. A young
male prostitute was tried and convicted for the murder in 1976.
1975 The Italian film "Profumo
di Donna" starred Vittorio Gassman.
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.D7)
1975 Eugenio Montale
(1896-1981), poet, won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1999 2
collections of his poetry were translated and published in English:
Collected Poems 1920-1954" and "Satura 1962-1970."
(SFEC, 2/28/99, BR p.8)
1976 May 6, An earthquake
struck Italy’s northern region at Friuli-Venezia Giulia, affecting
11 villages near the Austrian and Yugoslav borders. The earthquake
killed more than 1,000 people in a 3,300-square-mile area and left
(http://tinyurl.com/dvzp6)(SFC, 12/17/05, p.F1)
1976 Mar 9, A ski cable car,
running from Cavalese to the Alpe Cermis in the Italian Alps,
crashed to the ground due to a mechanical failure and killed 42
1976 Jul 10, There was an
explosion at a factory in Seveso, Lombardy, Italy, owned by ICMESA
with a Swiss parent company. It produced a cloud of Dioxin which
settled over several adjacent communities. The people exposed
became nauseated, experienced eye and throat irritations, developed
burn-like sores on exposed skin, headaches, dizziness and diarrhea
-- the same symptoms recorded by exposed Vietnamese and Cambodian
populations. In the next two days, small animals in the area
began to die. The contamination led to a high incidence of birth
1976 Aug 15, Former SS Colonel
Herbert Kappler dramatically escaped from prison hospital in Rome
with the aid of his wife and taken to Germany.
1976 The wolves of Italy
received official protection.
(NH, 12/96, p.52)
1976 Italian carmaker Fiat
began manufacturing cars in Brazil.
(Econ, 11/15/08, SR p.6)
1977 Apr 28, In Italy the Red
Brigades assassinated Fulvio Croce, the president of the Turin Bar
1977 Jun 3, Roberto Rossellini
(b.1906), Italian director died.
1977 The Italian film "An
Average Little Man" starred Alberto Sordi.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.E3)
1977 In Italy the Red Brigades
abducted a leading businessman. He was freed with a ransom after 81
days. This year the Red Brigades also killed a lawyer, several
prison officials and a journalist.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1978 Mar 16, Red Brigade
terrorists kidnapped Aldo Moro, Italian politician and 5 time PM,
and killed 5 of his bodyguards. Moro, who was planning to form a
government combining his Christian Democrats and the Communist
Party, was later murdered by the RB. Alessio Casimiri a member of
the Red Brigades was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for his
role in the abduction. Casimiri escaped to Nicaragua and opened a
restaurant. It was later reported that police decided not to rescue
(WSJ, 4/25/96, p.A-1)(AP, 3/16/97)(SFC, 3/13/98,
p.A12)(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)
1978 May 9, The bullet-riddled
body of former Italian PM Aldo Moro, who'd been abducted by the Red
Brigades, was found in an abandoned automobile in the center of
Rome. In 2000 French police arrested Alvaro Loiacono in northern
Corsica for his alleged role in the murder.
(AP, 5/9/97)(SFC, 6/3/00, p.A12)
1978 May 22, Italy legalized
abortion. Voters upheld the law in a 1981 referendum.
1978 Sep 28, Pope John Paul I
[Albino Luciano] died after 33 days as pope. He was found dead the
next day in his Vatican apartment.
1978 Italian artist Luigi
Serafini, after 30 months of work, completed his Codex
Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopedia dealing with a parallel
world and written in an unintelligible alphabet.
c1978 Pres. Giovanni Leone
(d.2001 at 93) resigned 6 months before the end of his 7-year term
amid allegations of links to a payoff scandal involving Lockheed
(SFC, 11/12/01, p.A19)
1978 In Italy the murders of 4
women were related to Maurizio Minghella (23). In 1982 he was
convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killings. In 1995
he was given partial liberty and prosecutors say he then killed 4
prostitutes. In 2002 his trial continued in Turin. In early 2003 he
escaped and was soon captured and sentenced to life in prison.
1978 In Italy Mediaset was
founded by Silvio Berlusconi as TeleMilano. It grew to the largest
commercial broadcaster in the country.
1979 Mar 20, In Rome, Italy,
the Mafia killed Mino Pecorelli, a magazine editor. In 1996 Premier
Giulio Andreotti went on trial for allegedly turning to the Mafia to
kill the troublesome journalist. Andreotti was acquitted by a jury
in 1999. 5 others were also acquitted. In 2002 an appeal court in
Perugia sentenced Giulio Andreotti to 24 years imprisonment for
ordering the murder of Pecorelli.
p.A-12)(SFC, 9/25/99, p.A14)
1979 Apr 10, Nino Rota
(b.1911), Italian composer (Torquemada, Romeo & Juliette), died
1979 Aug 4, Francesco Cossiga
(1928-2010) began serving as the 63rd prime minister of Italy. He
continued to Oct 18, 1980. In 1985 he became it In 1985 he became
Italy’s 8th president.
1979 Nov 3, Raffaele Bendandi
(b.1893), Italian seismologist, died. he believed earthquakes were
the result of the combined movements of the planets, the moon and
the sun and were perfectly predictable. In 1923 he forecast a quake
would hit the central Adriatic region of the Marches on January 2
the following year. He was wrong by two days.
1979 The Italian film "My
Asylum" (Chiedo Asilo) starred Roberto Benigni and was directed by
(SFC, 4/2/99, p.C3)
1979 Nilde Lotti (d.1999 at 79)
became the first female president of the lower house of parliament.
She changed from Communist to Left Democrat after the fall of the
(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.C15)
1980 Mar 29, Annunzio Mantovani
(b.1905), Italian orchestra leader (Mantovani), died at his home in
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.
1980 Jun 27, Aerolinee Itavia
Flight 870, an Italian domestic jetliner, exploded in flight and
crashed near the island of Ustica. 81 people were killed. In 1999 it
was reported that a fight by warplanes led to the crash and coverup
charges were filed against Italian military officials. Among
theories for the jet's demise was a bomb planted by domestic
terrorists, or an errant US or French missile allegedly fired at a
Libyan MiG streaking over the Mediterranean. In 2013 Italy's top
criminal court ruled that there is "abundantly" clear evidence that
a stray missile caused the Italian passenger jet to crash.
p.A1)(AP, 8/17/10)(AP, 1/28/13)
1980 Aug 2, In Bologna, Italy,
a Fascist bomb attack killed 85 people at the train station.
1980 Aug 20, Reinhold Messner
of Italy became the 1st to solo ascent Mt. Everest.
1980 Nov 23, Some 2,600 people
were killed by a series of earthquakes that devastated southern
(WSJ, 6/17/96, p.A12)(AP, 11/23/07)
1980 The Italian film “City of
Women” was written and directed by Federico Fellini.
1980 The Italian film "Ogro was
directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (1919-2006). It was set in Spain in the
years of dictator Francisco Franco. This was Pontecorvo’s last film.
1980 The Italian film
"Terrazza" starred script writer Leonardo Benvenuti and was directed
by Ettore Scola.
(SFC, 11/8/00, p.B7)
1980 Italian Pres. Sandro
Pertini (d.1999 at 90) appointed Leo Valiani a senator-for-life.
(SFC, 9/21/99, p.E4)
1980 An Italian domestic
jetliner exploded in flight and crashed near the island of Ustica.
Among theories for the jet's demise was a bomb planted by domestic
terrorists, or an errant US or French missile allegedly fired at a
Libyan MiG streaking over the Mediterranean.
1980-1990 The government spent some $30.3 billion
in emergency funds to rebuild Naples and Campania. Most of the money
disappeared into private pockets and incomplete projects.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.A12)
1981 May 13, John Paul II was
shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish
assailant Mehmet Ali Agca. The shots hit the pope’s hand and
penetrated his abdomen. John Paul forgave Agca 4 days later.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(TMC, 1994, p.1981)(AP,
5/13/97)(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)(SFC, 6/14/00, p.A12)
1981 Jun 10, In Frascati,
Italy, 6-year-old Alfredo Rampi fell down an artesian well; the
story ended tragically as efforts to rescue him proved futile.
1981 Dec 17, Red Brigade
terrorists kidnapped Brigadier General James Dozier, the
highest-ranking US NATO officer in southern Europe, from his home in
Verona, Italy. Dozier was rescued 42 days later.
(HN, 12/17/98)(AP, 12/17/04)
1981 Ettore Sottsass (b.1917),
Milanese designer, started the Memphis design movement. The 1996
book "Ettore Sottsass: Ceramics" covers his work.
1981 Italian officials
discovered Propaganda Due (P2), a rogue Masonic lodge with a mission
to infiltrate the organs of the state. Membership included
politicians, soldiers, spooks and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi.
This prompted the outlawing of secret societies.
(Econ, 7/24/10, p.52)
1981 Cesare Battisti escaped
from an Italian prison while awaiting trial on four counts of murder
committed when he was a member of the Armed Proletarians for
Communism. In 2007 he was arrested in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008
Brazil's top prosecutor recommended his extradition.
1982 Jan 28, Italian
anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brigadier General James L.
Dozier, 42 days after he had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades.
1982 Apr, In southern Italy the
Grotta delle Formelle chapel in Caserta, was looted. In 2009 two
precious Byzantine-era frescos were recovered as part of
investigations into Marion True, a former curator of the J. Paul
Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The frescos, which date from the 11th
to the 13th centuries and depict saints, were found in the home of
Greek shipping heiress Despoina Papadimitriou.
1982 May 19, Sophia Loren
(b.1934) began serving 18 days in an Italian prison for failing to
pay her taxes.
1982 Jun 18, The body of
Roberto Calvi (1920–1982), an Italian banker, was found hanging from
scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge in the financial district of
London. Calvi, director of Banco Ambrosiano, allegedly hanged
himself following the fraudulent bankruptcy of the bank. Calvi's
clothing was stuffed with building bricks, and he was carrying
around $15,000 of cash in three different currencies. Calvi, dubbed
by the press as "God's Banker" due to his close association with the
Vatican, had gone missing on June 10. In 1992 Carlo De Benedetti,
the chairman of Olivetti SpA, was convicted for contributing to the
bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano. In 1996 courts upheld his conviction
and that of 30 others. In 2003 RAI state television said prosecutors
believed the Mafia killed Roberto Calvi because he lost their money
and knew too much about their operations. In 2005 a trial began for
5 people in the murder of Calvi. In 2007 a jury acquitted all 5
defendants charged with the murder of Calvi.
6/11/96, p.A10)(AP, 7/24/03)(AP, 10/6/05)(AP, 6/6/07)
1982 Jul 11, The Italian soccer
team won its first World Cup in 44 years.
1982 Sep 24, US, Italian and
French peacekeeping troops began arriving in Lebanon. Some 400,000
Israelis gathered at the first of many demonstrations to protest the
1982 Oct 16, Mario del Monaco
(b.1915), Italian opera singer, died of kidney disease.
1982 The Italian film "You
Disturb Me" (Tu Mi Turbi) was the directing debut for Roberto
(SFC, 4/2/99, p.C3)
1982 Umberto Romano (b.1905),
Italian born artist, died in NYC.
1983 Jun 22, Emanuela Orlandi
(b.1968), the daughter of a Vatican messenger, disappeared after a
music lesson in Rome. She was 15 at the time. Her self-proclaimed
kidnappers demanded the release of Ali Agca, who wounded the Pope in
1981, for her freedom. They never offered any proof they had the
girl or that she was alive.
1983 Dec 11, The 1st visit to
Lutheran church by a pope was made by Pope John Paul II in Rome.
1983 Vittorio Mussolini (d.1997
at 80), 2nd son of dictator Benito, made a documentary film of his
(SFC, 6/14/97, p.C2)
1984 Mar 5, Tito Gobbi
(b.1923), Italian baritone (Scarpia in Tosca), died.
1984 In Italy the government of
Premier Bettino Craxi signed a decree securing a virtual monopoly of
private television for businessman Silvio Berlusconi.
(Econ, 1/9/10, p.53)
1984 In Italy the Vatican paid
$244 million for its part in a bank scandal that saw the collapse of
another Italian bank.
(SFEM, 1/19/97, p.10)
1984 In Italy the Red Brigades
split into two movements: the majority faction of the Communist
Combatant Party (Red Brigades-PCC) and the minority of the Union of
Combatant Communists (Red Brigades-UCC). The second position later
morphed into the Politico-military Communist Party (PCPM). The same
year, four imprisoned leaders, Curcio, Moretti, Iannelli and
Bertolazzi, rejected the armed struggle as pointless.
1985 May 29, At Heysel Stadium
rioting erupted between British and Italian spectators at the
European Cup soccer final in Brussels, Belgium. 39 people were
killed when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and
Italian soccer fans collapsed. This led to a 5-year ban on English
clubs playing on the Continent.
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A28)(AP, 5/29/08)
1985 Sep 19, Italo Calvino
(b.1923), Italian writer, died. A collection of his essays was soon
published titled "The Literature Machine." In 1999 the
original 11 essays and 25 others were published under the title:
"Why Read the Classics," translated by Martin McLaughlin. In 2003
McLaughlin published “Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings By
(SFEC, 10/24/99, BR p.5)(SSFC, 4/6/03, p.M4)
1985 Sep 23, Italian journalist
Giancarlo Siani (b.1959) was killed after he ran investigative
reports on the Mafia in the Naples daily Il Mattino. In 1997 6
Naples gangsters were sentenced to life terms for the murder.
1985 Oct 7, Four Palestinian
Liberation Organization (PLO) gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise
ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean and demanded the release of
50 Palestinians held by Israel. 413 people were held hostage for 2
days in the seizure that was masterminded by Mohammed Abul Abbas.
American Leon Klinghoffer was shot while sitting in his wheelchair
and thrown overboard. A case was filed against the PLO and settled
in 1997. The hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities and were
turned over to Italy which let Abbas slip out of the country. Abbas
was captured in Baghdad in 2003.
(SFC, 8/12/97, p.A4)(AP, 10/7/97)(HN,
10/7/98)(SFC, 4/16/03, p.A16)
1985 Oct 8, The hijackers of
the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro killed American passenger Leon
Klinghoffer, dumping his body and wheelchair overboard. A case was
filed against the PLO and settled in 1997. The hijackers surrendered
to Egyptian authorities and were turned over to Italy which let
Abbas slip out of the country.
(SFC, 8/12/97, p.A4) (AP, 10/8/97)
1985 Nov 25, Elsa Morante
(b.1912), Italian writer, died. Her books included “House of Liars”
(1948). In 2008 Lily Tuck authored the biography “Woman of Rome: A
Life of Elsa Morante.”
(WSJ, 9/27/08, p.W11)
1985 Dec 27, Palestinian
guerrillas opened fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports; a total
of twenty people were killed, including five of the attackers, who
were slain by police and security personnel. Abu Nidal was
considered responsible. President Reagan blamed Libyan leader
(AP, 12/27/97)(SFC, 8/25/98, p.A6)(NYT, 10/8/04,
1985 Christopher Hibbert
authored “Rome: The Biography of a City.”
(Econ, 7/2/11, p.70)
1985 Franco Modigliani (d.2003
at 85), Italian economist at MIT, won the Nobel Prize in economics
for his research on savings habits of people and the market value of
(WSJ, 9/26/03, p.A1)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.88)
1985 Francesco Cossiga (b.1928)
was elected president of Italy. He resigned in 1992.
1985 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Italian bitters group Ramazzotti.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1985 Italian journalist
Giancarlo Siani was killed after he ran investigative reports on the
Mafia in the Naples daily Il Mattino. In 1997 6 Naples gangsters
were sentenced to life terms for the murder.
(SFC, 4/15/97, p.A9)
1985-1991 In Italy a mafia war during this period
claimed the lives of almost 600 people. Giovanni Tegano, a senior
gangster in Reggio Calabria, was a key participant.
(Econ, 5/8/10, p.54)
1986 Feb 10, The largest
Mafia trial in history, with 474 defendants, opened in Palermo,
Italy. The trial ended on December 16, 1987, almost two years after
it commenced. Of the 474 defendants, both those present and those
tried in absentia, 360 were convicted. 2,665 years of prison
sentences were shared out between the guilty, not including the life
sentences. A total of 114 defendants were acquitted.
1986 Feb 19, Adolfo Celi
(b.1922), Italian film actor and director (Thunderball), died.
1986 Mar 22, World financier
Michele Sindona died two days after ingesting cyanide in his Italian
prison cell in what authorities later ruled a suicide.
1986 Mar 29, A court in Rome
acquitted six men in a plot to kill the Pope.
1986 Apr 14, Italy, which
opposed an American strike against Libya, warned Libya a day before
the strike, which was launched from a NATO base on the Sicilian
island of Lampedusa.
1986 Apr 15, The United States
launched an air raid with F-111 warplanes against Libya in response
to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5; Libya said 41
people, mostly civilians, were killed in Tripoli and Benghazi. The
step-daughter of Moammar Gadhafi was among those killed near Tripoli
by the US bombing.
(HN, 4/15/98)(WSJ, 8/30/00, p.A1)(AP,
1986 The Italian film "Demons"
1986 Rita Levi Montalcini
(1909-2012), Italian scientist, shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine
with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate
the growth of cells and organs.
(AP, 4/19/09)(Econ, 1/5/12, p.74)
1986 In Italy 62 founding
members met to inaugurate Arcigola, the forerunner of Slow Food.
1986 In Italy the first
McDonald's Hamburger restaurant opened in Rome.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, Z1 p.2)
1986 Italian media mogul Silvio
Berlusconi bought the AC Milan soccer team. He had to quit the
club’s presidency for two years in 2004 when a law preventing
conflicts of interest for politicians was passed.
(Econ, 6/27/09, p.70)(http://tinyurl.com/klwzhl)
1987 Apr 11, Primo Levi
(b.1920), Italian chemist, Auschwitz survivor and writer, died in
Italy. In 2002 Carole Angier authored: "Primo Levi: A Biography."
His books included the 1947 memoir "If This Is a Man" and "The
Periodic Table." In 2002 Carole Angier authored the biography "The
5/26/02, p.M1)(WSJ, 6/14/02, p.W10)
1987 Jun 3, President Reagan
arrived in Italy to prepare for a summit of major industrialized
democracies, the 13th such gathering of world leaders.
1987 Nov 7, Italian
citizens began voting in a 2-day referendum to close down 3 nuclear
(AP, 11/13/03)(Econ, 6/6/09,
1988 Apr 16, In Forli, Italy,
the Red Brigades-PCC killed Italian senator Roberto Ruffilli, an
advisor of Italian PM Ciriaco de Mita. After that, the group
activities all but ended after massive arrests of its leadership.
1988 Apr, The Japanese Red Army
bombed a US military recreational club in Naples. 5 people were
(SFC, 11/9/00, p.C2)
1988 Jun 11, Giuseppe Saragat
(89), president of Italy (1964-71), died.
1988 Aug 14, Enzo Ferrari
(b.1898), Italian sportscar manufacturer (Ferrari), died.
1988 Aug 28, At least 40 people
were killed when three Italian stunt planes collided during an air
show at the US Air Base in Ramstein, West Germany, sending flaming
debris into the crowd of spectators. Over the next 2 months the
death toll rose to 69.
1988 Oct 13, In Italy Cardinal
Archbishop Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero was forced to announce that
the Shroud of Turin did not contain the image of Christ. Scientists
at 3 leading universities carbon-dated samples to some time between
1260-1390. In 1998 it was reported that the dating work was not
definitive. Lab tests showed Shroud of Turin was not Christ’s burial
cloth. The Shroud of Turin Research Project (Sturp) performed
radiocarbon dating on fibers of the shroud and found that the linen
dated to between 1260 and 1390 AD. Ian Wilson wrote the 1978 book
"The Shroud of Turin" and in 1998 "The Blood and the Shroud: New
Evidence That the Most Sacred Relic Is Real."
(WSJ, 4/10/98, p.W6)(SFEC, 2/1/98,
1988 Italy enacted a mandatory
seat belt law.
(SFC, 3/31/00, p.E3)
1988 Controls on capital
movement across borders were abandoned by France, Italy and other
member states of the European Community.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R-44)
1989 Feb 8, In the Azores 144
people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with
Italian tourists slammed into fog-covered Santa Maria mountain.
1989 Apr 30, Sergio Leone (60),
Italian director (Good, Bad & Ugly), died.
1989 Milton Friedman authored
“Agnelli, Fiat and the Network of Italian Power.”
(Econ, 1/28/12, p.80)
1989 The Italian film "The
Voice of the Moon" (La Voce Della Luna) starred Roberto Benigni and
was the last work directed by Federico Fellini.
(SFC, 4/2/99, p.C3)
1990 Sep 26, Alberto Moravia,
Italian writer (Woman in Red), died at 82.
1990 Oct 24, The existence of
Gladio, a “stay-behind” espionage operation, was acknowledged by
Giulio Andreotti, head of the Italian government. It was sponsored
by the CIA and NATO to counter communist influence after World War
II in Italy, as well as in other European countries.
1990 Nov, In Naples 2 oil
paintings and 17 busts were stolen from the church of Santa Maria
degli Angeli alle Croci. In 2009 one of the busts was found in the
home of a North Carolina couple who had no idea it was stolen.
Authorities told The Charlotte Observer the trail went cold until
two years ago, when officials in Rome let federal agents know an
Italian citizen sold a similar statue to an antiques dealer from
1990 The Pritzker Int’l. Prize
for Architecture was awarded to Aldo Rossi (d.1997) of Italy. He had
designed the World Theater in Venice and the Museum of Maastricht in
(SFC, 9/5/97, p.A24)
1990 In Naples some $60 million
vanished in incomplete construction sites for the soccer World Cup
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.A12)
1990 In Pisa the Leaning Tower
of Pisa was closed off to tourists for fear of its falling over. The
tilt was reduced by 16 inches over the next 11 years and re-opening
was scheduled in 2001.
(WSJ, 2/16/99, p.A1)(SFC, 4/7/01, p.A11)
1991 Mar 29, Argentine soccer
star Diego Maradona was suspended by the Italian League for testing
positive on March 17 for cocaine use.
1991 Jun 16, The seventh
International Conference on AIDS opened in Florence, Italy. The
conference was marked by pleas from African and Asian countries for
more help and criticism directed at the United States for its
refusal to allow visits by foreigners infected with the AIDS virus.
1991 Aug 29, Libero
Grassi, Italian underwear manufacturer, anti mafia, was gunned down
1991 Aug, 18,000 Albanians
crossed the Adriatic to seek asylum in Italy; most were returned.
The People's Assembly passed a law allowing private ownership,
foreign investment and private employment of workers.
(www, Albania, 1998)
1991 Tano Grasso was placed
under police protection after he founded Italy’s first anti-racket
association. In 2011 Grasso and Lirio Abate held the Trame literary
festival in Lamezia Terme focusing on books about the Mafia.
(Econ, 7/9/11, p.84)
1991 The Italian Communist
Party (PCI) disbanded to form the Partito Democratico della Sinistra
(PDS), with membership in the Socialist International. It later came
to be known as the Left Democrats (DS).
1991 In Italy Umberto Bossi
founded the Northern League, a regionalist-cum-separatist movement.
1991 In Italy Giulio Andreotti
was made a senator for life.
(SFEC, 10/27/99, p.A17)
1991 In Italy an
anti-laundering act put a limit of 20 million lire on all cash
transactions, but no penalties for passbooks containing sums above
(Econ, 1/29/05, p.71)
1991 In Italy Silvio
Berlusconi’s Fininvest group bribed a judge to win control of
Mondadori, the country’s largest publishing house. In 2007 Cesare
Previti was convicted of buying this judgment. In 2009 a Milan judge
ruled that Fininvest should pay damages of $1.1 billion.
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.53)
1991 Italian authorities
allowed several ships with about 25,000 Albanians into the port of
Bari. When another wave of immigrants showed up a few months later
the policy was reversed and they were sent back home.
(NG, 5/93, p.104)
1991 Ermenegildo Zegna became
the first Italian luxury company to enter the Chinese market. By
2007 it had some 52 shops there.
(Econ, 4/14/07, p.82)
1991-1992 Luigi Ramponi served as head of the
SISMI, the Italian Military Intelligence Service.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A10)
1992 Feb 17, Italian police
arrested Mario Chiesa, the first one to be picked up in what would
become Italy's massive corruption scandals. This date became
considered a watershed moment in recent Italian history. Italy’s
"Clean Hands" corruption scandal originated in Milan. A series of
bribery cases led to the conviction and flight of Socialist Bettino
(AP, 3/31/09)(SFEC, 7/13/97, p.T11)(Econ,
11/26/05, Survey p.10)
1992 Apr 28, Francesco Cossiga
(b.1928), president of Italy, resigned 2 months before the end of
1992 May 23, In Sicily
anti-Mafia investigator Giovannii Falcone was murdered on a highway
outside Palermo. Falcone’s wife and 3 bodyguards were also killed.
Sicilian politician Salvo Lima was also murdered. Anti-Mafia
investigator Paolo Borsellino was killed in another blast some
months later. In 1997 Pietro Aglieri, aka "U Signurinu" (The Little
Gentleman), was arrested for involvement in all three murders. 24
mobsters were convicted in the murder in 1997, including Leoluca
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A12)(SFEC, 6/7/98,
1992 May 25, Oscar Luigi
Scalfaro was elected President of Italy.
1992 Jul 19, Paolo Borsellino,
Italian anti-mafia judge, was murdered by mafia.
1992 Jul 31, In Italy the scala
mobile wage index, which maintained a rigid link between Italian
wages and prices, was scrapped after a long struggle.
6/13/09, SR p.9)
1992 Aug 15, Giorgio Perlasca,
Italian anti-fascist (saved 5,200 Jews), died.
1992 Sep 3, An Italian relief
plane was shot down by ground-to-air missiles outside of Sarajevo,
Bosnia-Herzegovina. (AP, 9/3/97)
1992 Sep 14, The Italian Lira
was devalued 7%. This forced Italy to withdraw from the Exchange
Rate Mechanism (ERM), a pre-euro system of semi-pegged currencies.
(http://tinyurl.com/eh943)(Econ, 7/16/11, p.79)
1992 Oct 22, The US space
shuttle Columbia was launched on a 10-day mission that included
deployment of an Italian satellite.
1992 Oct 26, Italy ratifies the
Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Nov 29, Emilio Pucci
(b.1914), Italian fashion designer (Jackie Kennedy), died in
Florence, Italy. In 2000 his firm was acquired by LVMH Moet Hennessy
(http://tinyurl.com/7ec3n)(WSJ, 8/22/03, p.B1)
1992 Dec, Italy sent 2,500
combat troops to Somalia as part of the US-sponsored multinational
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A8)
1992 The film "Noto Mandorli
Vulcano Stromboli Carnevalle" was shot in Sicily by Michelangelo
Antonioni for the Italian pavilion at the Seville Expo in Spain.
(SFEC, 1/17/99, DB p.43)
1992 An Italian court sentenced
Marina Petrella, a member of the Red Brigades, in absentia to life
in prison on charges including murder and kidnapping. In 2007 French
police arrested Petrella for a petty crime and planned to extradite
her to Italy. In 2008 a French court ordered her that she be freed
from prison because of health problems.
(AP, 8/23/07)(AP, 8/5/08)
1992 The Italian Mafia demanded
that sentences passed against some 400 Mafiosi at a mass trial in
1987 be softened and that a law that imposed a harsh prison regime
for Mafiosi be repealed. A list of 12 demands was written by written
by the son of Salvatore "The Beast" Riina on a scrap of paper while
his father was still at large during alleged secret negotiations
between the state and the Mafia. The note was only made public in
1992-1993 Giuliano Amato served as the Socialist
(SFC, 4/22/00, p.A9)
1992-1994 Warrant Officer Francesco Aloi kept a
diary while in Somalia and documented instances of rape, torture and
other brutality against the Somalis.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A10)
1992-1996 Giorgio Pressberger was the artistic
director for the MittelFest, a theater and musical festival in
Cividale del Friuli that links Italy with nine central European
(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A8)
1993 Jan 15, In Sicily
Salvatore "The Beast" Riina was arrested. "Toto" Riina, the Sicilian
boss of bosses, was arrested for his role in the murder of
prosecutor Giovanni Falcone. Bernardo Provenzano was considered to
have taken over as boss of the Sicilian Mafia following Riina’s
arrest. Provenzano’s right-hand man was Mariano Troia.
p.14A)(www.answers.com/topic/salvatore-riina)(SFC, 1/22/00, p.A11)
1993 Feb 20, Ferrucio
Lamborghini (76), Italian auto-designer (Lamborghini, Miura), died.
1993 Mar 16, Mohammed Hussein
Nagdi, Iran diplomat, resistance fighter, was murdered in Rome,
1993 Apr 19, In a
national referendum Italians voted by 83% to elect three-quarters of
their Senate with a U.S-style 'first-place-takes-all,' single-member
district voting system. The Italian Chamber of Deputies, which has
far more political power than the Senate, is now expected to modify
the 'pure' party list proportional representation system used to
elect its members.
1993 May 18, Italian police
arrested Mafia boss Benedetto "Nitto" Santapaola.
1993 May 27, Five people were
killed in a bombing at the Uffizi museum of art in Florence, Italy;
some three dozen paintings were ruined or damaged. Giovanni Brusca
was believed to have led teams that damaged the Uffizi museum in
Florence with car bombs. He is believed by many to be the leader of
the Italian Mafia teams. In 1996 he was arrested in Sicily and
charged with masterminding the murder of Giovanni Falcone, his wife
and three bodyguards in 1992. In 1998 Mafia boss Lelluca Bagarella
and 13 others were sentenced to life in prison for the May and July
(AP, 5/27/98)(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)(SFC, 8/24/96,
p.A12)(SFEC, 6/7/98, p.A23)
1993 Jul 27, Bombs exploded in
Rome and Milan, killing at least five people.
1993 Jul, The modern art museum
in central Milan was damaged by bombs. Two churches in Rome were
also damaged, including the Basilica of St. John Lateran, between
May and July. [see May 20]
(SFEC, 6/7/98, p.A23)
1993 Oct 31, Federico Fellini,
Italian film director, died in Rome at age 73. He made some 24 films
including "La Strada," "La Dolce Vita," "8 1/2," and
"Amarcord" through the 50’s and 60’s.
(WSJ, 4/19/95, p.A-14)(AP, 10/31/98)
1993 Nov 21, The Neo-fascist
MSI won 36% of municipal elections in Rome.
1993 Italy abolished
parliamentary immunity. In 2008 Silvio Berlusconi restored it for
himself and three other office holders.
(Econ, 10/24/09, p.63)
1993 Silvio Berlusconi created
his Forza Italia! party.
(Econ, 11/24/07, p.57)
1993 Antonio Basolino was
elected mayor of Naples. Before his election the post was appointed
by local party leaders. The city had been mired in corruption for
decades and the new mayor began to clean it up.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.A1,12)
1993 In Italy a federal law
granted people in illegal dwellings the right to use public
utilities but warned that illegal structures would be demolished.
Demolitions began in 1998.
(SFC, 7/22/00, p.A10)
1993 Antonio Fazio became
governor of the Bank of Italy.
(Econ, 8/6/05, p.58)
1993 Italy’s Fiat Auto SpA
(WSJ, 9/24/04, p.B1)
1993 Maurizio Gucci sold his
remaining stake in Gucci to Investcorp, a Bahraini firm.
(WSJ, 11/5/03, p.A1)
1994 Mar 19, Giuseppe Diana,
Italian anti-mafia priest, was murdered.
1994 Mar 20, Ilaria Alpi (32),
a journalist, was shot and killed in Somalia along with her
cameraman, Miran Hrovatin, on the same day that Italian troops left
the country. She had collected evidence of brutality by Italian
officers against Somalis along with evidence of illegal gun-running.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A8)
1994 Mar 23, Actress Giulietta
Masina (b.1921 ), wife of Federico Felini, died in Rome.
1994 Mar 27, Italians went to
the polls in general elections that resulted in big gains for a
right-wing coalition. Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right grouping won
(AP, 3/27/99)(Econ, 11/26/05, Survey p.10)
1994 Jun 3, President Clinton,
continuing his tour of Italy, visited the graves of American
soldiers killed in the Anzio landing during World War II.
1994 Jun, Carlo Toto, an
Italian contractor, purchased a Boeing 737 at a court auction and
began a small-charter airline service that became Air One.
(WSJ, 9/24/04, p.A13)
1994 Sep 29, Gunmen in Italy
fired at the rental car of the Green family of Bodega Bay, Ca., and
killed their young boy, Nicholas Green. The parents donated his
organs and saved 7 lives in Italy. An appeals court in 1998 found 2
men guilty of the botched highway robbery. Michelle Ianello was
sentenced to life in prison and Francesco Mesiano was sentenced to
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.B8)(SFC, 6/6/98, p.A10)
1994 Jul 8, Leaders of the
Group of Seven nations opened their 20th annual economic summit in
Italy. Silvio Berlusconi hosted the G-7 summit in Naples.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.A12)(AP, 7/8/99)(Econ, 1/22/05,
1994 Jul 9, Members of the
Group of Seven (G-7) nations concluded their economic summit in
1994 The Italian government
introduced instant lotteries.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A1)
1994 The National Alliance was
created as a broad based successor to the Italian Social Movement
(MSI), which was created after WW II to keep alive the ideals of
(Econ, 12/6/03, p.44)
1994 Istria was the first
region of the former Yugoslavia to be officially designated as a
"Region of Europe". The Istria of 2005, alternatively called Istra
and Istrija, is politically divided into three separate countries:
Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.
1994 Roberto Pannunzi, Italian
mobster, was arrested in Colombia. He had forged links with
Colombian cartels for transatlantic trade in cocaine. He was
extradited to Italy and released when his detention expired. He was
rearrested in 2004 but disappeared in 2009 when sent to a private
clinic near Rome following a heart attack.
(Econ, 5/8/10, p.54)
1995 Jan 13, Italy named
Treasury Minister Lamberto Dini its prime minister. He pledged to
resign after approval of a deficit cutting budget.
(AP, 1/13/00)(WSJ, 10/27/95, p.A-1)
1995 Mar 27, In Italy Maurizio
Gucci (46), businessman, was shot to death in Milan. He was the last
family member to have held shares in the Gucci fashion company, now
part of the Bahrain-based Investcorp. In 1997 police arrested his
former wife, a psychic, a doorman, and two hitmen for their roles in
the murder. In 1998 Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli (50) was convicted
and sentenced to 29 years in prison. The psychic got 25, the doorman
got 26, the driver got 29 and the gunman got life.
(SFC, 2/1/97, p.A12)(SFC, 11/4/98, p.A13)
1995 Oct 10, Paolo Gucci (64),
Italian entrepreneur and accessories designer, died.
1995 Nov 21, Former Nazi Capt.
Erich Priebke was extradited from Argentina to Italy to face trial
for his role in the Ardeatine Caves massacre. A court found him
guilty in 1996 but released him because too much time had elapsed
since the crime. There was a major uproar and he was again arrested
and a 1997 trial convicted him and co-defendant Major Karl Hass.
Priebke was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Hass was convicted but
released due to mitigating circumstances. face charges in the
massacre of 335 Italian civilians in Nazi-occupied Rome.
(AP, 3/23/97)(WSJ, 10/3/95, p.A-21) (WSJ,
11/21/95, p.A-1)(SFC, 7/23/97, p.A9)
1995 Nov, Air One launched
service between Rome and Milan, a route on which Alitalia had held a
(WSJ, 9/24/04, p.A13)
1995 Italian interest rates
began to fall in anticipation of its joining the EU.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.108)
1995 The Italian port at Gioia
Tauro began handling container ships. The local mafia, ‘Ndrangheta,
tried to extort $1.50 for every container, but the demand was
(Econ, 2/24/07, p.78)
1996 Jan 29, In Venice, Italy,
the 204-year-old La Felice opera house burned down. It was scheduled
to be reconstructed and finished by Sep 27, 1999. It was later
determined by experts to have been caused by arson. In 2003 Italy's
top criminal court upheld convictions on arson charges for Enrico
Carella and fellow electrician Massimiliano Marchetti, sentencing
them to seven and six years in jail respectively. In 2005 John
Berendt authored “The City of Falling Angels,” which centered on the
burning of La Fenice. In 2007 Carella was arrested in Mexico.
(SFC, 6/27/96, p.D3)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.E4)(AP,
1/29/01)(WSJ, 9/24/05, p.P12)(AP, 3/3/07)
1996 May 16, Romano Prodi was
named head of the center-left Olive Branch alliance that won April
elections. PM Prodi led Italy’s 55th postwar government with the
leftists in power for the first time in 50 years.
(WSJ, 5/17/96, p.A-1)(Econ, 11/26/05, Survey
1996 May 20, Giovanni Brusca
(36), believed by many to be the leader of the Italian Mafia, was
arrested in Sicily. He is charged with masterminding the murder of
Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards in 1992.
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)
1996 May 25, Renzo De Felice
(67), scholar and historian of Italy’s Fascist period, died in Rome.
(SFC, 5/28/96, p.A15)
1996 Jun 2, Separatists in
northern Italy celebrated their growing campaign to split off from
the south on the 50th anniversary of the Italian republic. Umberto
Bossi is the head of the Northern League and founder of the
self-declared Republic of Padania. At a rally in Pontida, near
Milan, ministers in Bossi’s "government" swore allegiance to
Padania, a name derived from the valley of the Po. Their proposed
republic includes everything from Florence to the Alps.
(SFC, 6/3/96, p.A12)(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1996 Jun 9, The latest
unemployment rate was 12.4%.
(SFC, 6/9/96, Parade, p.9)
1996 Jun 10, The center-left
government announced a new privatization calendar that included the
sale of stakes in insurance, banking, and oil companies.
(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A9B)
1996 Sep 15, Umberto Bossi,
populist politician and leader of the Northern League, planned to
declare the independence of the Federal Republic of Padania.
(WSJ, 9/13/96, p.A6)
1996 Sep 15, Lorenzo Necci,
head of the state-run railroad, was arrested for corruption,
embezzlement, abuse of office, falsification of balance sheets and
(SFE, 9/17/96, p.A12)
1996 Sep 26, The foreign
minister announced that the country would no longer make land mines
that are used against people.
(SFC, 9/27/96, p.A16)
1996 Sep 27, In Milan 50,000
metal workers marched on strike.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A8)
1996 Nov 17, The World Food
Summit concluded a five-day meeting in Rome, with delegates
promising a wide-ranging effort to ease hunger around the globe.
1996 Dec 19, Marcello
Mastroianni (b.1924), Italian actor, died at age 72. He appeared in
171 films and had just finished shooting "Journey to the Beginning
of the World.
(WSJ, 12/20/96, p.A1)(SFC, 6/20/97, p.A9)
1996 Frances Mayes published
"Under the Tuscan Sun." In 1999 she followed it up with "Bella
(SFEC, 4/25/99, BR p.2)
1996 Flooding of 32 inches or
more hit Venice a record 101 times in this year.
(SFC, 12/11/98, p.D4)
1996 The government assigned a
Central Commission for Worldwide Italian-Restaurant Standards to
certify that authenticity of Italian restaurants outside Italy.
(WSJ, 4/14/99, p.A1)
1996 Ludovico Filotti, a former
employee of Barings, persuaded his new employer, a large Japanese
bank, to purchase Italian zero coupon postal bonds in an arbitrage
scheme under falling interest rates. Other bankers followed and
within days $3.6 billion worth of bonds were sold. They matured
after the euro deadline and were not counted as current debt.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.108,110)
1996-1998 Some 15% of all new structures in Italy
were built illegally.
(SFC, 7/22/00, p.A10)
1997 Apr 11, In Italy, fire
damaged the 500-year-old San Giovanni Cathedral, home of the Shroud
of Turin, which some consider Christ's burial cloth.
1997 Apr 12, In Turin the
Shroud of Turin was recovered from a fire that began in the Guarini
chapel of the city’s 15th century cathedral.
(WSJ, 4/14/97, p.A1)
1997 May 9, Eight Venetian
separatists took over the bell tower at St. Mark’s Square. They were
overpowered by police after 7 1/2 hours.
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A10)
1997 May 9, Marco Ferreri
(b.1928), film director, died. His work included "The Wheelchair"
(El Cochecit 1960), "Le Lit Conjugal" (The Conjugal Bed 1963),
"Dillinger Is Dead" (1969), "La Grande Bouffe" (1973), "La Derniere
Femme" (1976), and "Bye Bye Monkey’ (1978).
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A20)
1997 May 16, Giuseppe De
Santis, film director, died at 80. His films included "Bitter Rice"
(1949), "Obsession," "Tragic Hunt," "Under the Olive Tree," and
"Rome 11 O’Clock."
(SFC, 5/19/97, p.A24)
1997 May 22, In Italy the Grand
Princess was launched at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard. It was
the world’s largest passenger cruise ship at 109,000 gross tons and
was scheduled for interior completion in the spring of 1998.
(SFEC, 5/26/97, p.A11)
1997 May 22, In Italy the Grand
Princess was launched at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard. It was
the world’s largest passenger cruise ship at 109,000 gross tons and
was scheduled for interior completion in the spring of 1998.
(SFEC, 5/26/97, p.A11)
1997 Sep 26, In Sicily a court
convicted 24 mobsters for the 1992 bombing of the top anti-Mafia
prosecutor. Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the reputed "boss of bosses" was
among those convicted for having plotted the assassination of
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A12)
1997 Sep 26, Two earthquakes
hit central Italy east of Umbria and at least 11 people were killed.
The basilica of Assisi, St. Mary of the Angels, built on the site
where St. Francis died, was severely damaged. 4 people were killed
while assessing damage from the first quake. An estimated 100,000
buildings in the Umbria and Marche regions were damaged.
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A1)(SFEC, 8/1/99, p.A18)
1997 Sep 26, In Italy Bob Dylan
performed at a religious congress in Bologna before a crowd 200,000
and Pope John Paul II.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A3)
1997 Oct 9, Dario Fo (71), an
Italian playwright and performer, received the Nobel Prize in
literature. The leftist playwright had been prosecuted by Italy,
denounced by Roman Catholic Church leaders and barred from the
United States. His work included: "Archangels Don’t Play Pinball"
(1960), "Mistero Biffo," (Comic Mystery) written in 1969, and
"Accidental Death of an Anarchist" (1970), "We Can’t Pay, We Don’t
Pay" (1974) and "Orgasmo Adulto Escapes From the Zoo."
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/10/97, p.A20)(SFEC,
8/23/98, DB p.13)(AP, 10/9/98)
1997 Oct 9, In Italy Premier
Romano Prodi resigned after his Marxist allies refused to accept
welfare cuts. The 17-month old government was the first
leftist-dominated and 55th government since WW II. Pres. Oscar Luigi
Scalfaro asked Prodi to stay on as caretaker while a new government
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D3)
1997 Oct 13, The Communist
Refounding Party reopened talks that were expected to restore Prodi
to power and leave his budget intact.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 26, In Italy the
Northern League party of Umberto Bossi held a symbolic election to
choose a "parliament" for independent Padania.
1997 Nov 16, In weekend
municipal elections center-left parties won a landslide victory
bolstering support for Prime Minister Prodi’s government.
(WSJ, 11/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov Kidnappers of
industrialist Giuseppe Soffiantini sent a slice of his left ear and
demanded a ransom payment of $12 million by Dec 20.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.B12)
1997 Dec 27, In Italy Some 825
illegal immigrants, mostly Kurds, were rescued by Italian tugboats
from the Turkish ship Ararat. They were attempting to smuggle into
Italy from Turkey.
1997 Dec 30, Danilo Dolci,
advocate of nonviolent social reform, died at age 73. His writings
and poetry chronicled Sicily’s beauty and despair. His books
include: "Report From Palermo," "Waste," and "Sicilian Lives"
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A25)
1997 Dec, Word began to spread
that Dr. Luigi Di Bella (85) had found a cure for cancer, a cocktail
of drugs that stopped tumor growth.
(WSJ, 4/21/98, p.A1)
1997 The film "Land in Between"
(Terra di mezzo) was directed by Matteo Garrone. It was about an
immigrant in Italy.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 The film "Marianna Ucria"
was directed by Robeto Faenza. It was based on a novel by Dacia
Maraini about an 18th century Sicilian deaf mute.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 The film "Moon Spins
Between land and Sea" (Giro di lune tra terre e mare) was directed
by Giuseppe Gaudino. It was a tale of the ancient town Pozzuoli set
in the present and the time of Nero.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 The film "Physical Jerks"
(In barca a vela contromano) was directed by Stefano Reali. It was
jab at the public health system about a patient who checks into a
hospital for surgery.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 The film "Pizzicata" was
about a US fighter pilot shot down in 1943.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 The comedy film
"Satisfaction or Your Money Back" (Consigli per gli acquisti) was
directed by Sandro Boldoni. It was a spoof on modern consumerism.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 The film "We All Fall
Down" (Tutti giu per terra) was directed by Davide Ferrario. It was
about a young virgin man who had spent his adolescence with an aunt
in Rome and then returns home to Turin.
(SFEC,11/16/97, DB p.60)
1997 Ferrari took over
Maserati. In 2000 the new $85,000 Maserati Spyder was introduced.
(WSJ, 3/25/02, p.B11)
1997 The Italian Parmalat Corp.
acquired Beatrice Foods.
(WSJ, 12/22/03, p.A6)
1997-1998 Fiat SpA of Italy said it would invest
$1 bil over this period in Brazil for new engines, updated models,
and new projects.
(WSJ, 5/30/96, p.A11)
1998 Jan 1, Navy patrols
intercepted a 2nd ship with 386 refugees, mostly Kurds,
(WSJ, 1/2/98, p.A1)
1998 Jan 2, Italy pledged to
grant political asylum to genuine Kurdish immigrants. Another 1,300
were scheduled to soon arrive from Turkey. German and Austrian
officials feared the immigrants would spill over to their countries.
(SFC, 1/3/98, p.A9)
1998 Jan 25, Kidnappers of
industrialist Giuseppe Soffiantini sent a slice of his ear and a
note to a TV news station. The ransom was reportedly reduced to
about $6 million.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.B12)
1998 Feb 3, A US surveillance
aircraft cut a ski cable in Italy and caused the death of 20 skiers
in a gondola cable car running from Cavalese to the Alpe Cermis. The
EA-6B aircraft was normally used for patrols over Bosnia and was
only slightly damaged. Lt. Col. Steven Watters was later relieved of
command for telling crew members of a related squadron to destroy
evidence in the investigation. The pilot did not have Italian
military maps that identified the ski lift. Four crewmen were later
charged by the Marine Corps with negligent homicide, involuntary
manslaughter and dereliction of duty. The pilot and navigator faced
trial for manslaughter. Pilot Richard J. Ashby was acquitted of all
charges in 1999. Navigator Joseph Schweitzer was acquitted of
manslaughter and negligent homicide charges. Schweitzer later
pleaded guilty to obstruction and conspiracy charges for destroying
a videotape made during the flight. The tape indicated that the
plane had been flying upside down. Schweitzer was sentenced to
dismissal from the Marine Corps. Capt. Ashby (32) was found guilty
of obstruction of justice and conspiracy in May, 1999 and was
sentenced to 6 months in prison and dismissed from the Marine Corps.
Families of the victims settled for $2 million apiece in 2000.
(SFC, 2/4/98, p.A7)(SFC, 2/11/98, p.A11)(SFC,
2/19/98, p.B10)(SFC, 3/27/98, p.A14)(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A2)(SFC,
3/5/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/16/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/30/99, p.A1)(SFC, 4/3/99,
p.A3)(SFC, 5/1/99, p.A4)(SFC, 5/8/99, p.A4)(SFC, 5/11/99, p.A4)(SFC,
1998 Feb 11, Pres. Yeltsin
completed a 3 day visit to Italy and scored $5 billion in trade and
(SFC, 2/12/98, p.A14)
1998 Feb 12, Over 250 cars
crashed on the foggy highway A-13 between Padua and Bologna. Four
people were killed and dozens were injured.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.D2)
1998 Mar 6, Francesca Trombino,
lawyer, was bludgeoned to death in Pordenone. She was representing a
US Marine in the Feb 3 cable-car disaster. She was also representing
the wife of the captured suspect in a divorce case.
(SFC, 3/7/98, p.A7)
1998 Mar 19, In Italy suspected
mafia member Giuseppe Magaddino was shot and killed. Sicilian Mafia
member Claudio Adriano Giusto was later charged with killing
Magaddino using a 7.65 mm firearm and then taking his wallet. Giusto
was arrested in Spain in 2011 after 13 years on the run.
1998 Apr 12, Maria Angela
Rubino (32) was found shot in a train bathroom. The murder was
similar to 6 others along the Italian Riviera since March 9.
(SFC, 4/20/98, p.A10)
1998 Apr 20, The Goldman
Environmental Awards were presented to six winners in SF. The prizes
were increased to $100,000. Anna Giordano (32) of Italy won for her
campaign against illegal hunting of birds in Sicily and southern
(SFC, 4/20/98, p.A8)
1998 May 4, In Vatican City
Alois Estermann (43), the pope’s top bodyguard, was shot and
killed along with his wife, Gladys Meza Romero (49) in their
apartment by Cedrich Tornay (23), who then shot himself. Estermann
had just been appointed the head of the Swiss Guards and was killed
by Tornay due to damaged professional pride. An investigation was
concluded in 1999 and suggested that marijuana and a brain cyst
(WSJ, 5/5/98, p.A1)(USAT, 5/6/98, p.6A)(SFC,
2/9/99, p.A10)(AP, 5/4/99)
1998 May 7, In southern Italy
heavy rains sent a torrent of mud through Sarno and several other
towns. At least 55 people were reported dead. The death toll climbed
(USAT, 5/8/98, p.7A)(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.A22)
1998 May 19-1998 May 20,
Bandits stole three of Rome's most important paintings, two by Van
Gogh and one by Cezanne, from the National Gallery of Modern Art.
(SFC, 5/21/98, p.A14)(AP, 5/19/99)
1998 May 24, At the 51st Cannes
Film Festival the Golden Palm award went to the Greek film "Mia
Eoniotita Ke Mia Mera (Eternity and a Day), directed by Theo
Angelopoulos. The Grand Prize went to the Italian film "La Vita e
Bella" (Life Is Beautiful) by director Roberto Benigni. It starred
Benigni, Giorgio Cantarini and Nicoletta Braschi.
(SFC, 5/25/98, p.E5)(SFEC, 10/25/98, DB p.46)
1998 Jul 11, It was reported
that fires in southern Italy and Sicily burned 2,500 acres of forest
(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A8)
1998 Jul 11, Maria Soledad
Rosas (24), an Argentine squatter under house arrest in Turin, was
found hanged to death.
(SFEC, 7/19/98, p.A12)
1998 Jul 13, Silvio Berlusconi,
former premier, was convicted for the 3rd time since Dec. This
conviction was for illegal party financing in 1991. A prior
conviction was for bribing tax inspectors.
(SFC, 7/14/98, p.A10)
1998 Jul 17, In Rome UN
delegates from more than 100 countries overwhelmingly approved
(120-7) a historic treaty, the Statute of Rome, creating the world's
first permanent war crimes tribunal, with jurisdiction over
individuals, ignoring strenuous U.S. objections over certain
provisions. It was to be located in the Hague with 18 judges from 18
countries serving 9 year terms. It still required ratification
by 60 countries to become effective. The vote passed 120 to 7 with
21 abstentions. The US, China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar and Yemen
voted against the International Criminal Court Treaty (ICC). In 2002
the US moved to withdraw its signature.
(SFC, 7/18/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 7/20/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
5/6/02, p.A1,4)(Econ, 11/22/03, p.27)
1998 Jul 17, In Viterbo
anarchist vandals sprayed painted graffiti over 15th century
frescoes in response to the suicide of Maria Rosas.
(SFEC, 7/19/98, p.A12)
1998 Jul 31, Over 10,000
members of the nation’s beach workers (bagnini) went on strike and
closed their umbrella stands.
(WSJ, 8/3/98, p.A1)
1998 Aug 15, A rock slide at
Brenner Pass killed 5 German tourists near the town of Forteza.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.A21)
1998 Aug 19, In Italy the
Assicurazioni Generali insurance company announced that it will pay
$100 million to Holocaust survivors and the heirs of victims for
life insurance and annuity policies that it refused to honor after
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.A7)
1998 Sep 9, A 5.5 earthquake
hit Italy between the towns of Castelluccio Inferiore and Laino
Borgo where the regions of Calabria and Basilicata meet.
(SFC, 9/10/98, p.C2)
1998 Sep 18, In Italy the TV
dubbers agreed to end their 2-month strike.
(SFC, 9/19/98, p.C16)
1998 Oct 3, Communists voted to
reject Prime Minister Prodi’s budget.
(WSJ, 10/5/98, p.A1,22)
1998 Oct 5, Federico Zeri,
Italy’s leading art critic and historian, died at age 77. He had
cataloged in 4 volumes the Italian paintings in New York’s
(SFC, 10/6/98, p.A22)
1998 Oct 9, The center-left
coalition of Premier Romano Prodi lost a vote of confidence by one
vote. Pres. Oscar Luigi Scalfaro asked Prodi to continue leading a
(SFC, 10/10/98, p.A11)
1998 Oct 16, Massimo D’Alema,
head of the Democratic Left Party, was asked by Pres. Scalfaro to
form a new government.
(SFC, 10/17/98, p.A13)
1998 Nov 1, John Kagwe of Kenya
won the NY Marathon in 2:8:45. Franca Fiacconi of Italy won among
the women in 2:25:17.
(WSJ, 11/2/98, p.A1)
1998 Nov 12, In Italy Abdullah
Ocalan, head of the Kurd PKK, was arrested in Rome.
(SFC, 11/14/98, p.A11)
1998 Nov 20, In Italy a court
ordered the release of Kurdish rebel Abdullah Ocalan under a law
barring extradition in death penalty cases and planned to grant him
(SFC, 11/21/98, p.A10)
1998 Dec 16, Abdullah Ocalan,
leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, was freed by an appeals court
in Rome. Turkish officials were outraged and renewed threats of
(SFC, 12/17/98, p.C4)
1998 Dec 16, In Rome an
apartment building collapsed and killed 20 people.
(SFC, 12/17/98, p.C5)
1998 Dec, Banca Etica, an
Italian ethical bank, was authorized to start operating as a bank.
Executive pay is not allowed to exceed six times the lowest wage at
1998 The Italian film "The Best
Man" starred Diego Abatanuono and Ines Sastre and was directed
by Pupi Avati. It was about a bride who hates her new husband and
their wedding in Northern Italy at the turn of the century.
(SFC, 8/21/98, p.C5)
1998 The Italian film "Go
Around the World" was directed by Davide Manuli and was about an
orphan raised by a Gypsy.
(SFEC, 10/4/98, DB)(http://tinyurl.com/33mf9m)
1998 The Italian film "Pianese
Nunzio, Fourteen in May" was directed by Antonio Capuano. It was
about an priest’s involvement with an altar boy.
(SFC, 6/18/98, p.E4)
1998 The Italian film "Steam"
starred Alessandro Gassman and Mehmet Gunsur. It was directed by
(SFEC, 11/29/98, DB p.10)
1998 Toni Dykstra of southern
California was found dead in Rome as she sought to bring her
kidnapped daughter back to the US. Boyfriend Carlo Ventre was
charged with her murder. In 2007 Ventre (59) died of a heart attack
while testifying at his trial.
1999 Jan 1, Italy along with 10
other European Union nations made the transition to the new Euro
(SFC, 1/1/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 8, Pope John Paul II
met with the new Prime Minister and former communist leader, Massimo
(SFC, 1/9/99, p.A9)
1999 Jan 14, In Italy police
arrested 9 people in Milan who allegedly rigged the Milan Lotto
using children and tampered balls for drawing wining numbers.
(SFC, 1/16/99, p.A10)
1999 Feb 27, The $60 billion
bid by Olivetti for Telecom Italia was ruled legally admissible by
Italian stock market regulators.
(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.A24)
1999 Mar 11, In northern Italy
an avalanche killed 3 German skiers.
(SFC, 3/12/99, p.A15)
1999 Mar 24, In the 7-mile Mt.
Blanc tunnel between France and Italy a fire erupted from a truck
transporting flour. The death toll was raised to 9 with 24 injured.
The fire was extinguished after 3 days and the death toll rose to
35. Identification of the remains of at least 40 people began Mar
28. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont
Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days. It re-opened in
2002. In 2005 a French court convicted 10 people and 3 companies for
safety lapses in the 2-day fire.
(SFC, 3/26/99, p.A14)(SFC, 3/27/99, p.A10)(SFC,
3/29/99, p.A8)(AP, 3/24/00)(SSFC, 3/17/02, p.C4)(AP, 3/24/04)(WSJ,
1999 May 5, Ibrahim Rugova,
prominent Albanian leader, flew to Rome with the permission of
Yugoslav authorities for talks with Premier Massimo D'Alema and
foreign Minister Lamberto Dini.
(SFC, 5/6/99, p.A13)
1999 May 13, In Italy the
Parliament chose Treasury Minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (78) as the
(SFC, 5/14/99, p.A15)
1999 May 20, In Italy Massimo
D'Antona, a univ. professor of labor law and the architect of labor
reforms, was shot to death as he walked to work in Rome. The Red
Brigade claimed responsibility in a 28-page manifesto left in a
trash bin. In 2005 Nadia Desdemona Lioce, Marco Mezzasalma and
Roberto Morandi were convicted and sentenced to life terms. Paolo
Broccatelli received a nine-year term.
(SFC, 5/22/99, p.A13)(AP, 7/9/05)
1999 Jun 19, Turin, Italy, was
chosen as the site of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
1999 Jun 19, the Bologna
process for the creation of the European Higher Education Area
started. 29 European Ministers responsible for higher education
signed the Bologna declaration in which they undertake to create a
European Higher Education Area.
1999 Jun 19, Mario Soldati
(b.1906), Italian writer and film director, died at age 92. He
started publishing novels in 1929 although his fame came with
“America primo amore” (1935), a diary about the time he spent
teaching at Columbia University. He won literary awards for the
1999 Jul 31, St. Mary of the
Angels Basilica in Assisi reopened following earthquake repairs due
to the Sep 26, 1977, quake.
(SFEC, 8/1/99, p.A18)
1999 Sep 10, A 15-ton bronze
horse, designed after an idea by Leonardo da Vinci, was scheduled to
be unveiled at the 500th anniversary of the French occupation of the
Ducal palace in Milan, when da Vinci's prototype was disfigured. It
was begun by Charles Dent (d.1994), a United Airlines pilot, and
finished by a foundation that he endowed. It was cast in Beacon,
(SFC, 6/26/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 23, The cloned bull
Galileo was unveiled at the dairy cattle show in Cremona. The Health
Ministry confiscated the bull the next day due to the 1998 decree
forbidding cloning issued by Health Minister Rosy Bindi.
(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.A22)
1999 Sep 24, A jury acquitted
former Italian Premier Giulio Andreotti of the 1979 killing of a
1999 Oct 23, Giulio Andreotti
(80), 7 times prime minister, was acquitted of charges that he was
the Sicilian Mafia's protector in Rome.
(SFEC, 10/24/99, p.A17)
1999 Dec 18, In Italy Prime
Minister Massimo D'Alema resigned and brought an end to the 56th
government since WW II. Pres. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi asked him to form
a new coalition.
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A26)
1999 Dec 22, In Italy Premier
Massimo D'Alema won a vote of confidence for a new cabinet.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C7)
1999 Dec 23, Premier Massimo
D'Alema won parliamentary approval for the 57th government. The
Cabinet included 5 new members and 20 holdovers.
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A20)
1999 Roberto Calasso's work
"Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India" was translated to
English by Tim Parks. Calasso, head of the Milan publishing house
Adelphi, also authored "The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony" and "The
Ruin of Kasch."
(SFEC, 1/17/99, BR p.8)
1999 The Italian film
"Ferdinando e Carolina" starred script writer Leonardo Benvenuti
(d.2000 at 77) and was directed by Lina Wertmuller.
(SFC, 11/8/00, p.B7)
1999-2005 Alitalia, Italy’s national airline,
accumulated net losses of some 2.6 billion euros.
(Econ, 1/6/07, p.53)
2000 Jan 19, Bettino Craxi
(65), former 2-term Italian premier, died in Tunisia. He had fled
Italy in 1994 to escape a corruption jail sentence.
(WSJ, 1/20/00, p.A1)(Econ, 1/9/10, p.53)
2000 Feb 6, The government
proposed car-free Sunday program, "domenica a piedi," began. Some
100 cities signed up for the program to ban downtown traffic on the
1st Sunday of the month through May.
(SFC, 2/5/00, p.A8)
2000 Feb 21, Avalanches in
Italy killed 3 skiers in the northern Venosta Valley.
(SFC, 2/22/00, p.A10)
2000 Mar 30, A mandatory helmet
law for motorbike riders went into effect.
(SFC, 3/31/00, p.E3)
2000 Apr 13, Giorgio Bassani,
author and editor, died at age 84. His books included "The Garden of
(SFC, 4/14/00, p.D5)
2000 Apr 19, Prime Minister
Massimo D’Alema resigned.
(SFC, 4/22/00, p.A9)
2000 Apr 20, In Italy the
center-left parties closed ranks behind Treasury Minister Giuliano
Amato following the resignation of Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema.
(WSJ, 4/21/00, p.A1)
2000 Apr 21, Pres. Carlo
Azeglio Ciampi gave Giuliano Amato the go ahead to form Italy’s 58th
government since WW II.
(SFC, 4/22/00, p.A9)
2000 Jun 13, In Italy the
government pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca (42), the man who wounded Pope
John Paul II in 1981. Agca was flown to Turkey to finish serving 8
years for the 1979 murder of a newspaper editor.
(SFC, 6/14/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 14, Attilio Bertolucci
(88), poet and father of 2 movie directors, died in Rome. His 1984
autobiographical free verse novel "The Bedroom" was made into a
(SFC, 6/16/00, p.A34)
2000 Jun 29, Vittorio Gassman,
film actor, died at age 77. He had appeared in 124 films between
1946 and 1999.
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.D7)
2000 Jul 1-9, In Italy the
World Pride int’l. gay pride festival opened in Rome.
(SFEC, 6/4/00, p.C14)(SFEC, 7/2/00, p.A17)
2000 Jul 17, Aligi Sassu,
painter, sculptor and engraver, died at age 88 on Mallorca. His
early work included a futurist manifesto titled: "Dynamism and
Muscular Strength." His paintings included "Uomini Rossi" (Red Men),
(SFC, 7/19/00, p.B2)
2000 Jul, Prof. Auriti began
exchanging one simec, his new currency, for 2 lire in Guardiagrele.
Auriti hoped to convince the world that central bankers are con
artists because they insert new money through loans and thus reduce
(WSJ, 10/6/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul, It was reported that
3 girls (16-17) in Chiavenna killed Sister Maria Laura Mainetti. The
catechism students hit her with a stone and stabbed her 19 times.
Bishop Alessandro Maggiolini called it "the triumph of emptiness."
(SFC, 7/12/00, p.A8)
2000 Aug 29, Conrad
Marca-Relli, artist, died in Parma at age 87. His collages served as
a link between the European avant-garde and American Abstract
Expressionism. He created monumental collages and in the 1950s added
strips of canvas over canvas.
(SFC, 9/1/00, p.D6)
2000 Sep 10, A flood in
Calabria killed at least 10 people at the Le Giare campground near
(SFC, 9/11/00, p.B8)
2000 Sep 15, The Mafia was
reported to be engaged in a $500 million business of illegal dog
fighting. An estimated 5,000 dogs died annually from the fighting.
(SFC, 9/15/00, p.A16)
2000 Sep 25, Livia Turco,
Social Affairs Minister, pushed to decriminalize the sale of sex and
to allow prostitutes to form cooperatives.
(SFC, 9/25/00, p.A12)
2000 Sep, The reality TV show
"Grande Fratello" made its debut.
(SFC, 10/29/00, p.A10)
2000 Oct 15, At least 31 people
were killed as landslides due to heavy rains continued in the Alps
of Switzerland and Italy. 23 died in northern Italy and 8 in
(SFC, 10/16/00, p.F8)(SFC, 10/18/00, p.A14)(SFC,
2000 Oct 18, Hundreds of
Italian police raided the Univ. of Messina. 79 faculty and staff
were later indicted on organized crime charges.
(SFC, 1/8/01, p.A4)
2000 Oct 18, In southern Italy
the bodies of 6 illegal immigrants, believed to be Kurds, were found
dumped on the side of a highway.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.C10)
2000 Oct 24, The Parliament
approved a law to end the 200-year old draft in favor of an all
volunteer military. The armed forces planned reductions to
190,000 from 270,000 within 7 years.
(SFC, 10/25/00, p.A16)
2000 Nov 3, Leonardo Benvenuti,
film script writer and actor, died at age 77.
(SFC, 11/8/00, p.B7)
2000 Dec 17, In northern Italy
at least 10 climbers and skiers were killed after ice formed
overnight in the Alps.
(SFC, 12/18/00, p.E2)
2001 Jan 6, A NATO meeting was
scheduled in Italy on the use of ammunition with depleted uranium
following the deaths from cancer of 6 Italian soldiers following
duty in the Balkans. 5 Balkan veterans from Belgium along with
peacekeepers from Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic had died of
(WSJ, 1/04/01, p.A1)(SFC, 1/6/01, p.A7)
2001 Jan 29, Demonstrators in
Turin clashed with police following an agreement between France and
Italy to establish a high-speed rail line between Turin and Lyon.
(SFC, 1/30/01, p.A12)
2001 Jan, Italy and the US
signed a treaty that requires objects dating between 900 BC and 400
CE be accompanied by Italian government certification before leaving
(WSJ, 2/6/01, p.A16)
2001 Mar 17, Protesters
demonstrated at the third Global Forum in Naples. They clashed with
police and 50 officers and 70 protesters suffered minor injuries.
(SSFC, 3/18/01, p.D4)
2001 Apr 20, Giuseppe Sinopoli
(54) died from a heart attack while conducting at the Berlin
Deutsche Opera house.
(SFC, 4/21/01, p.D5)
2001 May 13, In Italy Silvio
Berlusconi’s House of Freedoms coalition led the left-of-center
Olive Tree coalition in parliamentary elections. Berlusconi opposed
a federal Europe and stood as a proponent of free trade and low
(SFC, 5/14/01, p.A1)(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A9)
2001 May 27, The center-left
opposition won mayoral runoffs in Naples, Turin and Rome.
(SFC, 5/28/01, p.B12)
2001 Jun 10, Silvio Berlusconi
(64), known as Il Cavaliere, became premier for a 2nd time and
formed his Cabinet. He promised a 100-day revolution to transform
the economy. All 61 single-member constituencies in Sicily went to
(SFC, 6/11/01, p.A8)(SFC, 9/7/01, p.A15)(Econ,
2001 Jul 20, A G-8 economic
summit, planned in Genoa, Italy, expected over 100,000
demonstrators. The summit opened with raging street battles between
police and demonstrators; one protester was fatally shot by
officers. Carlo Giuliani (23) was shot and killed by police while
protesting at the G-8 summit. At least 100 people were injured. In
2008 a court convicted 15 Italian officials of abusing protesters
held in at police garrison following violent demonstrations during
the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa.
(SFC, 7/17/01, p.A6)(AP, 7/20/02)(SFC, 7/21/01,
2001 Jul 21, A 2nd day of
violent protests turned Genoa into a war zone of rolling riots.
(SFC, 7/22/01, p.A1)
2001 Jul, Marco Tronchetti
Provera, chairman of the Italy’s Pirelli tire company, won control
of Telecom Italia.
(Econ, 9/16/06, p.78)
2001 Jul, Mt. Etna began
erupting with lava flow.
(SFC, 8/1/01, p.A8)
2001 Aug 8, In Rome police
chief Gianni de Gennaro acknowledged that excessive force had been
used against protesters of the Group 8 summit.
(SFC, 8/9/01, p.A8)
2001 Oct 8, In Milan, Italy, a
Scandinavian Airlines SAS jet, Flight 686 to Copenhagen, crashed
into a small Cessna on takeoff and 114 people were killed in both
planes with 4 killed on the ground. The Cessna had moved onto the
wrong runway as the SAS jet took off under foggy conditions.
(SFC, 10/9/01, p.B1)(WSJ, 10/9/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 7, Italy pledged an
aircraft carrier and 2,700 troops to help the American campaign in
(SFC, 11/8/01, p.A6)
2001 Nov, The Leaning Tower of
Pisa was expected to open for tourists after being closed since 1990
to reduce the tilt.
(SFC, 4/7/01, p.A11)
2001 Dec 16, A state-run home
for the disabled burned down near Buccino and 19 patients were
(SFC, 12/17/01, p.A3)
2001 Rome declared the ruins of
the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary to be a cultural heritage.
(SFC, 11/15/02, p.J1)
2001 Domenico Morosini opened a
private museum at the former home of Benito Mussolini (d.1945) in
Predappio. It was built between 1925-1927 and sold to Morosini for
$1.2 million in 2000.
(WSJ, 6/17/04, p.A15)
2001 Italy’s Parliament passed
legislation allowing millions of Italians who had emigrated, or who
were born to emigre parents, to cast ballots in Italian elections.
The legislation was pushed forward by lawmaker Mirko Tremaglia
2002 Jan 4, Antonio Todde, an
Italian shepherd listed by Guinness as the world’s oldest man, died
just shy of his 113th birthday. "Just love your brother and drink a
good glass of red wine every day."
(SFC, 1/5/02, p.A22)
2002 Jan 5, Renato Ruggiero,
the Foreign Minister, quit over the government’s European policy.
(SFC, 1/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Jan 6, Premier Berlusconi
named himself interim foreign minister.
(SFC, 1/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Jan 30, In Italy Samuele
Lorenzi (3), was found bludgeoned to death in the family's Alpine
home. His mother Anna Maria Franzoni, who denied the murder, was
convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison. In 2007 a Turin
appeals court upheld the conviction but reduced her sentence to 16
2002 Feb 5, In Italy the health
ministry confirmed the country’s 1st case of mad cow disease.
(SFC, 2/6/02, p.A9)
2002 Feb 19, Italian
authorities arrested 4 Moroccans in Rome, members of the Salafist
Group for Call and Combat. Maps were found of the US Embassy, small
quantities of cyanide, and a map of the city’s water system.
(SFC, 2/21/02, p.A16)
2002 Mar 9, The Mont Blanc
tunnel reopened to connect Italy and France.
(SSFC, 3/17/02, p.C4)
2002 Mar 19, Marco Biagi
(b.1950), Italian jurist, was assassinated due to his role as an
economic advisor to Roberto Maroni, a minister in Silvio
Berlusconi's government. Biagi had devised legislation for a
temporary labor contract.
(Econ, 6/11/11, SR
2002 Mar 20, Some 928 illegal
immigrants, mostly ethnic Kurds, arrived on a rusty cargo ship.
Italy declared a state of emergency to deal with the problem.
(SFC, 3/21/02, p.A10)
2002 Mar 21, A tour bus
traveling from Lucca to Florence collided with a truck and at least
3 Americans were killed.
(SFC, 3/22/02, p.A10)
2002 Apr 16, In Italy millions
of workers staged the biggest strike in decades to protest
government plans to make it easier to fire workers.
(SFC, 4/17/02, p.A8)
2002 Apr 18, In Italy a small
plane crashed into the 25th floor of the 32-story Pirelli building
in Milan. He was killed along with 2 government lawyers working
inside. Pilot Luigi Fasulo (67) made a distress call and flew off
course. Suicide over financial problems was later suspected.
(SFC, 4/19/02, p.A1,16)(SFC, 4/20/02, p.A9)
2002 Jun 4, Parliament approved
legislation on tougher immigration policies.
(SFC, 6/5/02, p.A13)
2002 Jun 7, It was reported
that Italy had committed to a $4.3 billion project for a suspension
bridge linking Sicily over the 2-mile-wide straits of Messina.
(WSJ, 6/7/02, p.A1)(Econ, 11/22/03, p.75)
2002 Jun, In Italy the
Parliament approved a measure to transfer all state property into a
new company called Patrimonio dello Stato SpA, a wholly owned
subsidiary of the Economy Ministry. Some assets were planned for
sale to reduce the $1.3 trillion public debt and to help finance the
bridge from Calabria to Sicily.
(WSJ, 7/23/02, p.D8)
2002 Jul 4, Italian
photographer Angelo Frontoni (76), known for his work with stars
such as Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner, died in Rome.
2002 Jul 19, Italy took steps
to return the prized Axum obelisk to Ethiopia. The 1,700-year-old
monument was hauled off by Italian forces after their 1937 invasion
of the African country. It was returned in 2003.
(AP, 7/20/02)(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A2)
2002 Jul 30, Rome decided to
have the coins collected from the Trevi fountain every day and not
just on Mondays. The next day Roberto Cercelletta (50), a
self-described unemployed Roman resident, self-inflicted razor cuts
on his stomach in a protest and asked if the money collected
has really gone to the Catholic charity Caritas in past years.
2002 Jul 31, US court papers
alleged that Russia's Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov (53) used his influence
with members of the Russian and French skating federations to fix
the outcome of the pairs and ice dancing competitions at the Salt
Lake City Winter Olympics last February. Tokhtakhounov was arrested
in Italy. Italy’s highest court denounced an extradition bid and
(Reuters, 7/31/02)(SFC, 8/1/02,
2002 Aug 8, In Indonesia
Lorenzo Taddei (34), an Italian tourist, was shot dead in Central
Sulawesi when gunmen fired on the bus he was traveling in.
2002 Aug 31, Five Kurdish
migrants were found dead in the back of a cargo truck after they
apparently suffocated during a harrowing ferry crossing from Greece
2002 Sep 14, In Italy tens of
thousands of protesters rallied in central Rome, accusing
conservative Premier Silvio Berlusconi of using political power for
his personal benefit, and saying opposition parties were not doing
enough about it.
2002 Sep 25, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi urged the United Nations to come up with a "new,
strongly worded, unambiguous and exacting" resolution on Iraq that
could authorize the use of force if Baghdad fails to comply with it.
2002 Oct 15, In Italy a heavily
armed man fatally shot his ex-wife and six other relatives and
neighbors and then killed himself in Chieri, a suburb of Turin.
(AP, 10/15/02)(SFC, 10/16/02, p.A16)
2002 Oct 31, A strong
earthquake rocked central and southern Italy, trapping about 50
children in a school in San Giuliano di Puglia after the building's
roof collapsed. 27 children and a teacher were killed.
(AP, 10/31/02)(AP, 11/1/07)
2002 Nov 9, Some 450,000
marched through Florence in a protest against globalization and U.S.
policy in Iraq.
2002 Nov 9, A dry winter and a
wet summer ravaged Italy's grapevines, causing the worst harvest in
half a century. Some regions were spared the disasters, like
the area in Tuscany where Chianti is produced and parts of southern
2002 Nov 16, In Italy thousands
of anti-globalization demonstrators marched in Rome, Florence and
Naples to protest the arrests of 20 people, including a leader of
the movement, on charges stemming from violent protests last year.
2002 Nov 19, Italian newspapers
reported that the 'ndrangheta, the Calabrian version of the Sicilian
Mafia, received 3 percent of the multimillion dollar contracts for
work on stretches of the highway that passed through their
2002 In Italy Francesco Sbano
co-produced a new malavita (mafia folk music) CD: "La Musica della
(NW, 8/26/02, p.54)
2003 Jan 16, The European
Union's Court of Justice ordered Spain and Italy to drop national
rules on what constitutes chocolate, saying they can no longer bar
British and Irish confections made with vegetable fats instead of
2003 Jan 24, Giovanni Agnelli
(81), the patriarch of the Fiat auto company, died in Turin after a
2003 Jan 27, A head-on train
collision between French and Italian passenger trains killed two
people. It appeared to be the result of human error.
2003 Jan 30, Italian police
arrested 28 Pakistanis during a routine sweep for illegal
immigrants. The arrested possessed explosives, hundreds of forged
documents and maps of the Naples area with "sensitive" targets
2003 Feb 22, In Rome,
Italy, some 2,000 cat lovers marched in the city’s 1st Cat Pride
march and demanded protection for the many, local stray cats.
(SSFC, 2/23/03, A2)
2003 Feb 17, American CIA
operatives snatched Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu
Omar) from his house in Milan and took him to Egypt, where he was
jailed, tortured and released. In 2005 an Italian judge ordered the
arrest of 13 American suspects on charges of kidnapping. In 2009
Nasr asked for euro10 million (nearly $15 million) in damages from
the American and Italian defendants charged in his abduction.
(Econ, 7/2/05, p.48)(AP, 10/7/09)(SFC, 10/8/09,
2003 Mar 6, Italian
police raided a house in Palermo and captured Salvatore
Rinella (49), a top Mafia boss.
2003 Mar 11, Benetton,
an Italian retailer, said it planned to attach salt-grain sized
microchip transmitters to clothing at its 5,000 stores.
(SFC, 3/12/03, p.B1)
2003 Mar 29, Italian Dr. Carlo
Urbani (46), a WHO expert on communicable diseases, died of SARS in
Thailand, where he was being treated after becoming infected while
working in Vietnam. Urbani was the 1st doctor to identify SARS.
2003 May 14, In Italy Premier
Silvio Berlusconi inaugurated the ambitious $4 billion "Moses"
project to ease the flooding in Venice.
2003 May, In Italy construction
began on a breakwater for Venice to prevent high tides from entering
(Econ, 9/27/03, p.80)
2003 Jul 15, Four US crew
members were killed in a fiery crash of a Navy helicopter in Italy.
2003 Jul 22, Italy's state TV
chief said she will resign as soon as Premier Silvio Berlusconi's
governing coalition passes a law opponents say will grant the
business mogul even greater control over Italian media.
2003 May 28, Prometea, the
world's 1st cloned horse, was born in Cremona, Italy.
(SFC, 8/7/03, p.A2)
2003 Sep 5, European Union
foreign ministers met in Riva del Garda, Italy, to discuss Iraq, the
tattered Mideast peace plan and their bloc's draft constitution as
some 500 anti-globalization protesters blocked main roads to an
Italian Alps town.
2003 Sep 11, The Italian Health
Ministry said at least 4,175 more elderly Italians died in the
summer heat wave that scorched Europe this year compared with the
same period last year.
2003 Sep 16, Italian consumer
groups asked for a to boycott virtually all products and services to
protest price hikes.
2003 Sep 28, A nationwide power
blackout in Italy hit virtually the whole population in the dead of
night. Power was out for as much as 18 hours. Problems began after a
tree branch hit power lines in Switzerland.
(AP, 9/28/03)(WSJ, 10/1/03, p.A1)(AP, 10/1/03)
2003 Oct 4, In Italy
anti-globalization demonstrators set fire to an employment agency,
smashed cars and windows and hurled insults at government
headquarters in Rome.
2003 Oct 4, A shipment of
uranium-enriching centrifuge gear was seized at the Italian port of
Taranto in 2003, forcing Libya to admit and eventually renounce its
efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. In 2009 Urs Tinner, suspected of
involvement in the world's biggest nuclear smuggling ring, said in a
Swiss TV documentary that he tipped off US intelligence about a
delivery of centrifuge parts meant for Libya's nuclear weapons
12/31/03, p.A1)(AP, 1/22/09)
2003 Oct 5, In Somalia
Annalena Tonelli (60), an Italian aid worker who dedicated 33 years
of her life to helping Somalis, was shot and killed outside the
hospital she founded to treat tuberculosis patients.
2003 Oct 11, In Italy
4-month-old twin Greek girls joined at the temple were successfully
separated after a 13 hour operation at a Rome hospital.
(AP, 10/12/03)(SFC, 10/15/03, p.A2)
2003 Oct 12, Renato Rinino
(41), a professional Italian thief who gained notoriety for stealing
jewelry from Prince Charles' London palace in 1994, was shot and
killed in Savona.
2003 Oct 19, An Italian coast
guard crew found 13 bodies on board a rickety wooden boat in waters
off Sicily and 15 other would-be illegal Somali immigrants suffering
from exposure and badly in need of food and water. Some 50 bodies
were consigned to the sea before the boat was found.
(AP, 10/20/03)(Econ, 10/25/03, p.48)
2003 Oct 24, In Italy police
arrested 7 alleged members of the radical Red Brigades suspected of
the 1999 killing of a Labor Ministry consultant.
2003 Oct 24, In Italy millions
of workers stayed home to protest government plans to reform the
2003 Oct 25, An Italian court
has ordered a crucifix removed from a classroom, where a law still
requires public schools to display a cross.
2003 Oct 29, Italian tenor
Franco Corelli (82), one of the top opera stars of the 20th century,
died in Milan.
(AP, 10/31/03)(SFC, 11/1/03, p.A21)
2003 Oct 30, In Italy former
Premier Giulio Andreotti was acquitted of charges he ordered the
Mafia killing of a journalist in 1979, wiping out the veteran
politician's previous conviction.
2003 Oct, Roberto Colannino
bought a controlling stake in Piaggio, the Italian scooter maker.
Debts at the time were equal to 60% of annual sales.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.64)
2003 Nov 12, In Iraq a suicide
truck bomber attacked the headquarters of Italy's paramilitary
police in Nasiriyah, killing 31 people, including 18 Italians, and
possibly trapping others.
(AP, 11/12/03)(AP, 11/13/03)
2003 Dec 6, Hundreds of
thousands of people marched through Rome to protest government plans
to reform Italy's pension system, which economists say can no longer
2003 Dec 11, The Italian
Parliament imposed controls on medically assisted reproduction.
(SFC, 12/12/03, p.A17)
2003 Dec 12, Several people
fell ill across Italy after drinking apparently tainted bottled
mineral water, the latest in a scare that has prompted prosecutors
to launch investigations across the nation.
2003 Dec 14, Venice threw
itself a party to celebrate the rebirth of the La Fenice, following
a $90 million restoration, with a gala concert that drew the Italian
president, European royalty and Italy's glitterati.
(AP, 12/15/03)(SFC, 12/15/03, p.A2)
2003 Dec 15, In Italy Calisto
Tonzi, head of Parmalat SpA, one of the world's biggest dairy firms,
resigned. [see Dec 19]
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.95)
2003 Dec 19, Parmalat SpA, an
Italian food giant, reported a $4.9 billion shortfall. Soon another
$3.6 billion in bonds was also in question. Parmalat planned to file
for bankruptcy protection in what turned into the biggest corporate
fraud in Europe's history. Parmalat employed 36,000 people in 29
countries. Fausto Tonna, former chief financial officer, soon
acknowledged that there was systematic falsification of accounts for
some 15 years. In 2001 an auditor in Brazil had raised an alarm over
financial transactions. The accounting scandal reached $17 billion.
(SFC, 12/24/03, p.B1)(WSJ, 12/26/03, p.C1)(WSJ,
3/29/04, p.A3)(Econ, 8/6/05, p.57)
2003 PM Berlusconi’s government
passed a law granting him and 4 associates immunity from criminal
prosecution while serving as PM of Italy. The law was later struck
down by Italy’s constitutional court.
(WSJ, 11/15/04, p.A1)(Econ, 11/26/05, Survey
2003 In Italy regional
legislation recognized the prosecco district, a region just north of
Venice, for sparkling wine produced with prosecco grapes.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.108)
2004 Jan 9, Norberto Bobbio
(94), an Italian liberal philosopher, essayist and senator for life,
died in Turin. One of his most important books is the 1955 "Politica
e Cultura" ("Politics and Culture"). A 1994 essay, called "Destra e
Sinistra" ("Left and Right"), was his best-selling work.
2004 Jan 28, Italian police
said they cracked a drug smuggling ring spanning four continents,
arrested more than 150 people and seized more than five tons of
2004 Feb 14, Marco Pantani
(34), Italy’s favorite cyclist, died.
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.83)
2004 Feb 17, A new study
reported that 2 cows in Italy had been found with a new form of mad
cow disease, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE).
(SFC, 2/17/04, p.A7)
2004 Feb 22, Giorgio Armani
signed a $1 billion hotel venture with Dubai’s Emaar Properties.
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.61)
2004 Mar 20, Hundreds of
thousands of people marched in Rome demanding that Italy pull its
2,600 troops out of Iraq.
2004 Mar, John Petters (21), a
Minnesota college student, was stabbed to death in Florence after he
and a friend mistakenly walked into the private grounds of a villa.
In 2005 a judge convicted Alfio Raugei (55), an Italian man, of
manslaughter and sentenced him to three years' imprisonment, after
lawyers argued the killing was in self-defense.
2004 Apr 1, Italy, Turkey,
Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands arrested 41 militants in a
coordinated crackdown on a Turkish Marxist group. Police in Istanbul
arrested 25 suspects of the Marxist Revolutionary People's
Liberation Army/Front, or DHKP-C, while security forces in the other
countries detained 16 others.
2004 Apr 13, Four Italians
working as private security guards for a U.S. company in Iraq were
reported missing, and an Arab satellite TV broadcaster said they
were kidnapped by insurgents.
2004 Apr 14, In Iraq militants
executed an Italian captive.
2004 Apr 16, In Italy Premier
Silvio Berlusconi's corruption trial resumed in Milan.
2004 Apr 19, Pierluigi Vigna,
Italy's national anti-Mafia prosecutor, said Italian mobsters and
Islamic terrorist groups have forged links in arms and drug
2004 Apr 20, Authorities in
southern Italy reported that they had seized about 7,500 Kalashnikov
assault rifles and other combat-grade firearms from a
Turkish-flagged ship headed for New York. The weapons were destined
for a company in the U.S. state of Georgia.
2004 Apr 26, Iraqi kidnappers
said they would kill 3 Italian hostages unless Italians rally
against Italy's participation in the occupation of Iraq.
(SFC, 4/27/04, p.A8)
2004 May 27, Umberto Agnelli
(69), Fiat Chairman, died in Turin.
(SFC, 5/29/04, p.B6)
2004 May 27, Vito Bigione (52),
one of Italy's most-wanted Mafia suspects, was captured in
Venezuela. He was accused of a key role in international drug
trafficking and flown back to Italy. Bigione had spent years living
in Namibia and only recently moved to Venezuela.
2004 May 27, Luca Cordero di
Montezemolo became the new chairman of Confindustria, the Italian
(Econ, 5/22/04, p.60)
2004 May, An reporter in
Sardinia reported that PM Berlusconi was transforming a grotto into
a secret boat tunnel at his Villa Certosa property and questioned
whether legal permits had been obtained. The next day the Interior
Ministry claimed that all matters relating to the villa were to be
protected under a state secrecy law.
(WSJ, 11/15/04, p.A1)
2004 Jun 11, In Palermo,
Sicily, a court convicted and sentenced 30 top Sicilian mobsters to
life imprisonment after a 10-year trial covering a total of 77
2004 Jun 11, Egon von
Furstenberg (57), a Swiss-born aristocrat known as the "prince of
high fashion,” died in Rome.
2004 Jun 13, Berlusconi’s Forza
Italia party lost a sixth of its voters in the EU elections.
(Econ, 7/3/04, p.43)
2004 Jun, Some 34 Italian
private secondary schools were caught up in an investigation into a
vast trade in bogus exam passes.
(Econ, 6/12/04, p.49)
2004 Jul 5, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi won an endorsement from his EU colleagues for
plans to narrow Italy's budget deficit with $9.2 billion in new
spending cuts and tax measures.
2004 Jul 24, The 16th edition
of Italy's Miss Cicciona contest (Italy's Miss Chubby) began in
Forcoli, central Italy.
2004 Jul 26, Al-Qaida-linked
Islamic militants threatened to "shake the earth" everywhere in
Italy if Rome does not withdraw troops from Iraq. The Internet
statement, attributed to the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, was the 2nd
such threat against the government of Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi in two weeks.
2004 Jul 28, The Italian
parliament approved structural economic reforms that included
raising the retirement age from 57 to 60 effective in 2008.
(Econ, 7/31/04, p.44)
2004 Jul 31, A 10-day manhunt
for a murder suspect ended in a shootout near the Circus Maximus in
central Rome. Luciano Liboni had allegedly killed a policeman July
2004 Jul 31, Laura Betti (70),
Italian film actress, died. Her debut was in Fellini’s “La Dolce
(SFC, 8/3/04, p.B6)
2004 Aug 1, A militant group
claiming links to al Qaeda has given Italy a 15-day deadline to
withdraw its troops from Iraq or face attacks.
2004 Sep 7, An Italian aid
organization said that two Italian women were kidnapped from its
office in Baghdad.
2004 Sep 21, Italian and
Lebanese authorities reported the arrest of 10 alleged terrorists,
thwarting plans to blow up the Italian Embassy in Beirut in a car
2004 Sep 23, A militant group
falsely claimed in a Web posting that two Italian women taken
hostage in Iraq had been killed. [see Sep 28]
2004 Sep 28, In Iraq kidnappers
released two female Italian aid workers and five other hostages. A
$1 million ransom was alleged. In 2005 it was reported that Italy's
Red Cross treated four Iraqi insurgents and hid them from U.S.
forces in exchange for the freedom of two Italian aid workers
kidnapped in Baghdad.
(AP, 9/28/04)(WSJ, 9/30/04, p.A1)(AP, 8/25/05)
2004 Oct 20, Terra Madre, an
international meeting of food communities, held its first meeting in
Turin, Italy. It formed as a part of the Slow Food movement. The
group followed with meetings every 2 years.
2004 Oct 20, Fiat SpA's auto
unit said that it will temporarily reduce production at three
factories next month, a move that will affect thousands of workers.
2004 Oct 31, In Italy unusually
high tides sent sea water sweeping through Venice, covering 80
percent of the city by afternoon.
2004 Nov 20, In southern Italy
8 people from two families were killed when a gas explosion
destroyed their apartment building.
2004 Nov 30, Italy ground to a
halt as millions of workers observed a general strike in protest
against the economic policies of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's
2004 Nov, Italy’s National
Magistrates Assoc. (ANM) staged their 3rd one-day strike under the
current parliament to protest a bill to reform the judicial system.
(Econ, 11/27/04, p.53)
2004 Dec 2, From Italy it was
reported that a mob turf war claimed more than 20 lives in the last
month in the Naples area, prompting police to launch an emergency
2004 Dec 10, Italy’s Premier
Silvio Berlusconi was acquitted of corruption charges that have
dogged his government from the start.
2004 Dec 11, Marcello
Dell'Utri, a close political ally of Italian Premier Silvio
Berlusconi, was convicted of ties with the Sicilian Mafia and
sentenced to nine years in prison.
2004 Dec 16, Italy’s Pres.
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi vetoed a bill that would have placed
magistrates under government oversight and forced them to choose
between careers as judges or prosecutors.
(SFC, 12/17/04, p.A3)
2004 Dec 17, Italy's interior
ministry said 181 people had been arrested in the past three months
in a crackdown on the Camorra in Naples whose turf warfare now
overshadows that of the Sicilian mafia.
2004 Dec 18, Naples police said
they have broken up a mob protection racket focused on local
bakeries and flour makers.
2004 Italy imported more shoes
than it exported for the 1st time.
(WSJ, 6/13/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 1, Italy was forecast
for 1.8% annual GDP growth with a population at 58.1 million and GDP
per head at $31,410.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.88)
2005 Jan 7, In northern Italy a
passenger train and a freight train collided in thick fog on the
Bologna-Verona line, killing 17 people and injuring dozens.
(AP, 1/7/05)(WSJ, 1/10/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 10, New Italian
legislation went into effect to stop smoking in restaurants and
bars. Officials extended the initial Jan 1 date for the benefit of
New Year revelers.
(SFC, 12/21/04, p.A7)(WSJ, 1/10/05, p.A10)
2005 Jan 22, In Italy a war
within the Camorra, the regional mafia of Naples, was reported to
have claimed 35 lives over the last 4 months.
(Econ, 1/22/05, p.46)
2005 Feb 2, The EU told Italy,
France and Germany, to do more to bring their budgets in balance as
required by the rules of Europe's single currency.
2005 Feb 4, Gunmen seized
Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist in central Baghdad, in a hail
of gunfire after she had been interviewing people who fled the US
assault last year on the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
2005 Feb 8, A Web posting in
the name of a militant group in Iraq claimed to have executed
Italian female journalist Giuliana Sgrena.
2005 Feb 16, CEO Sergio
Marchionne announced Fiat SpA will buy the Maserati sportscar brand
from Ferrari, a company in which it already had a majority stake,
just three days after winning independence from General Motors Corp.
(AP, 2/16/05)(Econ, 4/26/08, p.88)
2005 Mar 4, American troops
fired on a car taking Giuliana Sgrena to Baghdad's airport and
wounded her. Nicola Calipari, the Italian intelligence officer who
negotiated her freedom, was hit by the gunfire and died in her arms.
Sgrena returned to Italy the next day. In 2007 an Italian court
threw out the case against the US soldier charged in the shooting of
(AP, 3/5/05)(AP, 10/25/07)
2005 Mar 6, Giuliana Sgrena,
the Italian journalist wounded by American troops in Iraq after her
release by insurgents, rejected the U.S. military's account of the
shooting and declined Sunday to rule out the possibility she was
2005 Mar 15, Pres. Berlusconi
announced that Italy would begin pulling its 3,300 troops out of
Iraq in September. The next day he said the withdrawal date was
merely a hope.
(AP, 3/16/05)(Econ, 3/19/05, p.56)
2005 Mar 17, Italian airline
Alitalia SpA said that the latest strike by flight attendants could
plunge the struggling carrier into bankruptcy.
2005 Mar 24, Istat reported
that Italy’s economy contracted 0.4% in the previous quarter due in
part to a fall in exports.
(WSJ, 3/25/05, p.A7)
2005 Mar 30, Dutch bank ABN
Amro announced a 6.3 billion euros ($8.1 billion) bid for the 87
percent of Italian bank Antonveneta it does not already own, the
second foreign offer for an Italian bank in as many days.
2005 Apr 7, Pres. Bush met with
Premier Berlusconi and Pres. Ciampi one day after viewing the pope’s
body at the Vatican.
(SFC, 4/7/05, p.A13)
2005 Apr 13, Italian regulator
Consob said it has approved a bid by Spanish bank Banco Bilbao
Vizcaya Argentaria SA for Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, in
what would become the euro zone's largest cross-border banking
2005 Apr 15, Italy’s government
teetered near collapse after 2 coalition parties said they would
withdraw from PM Berlusconi’s government.
(SFC, 4/16/05, p.A7)
2005 Apr 18, Italy's Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi agreed a deal with rebel ministers of the
Christian Democrat UDC party to form a new centre-right government
and avoid snap elections.
2005 Apr 20, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi said he would step down but pledged to form a new
government, an attempt to strengthen a coalition left weakened by
electoral defeat and concerns over a slow economy.
2005 Apr 23, Silvio Berlusconi
formed a new government and will present his choice of Cabinet
ministers to Italy's legislators for approval in the hopes of
avoiding new elections. Berlusconi was sworn in as head of Italy's
60th government since the end of World War II.
2005 Apr 28, Premier Silvio
Berlusconi's new government won approval from the Italian Senate,
ending a government crisis that followed an embarrassing defeat in
2005 Apr 29, Italy and the
United States said they had failed to agree on whether U.S. soldiers
were at fault in the death of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq.
2005 Apr 29, Italy slashed its
2005 growth forecast by almost half to 1.2 percent and warned its
budget deficit could hit 4 percent of gross domestic product.
2005 May 2, Italian
investigators blamed US military authorities for failing to signal
there was a checkpoint ahead on the Baghdad road where American
soldiers killed an Italian agent, concluding in a report that
stress, inexperience and fatigue played a role in the shooting.
2005 May 10, Italy's
center-left opposition celebrated as returns from local elections in
Sardinia and 2 northern regions dealt Premier Berlusconi's forces
another embarrassing defeat.
2005 May 18, Police arrested
nine terror suspects during raids in northern Italy in what they
said was a crackdown on extremist cells accused of planning attacks
in Italy and abroad.
2005 May 24, Italian police
raided the homes and offices of 186 suspected members of a child
pornography ring, including three Roman Catholic priests and a local
mayor, that downloaded pictures from an exclusive Web site.
2005 May 25, In Italy a judge
ordered best-selling author Oriana Fallaci to face trial on charges
of defaming Islam in her recent book "The Strength of Reason."
Fallaci, who is in her 70s, said she is accused of violating an
Italian law that prohibits "outrage to religion."
2005 May, Italy reported that
it had fallen back into recession for the 1st quarter of 2005.
(Econ, 5/21/05, p.13)
2005 Jun 5, An accident inside
the Frejus Alpine tunnel between France and Italy killed at least
two people. A truck loaded with tires and another carrying glue
caught fire along with four other vehicles.
2005 Jun 7, The EU head office
said that Italy broke the bloc's budget rules with excessive
deficits in 2003 and 2004 and is likely to breach the limit again
this year and in 2006.
2005 Jun 9, Clementina Cantoni
(32), an Italian aid worker kidnapped at gunpoint in the Afghan
capital three weeks ago, was released.
2005 Jun 12, The Venice
Biennale opened under the direction of Rosa Martinez and Maria de
(Econ, 6/4/05, p.80)
2005 Jun 12, Italians voted in
national referendums on whether to loosen assisted fertility
legislation. 90% voted to change the law but only 26% of eligible
voters bothered to turn out.
(AP, 6/12/05)(Econ, 6/18/05, p.48)
2005 Jun 12, UniCredit, Italy’s
largest bank, announced the takeover HVB Group, Germany’s 2nd
biggest. This gave UniCredit a commanding presence in Germany,
Austria and Poland.
(Econ, 6/18/05, p.70)(Econ, 10/12/13, SR p.8)
2005 Jun 13, In Italy a
Vatican-backed voter boycott helped defeat efforts to ease
restrictions on assisted procreation and embryo research.
2005 Jun 14, Carlo Maria
Giulini (91), renowned conductor, died in Brescia, Italy.
(SFC, 6/16/05, p.B7)
2005 Jun 22, In La Spezia,
Italy, 10 former members of the Nazi SS were convicted in absentia
of taking part in the 1944 massacre of more than 500 villagers in
the Tuscan village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema and sentenced to life in
2005 Jun 24, An Italian
official said a judge has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents for
allegedly helping deport an imam to Egypt as part of U.S.
anti-terrorism efforts. The agents are suspected in the seizure of
an Egyptian-born imam identified as Abu Omar on the streets of Milan
in February 2003.
2005 Jun 29, The EU gave Italy
until the end of 2007 to cut its budget deficit in line with
euro-zone rules, a warning that is powerless as it carries no
2005 Jun 29, Some 400 would-be
immigrants from Africa landed on Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island
south of Sicily, and air patrols spotted at least 200 more on their
2005 Jul 8, In Italy a judge
convicted and sentenced to life in prison three members of the Red
Brigades terrorist group for the 1999 killing of a government labor
adviser, court officials said. A fourth was convicted and sentenced
to nine years.
2005 Jul 11, A judge ordered
the arrest and isolation of 3 senior officers of the Banco di
Credito Cooperativo Sofige Gela, a small bank on Sicily’s southern
coast. The had been under investigation for aiding and abetting the
(Econ, 7/16/05, p.72)
2005 Jul 12, Antonio Fazio,
governor of the Bank of Italy, informed his friend Gianpiero
Fiorani, head of Banca Popolare Italiana (BPI), that BPI’s bid for
the Antonveneta bank had received a go ahead before making the news
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.67)(WSJ, 9/13/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul 13, In Brescia, Italy,
a judge convicted two North Africans of belonging to an extremist
cell alleged to have planned attacks, including one against Milan's
subway. Moroccan Mohamed Rafik was sentenced to four years and eight
months in prison and Tunisian Kamel Hamraoui to three years and four
2005 Jul 20, A Milan prosecutor
sought arrest warrants for six more purported CIA operatives,
accusing them of helping plan the kidnapping of an Egyptian radical
2005 Jul 22, The Italian
government approved a package of anti-terrorism measures that allow
authorities to take DNA samples from suspects and jail those who
provide explosives training.
2005 Jul 25, An appeals court
in Milan, Italy, issued arrest warrants for six more purported CIA
operatives accused of helping plan the 2003 kidnapping of a radical
Egyptian Muslim cleric.
2005 Jul 25, Magistrates in
Italy impounded BPI’s shares in Antonveneta. 2 days later Consob,
Italy’s stockmarket regulator, froze BPI’s offer for up to 90 days.
[see Jul 12]
(Econ, 8/13/05, p.57)
2005 Jul 29, Osman Hussain
(27), a Briton with Ethiopian citizenship, was arrested in Rome
after investigators traced his cell phone calls across Europe. He is
accused of trying to attack the Shepherd's Bush subway station in
2005 Jul, Italian police
arrested two Slovenians who allegedly mailed steroids and other
performance-enhancing drugs to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and other
customers around the world.
2005 Aug 6, A Tunis Air jet
carrying 35 passengers went down in the sea off the Sicilian coast,
and rescuers were on their way. 16 people were killed, while 23
survived. A bad fuel gauge on the Tuninter plane caused the crash.
On March 23, 2009, the Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of
taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, was
sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his
co-pilot. Another five employees of Tuninter, a subsidiary of
Tunisair, were sentenced to between 8 and 9 years in jail.
(AP, 8/5/05)(AP, 8/7/05)(WSJ, 9/8/05,
2005 Aug 13, An Italian
newspaper reported that more than 100 Italian troops whose tours in
southern Iraq have ended are not being replaced, apparently marking
the beginning of the country's withdrawal from Iraq ahead of
2005 Aug 13, A small plane
carrying tourists crashed in southern Italy, killing at least two
2005 Aug 15, Italy’s Interior
Minister said Italy has arrested 141 people in a security swoop
following the bombings in London and Egypt last month and remains at
high risk from an attack by Islamic militants. Expulsion procedures
had begun against 701 people.
2005 Aug 6, A Tunis Air jet
carrying 35 passengers went down in the sea off the Sicilian coast,
and rescuers were on their way. At least 13 people were killed,
while 23 survived. A bad fuel gauge on the Tuninter plane cause the
(AP, 8/5/05)(AP, 8/7/05)(WSJ, 9/8/05, p.A1)
2005 Sep 1, In Italy a summer
music hit has sparked a war of words between left-wingers and
neo-fascists who claim the Colombian pop song, "La camisa negra"
("The black shirt"), as their anthem.
2005 Sep 2, Premier Silvio
Berlusconi's Cabinet approved a reform program for Italy's central
bank that includes a seven-year fixed term for the Bank of Italy
2005 Sep 6, Italy's Fiat SpA is
to launch a new version of its Punto, Fiat's most popular model. The
company has sold 6 million Puntos since launching the car in 1993.
In 1997 the Punto became the best-selling car in Europe, with
600,000 models sold.
2005 Sep 9, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi's Cabinet approved a bill to limit the use of
phone taps, legislation prompted after conversations recorded during
a bank takeover investigation were leaked to the media this summer.
2005 Sep 10, Masked gunmen
abducted Lorenzo Cremonesi of the Corriere della Serra daily, an
Italian journalist in the Gaza Strip town of Deir El-Balah. He was
released after a few hours.
2005 Sep 16, Premier Silvio
Berlusconi declared Italy's mission in Iraq "an absolute and total"
success, and said Italy would continue to reduce its military
2005 Sep 16, Italian officials
said they have captured Paolo Di Lauro (52), an alleged top boss of
the Camorra crime syndicate, dealing what they said was a serious
blow to organized crime in the Naples area.
2005 Sep 20, Fiat of Italy
struck a deal with Zastava of Kragujevac, Serbia, to make up to
16,000 cars a year. Zastava’s arms plant made a recent $3.8 million
contract with Iraq.
(Econ, 10/1/05, p.47)
2005 Sep 21, Domenica
Siniscalco, Italy's economy minister, resigned in a row over the
Bank of Italy and the budget, dealing a major blow to PM Silvio
Berlusconi months before an election that polls say he is likely to
(AP, 9/22/05)(Econ, 9/24/05, p.61)
2005 Sep 25, Italy's government
stripped Bank of Italy Governor Antonio Fazio of his authority to
represent the country at a World Bank meeting.
2005 Sep 26, Italian PM Silvio
Berlusconi was cleared of charges of false bookkeeping in a case
involving funding for the former Socialist party.
2005 Sep 26, Dutch bank ABN
Amro said it had signed a contract with Banca Popolare Italiana and
its allies to buy their 39.37 percent stake in Banca Antonveneta for
a total outlay of 3.2 billion euros (3.85 billion dollars).
2005 Sep 28, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi said a $5.2 billion project to build flood
barriers to save Venice from its high tides will go forward.
2005 Oct 14, Italy's culture
industry pledged to shut down theaters, cinemas and cancel concerts
throughout the country for the day to protest planned cuts to the
2005 Oct 14, Italy’s Alitalia
airline, 62.3% owned by the government, approved a revised corporate
plan for 2005-2008.
(Econ, 10/22/05, p.70)
2005 Oct 16, Italy held
primaries to select the center-left's candidate to challenge
conservative Premier Silvio Berlusconi in next year's election.
Former Italian premier Romano Prodi made a sweeping victory in a
(AP, 10/16/05)(AP, 10/17/05)
2005 Oct 16, In Italy
center-left politician Francesco Fortugno was shot as he voted in a
nationwide primary in the small Calabrian town of Locri. In March
2006 police arrested 5 suspects in Reggio Calabria.
(AP, 10/22/05)(AP, 3/21/06)
2005 Oct 18, In Rome, Italy, a
teenager (15) who appeared on the roof of his family home with a
pistol following the shooting deaths of his parents was taken into
custody after an officer coaxed him down by telling him the couple
was only wounded.
2005 Oct 19-2005 Oct 20, Police
arrested total of 58 people for drug trafficking in Italy, Spain,
France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Serbia-Montenegro. The arrests
were a response to the Oct 16 murder of Italian politician Francesco
2005 Oct 23, Pope Benedict XVI
named five new saints at the close of a 3-week Synod of Bishops.
They included: Italians Felice da Nicosia, a lay Capuchin who lived
in the 1700s, and the Rev. Gaetano Cantanoso, who founded the
Veronican Sisters of the Holy Face in 1934.
2005 Oct 25, Police in riot
gear charged demonstrators in the streets near Italian PM Silvio
Berlusconi's office as students protested university reforms
sponsored by his conservative government.
2005 Oct 28, An Italian court
held the first in a series of closed-door hearings to decide whether
to indict Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and 13 others for alleged
fraud at his family's broadcaster Mediaset.
2005 Oct 28, Police in Sicily
said they have arrested two suspected mobsters accused of plotting
to murder a judge with a car bomb.
2005 Nov 7, Fiat SpA and Ford
Motor Co. said they had signed an agreement to collaborate on small
cars, completing a deal to co-develop new models due in 2007 and
2005 Nov 8, Iraqi Pres. Jalal
Talabani met with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a strong
supporter of the US-led war in Iraq. Talabani is on a weeklong visit
to Italy, which includes talks with the country's top officials and
a meeting at the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI.
2005 Nov 11, An Italian
prosecutor said that the Milan prosecutor's office has asked for the
extradition of 22 purported CIA operatives in the kidnapping of an
Egyptian cleric in 2003.
2005 Nov 11, An Italian
newspaper reported that a long-awaited Vatican document, to be
released Nov 29, says practicing gays, those with "deeply rooted"
homosexual tendencies or those who support gay culture cannot be
admitted to the priesthood.
2005 Nov 15-2005 Nov 16,
Italian authorities arrested three Algerians believed to have links
to an Algerian militant group that has allied itself with Osama bin
2005 Nov 16, The Italian Senate
passed constitutional reform that imposed an eccentric form of
proportional representation. It was designed to give the prime
minister presidential powers.
2005 Nov 18, An Italian judge
who refuses to hear cases because there are crucifixes in the
nation's courtrooms was convicted of failing to carry out his
official duties and sentenced to seven months in jail.
2005 Nov 19, Pope Benedict XVI
and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi discussed relations between
the Catholic Church and Italy, amid accusations that the church
interferes in the country's domestic affairs.
2005 Nov 25, Across Italy
public transportation ground to a halt, public offices shut down and
thousands rallied as part of a general strike against the
government's 2006 budget.
2005 Nov, In Italy opposition
politicians claimed that tax evasion adds up to as much as $234
billion a year.
(Econ, 11/26/05, Italy p.12)
2005 Dec 8, It was reported
that a new Italian law required businesses, that offered Internet
access to the public, to ask clients for ID and to log the owner’s
name a document type.
(SFC, 12/8/05, p.C5)
2005 Dec 15, French and Italian
authorities said European police have broken up the biggest-ever
illegal immigration ring targeting Britain by arresting dozens of
suspects believed to have helped smuggle "thousands" of people into
2005 Dec 15, Italy's defense
minister said the country will pull 300 more troops out of Iraq in
January, continuing a gradual withdrawal begun earlier this year.
2005 Dec 16, Italian
prosecutors showed a court thank you notes and other correspondence
that they contended proved a former curator at the J. Paul Getty
museum knew artifacts were being illegally acquired.
2005 Dec 19, In Italy Antonio
Fazio, embattled central bank chief, resigned.
2005 Dec 20, Italy’s government
passed an overhaul package to scale back the power and
responsibilities of the central bank governor.
(WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A14)
2005 Dec 20, Argentina Brunetti
(98), a character actress who played the worried wife of Mr. Martini
in the classic film "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946), died in Rome.
Her autobiography, "In Sicilian Company," which chronicles her
family's show business adventures, was released in October.
2005 Dec 22, Italy's antitrust
authority said it has opened an investigation to determine whether
Premier Silvio Berlusconi violated conflict of interest rules when
his government approved subsidies to Italians who buy
2005 Dec 23, An Italian judge
issued EU arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives in
connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a
Milan street in 2003. the warrants allowed for the arrest of the
suspects in any of the 25 EU member countries.
2005 Dec 23, Police in southern
Italy arrested three Algerians on international terrorism charges
and accused them of planning attacks in Iraq and Italy.
2005 Dec 29, Italy’s Newspaper
Corriere della Sera reported that prosecutors accused Premier
Berlusconi of ordering the payment of at least $600,000 to British
lawyer David Mills in 1997 to give false testimony in two trials
against the premier.
2005 Dec 29, Mario Draghi, an
investment banker and former Treasury official, was named Bank of
Italy governor to succeed Antonio Fazio.
2005 Dec, In Italy Daniela
Santanche of the right-win National Alliance succeeded in putting a
new porn tax into the 2006 budget.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.72)
2005 In Italy Mitchell Wolfson,
American collector, opened his Wolfsoniana Museum at Nervi, to be
run by the commune of Genoa. He specialized in collecting political
propaganda and decorative art made between 1880 and 1945
illustrating the evolution of modern Western design.
2005 Italy’s public debt
climbed from 103.8 percent of GDP in 2004 to 106.4 percent, the
greatest hike since 1994. In mid-2006 it reached 108% of GDP.
2006 Jan 3, Urbano Lazzaro
(81), a resistance fighter credited with arresting fascist dictator
Benito Mussolini at the end of World War II, died in Vercelli,
2006 Jan 6, In Yemen 5 Italian
hostages were freed in good health after six days in captivity when
their kidnappers surrendered to government troops.
2006 Jan 8, Almost 500 would-be
illegal immigrants have arrived on Italy's Mediterranean island of
Lampedusa, between Sicily and North Africa, in the past 24 hours.
2006 Jan 12, Italy's Air One
said it will buy 30 Airbus A320s under a $1.8 billion deal for
delivery by 2008 and plans to exercise an option to buy 10 more
planes this year.
2006 Jan 14, Tens of thousands
of women marched through Milan to demand Italy keep its liberal
abortion law intact while gays rallied in Rome to push for legal
recognition for homosexual couples.
2006 Jan 19, Italy’s defense
minister said Italy will withdraw all its troops from Iraq by the
end of this year, in the first official timetable for Rome to end
2006 Jan, Italy’s PM Silvio
Berlusconi sent out letters telling the parents of some 600,000
babies born in 2005 how to receive a 1,000 euro "baby bonus" from
the state. The letter was sent to all families with a new-born,
including immigrants, even though the cash bonus was meant only for
Italian babies. In April the Economy Ministry asked all those who
claimed the money but were not entitled to it, estimated at 3,000
immigrant families, to pay it back.
2006 Feb 2, Italy's government
won a vote of confidence in the upper house of parliament on a broad
decree that includes financing for the country's mission in Iraq.
2006 Feb 6, In Rome, Italy, a
bus loaded with Turkish tourists veered off a road in the Italian
capital and slid about 50 feet down a ravine, killing 12 people.
2006 Feb 8, The Italian Senate
approved a bill that would dramatically increase the number of women
elected to parliament in a country with one of the lowest number of
female lawmakers in Europe.
2006 Feb 9, Premier Silvio
Berlusconi's government easily won a confidence vote in the Chamber
of Deputies on a bill that included financing the country's military
2006 Feb 9, An Italian judge
dismissed an atheist's petition that a small-town priest should
stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed. Luigi Cascioli,
a 72-year-old retired agronomist, had accused the Rev. Enrico Righi
of violating two laws with the assertion, which he called a
deceptive fable propagated by the Roman Catholic Church.
2006 Feb 10, Opening ceremonies
were held in Turin, Italy, for the 20th Winter Olympics.
(SFC, 2/11/06, p.A1)
2006 Feb 10, Greece and Italy
said they had found swans with the H5N1 bird flu virus, the first
known cases in the European Union of wild birds with the deadly
strain of the disease.
2006 Feb 11, Italy dissolved
its parliament and scheduled elections for early April, opening a
campaign that pits Premier Silvio Berlusconi against a strong
2006 Feb 11, American Chad
Hedrick won the 5,000 meters in speedskating at the Olympics in
2006 Feb 13, Joey Cheek (26),
American speedskater, won a gold medal in the 500-meter sprint in
Turin, Italy, and announced that he would donate his $25,000 award
from the US Olympic Committee Olympic Aid, founded by Olav Koss in
1994 and direct it to a refugee program in Chad. Hannah Teter won
gold and Gretchen Bleiler won silver in the halfpipe. Tatiana
Totmianina and Maxim Marinin won the gold medal in pairs figure
skating, extending Russia's four-decade dominance of the event.
(SFC, 2/14/06, p.A1)(AP, 2/13/07)
2006 Feb 14, At Turin, American
Ted Ligety won Olympic gold in men's combined skiing, while Bode
Miller was disqualified for straddling a gate.
2006 Feb 16, Russia's Evgeni
Plushenko beat world champion Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland by an
unfathomable 27.12 points to win the gold medal in men's figure
skating at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
2006 Feb 16, In Afghanistan the
bodies of two Italian aid workers were found in a guarded compound
in Kabul. The Italian news agency ANSA said the two could have died
from carbon monoxide poisoning from a defective stove in the
2006 Feb 18, Italy's Reforms
Minister Roberto Calderoli resigned following deadly clashes in
Libya over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that he had made into
T-shirts and wore on state television.
2006 Feb 18, In Italy Kjetil
Andre Aamodt of Norway outwaited the weather and outran the field to
successfully defend the men's super-G title for his record eighth
Olympic Alpine medal. American Shani Davis won the men's 1,000-meter
speedskating in Turin, becoming the first black athlete to win an
individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history.
(AP, 2/18/06)(AP, 2/18/07)
2006 Feb 20, At the Turin
Olympics, Tanith Belbin and partner Ben Agosto snapped the US medals
drought in figure skating with a silver; Russians Tatiana Navka and
Roman Kostomarov won the gold.
2006 Feb 21, New York's
Metropolitan Museum of Art and Italy signed a deal under which it
will return antiquities Italy says were looted in exchange for
long-term loans of other artifacts.
2006 Feb 23, Japan's Shizuka
Arakawa stunned favorites Sasha Cohen of the United States and Irina
Slutskaya of Russia to claim the women's figure skating gold medal
at the Turin Winter Olympics.
2006 Feb 24, Julia Mancuso won
gold in the women's giant slalom at the Turin Olympics.
2006 Feb 25, Apolo Anton Ohno
upset favored South Korean Ahn Hyun-soo to win the gold in the
500-meter short track speedskating event at the Winter Games in
2006 Feb 26, On the final day
of the Turin Winter Olympics, Sweden beat Finland 3-2 to win the
men's hockey gold. Germany led the gold medal count with 29. The US
won 25 medals including 9 gold, Canada won 24, Austria 23 and Russia
22. Drew Lachey leaped to victory with professional partner Cheryl
Burke on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Shizuka Arakawa won a gold
medal for Japan in figure skating.
(SFC, 2/27/06, p.A1)(SFC, 2/27/06, p.A1)(AP,
2006 Mar 2, Tommaso Onofri, a
17-month-old epileptic boy, was kidnapped from his home in
Casalbaroncolo, near Parma, Italy. His body was found April 1. He
was killed by blows to the head with a shovel. Suspects Mario
Alessi, a construction worker, and Salvatore Raimondi have been
accusing each other of killing the child shortly after the
kidnapping. A woman was accused of complicity in the kidnapping.
(AP, 3/7/06)(AP, 4/3/06)
2006 Mar 10, Prosecutors in
Milan said they have requested that Italian Premier Silvio
Berlusconi be indicted on corruption charges.
2006 Mar 11, Premier Silvio
Berlusconi denounced Italy's judiciary as a danger to democracy and
promised changes to the system as he tries to hold on to the
premiership in next month's election.
2006 Mar 14, In Italy 2 local
trains collided head-on outside a station near Milan, killing at
least two people.
2006 Mar 24, In Italy the film
“Il caimano” (The Cayman), directed by Nanni Moretti, was released.
It was loosely about PM Silvio Berlusconi, but not the
anti-Berlusconi diatribe that had been expected.
(Econ, 4/1/06, p.42)
2006 Mar 27, PM Silvio
Berlusconi said on radio that he does not want Italy to become a
multiethnic, multicultural country, drawing plaudits from a
right-wing ally and criticism from center-left opponents.
2006 Apr 9-2006 Apr 10, Italy
held parliamentary elections. Conservative Premier Silvio Berlusconi
faced a strong challenge from his center-left opponent Romano Prodi
in a bitter campaign marked by disenchantment over Italy's stagnant
(AP, 4/9/06)(Econ, 4/8/06, p.28)
2006 Apr 11, Center-left
challenger Romano Prodi claimed an outright electoral victory over
Premier Silvio Berlusconi before official results were in, but the
slim margin could return Italy to political paralysis and
2006 Apr 11, Bernardo
Provenzano (73), Italy's reputed No. 1 Mafia boss, was arrested at a
farmhouse in Sicily after frustrating investigators' efforts to
catch him during more than 40 years on the run.
(AP, 4/11/06)(SFC, 4/12/06, p.A7)
2006 Apr 12, Italian police
arrested three people suspected of aiding Italy's No. 1 fugitive and
reputed Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano, who was captured a day
2006 Apr 13, Dame Muriel Spark
(b.1918) died in Tuscany, Italy. Her spare and humorous novels made
her one of the most admired British writers of the post World War II
years. Her work of 23 novels, included the autobiographical "The
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1961), which was later adapted for a
Broadway hit (1966) and a movie.
(AP, 4/15/06)(Econ, 4/22/06, p.83)
2006 Apr 19, A top Italian
court confirmed the slim electoral victory of center-left economist
Romano Prodi over Premier Silvio Berlusconi, according to Italian
2006 Apr 22, Alida Valli (84),
Italian movie star, died in Rome. She appeared in over 100 films
that included “The Third Man” (1949).
(SFC, 4/27/06, p.B7)
2006 May 2, PM Silvio
Berlusconi, the longest-serving leader in postwar Italy, resigned to
make way for a center-left government led by Romano Prodi.
2006 May 5, In Afghanistan a
roadside bomb killed two Italian soldiers and wounded four as they
were traveling to help Afghan police hurt in an attack near Kabul.
2006 May 10, The Italian
Parliament elected Giorgio Napolitano (80), a former Communist, to
be president, paving the way for a government headed by center-left
leader Romano Prodi to be formed within days.
2006 May 12, Spain's Banco
Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) agreed to the French bank BNP
Paribas' purchase of its 14.75-percent stake in Italy's Banca
Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), saying it will reap 567 million euros
(731 million dollars) in capital gains from the sale.
2006 May 16, Italy’s top
sporting body put the national football federation under emergency
rule as prosecutors looked into a match-fixing scandal involving the
Juventus team of Turin in 19 games in the 2004-05 season.
(Econ, 5/20/06, p.53)
2006 May 17, Romano Prodi
became prime minister of Italy, forming the country's 61st postwar
government more than a month after his center-left coalition
narrowly won parliamentary elections.
2006 May 21, Local authorities
said boats carrying more than 400 migrants have been intercepted off
Lampedusa over the past 48 hours, overwhelming the tiny island south
2006 May 23, Italy's new deputy
economics minister called the nation's economic situation "a
disaster," saying the deficit in 2006 may exceed 4.5 percent of
gross domestic product.
2006 May 26, Italy said it will
pull 1,100 of its troops from Iraq in June, giving its first
specific numbers about the planned withdrawal.
2006 May 26, In Naples, Italy,
the body of a man was found in a manhole with a knife in his
abdomen. He was soon identified as Lewis Brooks Miskell (49), a
Canadian diplomat missing since March.
2006 Jun 10, In Calabria,
Italy, killers shot a farmer who had filed complaints against people
who had put a squeeze on him. Calabria’s ‘ndrangheta, a homebred
Mafia, would often present bullets by post to intended targets.
(Econ, 6/17/06, p.71)
2006 Jun 20, Italian police
arrested at least 45 people in an anti-Mafia crackdown in Sicily,
including top bosses who had allegedly been in touch with Bernardo
Provenzano, the reputed No. 1 boss picked up earlier this year.
2006 Jun 25, Italians voted in
a constitutional referendum on whether to give regions more clout
and shift power to the premier to encourage more stability in a
country that has had 61 governments since World War II.
2006 Jun 26, Near-final returns
showed Italians soundly rejected massive changes to the country's
postwar constitution that proponents had argued would increase
political stability and modernize the country.
2006 Jun 27, Italy's ruling
coalition agreed to withdraw as many as 400 soldiers from
Afghanistan, dealing another blow to US-led military efforts
2006 Jun 28, Italy's
center-left government won a confidence vote, a motion it had called
itself in a political maneuver to gain more time to implement a
package of reforms.
2006 Jun 30, Pierluigi Bersani,
Italian minister for economic development, rushed a decree through
cabinet abolishing some of the more abstruse regulations in the
services industry that throttled economic activity. This sparked
wildcat protests by taxi drivers. The taxi strikes ended July 17
following concessions from the government.
(Econ, 7/8/06, p.59)(SSFC, 7/23/06, p.G2)
2006 Jul 5, Italian prosecutors
said they had arrested two Italian intelligence officers and were
seeking four more Americans as part of an investigation into the
alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan in 2003.
2006 Jul 7, Former Italian PM
Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to stand trial following an
investigation into the sale of television rights at Mediaset SpA.
2006 Jul 9, Italy beat France
5-3 in a shootout following a 1-1 tie in the World Cup final.
Zinedine Zidane, captain of the French team, was sent off for
head-butting an Italian player.
(SFC, 7/10/06, p.A1)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.49)
2006 Jul 11, In Italy Piaggio
& C. SpA, the maker of the iconic Vespa scooter, defied weak
market conditions that have derailed other planned public offerings
recently to see its shares surge above the IPO price in their debut
2006 Jul 18, Authorities freed
about 100 Poles forced into virtual slavery as Italian and Polish
police arrested 25 people involved in a human trafficking ring that
brought farm workers to Italy.
2006 Jul 25, Italian carmaker
Fiat Group and India's Tata Motors Ltd. announced they have signed
an agreement for a joint-venture in India to make passenger
vehicles, engines and transmissions for Indian and overseas markets.
2006 Aug 10-2006 Aug 11,
Italian police raided Internet cafes, money-transfer offices and
long-distance phone call centers catering to Muslims and arrested 40
people in a crackdown linked to Britain's announcement it had
thwarted an alleged terror plot.
2006 Aug 12, In northern Italy
the stabbed body of Hina Saleem (21) was found in the garden of the
family home at Sarezzo. She was killed by her father because she
refused to conform to an Islamic lifestyle. News reports said the
family had been insisting on an arranged marriage with a cousin in
Pakistan. The father and three other men, including her uncle, were
charged with premeditated murder and hiding the body.
2006 Aug 18, At least 10 people
died and as many as 40 were feared missing when a small boat packed
with illegal immigrants sank off Sicily, prompting Italy to call for
greater cooperation to fight human trafficking.
2006 Aug 19, Ten bodies were
found and about 20 other people were believed missing after a 2nd
boat in 2 days carrying would-be immigrants sank off the Italian
island of Lampedusa. Some 70 survivors were plucked from the water
after the boat sank, several of whom said there had been 120 people
on the boat.
2006 Aug 28, Italy approved
2,500 troops in a boost to an expanded international force in
2006 Sep 2, Italian soldiers
poured into Lebanon, part of the first large contingent of
international troops dispatched to boost the UN force keeping the
peace between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
2006 Sep 2, A small boat of
African migrants from Eritrea was intercepted off the coast of
Sicily. They said eight people died during their grueling trip. They
had left from Libya 10-12 days earlier.
2006 Sep 9, Italy's PM Romano
Prodi said Syria has agreed "in principle" to a European Union
presence on its border to help stem the flow of weapons into
2006 Sep 10, The Chinese film
“Still Life” won the top award as the 11-day Venice Film Festival
came to a close. The Chinese film was about the Three Gorges Dam
(SFC, 9/11/06, p.D5)
2006 Sep 15, Oriana Fallaci
(76), the Italian writer and journalist best known for her abrasive
interviews and provocative stances, died overnight in Florence.
2006 Sep 19, Police in southern
Italy arrested scores of people in an overnight crackdown on
organized crime, including on clans that had a grip on the local
2006 Sep 21, Italy formally
handed over security responsibility of the southern Dhi Qar province
to Iraqi forces, the second of the country's 18 provinces to be
handed over to local control. 2 people were killed and another nine
were wounded when a car bomb exploded near an electricity company
office in Baghdad. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July and
August hit a record-high 6,599.
2006 Oct 2, Italian police said
they had smashed an Algerian Islamic fundamentalist cell that gave
logistical support to suspected militants in Algeria.
2006 Oct 3, A Turkish Airlines
plane carrying 113 people from Albania to Istanbul landed in Italy
where a Turkish man surrendered and released all the passengers
unharmed. The Turkish army deserter who hijacked the airliner sought
asylum because he fears persecution in his Muslim homeland after his
conversion to Christianity and wanted Pope Benedict XVI's
(AP, 10/4/06)(AP, 10/3/07)
2006 Oct 12, In Italy the
government of Romano Prodi approved a bill to erode the
near-monopoly over private television exercised by Silvio
Berlusconi, who controls 3 of the country’s 4 main private channels.
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.61)
2006 Oct 12, Gillo Pontecorvo
(b.1919), Italian filmmaker, died in Rome at age 86. He directed the
black-and-white classic "The Battle of Algiers" (1966).
2006 Oct 13, Italy’s Economy
Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa said tax evasion is a "disease which
exists in all countries, but in Italy it is an epidemic." The next
day 2005 data on tax returns by the self-employed, among whom
evasion is considered particularly rife, made front page news in
most of newspapers.
2006 Oct 14, Two Italian
tourists, freed in Libya after being kidnapped in August in Niger,
denounced their captors as bandits and said they were mistreated
during their ordeal.
2006 Oct 17, The Italian bank
Sanpaolo won a five-way race for control of Bank of Alexandria, the
first Egyptian bank to be privatized in a selloff worth 1.6 billion
2006 Oct 17, In Italy a subway
train rammed into another train halted at the Piazza Vittorio
Emanuele II station in central Rome, killing at least one person and
(AP, 10/17/06)(WSJ, 10/18/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 19, Italian police
arrested 12 alleged members of a Mafia clan accused of drug
trafficking and running an extortion ring that terrorized businesses
in the Sicilian town of Messina.
2006 Oct 26, The Slow Food
movement, founded in 1989, sponsored Terra Madre in Turin, Italy.
The 5-day event brought together representatives of food communities
that produced good, clean and fair food in a responsible and
2006 Oct 30, An Italian court
ordered former Premier Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial on charges
of corruption along with David Mills, the estranged husband of
Britain's culture minister.
2006 Oct 31, Italy said it
would beef up security in Naples by adding 1,000 patrol officers and
surveillance cameras amid an upsurge of slayings around a city
already known for street violence and organized crime.
2006 Nov 4, Swathes of Austria,
Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the
Netherlands and went dark for up to an hour in the late evening as
cold Germans rushing to switch on heaters sucked up electricity from
Europe's interconnected networks.
2006 Nov 6, In Italy a Milan
court sentenced Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, the accused mastermind of
the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid, to 10 years in jail for
membership of a terrorist organization. A second Egyptian, Yahya
Mawad Mohamed Rajeh, was sentenced to five years in jail in the
(AFP, 11/6/06)(WSJ, 11/7/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 8, In Italy gunmen in
the Naples area used a stolen ambulance in the drive-by killing of a
fellow mob member. At least 9 murders over the last two weeks in the
city have prompted calls for tough measures.
2006 Nov 9, Police arrested 50
people across central Italy to break up an organization that
allegedly transported cocaine and heroin from Africa to Europe using
couriers who swallowed drug-filled pellets.
2006 Nov 10, Italian police
said they arrested 13 people, including a judge accused of ties with
the Mafia, as part of a crackdown on organized crime in southern
2006 Nov 11, In Italy police
arrested 3 more thieves plaguing the railways for weeks by stealing
copper electrical conductors from the tracks. Among the 22 suspects
arrested since Oct 15 were 18 Romanians, three Italians and the one
man from Mali.
2006 Nov 15, A court in
Palermo, Sicily, convicted 46 deputies, confidants and helpers of
jailed Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano, many of whom helped the
former fugitive evade capture, and sentenced them to terms of up to
18 years in prison.
2006 Nov 16, Spain, France and
Italy unveiled a five-point Middle East peace initiative, calling
Israeli-Palestinian violence intolerable and saying that Europe must
take a lead role in ending the conflict.
2006 Nov 17, In Italy British
musician Peter Gabriel (56) has been awarded "Man of Peace 2006" at
the start of the annual summit of Nobel peace prize laureates
organized by the Gorbachev Foundation and the City of Rome.
2006 Nov 17, Italy turned over
Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed (35) an Egyptian Muslim militant convicted
of terrorism to Spain, where he is charged as a key suspect in the
2004 Madrid terror bombing.
2006 Nov 18, Italian Premier
Romano Prodi won a key confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies on
the center-left government's planned 2007 budget, which included
heavily protested tax increases and spending cuts.
2006 Nov 20, Italian Premier
Romano Prodi’s center-left government got rid of the heads of its 3
intelligence chiefs: military service (SISMI), civil agency (SISDI)
and the coordinating body CESIS.
(Econ, 11/25/06, p.48)
2006 Nov 22, Authorities in
Italy, Spain, the United States and several South American countries
arrested 76 people as part of a major drug crackdown in which a
restaurant linked to one of Colombia's most feared warlords was
2006 Nov 27, Italian Premier
Romano Prodi said the last of Italy's soldiers in Iraq, some 60-70
troops, will return home this week, ending the Italian contingent's
presence in the south of the country after more than three years.
2006 Dec 2, In Rome some
700,000 supporters of Silvio Berlusconi demonstrated against the
government’s planned tax increases. Pier Ferdinando Casini’s Union
of Christian Democrats (UDC) held its own rally in Palermo.
(Econ, 12/9/06, p.56)
2006 Dec 5, An Italian
prosecutor asked for the indictment of 26 Americans and Italian
secret service officials on a charge of kidnapping an Egyptian
cleric in Milan in 2003.
2006 Dec 10, Tenor Roberto
Alagna walked out of a performance of Verdi's "Aida" at Italy's
famed La Scala opera house when the audience booed his rendition of
the aria "Celeste Aida."
2006 Dec 16, An Italian judge
rejected a paralyzed man's request to be removed from a respirator,
ruling that the law does not permit the denial of lifesaving care
and urging lawmakers to confront the issue. Piergiorgio Welby (60)
died Dec 20 after he was taken off his respirator.
(AP, 12/16/06)(AP, 12/21/06)
2006 Dec 20, In Calabria,
Italy, ‘ndrangheta, the Mafia ruling the region, broke into the
workshop of the Cooperativa Valle del Marro, the 1st firm in the
region to have established a legitimate business using assets once
owned by the Mafia.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.64)
2006 Dec 22, The Roman Catholic
Church denied a religious funeral for Piergiogio Welby, the
paralyzed Italian author who died after a doctor disconnected his
respirator, saying it would treat his public wish to "end his life"
as a willful suicide.
2006 Dec 24, Mario Scaramella,
who met with an ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London the day
the Russian fell ill from radiation poisoning, was arrested in
Naples after returning from London. Rome prosecutors have accused
him of arms trafficking and slander.
2006 Dec 28, Italy’s PM Romano
Prodi vowed to deliver "shock therapy" to spur growth in Italy after
years of a sluggish economy, outlining an ambitious 2007 agenda he
hopes will reverse his decline in popularity.
2006 Alexander Stille authored
“The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled
History and a Storied Culture Was Taken over by a Man Named Silvio
(SFC, 6/15/06, p.D7)
2006 Italy ranked 45th in the
Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.
(Econ, 2/10/07, p.52)
2006 In Italy the tax
collection agency, Equitalia, was formed to take over tax collection
operations previously carried out by reluctant banks and their
(Econ, 1/7/12, p.45)
2006 Italy was taken over by
Spain in GDP per head. This was made public in late 2007.
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.44)
2007 Jan 13, An Italian
military tribunal gave life sentences in absentia to 10 German
former SS men for massacring about 800 Italian villagers in 1944.
They had laid waste to the villages of Marzabotto, Grizzana and Vado
di Monzuno near Bologna, as the Germans retreated before Allied
2007 Feb 7, An Italian judge
ordered a U.S. soldier to stand trial in absentia for the fatal
shooting of an Italian intelligence agent at a checkpoint in Baghdad
on March 4, 2005.
2007 Feb 8, In Cape Verde 3
Italian women, aged 17-33, were brutally attacked while vacationing,
dragged into the woods, pelted with stones and left for dead at the
bottom of a hole. One woman survived. 3 local men were arrested.
2007 Feb 12, Police conducted
raids across northern Italy, breaking up a leftist militant group
that was allegedly planning kidnappings or kneecappings of victims
to finance its plots. The group traced back to the Red Brigades.
Police said they arrested 15 suspects accused of belonging to the
Politico-military Communist Party (PCPM) in Milan, Turin, Padua and
other northern Italian cities. Police in 7 locations across Italy
arrested 17 men, including four alleged arms traffickers: Massimo
Bettinotti (39), Gianluca Squarzolo (39), Ermete Moretti (55), and
Serafino Rossi (64). A 5th member, Vittorio Dordi, was believed to
be in Congo, apparently involved in the diamond trade. The luggage
of Squarzolo had yielded the original clue to the arms deal. They
were involved in a $64 million deal negotiated with Libyan officials
for some 500,000 Chinese-made assault rifles. Iraqi and Italian
partners had haggled over shipping more than 100,000 Russian-made
automatic weapons into Iraq.
(AP, 2/12/07)(Econ, 2/17/07, p.54)(AP,
8/13/07)(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A18)(AP, 4/12/08)
2007 Feb 16, An Italian judge
indicted 26 Americans and five Italians in the abduction of an
Egyptian terror suspect on a Milan street in what would be the first
criminal trial stemming from the CIA's extraordinary rendition
program. The proceedings were later suspended pending a ruling on
the Italian government's request to throw out the indictments.
(AP, 2/16/07)(AP, 2/16/08)
2007 Feb 17, Some 70 thousand
Italians under heavy police guard protested against the expansion of
a US military base in Vicenza that has divided the center-left
(Reuters, 2/17/07)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.61)
2007 Feb 21, In Italy Premier
Romano Prodi stepped down following an embarrassing parliamentary
defeat of his government's proposed foreign policy program. His
center-left government had been in power for just 9 months.
(AP, 2/22/07)(SFC, 2/22/07, p.A3)
2007 Feb 24, Italy's president
asked Romano Prodi to stay on as premier and put his center-left
government to a new vote of confidence in parliament.
2007 Feb 28, Italian Premier
Romano Prodi kept his fractious center-left coalition together to
win a confidence vote in the Senate, ensuring the immediate survival
of his nine-month-old government.
2007 Mar 2, In Italy Premier
Romano Prodi won a confidence vote in the lower house of parliament,
formally ending Italy's political crisis.
2007 Mar 6, Italian prosecutors
cleared a physician who disconnected the respirator of a paralyzed
man who had asked to die.
2007 Mar 10, In Italy thousands
of supporters of legislation that would grant legal rights to
unmarried couples including gays rallied in Rome to urge lawmakers
to resist Vatican pressure against the measure.
2007 Mar 14, In Italy 5 former
members of Argentina's military were convicted in absentia of
murdering three Italians during the Argentina’s "dirty war"
2007 Mar 14, Italy and Russia
said they wanted talks between Moscow and the European Union on a
new strategic partnership agreement to start as soon as possible.
2007 Mar 16, It was reported
that Italy has banned schoolchildren from using mobile phones in
class in an attempt to stop ringtones disrupting lessons and prevent
pupils messing about with video cameras.
2007 Mar 18, Afghanistan's
Taliban said it had handed an Italian journalist, whom it captured
two weeks ago and threatened to kill, to tribal elders pending a
final deal for his release.
2007 Mar 18, Officials said
Cesare Battisti, a former Italian communist revolutionary who went
into hiding in France two and a half years ago, was arrested in
Brazil. In 1993 the former revolutionary was given a life sentence
by an Italian court for his role in four murders committed in 1978
2007 Mar 19, The Italian
Foreign Ministry said Daniele Mastrogiacomo, a reporter for Italian
daily La Repubblica kidnapped two weeks ago in Afghanistan, has been
2007 Mar 26, An Italian
prosecutor demanded a five-year jail sentence for conservative
former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is accused of bribing a
2007 Mar 28, Jazz musician Tony
Scott (85), a clarinetist, composer and arranger who worked with
such greats as Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, died in Rome.
2007 Apr 17, In Rome a US
soldier went on trial in absentia for the shooting death of Italian
intelligence agent Nicola Calipari at an Iraqi checkpoint in March
2005. However, a court later threw out the proceedings against Spc.
Mario Lozano, saying Italy had no jurisdiction.
2007 Apr 22-2007 Apr 23, In
Italy Marco Ahmetovic (22) killed the four teenage boys after
driving his van onto a pavement while under the influence of
alcohol. He was sentenced to 6-1/2 years detention, but was allowed
to spend most of that time under house arrest in return for
cooperating with the court.
2007 Apr 27, Former Italian
prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was cleared in a high-profile
corruption case involving bribing judges.
2007 May 6, Italian news said a
Vatican court for the first time has issued a drug conviction,
giving a former employee of the Holy See a four-month suspended
sentence for cocaine use.
2007 May 11, Austrian
authorities said they have arrested 40 suspects and seized thousands
of videos, CDs and DVDs as part of a yearlong crackdown on child
pornography. Police in Italy made two arrests in connection with the
investigation, which was code-named Operation Max. The server was
located in St. Petersburg, Russia, and since has been shut down.
2007 May 12, In Italy thousands
of people, including families with their children, poured into a
Rome piazza to protest a government bill that would give legal
rights to unmarried couples, including gays and lesbians.
2007 May 12, In Italy security
officials from Europe's largest countries backed a plan to profile
mosques on the continent and identify radical Islamic clerics who
raise the threat of homegrown terrorism.
2007 May 14, Endemol, the
brains behind reality television shows like "Big Brother", fell into
the hands of a consortium led by Italy's Mediaset which is looking
to branch out of the saturated Italian television market.
2007 May 25, A "garbage crisis"
in Naples dominated news in Italy. For weeks local and national
authorities have tried to end a stalemate over mountains of rubbish
rotting on the streets for lack of adequate landfill sites.
2007 May 29, Andrew Speaker
(31), a lawyer from Atlanta with a rare and dangerous form of
tuberculosis, ignored doctors' advice and took two trans-Atlantic
flights, leading to the first US government-ordered quarantine since
1963. Italian officials said they were tracing the movements of
Speaker, who honeymooned in Rome for two days despite being told to
turn himself in to health authorities.
(AP, 5/29/07)(AP, 5/30/07)(Reuters, 6/1/07)
2007 Jun 8, In Italy the first
trial involving the CIA's extraordinary rendition program opened in
the absence of all 26 American defendants accused of kidnapping an
Egyptian terrorist suspect.
2007 Jun 9, President Bush and
Pope Benedict XVI discussed the pontiff's deep worries that
Christians in Iraq would not be embraced by the Muslim majority.
Bush, denounced by anti-American protesters on the streets of Rome,
defended his humanitarian record as he met with the Pope. Bush met
with PM Prodi for the first time several hours after seeing the
(AP, 6/9/07)(AP, 6/9/08)
2007 Jun 12, Authorities said
Italian police have recovered an ancient Greek temple dug up in
southern Italy by a construction crew who had dumped or looted the
prized artifacts and begun to pour cement over the ruins.
2007 Jun 17, In Italy
Gianfranco Ferre (b.1944), known as the "architect of fashion," died
in Milan. He was the top designer for Christian Dior from 1989-1996.
(SFC, 6/18/07, p.A2)(AP, 6/17/08)
2007 Jun 23, Italian energy
company Eni SpA and Russia's state-controlled OAO Gazprom said they
signed a memorandum of understanding on the possibility of supplying
Russian gas to European Union countries through a pipeline under the
2007 Jun 26, Sizzling
temperatures in Greece, Italy and Romania brought power cuts and
brush fires in a heat wave that has led to at least 38 deaths in
southeast Europe in recent days.
2007 Jun 28, It was reported
that Italy’s PM Romano Prodi estimated that unpaid taxes, including
income from the black market, were equal to 27% of Italy’s GDP. The
public debt stood at 106% of GDP.
(WSJ, 6/28/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun, Italian officials
broke up a terrorist ring with the arrest of four people, three in
Milan and one in London, after examining financial records showing a
steady transfer of funds from Tunisia allegedly used to recruit
Islamic extremists and send them to terrorist training camps in
2007 Jul 4, In Italy some
100,000 people in Turin celebrated the launch of the new Fiat 500
(Cinquecento), 50 years following the launch of the 1st Fiat 500.
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.69)
2007 Jul 7, A global poll
picked the Great Wall of China, Rome's Colosseum, India's Taj Mahal,
Peru’s Macchu Picchu, Jordan’s Petra, Brazil's Statue of Christ
Redeemer and Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid as the new seven wonders
of the world. The campaign to name the new wonders was launched in
1999 by the Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber.
2007 Jul 18, Two boats carrying
would-be migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe sank between
Italy and Libya, leaving five people dead, including a child. Eleven
others were missing and presumed dead. An Italian Navy ship pulled
22 survivors from the water.
2007 Jul 21, Italian police
arrested three Moroccans, an imam and two of his aids, they accuse
of being part of a militant cell that allegedly used a mosque in a
central Italian city as a terror training camp.
2007 Jul 30, Michelangelo
Antonioni (b.1912), film director, died (94). He was one of Italy's
most influential post-war film directors whose portrayals of modern
angst and alienation won him a cult following. His films included
the Oscar-nominated "Blowup," "Zabriskie Point" and the
internationally acclaimed "L'Avventura" (The Adventure).
2007 Aug 15, In Germany 6
Italian men were fatally shot in the head in the western city of
Duisburg, an execution-style killing that Italy's interior minister
said appeared to be a feud between two Italian organized crime
clans. On March 12, 2009, Dutch police arrested Giovanni Strangio
(30), an Italian man wanted for the killings in Duisburg.
(AP, 8/15/07)(AP, 3/13/09)
2007 Aug 29, The 11-day Venice
Film Festival opened for its 75th anniversary edition.
(SFC, 8/30/07, p.E5)
2007 Aug 30, Hundreds of police
raided a small town in southern Italy and arrested more than 30
suspected members of organized crime clans believed to be involved
in a feud that killed six Italians in Germany earlier this month.
2007 Aug 30, The Rome-based
Hands Off Cain, an anti-death penalty group, reported that more
people were put to death in 2006, 5,628, than in either of the
previous two years. China alone accounting for 5,000 executions.
2007 Aug, In Italy over a
hundred people became ill in Castiglione di Cervia, near Ravenna,
with a disease that was later identified as chikungunya, a tropical
disease spread by the tiger mosquito. This was the first such
outbreak in modern Europe.
(SSFC, 12/23/07, p.A22)
2007 Sep 6, Legendary Italian
tenor Luciano Pavarotti (71), who brought opera to the masses with
his powerful voice and jovial personality, died of pancreatic cancer
2007 Sep 8, Taiwan-born Ang
Lee's erotic spy thriller "Lust, Caution" won the Venice Film
Festival's top award, two years after he captured the same prize
here with "Brokeback Mountain."
2007 Sep 13, In Italy consumer
groups held nationwide protests to draw attention to the burden
placed on families by the rising cost of food, especially Italians'
beloved staple, pasta.
2007 Sep 18, In Italy local
authorities said Milan central railway station's notorious Platform
21, which witnessed the deportation of hundreds of Jews in 1943-45,
will host the city's first Holocaust memorial. The museum will open
in two years' time and occupy 6,000 square meters of the underground
2007 Sep 22, Afghan authorities
said they had seized dozens of Iranian and Chinese-made weapons
after a brief battle with Taliban fighters near the border with
Iran. In northern Afghanistan NATO helicopters fired on a group of
suspected insurgents in response to a rocket attack. Four Afghans
died and 12 were wounded. 2 Italian soldiers and their two Afghan
staff on a weekend patrol disappeared in western Afghanistan. In
southern Zabul province the Taliban kidnapped three Afghan men
accused of spying for the US and executed them.
(AP, 9/22/07)(AP, 9/23/07)
2007 Sep 24, In western
Afghanistan Italian special forces rescued two captive Italian
intelligence agents from a militant convoy, killing at least eight
kidnappers. Both kidnapped Italians were wounded in the raid, but
one died from his wounds in Rome on Oct 4. In southern Afghanistan a
Canadian soldier was killed and four were wounded during a military
(AP, 9/24/07)(Reuters, 9/25/07)(AP, 10/4/07)
2007 Sep 29, In Italy PM Romano
Prodi announced that the low-paid would get reduced property taxes
and either an income tax break or a cash handout. He also mentioned
a cut in the corporate tax rate from 33% to 27.5%.
(Econ, 10/6/07, p.59)
2007 Oct 14, In Italy
projections showed Rome's mayor overwhelmingly winning a nationwide
primary to become the leader of a new center-left party and the
probable candidate for premier against conservative billionaire
Silvio Berlusconi in the next general election.
2007 Oct 17,
A man opened fire in a courtroom in northern Italy, seriously
wounding his estranged wife and killing her brother before being
shot to death by police.
2007 Oct 22, An Italian lobby
group for small businesses said revenue from organized crime amounts
to an estimated $127 billion annually, making it the largest segment
of the economy.
2007 Oct 23,
Police broke up an Italian-Canadian mafia clan that ran drug
trafficking and money laundering operations, arresting 12 people and
seizing millions of dollars in assets. The clan was led from Canada
by Nick and Vito Rizzuto, a father and son, who were jailed for
previous crimes respectively in 2006 and 2005.
2007 Oct 28,
At least 15 migrants drowned in the waters off the Italian
coast in two separate incidents, including the disintegration of a
boat that spilled more than 100 passengers into rough seas.
2007 Oct 30, In Italy Giovanna
Reggiani (47) was brutally attacked as she returned home in northern
Rome. She died 2 days later. Nicolae Mailat, a Romanian Gypsy,
admitted to snatching her bag but denied her murder. Her attack
triggered a public outcry.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.63)
2007 Nov 1, Italy's president
signed a decree allowing the expulsion of EU citizens "for reasons
of public safety" to fight "episodes of heavy violence and ferocious
crime." This followed the Oct 30 attack on a 47-year-old woman as
she walked along a road after dark toward barracks where she lived.
She was beaten, dragged through mud and left half naked in a ditch.
The woman died 2 days later. Police arrested Nicolae Mailat a
Romanian in his 20s, who lives in a shack in one of several
sprawling settlements on the outskirts of Rome.
2007 Nov 1, In Italy Meredith
Kercher (21), a British university student, was killed [see Nov 2].
2007 Nov 2, Italy began
deporting Romanians with criminal records in response to a streak of
violent crime blamed on immigrants. In Rome up to 10 people wearing
motorcycle helmets attacked a group of Romanians with knives, metal
bars and sticks in the parking lot of a supermarket. Three Romanians
were injured. As part of the crackdown, bulldozers in Rome for a
second day knocked down shantytowns where thousands of foreigners
lived without permits.
2007 Nov 2, In Italy Meredith
Kercher (21), a British university student, was found dead with her
throat slashed in the bedroom of a house in the central city of
Perugia. A week later 3 suspects in the murder were remanded in
custody by an Italian investigating magistrate. On Nov 19 police in
Perugia identified a 4th suspect as Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivory
Coast native. Guede was arrested in Germany the next day and DNA
evidence confirmed that he had sex with Kercher the night she was
stabbed. In 2009 roommate Amanda Knox, of Seattle, Wa., was
convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison. The court also
convicted Knox's co-defendant and former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele
Sollecito, and gave him a 25-year jail term for the murder. Rudy
Hermann Guede, an Ivory Coast citizen, had already been convicted in
the murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
(AP, 11/2/07)(AFP, 11/10/07)(AP, 11/19/07)(AP,
2007 Nov 5, In Sicily Salvatore
Lo Piccolo (65), who magistrates believe is the Sicilian Mafia's new
"boss of bosses," was arrested after nearly a quarter of a century
on the run. He was arrested with his son, Sandro (32), and two other
2007 Nov 6, Italian police said
a Europe-wide sweep disrupted an Islamic cell that was recruiting
potential suicide bombers for attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. They
announced the arrests of 20 terror suspects, mostly Tunisians.
Authorities in Britain, France and Portugal confirmed arrests.
2007 Nov 8, A US Army UH-60
Blackhawk helicopter crashed in northern Italy, killing at least
four people on board and injuring six. Two more soon died in a
(AP, 11/8/07)(AP, 11/9/07)
2007 Nov 11, In Italy a police
officer accidentally shot and killed a soccer fan while trying to
break up a fight by a Tuscan highway between supporters of rival
teams. Enraged by the killing, hundreds of fans rioted in Rome,
attacking a police station.
2007 Nov 14, NATO defense
chiefs chose Italian Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola as head of the
alliance's military committee.
2007 Nov 18, In Italy former
Premier Silvio Berlusconi announced the creation of a new political
party, saying the time felt right because his supporters had
gathered so many signatures calling for the ouster of Premier Romano
2007 Nov 29, A wildcat protest
by cab drivers caused gridlock in downtown Rome, leaving Italians
and tourists alike stranded at airports and train stations across
the capital. Unions had been negotiating with Mayor Walter Veltroni
over planned fare increases, but they walked away from the talks and
called the sudden protest after authorities said they wanted to
issue 500 new taxi licenses.
2007 Nov 30, In Italy a general
transport strike by workers demanding more investment in the sector
forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and idled trains,
ships and buses across the country.
2007 Nov 30, Italian oil firm
Eni and oil and gas exploration firm Burren Energy said they had
agreed the terms of a takeover offer from Eni worth 1.74 billion
pounds. Burren is an independent group quoted on the London stock
exchange that runs oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Congo, Egypt
2007 Dec 3, Daniele Emmanuello
(43), the Mafia godfather of Gela, Sicily, was killed while trying
to escape police. He was considered one of Italy's 30 most dangerous
(AP, 12/3/07)(Econ, 12/8/07, p.62)
2007 Dec 4, In Italy Vincenzo
Santapaola, a suspected Mafia boss, and scores of alleged mobsters
were arrested during raids in Catania, Sicily. Police also seized
weapons and drugs, and found a book that listed extortion fees and
salaries of the people working for the family.
2007 Dec 11, Trucking unions
cut short a meeting with the Italian transport ministry, ending hope
that the chaos-causing strike disrupting traffic and petrol
deliveries would end soon.
2007 Dec 12, It was reported
that Italy's government has decided to appoint a special
commissioner to try to curb price rises after inflation hit a
three-and-a-half year peak in November, but economists see the move
as little more than a publicity stunt. Italy's truck drivers agreed
to call off a protest that has blocked highways and borders for
three days, causing shortages of gasoline, medicine and perishable
foods across Italy.
(Reuters, 12/12/07)(AP, 12/12/07)
2007 Dec 15, Italian
authorities said they have captured, Edoardo Contini (52), a
fugitive Naples crime boss who built one of the most dangerous
2007 Dec 18, An Italian team
published the first full genetic sequence of a grape variety, pinot
noir, in the Public Library of Science.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.137)
2007 Dec 23, In Afghanistan
echoing pledges by the leaders of France and Australia, Italian PM
Romano Prodi emphasized his county's long-term commitment in a
meeting with President Hamid Karzai. Afghan intelligence agents
detained a 50-year-old foreign woman carrying a suicide vest in
eastern Afghanistan. A roadside explosion killed one policeman and
wounded three others in Kunar province. Police clashed with Taliban
militants in the Gelan district of central Ghazni province, killing
a local insurgent leader and two of his bodyguards. Another
booby-trapped body was discovered in Kandahar province.
(AP, 12/23/07)(AP, 12/24/07)
2007 Sergio Rizzo and Gian
Antonio Stella authored “La Casta” (The Caste), a dissection of the
way tax revenue is frittered away by Italy’s political class. "The
Caste: How Italian politicians have become untouchable," written by
journalists from the leading daily Corriere della Sera, became
best-seller soon after its publication.
(Econ, 8/25/07, p.48)(AFP, 10/12/07)
2007 Roberto Saviano authored
“Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire
of Naples’ Organized Crime System.”
(Econ, 1/12/08, p.76)
2007 In Italy Khalid Khamlich,
an Islamic extremist, was convicted of terror ties. He was alleged
to be part of a cell that planned attacks on the Milan subway and a
cathedral. In 2010 he was expelled to his native Morocco.
2007 In Italy Oscar Farinetti
set up the first Eataly food market in Turin. In 2013 his 21st store
opened in Chicago.
(Econ, 11/30/13, p.62)
2007 Italian Oil company ENI
SpA bought Burren Energy PLC, a small independent company that
operates an oil field in Turkmenistan. ENI from that point on was
denied entry visas by Turkmenistan, which was annoyed at not being
consulted in the deal.
(WSJ, 4/23/08, p.B8)
2008 Jan 3, Crews in Naples,
where the streets increasingly are lined with trash, began cleaning
up a long disused dump in a bid to ease a mounting garbage crisis.
2008 Jan 7, Police in Naples
clashed with protestors over a mafia-linked rubbish disposal crisis
as the Italian government convened an emergency meeting to try and
resolve the row.
2008 Jan 8, Some 60,000 tons of
garbage were piled up in the streets of Naples.
(Econ, 1/12/08, p.44)
2008 Jan 16, Italian police
arrested scores of suspected mobsters in Palermo in the latest raid
on suspected Sicilian Mafia hideouts.
2008 Jan 18, A court in Palermo
convicted Sicily's Gov. Salvatore Cuffaro of helping a Mafia boss
and sentenced him to five years in prison.
2008 Jan 21, In Italy a key
ally of Premier Romano Prodi pulled his party from the Cabinet amid
a corruption scandal, sending the center-left governing coalition
scrambling to keep the administration from falling.
2008 Jan 23, Italy’s Premier
Romano Prodi won a confidence vote in parliament's lower house, but
his chances for success in the upper house appeared to worsen as
more allies defected amid growing pressure on the center-left leader
2008 Jan 24, In Italy Premier
Romano Prodi resigned after the Senate voted 161-156 to sink his
20-month-old center-left coalition in a fiery session in which one
senator was spat on, fainted and was carried out on a stretcher.
2008 Jan 31, The EU ordered
Italy to clean up Naples within a month, or face legal action.
2008 Feb 3, In Italy Ernesto
Illy (82), the longtime head of Italian coffee giant illycaffe SpA,
died. A chemist and son of Francesco Illy, who founded the company
in 1933, Ernesto traveled the world in search of the best blend of
2008 Feb 6, Italy's Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano dissolved parliament, clearing the way for early
elections just two years after the last parliamentary vote. Premier
Romano Prodi will continue as caretaker premier until the election.
2008 Feb 7, Authorities in
Italy and the US conducted raids targeting dozens of alleged members
of Mafia clans who controlled drug trafficking between the two sides
of the Atlantic. A 169-page indictment in the US went back 3 decades
and included at least 7 murders. The main targets in NY included 3
of the “five families” controlling organized crime in America: the
Genovese, Bonanno and Gambino families.
(AP, 2/7/08)(Econ, 2/16/08, p.41)
2008 Feb 13, In Italy police
raided sites in Calabria and issued arrest warrants for 57 people,
including politicians, bankers and businessmen, in the latest mafia
sweep targeting drug trafficking and extortion rackets.
2008 Feb 16, In Italy Michael
Seifert (83), a former SS prison guard who was sentenced to life in
prison in Italy for Nazi war crimes, was jailed near Naples, hours
after he was extradited from Canada. Seifert, known as the "Beast of
Bolzano," was convicted in absentia in 2000 by a military tribunal
in Verona on nine counts of murder committed while he was an SS
guard at a prison transit camp in Bolzano, northern Italy.
2008 Feb 18, Italian police
captured Pasquale Condello (57), the top boss of a powerful
organized crime syndicate. The Condello crime clan was one of the
most ferocious 'ndrangheta families and Condello had received
several life prison terms for four murders and other crimes.
2008 Feb 24, In Milan, Italy,
masked thieves drilled a tunnel and broke into a jewelry showroom as
employees were preparing for a VIP showing by Damiani, making off
with gold, diamonds and rubies in a brazen daylight heist.
2008 Feb 27, Italian tax police
busted a ring of auto-body shops involved in creating fake Ferraris
using Pontiac Fieros.
(WSJ, 2/28/08, p.D5)
2008 Feb 29, Italy’s Eni SpA
signed a major oil production agreement with Venezuela. Last month
Eni said it had reached a compensation deal in which Venezuela
agreed to a payment in excess of $700 million.
(WSJ, 3/1/08, p.A5)
2008 Mar 4, Italian police said
they have seized 150 million euros of property and goods from
feuding Calabrian mafia clans who are under investigation for the
murder of six Italians outside a pizzeria in Germany last year.
2008 Mar 15, Thousands of
Italians marched in an anti-mafia protest and called on all citizens
to take a public stand against Italy's powerful crime syndicates.
2008 Mar 15, Alitalia, Italy’s
state-owned national airline, accepted a takeover offer worth $217
made by air France-KLM, a French-Dutch airline group. The Italian
government accepted the offer on March 17.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.73)
2008 Mar 22, Magdi Allam (55),
Italy's most prominent Muslim, converted to Catholicism in a baptism
by the pope at a Vatican Easter service. The iconoclastic writer has
condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel.
2008 Mar 26, Italian officials
held a crisis meeting after Japan and South Korea banned imports of
mozzarella following the discovery of high dioxin levels in buffalo
milk used to make the famed cheese.
2008 Apr 3, Alitalia edged
closer to bankruptcy protection after Air France-KLM abruptly broke
off talks to buy the struggling national airline and Alitalia's
chairman of seven months resigned in frustration.
2008 Apr 4, An executive for a
prominent Tuscan wine producer said authorities confiscated some
600,000 bottles of his company's 2003 Brunello di Montalcino,
alleging too many bottles were produced for it to be entirely
2008 Apr 7, Italian police
arrested 38 suspects in a sweep against a clan of the 'ndrangheta
organized crime syndicate accused of murder, extortion and arms and
2008 Apr 12, Investigators in
Turkey found the body of Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo (33), an
Italian artist known as Pippa Bacca. She was last seen on March 31
hitchhiking in a wedding gown. Police detained a man suspected of
2008 Apr 13, Italians went to
the polls in general elections likely to return conservative Silvio
Berlusconi to the prime minister's office for a third time at the
expense of new centre-left flagbearer Walter Veltroni.
2008 Apr 14, In Italy exit
polls put media mogul Silvio Berlusconi ahead in parliamentary
election but suggested he was uncertain of winning the upper house
majority he needs to steer the country through an economic downturn.
2008 Apr 15, Italy's Silvio
Berlusconi (71) pledged to use his big election win to push through
economic reforms, and vowed to close the border to illegal
immigrants in a crackdown on criminals he called "the army of evil."
He owed his majority in parliament to the support of the xenophobic
Northern League, which won 8 percent of votes.
2008 Apr 17, In
Italy Silvio Berlusconi returned to the
world diplomatic stage by hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin
at his villa in Sardinia. The event lost some of its luster when
Putin was forced, before the glare of television cameras, to deny
reports he had secretly divorced his wife and planned to marry an
2008 Apr 22, Alitalia flew into
the unknown after Air France-KLM withdrew its takeover offer,
leaving Italy's long-struggling flagship airline with little choice
but to contemplate bankruptcy or receivership. The outgoing
center-left government allowed a loan of €300 million to Alitalia.
(AP, 4/22/08)(Econ, 4/26/08, p.68)
2008 Apr 28, Residents of Rome
elected Gianni Alemanno, the Italian capital's first right-wing
mayor since World War II. He took 53.6 percent of the vote to 46.3
percent for Francesco Rutelli, a former two-time center-left Rome
(AP, 4/29/08)(Econ, 5/3/08, p.61)
2008 May 1, Rescuers found the
bodies of five French ski mountaineers who had been missing since
the day before when they were swept away by an avalanche during an
excursion on Punta Basei, a 10,000-foot peak in Italy's northwestern
2008 May 6, In Italy the
data-protection authority ruled that releasing tax returns into
cyberspace was illicit. Tax authorities had recently put all 38.5
million tax returns for 2005 up on the internet. A measure
authorizing the released had been signed on March 5, but not enacted
until the defeat of the Prodi government.
(Econ, 5/10/08, p.61)
2008 May 7, Conservative leader
Silvio Berlusconi formed Italy's 62nd postwar government for his
third stint as premier.
2008 May 13, Italy's new PM
Silvio Berlusconi adopted a conciliatory tone with a pledge to reach
out to the left-wing opposition and to turn the country around
2008 May 15, Italian police
announced the arrest of hundreds of suspected illegal immigrants in
a sign of the new right-wing government's determination to clamp
down. Police had arrested 383 people sing May 7.
(AP, 5/15/08)(WSJ, 5/16/08, p.A8)
2008 May 18, In Italy residents
of Naples, fed up with the stench from months of uncollected
rubbish, used the waste to barricade streets in protest at the
2008 May 20, The European
Parliament censured Italy for its treatment of Gypsies.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.71)
2008 May 21, Premier Silvio
Berlusconi moved his Cabinet meeting to Naples, vowing to clean the
city's streets of the garbage that has piled up for months and
become a stinking symbol of government inadequacy.
2008 May 23, Frank Phel (74),
an American tourist, was hit and killed by a train at a Rome station
as he was walking on the tracks in a daze after being drugged and
robbed. The suspected robber was arrested the next day.
2008 May 25, The French film
“The Class” (Entre les Murs) won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film
Festival. Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah,” a study of the criminal
underworld in Naples, won the grand prize. Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il
Divo,” a portrait of former Premier Giulio Andreotti, won the jury
(SFC, 5/26/08, p.F5)
2008 May 26, In Italy police
arrested 49 suspected mobsters in raids on the Naples-based Camorra
mob, the equivalent of the Sicilian Mafia for the Naples area.
2008 May 30, Italy declared a
state of emergency in the north of the country after flooding and
mudslides left at least three people dead in heavy rains that also
hit Belgium, Britain, France and Germany.
2008 Jun 5, In Italy a 3-day UN
summit aimed at fighting hunger worldwide ended with pledges to
boost food output, calls to cut trade barriers and more research on
biofuels. Just before the meeting Saudi Arabia announced a donation
of $500 million.
(WSJ, 6/6/08, p.A10)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.70)
2008 Jun 13, An Italian woman
(47), whose family kept her locked in a room for almost two decades,
was freed by police. She had been accused of becoming pregnant out
2008 Jun 18, Italian police
arrested 33 Sri Lankan Tamils charged with belonging to the outlawed
Tamil Tigers group fighting a separatist insurgency against the
government in Colombo. In addition to being charged with membership
of a proscribed organization, the 33 were also accused of having
helped finance the Tamil Tigers through remittances.
2008 Jun 26, Unicredit, Italy's
biggest bank by capitalization, said it would cut 9,000 jobs in
western Europe and invest in central and eastern Europe to boost
profits following massive acquisitions.
2008 Jul 2, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi pledged to end the garbage crisis in Naples and
the surrounding area by the end of July.
2008 Jul 3, It was reported
that Italian authorities have started fingerprinting tens of
thousands of Gypsies living in nomad camps across the country,
brushing aside accusations of racism by human rights advocates and
international organizations. The Interior Ministry said prints will
only be taken from people who do not have a valid Italian or EU
2008 Jul 7, In Italy transport
workers went on strike, forcing the cancellation of thousands of
bus, tram and subway lines and snarling traffic across the country.
2008 Jul 9, In Italy police in
Naples arrested 44 suspected mobsters in a crackdown on drug
trafficking. The latest raids led to the confiscation of apartments,
cars, motorcycles, farmland and companies worth nearly $480 million.
2008 Jul 10, The European
Parliament called the fingerprinting of Gypsies in Italy a clear act
of racial discrimination and urged the authorities to stop it.
2008 Jul 14, Police in the
Adriatic city of Pescara arrested Otttaviano Del Turco, the governor
of Italy's Abruzzo region, in a health care corruption
investigation. Prosecutors said at least 35 people are being
(AP, 7/14/08)(Econ, 7/19/08, p.60)
2008 Jul 15, In Italy a judge
in Venice indicted Saber Fadhil Hussein for plotting a terrorist
attack on US bases in Iraq using ultra-light aircraft.
(SFC, 7/16/08, p.A9)
2008 Jul 16, An Italian
parliamentary panel gave initial approval to a plan to fingerprint
everyone in the country, a move that could defuse criticism over a
mandatory program to fingerprint Gypsies.
2008 Aug 4, Italy’s Defense
Ministry deployed some 3,000 soldiers in cities across the country
as part of government measures to fight street crime. The government
said they will stay on the streets for at least 6 months.
(AP, 8/4/08)(Econ, 8/9/08, p.49)
2008 Aug 23, In Italy a gang of
men badly beat a Dutch couple and raped the woman while they camped
in an isolated field outside Rome during a cycling tour of Europe.
The attackers also stole some US$2,200. Two Romanian men were soon
(AP, 8/23/08)(Reuters, 8/25/08)
2008 Aug 30, Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi and Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi met in Libya to
sign a "friendship pact." Italy agreed to pay Libya US$5 billion as
compensation for its 30-year occupation of the country, which ended
in 1943. A provision stated that the parties commit themselves "not
to resort to threatening or using violence."
(Reuters, 8/30/08)(AP, 8/31/08)(AP, 2/27/11)
2008 Sep 5, Mila Schoen
(b.1916), an Italian designer of elegant, impeccably tailored
clothes, died at her villa in northern Italy.
2008 Sep 7, Italy's foreign
minister, after meeting US Vice President Dick Cheney, said the EU
wants to work closely with the United States in resolving the
2008 Sep 9, An Italian study
showed a new way to test for cervical cancer is more accurate than a
pap smear and identified more dangerous lesions.
2008 Sep 18, In Italy 6
immigrants from Ghana, Togo and Liberia were slain by automatic
gunfire as they stood outside a store that sold ethnic goods in
Castel Volturno, a town north of Naples.
2008 Sep 19, In Italy hundreds
of African immigrants took their anger over the alleged mafia
killing of six Africans to the streets, hurling rocks and smashing
windows in Castel Volturno.
2008 Sep 19, Alitalia cancelled
flights and regulators said they might soon ground the troubled
flag-carrier as it hurtles toward bankruptcy after the failure of
another rescue plan.
2008 Sep 30, Italian police
arrested scores of suspected mobsters, including three top fugitives
believed linked to the gangland-style slaying of six African
immigrants near Naples.
2008 Oct 4, The leaders of
Britain, France, Germany and Italy began meeting in Paris at a
summit on the world financial crisis threatening banks, growth and
jobs across the continent. They vowed to do all they could to
prevent Wall Street's turmoil from destabilizing their banking
systems. Germany's No. 2 commercial property lender, Hypo Real
Estate Holding AG, said its $48 billion rescue plan had unraveled
when private banks pulled out.
2008 Oct 11, Italian security
forces including army paratroops arrested seven members of the
Camorra mafia believed linked to the killing of African immigrants
near Naples last month.
2008 Oct 12, Pope Benedict XVI
gave the Roman Catholic church four new saints, including an Indian
woman whose canonization is seen as a morale boost to Christians in
India who have suffered Hindu violence. They included Sister
Alphonsa (1910-1946) of the Immaculate Conception, a nun from
southern India and India’s first woman saint; Gaetano Errico
(1791-1860), a Neapolitan priest who founded a missionary order in
the 19th century; Sister Maria Bernarda, born as Verena Buetler
(1848-1924) in Switzerland, who worked as a nun in Ecuador and
Colombia; and Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran (1832-1869), a 19th
century laywoman from Ecuador who helped the sick and the poor.
2008 Oct 13, Italian police
arrested five people in the Calabria region, including the mayor of
Rosarno, for suspected ties to the local mob.
2008 Oct 16, Italian police
arrested Antonio Pelle (46), an alleged fugitive mobster, believed
to be the head of an organized crime clan involved in the slaying of
six people in Germany last year. His family was involved in a feud
that led to the Aug. 15, 2007 killing of six Italians outside a
restaurant in Duisburg, Germany.
2008 Oct 21, Italy's Court of
Cassation ordered Berlin to pay a total of euro1 million (US$1.3
million) to nine family members of victims of a June 1944 massacre.
The next day Germany rejected the ruling by Italy's top criminal
2008 Oct 23, An Italian
military helicopter crashed in northeastern France, killing all
eight people on board.
2008 Nov 1, Three Tunisian men
accused of terrorism links by Italian prosecutors arrived in Milan
under heavy security after being extradited from Britain. Habib
Ignaoua, Mohamed Khemiri and Ali Chehidi were arrested in the London
and Manchester areas last year as part of coordinated raids across
Europe against an alleged Italian-based network recruiting fighters
for Iraq and Afghanistan.
2008 Nov 4, Italian police
arrested 47 people including the wife of a jailed mafia boss in
raids on a Naples-based organized crime syndicate. They also seized
bank accounts and assets worth about 80 million euros ($102 million)
in the raids.
2008 Nov 6, In Italy Domenico
Magnoli (27), an alleged mobster, woke up in a private Italian
clinic following liposuction surgery, and was arrested for
trafficking in cocaine. Police alleged that Magnoli, born in Cannes,
France, has links to the Piromalli crime clan in the 'ndrangheta
2008 Nov 10, Italian railway
and mass transit workers staged a strike creating chaos for
commuters. A wildcat protest by some of Alitalia’s staff forced the
national airline to scrap dozens of flights.
(SFC, 11/11/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 10, Miriam Makeba
(b.1932), the South African folk singer and anti-apartheid activist
fondly known as "Mama Africa," died in southern Italy after
performing at a concert against organized crime.
(AP, 11/10/08)(SFC, 11/11/08, p.B5)
2008 Nov 18, Italian
authorities in Sicily seized assets worth euro700 million ($885
million) from Giuseppe Grigoli, a supermarket chain owner, suspected
of letting the Mafia use his businesses to launder money.
2008 Dec 1, In Italy the worst
flooding in Venice in more than 20 years forced residents and
tourists to wade through knee-high water.
2008 Dec 6, In Denmark
"Gomorra," a movie by Italian director Matteo Garrone about Naples'
criminal underworld, won the best film prize at the 21st annual
European Film Awards.
2008 Dec 10, In Italy a bumper
harvest was expected to push wine production above that of
neighboring France for the first time in a decade, making Italy the
world's largest wine producer.
2008 Dec 13, Alex Bellini, an
Italian adventurer, was rescued a mere 65 nautical miles short
of his goal, Australia, after rough weather sapped him of his final
shreds of energy. He had spent 10 months rowing more than 9,500
nautical miles (18,000 kilometers) across the Pacific.
2008 Dec 16, Italian police
backed by helicopters arrested almost 90 suspected mobsters and
thwarted a plan by the hobbled Sicilian Mafia to reconstitute itself
and form a new ruling commission to set strategy. Gaetano Lo Presti
(52), the alleged Mafia boss of a Palermo neighborhood, hanged
himself in jail, hours after he was arrested in a blitz against Cosa
(AP, 12/16/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 16, In Italy Fiat
Group SpA for the first time shut down most of its Italian plants
for a month, laying off nearly 50,000 workers for an extended
holiday as it copes with the precipitous drop in demand for new
2008 Dec 18, In Italy Parmalat
founder Calisto Tanzi was sentenced to 10 years in prison over a
14-billion-euro fraud scandal that led to one of Europe's largest
2008 Dec 30, Paul Hofmann (96),
Austria-born writer, died in Rome. During WWII he informed on his
Nazi commanders in occupied Rome and later became a New York Times
correspondent. Hofmann authored over a dozen books, including "That
Fine Italian Hand," "The Seasons of Rome: A Journal" and "O Vatican!
A Slightly Wicked View of the Holy See."
2008 Dec 31, The Vatican
announced that it will no longer automatically adopt new Italian
laws as its own, citing the vast number of laws Italy churns out,
many of which are in odds with Catholic doctrine.
2008 Dec, Italy’s public debt,
the world’s 3rd biggest, was the equivalent of 104% of GDP.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.61)
2008 Christopher Duggan
authored “The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796.”
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.89)
2008 The US signed weapons
agreements this year valued a $37.8 billion, or 68.4% of all
business in the global arms bazaar, up from $25.4 billion in 2007.
Italy was 2nd with $3.7 billion and Russia 3rd with $3.5 billion.
(SFC, 9/7/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 7, Freezing
temperatures and exceptional snowfall caused travel delays across
Europe and were blamed for at least 12 deaths, including that of a
man in Milan who was crushed when a canopy collapsed under the
weight of snow.
2009 Jan 12, Alitalia's board
accepted Air France-KLM's offer to buy 25 percent of the company and
become its international partner.
2009 Jan 14, Italian police
arrested Giovanni Setola, a top Mafia fugitive, who had eluded
capture earlier this week by climbing through a trap door and into a
sewer below his hideout.
2009 Jan 14, In Brazil Cesare
Battisti (54), a leftist fugitive who wrote police thrillers while
evading a life sentence for two political murders, was granted
refugee status in Brazil and an official said he could go free this
week. Italy's government protested the decision. Battisti escaped
from an Italian prison in 1981 while awaiting trial on four counts
of murder allegedly committed when he was a member of the Armed
Proletarians for Communism. He fled to France and reinvented himself
as a mystery writer. Battisti has repeatedly insisted on his
innocence. On March 5, 2010, he was sentenced to two years in prison
for passport fraud.
(AP, 1/14/09)(AFP, 3/6/10)
2009 Jan 19, An Atheist Bus
Campaign's message, translated into Catalan, began appearing on two
routes in Barcelona, with plans to extend the campaign to the rest
of the country. A campaign with the concise message "There's
probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," took to the
road in Britain this month. In Italy buses with the slogan "The bad
news is that God does not exist. The good news is that we do not
need him" will begin traversing the northern Italian city of Genoa
on February 4.
2009 Jan 20, Chrysler and
Italy’s Fiat confirmed they had reached an agreement on an alliance
that would give Fiat a 35% stake in Chrysler, but only if Chrysler
gets $3 billion more in financial help from Washington.
(WSJ, 1/21/09, p.B1)
2009 Jan 24, In Italy some 600
migrants and refugees broke out of an overcrowded immigration
facility on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa to protest their
treatment. The migrants returned to the facility after several
2009 Feb 1, In Italy an Indian
(35) was attacked while sleeping on a bench in Nettuno, a town 50
miles (80 kilometers) south of Rome. 3 young men were arrested for
allegedly beating and setting on fire the Indian immigrant.
2009 Feb 3, Eluana Englaro
(37), a woman at the center of Italy's right-to-die debate, was
transferred to a hospital where she is to be allowed to die after 17
years in a vegetative state.
2009 Feb 9, In northern Italy
Eluana Englaro (38) died at her clinic as the Italian Senate
discussed legislation clarifying the right to die. Englaro had been
in a vegetative state since a 1992 car accident and died after her
family cut off her food and water.
2009 Feb 14, In Rome G-7
finance ministers strongly rejected protectionism, pledging to work
together to support growth and employment and to strengthen the
banking system so the world can overcome its worst financial crisis
in 50 years.
2009 Feb 17, A Milan court
sentenced David Mills, the British former tax lawyer of Italian PM
Silvio Berlusconi, to four-and-a-half years in jail for corruption.
2009 Feb 24, France’s Pres.
Sarkozy and Italy’s Premier Berlusconi signed a deal pairing
utilities from each nation to study the feasibility of building
nuclear power plants in Italy.
(WSJ, 2/25/09, p.A11)
2009 Mar 4, Salvatore Samperi
(64), Italian director, died in his house on Lake Bracciano. He was
best known for erotic comedies that challenged the morals of Italy's
2009 Mar 11, Italy's highest
court sided with the government and threw out key evidence in an
alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian terrorism suspect in Italy,
dealing a blow to the trial of 26 Americans charged in the case.
2009 Mar 18, Gianni Giansanti
(52), an award-winning Italian photographer, died in Rome after
battling bone cancer. He shot the 1978 image that for many captured
the horror of that era — the bullet-riddled body of Aldo Moro, the
kidnapped former Italian Christian Democrat premier, in the truck of
a parked car. He also had snapped candid portraits of Pope John Paul
II during his pilgrimages.
2009 Mar 21, Tens of thousand
of people marched in Naples to commemorate the victims of the mafia
and demand an end to the stranglehold of organized crime on southern
2009 Mar 31, Italian police
said they have arrested Mario Chiesa for his alleged role in a scam
involving garbage disposal in Milan and elsewhere in northern Italy.
He was one of eight people apprehended, with two others being placed
under house arrest. Chiesa was arrested in 1992 and convicted for
his involvement in the Clean Hands corruption scandals. He served
his sentences doing socially useful work and was freed in 2000.
2009 Mar 31, Bernardo De
Bernardinis, deputy chief of Italy’s Civil Protection Department,
told the people in the L'Aquila region that recent tremors over the
last 4 months posed no danger. He and 6 others were later indicted
following the April 6 earthquake that left 308 people dead. Their
trial began in 2011.
(Econ, 9/17/11, p.86)
2009 Apr 6, In central Italy a
magnitude 6.3 earthquake knocked down whole blocks of buildings as
residents slept, killing 309 people in L'Aquila, capital of the
Abruzzo region, which was near the epicenter. It was the country's
deadliest quake in nearly three decades. Tens of thousands were
homeless and 1,500 were injured. 8 students were killed when their
dorm collapsed in L'Aquila. Investigations into shoddy
construction soon followed.
(AFP, 4/6/09)(AP, 4/6/09)(AP, 4/9/09)(AP,
10/19/09)(Econ, 10/27/12, p.80)
2009 Apr 11, Somali pirates
hijacked the Italian-flagged tugboat Buccaneer, an American-owned
tugboat, with 16 crew in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates abandoned the
ship on August 9 and all crew members were freed. No random was
(AP, 4/11/09)(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 8/10/09)
2009 Apr 18, About 140 migrants
remained stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship for a third day as
Malta and Italy argued about which country should accept them.
2009 Apr 19, Italy agreed to
accept 140 migrants stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship that
rescued them in the Mediterranean, ending a four-day standoff with
Malta about who would take them in.
2009 Apr 24, In Italy US and
Russian arms negotiators held a "very productive" initial round of
talks aimed at agreeing a new treaty to curb nuclear weapons as part
of a broader effort to improve relations.
2009 Apr 26, Pope Benedict XVI
named five new saints, including Portugal's 14th century
independence leader and an Italian priest who ministered to factory
workers at the dawn of the industrial era.
2009 Apr 29, Youssef Magied
al-Molqui, one of the 4 Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro
cruise ship and killed an American passenger in 1985, left prison in
Palermo, Sicily, after more than 23 years in jail. Ibrahim Fatayer
Abdelatif, another convicted Achille Lauro hijacker, was released
2009 May 1, Italian PM Silvio
Berlusconi, who has compared himself to Jesus Christ and Napoleon,
boasted that he was the world's most popular leader.
2009 May 3, Italian media
reported that PM Silvio Berlusconi's wife wants a divorce, just days
after she publicly criticized his party's selection of young women
to run in European elections.
2009 May 4, In Germany Sergio
Marchionne, the boss of Italy's Fiat, drummed up support in Berlin
for audacious plans to snap up General Motors' European arm and
merge it with the bankrupt Chrysler to create a new global auto
giant. Germany's economy minister said Fiat Group SpA wants to take
over GM's Opel unit without running up debt and would preserve the
three main German assembly plants if successful.
(AFP, 5/4/09)(AP, 5/4/09)
2009 May 7, In Italy Jonathan
Robert Hindenach (24) of Charlotte, Michigan, killing an Italian man
in Florence. He had consumed drugs and alcohol before slaying
Riccardo Nistri (62).
2009 May 10, Italian police
arrested a fugitive crime boss who they found holed up in a secret
room of his brother's house in the southern Italian region of
Calabria. Salvatore Coluccio has been a fugitive since 2005.
2009 May 12, Italian
anti-terrorism investigators said two French citizens behind bars
since last year on suspicion of smuggling migrants were al-Qaida
propaganda point men in Europe and were heard talking in jail about
a possible attack on a Paris airport. Bassam Ayachi (62) and Raphael
Frederic Gendron (33) were served warrants in jail accusing them of
criminal association for international terrorism. The men have been
held in Bari since November when they were arrested on suspicion of
smuggling two Syrians and three Palestinians into Italy.
2009 May 13, Italy's lower
chamber of parliament passed a hotly debated bill making it a crime
to enter or stay in Italy illegally, the latest effort by Premier
Silvio Berlusconi's conservative forces to crack down on illegal
migration. The bill included a fine of up to $13,670 and jail for
people housing illegal immigrants.
(AP, 5/13/09)(SFC, 5/14/09, p.A2)
2009 May 15, In Spain police
arrested of Raffaele Amato, an alleged Camorra boss who
investigators say was one of Italy's top cocaine importers.
2009 May 19, Italian police
arrested Franco Letizia (31), one of the country's "most-dangerous"
fugitives, in raids that netted at least 70 suspected members of the
Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate. The search for dozens more was
still under way.
2009 May 22, An Italian warship
arrested nine pirates after helping a US-flagged container vessel
and another ship evade brigands off the coast of Somalia.
2009 May 27, Italian police
issued 61 arrest warrants against purported members of Naples’
Camorra mob for allegedly running drug and extortion rings. Suspects
arrested included 9 women and several bosses of the Sarno clan.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A2)
2009 May, Naples began a
six-month experiment hiring former convicts, including muggers, drug
traffickers and con artists to guide tourists through the art-rich
but crime-plagued city and use their inside knowledge of the local
underworld to keep visitors safe.
2009 May, Chikungunya, a
mosquito-born virus endemic to tropical Africa and Asia, was
reported to have arrived in Albania and Italy.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.83)
2009 Jun 10, Italy's Fiat
became the new owner of the bulk of Chrysler's assets, closing a
deal that saves the troubled US automaker from liquidation and
places a new company in the hands of Fiat's CEO.
2009 Jun 10, Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi began his first visit to Italy with a warm embrace
from Premier Silvio Berlusconi, evidence of better ties between the
energy-rich desert nation and its former colonial ruler.
2009 Jun 11, Italian police
said they were carrying out arrests in Rome, Milan and other cities
as part of an investigation into the activities of suspected radical
2009 Jun 12, In New Jersey an
Indictment was unsealed today against three individuals who
allegedly hacked into the telephone systems of large corporations
and entities in the US and abroad and sold information about the
compromised telephone systems to Pakistani nationals residing in
Italy. Italian law enforcement conducted searches of approximately
10 locations in four regions of Italy and arrested the financiers of
the hacking activity. Those financiers allegedly used the
information to transmit over 12 million minutes of telephone calls
valued at more than $55 million over the hacked networks of victim
corporations in the US alone.
2009 Jun 13, In Italy tens of
thousands of gay rights activists demanding rights for same-sex
couples marched through the streets of Rome on Saturday in a gay
2009 Jun 13, An Italian court
ordered the recall of 10,000 tons of wood fuel pellets imported from
Lithuania over fears that they could have dangerous levels of
radioactivity. Test results showed that they contained cesium 137, a
highly toxic radioactive substance normally produced by a nuclear
explosion or from the combustion of a nuclear reactor. The
contaminated pellets themselves were not dangerous to humans, but
danger comes from the ashes and the smoke produced when they are
2009 Jun 15, Italy's interior
minister defended plans to allow citizen patrols to beef up security
amid outrage over a new right-wing guard that has put Fascist and
Nazi-like symbols on its uniforms.
2009 Jun 16, Italian police
said they had arrested 13 people suspected of helping a top Mafia
fugitive hide, communicate with other mobsters and conduct his
business. Investigators said they are closing in on Matteo Messina
Denaro, a fugitive who is among a handful of mobsters vying to take
over the Sicilian Mafia. Most of the arrests were carried out in
Trapani, a city in Western Sicily that is the power base of Messina
2009 Jun 20, Italian police in
Sicily said they have arrested 14 people and placed more than 250
under investigation in the country's biggest sweep against Internet
2009 Jun 20, In Venezuela
authorities arrested Salvatore Miceli, suspected of being a key
intermediary in the drug trafficking trade and one of Italy's most
dangerous Mafia fugitives, as he left his apartment in Caracas.
Police also picked up two other Italian suspects.
2009 Jun 22, In Italy Khaled
Hussein (73), a Palestinian man who helped plan the 1985 hijacking
of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, died of a heart attack in a jail
(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 25, In Italy foreign
ministers of the industrialized Group of Eight gathered for a 3-day
meeting in Trieste. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he
hoped delegates from the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy,
Canada, Japan and Russia will condemn the crackdown in Iran and urge
2009 Jun 26, Group of Eight
foreign ministers, meeting in Trieste, Italy, criticized Iran's
postelection violence, and urged its ruling clergy to ensure the
outcome of the disputed ballot reflects the will of the Iranian
people. The G8 countries also condemned North Korea's nuclear and
missile tests and called on the country to return to the negotiating
2009 Jun 29, In Italy a freight
train carrying liquefied gas derailed and exploded in the midst of
the Tuscan town of Viareggio just before midnight, setting off a
fire that killed 21 people, many as they slept in their homes. At
least 50 were injured. An axle failure was blamed for the rail
(AP, 6/30/09)(AP, 7/1/09)(AP, 7/3/09)
2009 Jul 7, In Italy Matteo
Salvini, a member of the often xenophobic, anti-immigrant Northern
League party, resigned his seat in the lower chamber of Parliament
after being filmed singing a racist chant about Naples and its
2009 Jul 8, G8 Leaders met in
L'Aquila, Italy, for talks on threats to global security and
stability at a summit where climate change, a continuing global
economic crisis, nuclear proliferation and world hunger took top
2009 Jul 9, In Italy the G8
opened their summit to include the G5, which made their fifth
straight appearance at the annual summit, albeit as guests, to
discuss climate change, development aid, global economic growth and
2009 Jul 10, In Italy the 3-day
G8 summit came to close. World leaders launched a $15 billion
initiative to help farmers in poor countries boost production in a
shift in the way the West tackles world hunger.
2009 Jul 22, Italian
authorities seized some euro200 million ($284 million) in assets and
businesses owned by the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate, including the
Cafe de Paris of "La Dolce Vita" movie fame. 12 other restaurants,
apartments and luxury cars were also impounded in the operation.
2009 Jul 24, In Europe deadly
summer wild fires spread across Spain, France, Italy and Greece with
holidaymakers rescued from beaches and thousands of firefighters
brought into the battle.
2009 Jul 30, Italy approved the
use of the abortion drug RU-486, drawing fierce protests by the
Vatican. The Italian Drug Agency ruled that the drug cannot be sold
in drug stores but can only be administered by doctors in a
2009 Aug 8, In northern Italy
rules for officially condoned vigilante groups took effect.
(Econ, 8/15/09, p.46)
2009 Aug 9, Italians newspapers
reported that burglars earlier in the week had made off with jewels
and cash worth 11 million euros (15.6 million dollars) from the
hotel room of a Saudi princess in Sardinia, sparking a diplomatic
incident. On Sep 15 Sardinia police said most of the jewels had been
(AFP, 8/9/09)(AP, 9/15/09)
2009 Aug 20, Italian customs
found a boat with five Eritrean survivors of what it called a
"shocking tragedy. Around 75 African migrants died in the
Mediterranean after their stranded boat ran out of food and water.
2009 Aug 22, In Italy a lucky
lotto player in Tuscany won Italy's record euro147.8 million ($211.8
million) state lottery, pocketing what has been billed as Europe's
2009 Aug 30, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi and Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi laid the foundation
stone for an ambitious highway stretching along the entire Libyan
2009 Sep 8, Mike Bongiorno
(85), called Italy's "Quiz King," died. His big TV break came in the
1950s when he helped popularize the quiz show on Italian pubcaster
Rai. One of his biggest hits was "Lascia o Raddoppia?" (Double or
quits) the Italian version of "The $64,000 Question."
2009 Sep 19, Maurizio
Montalbini (56), Italian sociologist, died. He had spent months
dwelling in caves to study how the mind and body cope with complete
isolation. In 1987 he claimed his first world record after spending
210 days alone in a cave in the Apennine mountains.
2009 Sep 22, A sharply divided
EU failed to protect the threatened bluefin tuna, as the bloc's
Mediterranean nations refused to back even a temporary a ban on
catching the fish prized by sushi aficionados. Greece, Cyprus,
Malta, Spain, France and Italy, with strong fishermen's lobbies at
home, insisted on continuing the hunt despite the precarious state
of the species. Conservation groups had earlier criticized the EU
for not pushing to list the bluefin tuna under the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species.
2009 Oct 2, In Italy rivers of
mud unleashed by heavy rains overnight flooded parts of the Sicilian
city of Messina, leaving at least 22 people dead while sweeping away
cars and collapsing buildings. 40 people remained missing.
(AP, 10/3/09)(AP, 10/4/09)
2009 Oct 3, In Rome tens of
thousands of people gathered to defend freedom of the press accusing
Pres. Silvio Berlusconi of trying to silence critical voices.
(SSFC, 10/4/09, p.A6)
2009 Oct 7, A top Italian court
overturned a law granting Premier Berlusconi immunity from
prosecution while in office. It had been pushed through by
Berlusconi's coalition in 2008 when the premier faced separate
trials in Milan for corruption and tax fraud tied to his Mediaset
2009 Oct 8, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi said he will go on TV and appear in courtrooms to
prove that corruption and tax fraud charges in two trials against
him are false.
2009 Oct 12, In Italy Mohamed
Game (35), a Libyan, hurled a home-made bomb at the Santa Barbara
police barracks in Milan, losing his hand from the blast and
slightly wounding a policeman on duty outside. Game had lived in
Italy since 2003 and had never been a suspect. Italian police
detained two more suspects and found a large quantity of bomb-making
chemicals during overnight searches.
(AFP, 10/12/09)(AP, 10/13/09)
2009 Oct 15, Italy and NATO
denied a newspaper report that the Italian intelligence secretly
paid the Taliban thousands of dollars to maintain peace in an area
in Afghanistan that was under Italian control. The Times of London
had just reported that Italy had paid "tens of thousands of dollars"
to Taliban commanders and warlords in the Surobi district. It
accused Rome of failing to inform its allies about the payments and
of misleading the French, who took over the Surobi district in
mid-2008, into thinking the area was quiet and safe. An ambush of
the French in a mountain pass on Aug. 18, 2008, was the biggest
single combat loss for international forces in Afghanistan in more
than three years.
2009 Oct 25, In Italy 4
policemen were questioned for allegedly attempting to blackmail
opposition leader Piero Marrazzo (51). The case centered on
widespread media reports that a video shows the center-left
politician in the company of a transsexual in a Rome apartment.
2009 Oct 27, An Italian appeals
court upheld the conviction of British lawyer David Mills for
accepting a bribe to lie in court to protect Silvio Berlusconi. A
lower court found Mills guilty of corruption in May and sentenced
him to 4 1/2 years. In 2010 Italy’s highest court overturned a
guilty verdict against Mills, ruling that the stature of limitations
(AP, 10/27/09)(SFC, 2/26/10, p.A2)
2009 Oct 31, Italian police
arrested one of the country's most wanted mafia fugitives after
tearing down a wall in a dawn raid at a chicken farm near Naples
where he had built a hideout. Salvatore Russo (51), the head of a
Camorra clan carrying his name, had been sentenced to life in prison
for homicide and links to organized crime and was on the run since
2009 Nov 3, Europe's court of
human rights ruled the display of crucifixes in Italian public
schools violates religious and education freedoms under the
continent's rights convention. The court ordered Italy to pay a
$7,390 fine to a mother who has fought for 8 years to have
crucifixes removed from public school classrooms. The Vatican
denounced the ruling.
(AP, 11/3/09)(SFC, 11/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 4, An Italian judge
found 23 Americans and two Italians guilty in the kidnapping of an
Egyptian terror suspect, delivering the first legal convictions
anywhere in the world against people involved in the CIA's
extraordinary renditions program. The Americans and Italian agents
were accused of kidnapping Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as
Abu Omar, on Feb. 17, 2003, in Milan, then transferring him to U.S.
bases in Italy and Germany.
2009 Nov 7, Italian
paramilitary police arrested Luigi Esposito in Posillipo, a northern
coastal suburb of Naples. Esposito, on the run since 2003, was using
a wig and false name when captured. Esposito was said to be an
expert money-launderer, who funneled illicit cash from drug
trafficking into tourism and other businesses for the Camorra crime
2009 Nov 10, Iran announced it
will use Italy to launch a communications satellite after waiting
years for Russia to do the job.
2009 Nov 11, An Italian company
that helped build a communications satellite for Iran said there are
no plans to launch it, denying an announcement made in Tehran this
2009 Nov 12, Italy's top
security official said that authorities have smashed an
international terror cell with the arrest in Italy and elsewhere in
Europe of 17 Algerians who were raising money to finance terrorism.
2009 Nov 15, Italian police
captured convicted mobster Domenico Raccuglia, one of Sicily’s top
mafia fugitives, in an apartment near Trapani.
(SFC, 11/16/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 16, A 3-day summit on
world hunger opened in Rome. Zimbabwe’s Pres. Mugabe used the UN
summit on world hunger to lash out at the West and defend land
reforms blamed for plunging his people into starvation. Some 60
heads of state and dozens of minister rejected a UN call to commit
$44 billion annually for agricultural development in poor countries.
(AP, 11/17/09)(SFC, 11/17/09, p.A8)
2009 Nov 18, In Italy the head
of a UN food agency expressed regret that an anti-hunger summit
failed to result in precise promises of funding, and critics said
the meeting had only thrown crumbs to the world's 1 billion people
without enough to eat.
2009 Nov 21, Italian police
arrested a Pakistani father and son accused of helping fund and
providing logistical support for last year's terrorist attacks in
Mumbai, India. The day before the attacks began on Nov. 26 they
allegedly sent money using a stolen identity to a US company to
activate Internet phone accounts used by the attackers and their
2009 Nov 24, In Italy
prostitute Patrizia D'Addario’s memoir, "Gradisca, Presidente," (At
Your Pleasure, Premier), went on sale. In it she claimed that she
had slept with Premier Silvio Berlusconi on the understanding he
would help her set up a countryside inn but that she got "nothing"
2009 Nov 30, Guantanamo
detainees Adel Ben Mabrouk (39) and Mohamed Ben Riadh Nasri (43)
arrived in Italy for trial on int’l. terrorism charges. The 2
Tunisian men were charged for allegedly recruiting fighters for
(SFC, 12/1/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 1, Italian officials
said police have broken up a major mafia clan, issuing 83 arrest
warrants and seizing businesses, land, race horses and a
London-based online betting company. Local politicians and
businessmen in the southern city of Bari were among those implicated
as part of a 3-year operation, called "Domino," for collaborating
with the Parisi clan.
2009 Dec 2, An Italian-led team
of scientists said a robotic hand has been successfully connected to
an amputee, allowing him to feel sensations in the artificial limb
and control it with his thoughts. A video was shown of Pierpaolo
Petruzziello (26) as he concentrated to give orders to the hand
placed next to him.
2009 Dec 4, A jailed Mafia
hitman linked Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi to the Cosa Nostra,
telling a court that a godfather convicted for a 1993 bombing
campaign had boasted of his links to the media mogul.
2009 Dec 4, In Italy Amanda
Knox of Seattle, Wa., was convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher
(21), her British roommate on Nov 1, 2007. The conviction was
announced at around midnight after 13 hours of deliberations. Knox
was sentenced to 26 years in prison. The court also convicted Knox's
co-defendant and former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, and
gave him a 25-year jail term for the murder. Rudy Hermann Guede, an
Ivory Coast citizen, had already been convicted in the murder and
sentenced to 30 years in prison.
2009 Dec 5, In Italy thousands
of people gathered in Rome for “No Berlusconi Day,” a gathering born
on the Internet to protest against Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
(Econ, 12/5/09, p.61)(http://tinyurl.com/yhy5mnt)
2009 Dec 5, Italian police
found convicted Mafioso Gianni Nicchi (28), alleged to be Cosa
Nostra's No. 2 leader, hiding in an apartment in Palermo. Nicchi, a
fugitive since 2006, was convicted last year of extortion and
sentenced to 18 years in prison. Authorities in Milan arrested
Gaetano Fidanzati (74) as he strolled down a street. Fidanzati is a
reputed longtime Cosa Nostra boss of a Palermo crime clan and has
been a fugitive for two years.
2009 Dec 5, Italian tax police
said that they had seized works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and
other giants of art in a crackdown on assets hidden by Calisto
Tanzi, the disgraced founder of the collapsed dairy company
2009 Dec 5, In Haiti Francesco
Fantoli (54), an Italian journalist, was mortally wounded by gunmen
who may have tried to rob him outside a bank in Port-au-Prince. He
recently founded a soccer school in the southern city of Jacmel,
where he often lived.
2009 Dec 12, In Italy at least
5 sperm whales died after a pod of nine beached on the southern
coast. Experts called it a rare and puzzling mass beaching for such
a large species. Officials were considering euthanizing the last two
whales still trapped in high waves.
2009 Dec 13, Italy’s Premier
Silvio Berlusconi (73) was hospitalized in Milan with a fractured
nose and two broken teeth from an attack by a mentally disturbed man
who hit him in the face with a statuette. Police arrested attacker
Massimo Tartaglia (42), a 42-year-old man with a history of
2009 Dec 15, In Italy Massimo
Tartaglia, the man who attacked Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi,
wrote a letter to Berlusconi through his lawyers, saying he was
sorry for his act as a judge considered whether he should be
transferred to a psychiatric hospital.
2009 Dec 19, Diplomatic sources
said an Italian and his wife were missing and their car was found
abandoned in eastern Mauritania, near the border with Mali.
2009 Dec 20, Italian state-run
and private television stations said a third Tunisian detainee from
Guantanamo Bay is being moved to Italy to face international
terrorism charges for having allegedly recruited fighters for
Afghanistan. He was identified as Moez Ben Abdelkader Fezzani (40),
also known as Abou Nassim.
2009 Dec 23, In Italy an
unusually high tide flooded most of Venice, forcing tourists and
residents to wade through knee-high waters or take to improvised,
elevated boardwalks set up in St. Mark's Square and other landmarks.
2009 Dec 23, Italian carmaker
Fiat became a majority owner of Serbian car manufacturer Zastava
with a 67% stake.
(Econ, 1/2/10, p.39)(http://tinyurl.com/yd2lccd)
2009 Dec 27, Italian officials
said 7 people, including a German teenager, have been killed by
weekend avalanches in northern Italy.
2009 In Italy comedian Beppe
Grillo and communications executive Gianroberto Casaleggio founded
the Five Star Movement (M5S) stressing environmental commitment and
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.58)
2009 In Italy some 7% of the
population was made up of immigrants.
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.58)
2010 Jan 8, In Italy at least
37 people were wounded in Rosarno, following clashes between the
migrants, police and local residents. The wounded included 5
migrants, 14 residents and 18 police officers.
2010 Jan 9, In Italy some 300
African migrants were bused out of Rosarno, a southern Italian town
rocked by two days of clashes between the migrants, police and local
residents. The rioting began after two men, one from Nigeria and the
other from Togo, were lightly wounded by a pellet gun attack on Jan
7. Migrants alleged they were earning illegally low wages, as little
as euro20 euros ($30), for a 12-hour day picking citrus fruit and
2010 Jan 13, Ethiopia’s biggest
hydroelectric dam was opened by PM Meles Zenawi and Italian Foreign
Minister Franco Frattini. The Gilegel Gibe II dam was financed by
2010 Jan 27, It was reported
that Italian fashion house Armani has stopped selling online a
T-shirt bearing a logo similar to Indonesia's national symbol,
Garuda Pancasila, after some bloggers protested and other people
called for the label to be sued.
2010 Jan 30, In Italy hundreds
of judges walked out of nationwide ceremonies held to mark the start
of the judicial year in protest at "destructive legislation"
introduced by PM Silvio Berlusconi.
2010 Jan 30, The European Union
said Italy is to stop fishing for bluefin tuna, the lucrative but
over-exploited species beloved of Japanese sushi fans, for 12
2010 Feb 2, The key witness in
a Mafia trial in Sicily told a court that a close ally of PM Silvio
Berlusconi had direct links with the former "Boss of Bosses" of the
2010 Feb 11, Italy's Fiat SpA
and Russian automobile company Sollers announced a euro2.4 billion
($3.3 billion) joint venture to produce up to 500,000 vehicles per
year in Russia in a bid to become the country's second-largest car
2010 Feb 13, Italian police
said they have confiscated 500,000 tons of counterfeit goods
discovered in eight industrial hangars on the outskirts of Rome.
Once labeled with Italian brands, They would have brought in several
million euros for the counterfeiters. The goods were suspected of
being imported from China.
2010 Feb 13, In Italy an
Egyptian youth, Hamed Mahmoud Abdel Aziz Essayyed Abdou, was stabbed
to death in Milan in a killing blamed on Peruvian and Ecuadorian
youths. 36 Egyptians and one Ivorian national were detained
following a rampage by around 100 North Africans.
2010 Feb 19, Pope Benedict XVI
approved sainthood for Mother Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), making the
woman known for her work among the needy Australia's first saint.
Sainthood was also approved for Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century
Polish priest; Italian nuns Giulia Salzano and Battista Varano;
Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola and a
Canadian brother, Andre Bessette (d.1937). The formal canonization
will take place Oct. 17 in Rome.
2010 Feb 23, In Italy an oil
spill began and spread south down the Lambro to Piacenza and Cremona
overnight, despite efforts to contain it. By the next day if reached
the Po River, with officials warning of an ecological disaster as
they scrambled to contain the sludge before it contaminated Italy's
longest and most important river. Milan regional officials said the
cause was certainly sabotage at a former refinery turned oil depot,
since the cisterns were opened and the oil allowed to flow unimpeded
into the Lambro River near Monza.
2010 Feb 24, An Italian court
convicted three Google executives of privacy violations because they
did not act quickly enough to remove an online video that showed
sadistic teen bullies pummeling and mocking an autistic boy. Judge
Oscar Magi sentenced the three in absentia to a six-month suspended
sentence and absolved them of defamation charges. A fourth
defendant, charged only with defamation, was acquitted. In the US,
the Communications Decency Act of 1996 generally gives Internet
service providers immunity in cases like this, but no such
protections exist in Europe.
2010 Feb 26, In Italy telecoms
billionaire Silvio Scaglia spent the night in police custody after
flying in by private jet from the Caribbean to face charges in a
money-laundering probe. Scaglia, the founder of Italy's second
biggest telecoms company, Fastweb, was among 56 people for whom
arrest warrants were issued in a case where prosecutors allege more
than 2 billion euros (1.8 billion pound) was laundered via fake
international phone service purchases and sales from 2003-2006.
2010 Mar 3, Italian police
arrested seven people on suspicion of trafficking arms to Iran, two
Iranians they believe are secret agents and five Italians. Two more
Iranians were being sought. On April 29 Ali Damirchi-Lou and state
television reporter Hamid Masoumi-Nejad were released from jail and
placed under house arrest.
(AP, 3/3/10)(AFP, 4/30/10)
2010 Mar 10, National police in
Rome said 20 warrants have been issued so far in Palermo and six
arrests have been made in the United States. Police say the
crackdown targeted a Palermo-based Mafia crime family, and those
named in the warrants are suspected of being mobsters and running
extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking operations.
2010 Mar 15, Italian police
arrested the "postmen" of the Mafia's top boss, 19 close aides who
delivered the notes Matteo Messina Denaro writes to impart orders
from his hideout.
2010 Mar 15, British and
Italian doctors carried out groundbreaking surgery to rebuild the
windpipe of a 10-year-old boy using stem cells developed within his
own body. Doctors at London's Great Ormond Street children's
hospital implanted the boy with a donor trachea, or windpipe, that
had been stripped of its cells and injected with his own.
2010 Mar 27, In Turin, Italy,
Mao Asada (19) of Japan toppled Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim in a
triumphant season finale which saw her claim her second world title
at the world figure skating championships.
2010 Mar 28, In Italy voters
cast their ballots in regional elections. Premier Silvio Berlusconi
emerged as the victor in the elections widely depicted as a test of
his popularity. Only 64% bothered to vote.
(AP, 3/28/10)(AP, 3/30/10)(Econ, 4/3/10, p.53)
2010 Apr 9, France and Italy
agreed to cooperate more closely to increase nuclear power
generation and vowed to come to the aid of debt-laden Greece in
order to defend the euro.
2010 Apr 10, Afghan officials
said 2 Italian doctors are among nine people detained in an alleged
plot to kill Helmand's provincial governor. On April 18 Afghan
authorities released three Italian medical workers who had been
detained for a week, clearing them of allegations they were part of
a Taliban plot to kill a provincial governor.
(AP, 4/10/10)(AP, 4/18/10)
2010 Apr 12, In northern Italy
a landslide threw a passenger train from its tracks near the border
with Austria, killing nine people and injuring 28. A large
irrigation pipe burst at a higher elevation as the 2-car train
(AFP, 4/12/10)(SFC, 4/13/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 26, Italian police
arrested Giovanni Tegano (70), a veteran mobster who was on the run
for 17 years, in a house in Reggio Calabria. He was among the most
wanted men of the 'ndrangheta organized crime group.
2010 May 9, A plume of volcanic
ash snaked its way through southern France, Switzerland, Italy and
Germany, shutting down airports and disrupting flights across
2010 May 10, Italian anti-mafia
police said they have broken up an unusual alliance of Italy's three
main crime syndicates controlling wholesale produce markets,
including price fixing.
2010 May 26, Italian PM Silvio
Berlusconi bowed to market concerns about his country's high debt
load and bloated public sector, springing euro24 billion in spending
cuts on an unsuspecting public just weeks after ruling out painful
2010 May 31, Italy posted a
financial-stabilization decree aimed at tax cheats.
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.53)
2010 Jun 15, Italian police
arrested Nicola Schiavone, a powerful mobster of the Camorra crime
syndicate, in his villa in Casal di Principe, a small town north of
Naples. He is the son of imprisoned mobster Francesco Schiavone,
reputedly the longtime top boss of the clan. Another of the
elder Schiavone's sons was arrested last month.
2010 Jun 18, In Italy Pierino
Gelmini (85), a politically connected former priest, was indicted on
charges he sexually molested 12 young men who were being treated at
the drug rehabilitation center he founded in Italy.
2010 Jun 25, Thousands of
Italians took to the streets to protest public spending cuts.
Demonstrators demanded that PM Berlusconi modify his plan to freeze
pubic sector salaries and slash local government funding.
(SFC, 6/26/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 25, In southern France
Giuseppe Falsone, an Italian mobster and one of the country's top 30
most wanted fugitives, was arrested in Marseille.
2010 Jul 6, An EU lawmaker
urged member governments to open their secret files on UFOs. Mario
Borghezio, an Italian member of the European Parliament, said that
the EU needs its own "X Files" archive where anyone can see
information on UFOs, including data gathered by the military.
2010 Jul 9, Italy's Fiat, which
controls Chrysler Group LCC, said it will proceed with a euro700
million ($886 million) investment to move production of its new
Panda compact from Poland to a plant near Naples despite an
unresolved dispute with an Italian union.
2010 Jul 13, Italian police
launched one of their biggest operations ever against the powerful
'ndrangheta crime syndicate, arresting 300 people including top
bosses and seizing millions worth of property in pre-dawn raids.
2010 Jul 20, Italian engineers
launched a 3-month, 8,000-mile test drive of a robotic vehicle from
Parma to China.
(SFC, 7/21/10, p.A2)
2010 Jul 22, In Italy police
carried out six arrests and charged that members of the Camorra
mafia won contracts to rebuild the quake-hit city of L'Aquila with
the help of four bank employees.
2010 Jul 31, In southern Italy
an apartment building collapsed in Afragola, a small town near
Naples. Rescue workers said they have pulled the bodies of 3 people
from the wreckage, including a little girl.
2010 Aug 17, Francesco Cossiga
(1928-2010), former Italian premier (1979-1980) and president
(1985-1992), died. He led Italy's fight against domestic
terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s but resigned after failing to save
the life of a politician kidnapped by the Red Brigades.
2010 Aug 30, Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi and Premier Silvio Berlusconi marked a friendship
treaty between their two countries amid increasing criticism here
over Gadhafi's exhortation to Italians to convert to Islam.
2010 Sep 6, Italy’s Balzan
Foundation said its prize for the biology of stem cells has gone to
a Japanese researcher for discovering a way to transform adult cells
into cells with the characteristics of stem cells. The prize to
Shinya Yamanaka is one of four — two for sciences, two in
humanities. Brazilian mathematician Jacob Palis was cited for his
work in dynamic systems. The humanities prizes went to Italian
historian Carlo Ginzburg, the father of micro-history, for his
contributions to the study of ordinary people in Europe, and to
German Manfred Bauneck for his history of the European theater.
2010 Sep 12, The Venice film
festival ended with an awards ceremony. Jury president Quentin
Tarantino faced charges of favoritism after he handed out two major
awards to his friends, including best picture to his ex partner
Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere."
2010 Sep 21, Italian
prosecutors launched an investigation into the Vatican bank's top
executives for allegedly violating money laundering legislation,
triggering a sharp rebuttal by the Vatican. The bank's top two
officials were under investigation for suspected money laundering
and police have frozen 23 million euros ($30.21 million) of its
(AFP, 9/21/10)(Reuters, 9/21/10)
2010 Sep 23, In Italy
Carabinieri investigators in southern Calabria said that an euro8
million winning ticket in the national Superenalotto numbers game
was sold in a smokeshop owned by the father-in-law of a suspect
jailed in a drug probe. The winner avoided taxes on interest due had
the windfall been deposited in a bank. The mobsters got an excuse to
open a mega-account. Italian law requires those making big deposits
to prove the funds aren't illegal. Police seized millions of euros
worth of assets from the jailed mob suspect.
2010 Sep 29, Two American
balloonists disappeared in rough weather off the Italian coast.
Richard Abruzzo (47) and Carol Rymer-Davis (65) were participating
in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race, in which teams try to
fly the farthest on a maximum of about 1,000 cubic meters (35,300
cubic feet) of gas. Searching was called off on Oct 4. On Dec 6 an
Italian fishing boat pulled the remains of the two from the Adriatic
(AP, 9/30/10)(SFC, 10/5/10, p.A2)(AP, 12/6/10)
2010 Sep, Italian police early
this month arrested a Frenchman (28) of Algerian origin suspected of
having links with Al-Qaida.
(SFC, 10/4/10, p.A3)
2010 Oct 6, In Italy Concetta
Serrano was participating in a live TV show that focuses on missing
people when the anchor told her brother-in-law had confessed to have
allegedly murdered her daughter. The Italian news agencies broke the
story of the alleged confession while the show was being broadcast
from inside the uncle's house in the southern Italian town of
Avetrana, where Sarah Scazzi (15) disappeared on Aug. 26.
2010 Oct 7, In Italy Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao sealed Sino-Italian business deals worth €2.25
billion ($3.15 billion), after fending off European pressure to
raise the value of the yuan.
2010 Oct 13, Italy became the
latest NATO ally to detail plans to scale down its military presence
and hand over territory to Afghan security forces by the end of next
2010 Oct 15, In Italy judicial
sources said prosecutors have launched an investigation against PM
Silvio Berlusconi for tax evasion linked to his Mediaset media
empire. The allegations, which were immediately rejected by
Mediaset, were linked to tax declarations for 2003 and 2004 and are
part of a wider inquiry.
2010 Oct 17, Pope Benedict XVI
proclaimed Australia's first saint, canonizing Mary MacKillop
(1842-1909), a 19th-century nun. The Vatican also declared five
other saints in an open-air Mass attended by tens of thousands.
Brother Andre (1845-1937), a Canadian, Italian nuns Giulia Salzano
and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Spanish nun Candida Maria de
Jesus Cipitria y Barriola were also canonized.
2010 Oct 18, Iran took part for
the first time in talks in Rome with the international contact group
on Afghanistan that set "sufficient stability" and basic human
rights as the most realistic aims for the war-torn nation.
2010 Oct 20, Italian police
arrested Antonio Cortese. He is suspected of planting an unloaded
bazooka and carrying out a bomb attack earlier this year that
damaged the entrance of the Reggio Calabria courthouse in southern
Italy. Turncoat Antonino Lo Giudice, a former top 'ndrangheta boss,
accused Cortese of planting the explosives in an attempt to
2010 Oct 20, Robert Katz (77),
American writer and historian, died in Italy. His meticulous
reconstruction of an infamous Nazi massacre in Rome brought him fame
and sparked a trial over whether he defamed the pope. His book
"Death in Rome" (1967) and the subsequent movie based on it, called
"Massacre in Rome," stirred controversy because it suggested Pope
Pius XII did not intervene to stop the massacre even though he knew
about the Nazis' plans.
2010 Oct 21, In Italy
demonstrators in Naples set vehicles ablaze and hurled stones and
firecrackers at police over plans to build a garbage dump in the
Vesuvio National Park. 20 officers were left injured.
2010 Oct 23, In Italy mafia
fugitive Gerlandino Messina (38) was nabbed by Carabinieri in
Favara, near Agrigento, his power base in Sicily. He had been on the
run for 11 years before being caught.
2010 Oct 23, The European
Commission warned Italy that it may face sanctions if it doesn’t
remove some 2,400 tons of trash piled up in the streets of Naples.
(SSFC, 10/24/10, p.A6)
2010 Oct 28, A Milan court
convicted three doctors of performing unnecessary surgeries.
Prosecutors produced evidence that unneeded operations, including
amputations, were performed on 83 patients at the Santa Rita clinic
in Milan with the aim of getting large reimbursements from the state
health system. Pier Paolo Brega Massone, the hospital's chief
surgeon, was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison.
2010 Nov 5, In Pakistan a
private plane chartered by an Italy-based oil company crashed near
the airport in Karachi after the pilot warned of engine trouble. All
21 people on board, including an Italian, were killed.
2010 Nov 6, In Italy Michael
Seifert (86), a former Nazi SS prison guard known as "the beast of
Bolzano" for his cruelty, died in an Italian hospital. The
Ukrainian-born Seifert was serving a life sentence at the Santa
Maria Capua Vetere prison in southern Italy.
2010 Nov 10, Dino De Laurentiis
(91), Italian film producer, died at his home in Beverly Hills. Over
6 decades he produced over 500 films including the Oscar winning
(SFC, 11/12/10, p.C7)
2010 Nov 12, Italy's opposition
presented a no-confidence motion against Premier Silvio Berlusconi,
setting the stage for a showdown in parliament that could spell the
end of the government.
2010 Nov 15, In Italy the
political crisis engulfing Premier Silvio Berlusconi deepened with
four members of the Cabinet quitting their jobs, a move that does
not topple the government but further weakens the leader. Berlusconi
stands accused of having an "uncontrollable sickness" when it comes
to women, and of hosting "bunga-bunga" parties that culminate in
2010 Nov 17, Italian police
captured Antonio Iovine (46), one of the country’s most wanted
mobsters. He was considered the financial brains behind the Camorra
crime syndicate clans.
(SFC, 11/18/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 19, The Los Angeles
Auto Show opened. Fiat, now associated with Chrysler, introduced its
tiny Fiat 500. Fiat sales in America would begin in January,
following a 27-year absense.
(Econ, 11/27/10, p.69)
2010 Nov 23, Authorities in
southern Italy arrested two women in an operation against suspected
mobsters, a development that reflects the increasing role of women
in running the mob's affairs. Those arrested included Carmelina
Capria, wife of imprisoned clan boss Antonio Pesce, and Maria Grazia
Pesce, wife of fugitive boss Roberto Matalone.
2010 Nov 23, In Brazil Roberto
Puppo, a native of Bergamo, Italy, was shot and killed. His
bullet-ridden body was found in Alagoas on the next day. Authorities
believe the killing was ordered by da Silva's boyfriend, an Italian
man "suspected of belonging to an international organized crime
group." A teenager, who was not identified because he is a minor;
and a private security guard identified as Cosme Alves were arrested
after a few weeks and charged with the killing.
2010 Nov 25, Italian students
occupied the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Rome's Colosseum to protest
education cuts and university reforms being considered by
2010 Nov 27, In northern Italy
3 hikers died after being caught in an avalanche.
2010 Nov 30, In Italy police
vans and lines of officers in riot gear blocked access to much of
Rome's historic center to keep thousands of student protesters from
reaching Parliament. Similar protests snarled other cities,
including Milan, Turin, Naples, Venice, Palermo and Bari. In Genoa,
students protested under the slogan "they block our future, we block
2010 Nov 30, Investors sold off
government bonds from Spain, Portugal and Italy amid worries that
Europe's debt crisis has not been contained by Ireland's bailout but
will force more expensive rescue efforts.
2010 Nov, Italy and Montenegro
agreed to build an undersea cable to let Montenegro export
(Econ, 12/18/10, p.100)
2010 Dec 2, Retired Naples
Cardinal Michele Giordano (80), the highest ranking church official
to ever stand trial in Italy, died. The cardinal was acquitted in
2000 of charges that he supplied about $800,000 (€600,000) to
finance a loan-shark ring run linked to his family. He was also
accused of misappropriating another $500,000 in church funds. He had
always proclaimed his innocence.
2010 Dec 5, In southern Italy a
speeding car plowed head-on into a group of cyclists, killing eight
of them. Police said the driver had been smoking marijuana.
2010 Dec 14, In Italy
protesters set cars alight and hurled cobblestones at police in
chaotic scenes in central Rome after PM Silvio Berlusconi won a
crucial confidence vote in parliament. Over 100 people were injured
including around police.
(AFP, 12/14/10)(Econ, 12/18/10, p.95)
2010 Dec 16, Astronauts from
the US, Russia and Italy blasted off in a Soyuz spacecraft from
Kazakhstan on a mission to the Int’l. Space Station.
(SFC, 12/16/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 22, In Rome, Italy,
all embassies were informed about a pair of package bombs that
exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies, injuring two people who
opened them. Security officials later said that an Italian group
calling itself Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility.
(AP, 12/23/10)(AP, 12/24/10)
2010 Dec 22, In Rome tens of
thousands of students took to the streets to peacefully protest
planned changes in the university system. Protests in Palermo and
Milan turned violent.
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A4)
2010 Dec 27, In Italy bomb
squad experts defused a package bomb that was delivered to the Greek
Embassy in Rome, four days after similar mail bombs exploded at two
other embassies, wounding two people.
2010 Dec 29, Brazilian media
reported that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has decided not to
extradite former Italian guerrilla Cesare Battisti, a move that
could hurt ties with Italy.
2010 Dec 31, Brazil's president
granted political asylum to Italian fugitive Cesare Battisti, but
the case must still be heard by the nation's Supreme Court.
2010 Manlio Graziano authored
“The Failure of Italian Nationhood: The Geopolitics of a Troubled
(Econ, 6/11/11, SR p.4)
2011 Jan 4, Italian protesters
rallied against the Brazilian president's refusal to extradite
ex-militant Cesare Battisti, amid government assurances that
relations with Brazil will not be affected.
2011 Jan 8, An Italian
association for bird protection said that over 700 dead birds have
been picked up since Jan. 1 from the streets of Faenza, about 30
miles (50 km) southeast of Bologna. They appeared to have overeaten
sunflower seeds, which damage their livers and kidneys. The seeds
were mostly waste from a nearby oil factory.
2011 Jan 9, In Italy a
74-year-old retiree in Genoa shot dead two neighbors and then his
wife before turning the gun on himself. Jealousy appeared to be
behind the rampage.
2011 Jan 10, Italian auto giant
Fiat said it has increased its stake in Chrysler to 25% from 20% as
part of a deal signed after the iconic US brand emerged from
bankruptcy in 2009.
2011 Jan 13, In Italy a court
ruling partially stripped PM Silvio Berlusconi of political
2011 Jan 13, Italy's Mount Etna
has come back to life with a brief eruption that sent lava down its
slopes and a cloud of ash into the sky, forcing the overnight
closure of a nearby airport. Its last major eruption was in 1992.
2011 Jan 14, Italy’s PM
Berlusconi learned that he had been placed under investigation for
paying for sex with an underage prostitute, Karima el-Mahroug (known
as Ruby), and abusing his position by trying to cover it up.
(Econ, 1/22/11, p.63)
2011 Jan 19, Italy’s the
national statistics office said one in five young Italians, or more
than 2 million people, are not studying nor working, the highest
percentage of "idle" youths in the European Union.
2011 Jan 27, In Italy PM Silvio
Berlusconi faced more pressure to resign after magistrates issued
new documents with fresh details of erotic parties, some with
under-age girls, and of his gifts to participants.
2011 Jan 31, Italy’s PM Silvio
Berlusconi said he wanted to drop from the constitution a clause
imposing social obligations on entrepreneurs. He also promised tax
breaks for the south and offered cooperation with the opposition.
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.63)
2011 Feb 2, Italian Maria
Sandra Mariani (53) was kidnapped in southeastern Algeria near the
town of Djanet by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Algeria’s
official news agency reported the kidnapping on Feb 4. Mariani was
released on April 17, 2012.
(AP, 2/4/11)(AFP, 7/21/11)(AFP, 4/17/12)
2011 Feb 3, In southern Italy
Matthias Kaspar Schepp (43), a Canadian-born resident of
Switzerland, was found dead by a railway station of an apparent
suicide. Swiss police said they still had no evidence of the
whereabouts of his twin daughters, Alessia and Livia (6), reported
missing on Jan 30. The girls were last seen on a ferry to the French
island of Corsica four days before their father apparently killed
himself in Italy.
(SFC, 2/8/11, p.A5)(AP, 2/9/11)
2011 Feb 4, Italian President
Giorgio Napolitano refused to sign a key government decree to
increase the taxation powers of local authorities, dealing a blow to
embattled PM Silvio Berlusconi.
2011 Feb 5, In Italy thousands
of people attended a rally to demand Premier Silvio Berlusconi's
resignation following allegations he paid for sex with a 17-year-old
girl and used his office to cover it up.
2011 Feb 5, Israeli police
arrested four men in the theft of religious items valued at more
than $1 million from a synagogue in Italy. The 4 suspects, Israelis
in their 20s, were accused of stealing the items from Milan's
central synagogue last week and smuggling them to Israel.
2011 Feb 8, Somali pirates
firing guns and rocket propelled grenades hijacked the Savina
Caylyn, an Italian oil tanker, and diverted the medium-sized vessel
towards Somalia. The tanker was reported freed on Dec 21 along with
22 crew members.
(AP, 2/8/11)(AP, 12/21/11)
2011 Feb 9, Italian prosecutors
filed a request for an immediate trial of PM Berlusconi on criminal
charges relating to prostitution and abuse of power.
(SFC, 2/10/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 11, Italy warned it
faces a humanitarian crisis with some 1,600 would-be migrants from
Tunisia arriving in its waters over the past two weeks following
unrest in their home country.
2011 Feb 12, Italian auto giant
Fiat, under pressure to abandon any plan to move its headquarters to
the United States, committed to invest 20 billion euros to produce
1.4 million vehicles in Italy.
2011 Feb 13, Thousands of
Italian women turned out across the country to protest against
Premier Berlusconi, saying his dalliances with young women humiliate
the sex as a whole.
2011 Feb 13, Tunisian
immigrants clinging to small fishing boats landed in Italy, as the
Italian government appealed for EU aid and said it wanted to deploy
its security forces in Tunisia.
2011 Feb 15, Italy's Silvio
Berlusconi faced a potentially fatal challenge to his power when a
judge ordered him to stand trial on prostitution and abuse of power
2011 Feb 15, Italian news
agency ANSA said Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were indicted in Perugia
for libel. The charge stemmed from an interview they gave Britain's
Sunday Times years ago in which the father alleged police had
physically and verbally abused his daughter during questioning after
Meredith Kercher's 2007 slaying.
2011 Feb 16, International
migration officials said nearly 100 Egyptians have arrived in Italy
in two boats, as fears rose about a wave of people trying to reach
Europe because of turmoil in the Arab world.
2011 Feb 25, Italian police
arrested six Moroccan men suspected of inciting hatred against Pope
Benedict XVI for converting a Muslim journalist in Italy to
2011 Feb, A Italian convicted
Pietro Lamberti for having sex with an 11-year-old girl and
sentenced him to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor.
The verdict was later upheld by an appeals court. In 2013 Italy's
highest court overturned the conviction of Lamberti (60) because the
verdict failed to take into account their "amorous relationship."
2011 Mar 7, French fashion
colossus LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton announced that it has
agreed to buy Rome-based jeweler Bulgari SpA in a cash-and-shares
deal worth euro4.3 billion ($6 billion).
2011 Mar 8, Italian police
picked up 31 suspects in a major crackdown on the 'ndrangheta crime
syndicate. 6 suspects, all Italian citizens, were apprehended in
Germany on an Italian-issued European arrest warrant. 3 suspects in
Canada and one in Australia were still being sought. Among those
picked up in Italy was Francesco Maisano, a boss who tried to hide
in an underground bunker when police raided his home.
2011 Mar 10, In Italy the
government of Premier Berlusconi approved legislation to drastically
overhaul the justice system, including ending the possibility of
prosecutors appealing acquittals.
(SFC, 3/11/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 18, Italy's foreign
minister said his nation will allow its military bases to be used
for the UN-backed military intervention to enforce a no-fly zone
2011 Mar 19, Six Danish F-16
fighter jets landed at the US air base in Sigonella, Sicily, and a
half-dozen US aircraft arrived elsewhere as the military buildup
mounted in Italy for possible action against Libya.
2011 Mar 19, Libyan officials
detained the crew of an Italian ship docked in Tripoli and prevented
the vessel from leaving port. The "Asso 22" tug of the Naples-based
shipping company Augusta Offshore SrL had 8 Italian, 2 Indian and a
Ukrainian crew member aboard. Agence France-Presse journalists Dave
Clark and Roberto Schmidt went missing while working in the eastern
(AP, 3/20/11)(AFP, 3/20/11)
2011 Mar 29, The UN refugee
agency says over 2,000 people have arrived in Italy from Libya by
boat since March 26 and more are believed to be en route.
2011 Mar 30, Italy’s Premier
Silvio Berlusconi promised to evacuate the thousands of North
African migrants who have overwhelmed the tiny Italian island of
Lampedusa, earning cheers from residents exasperated by the
2011 Mar 31, Italy shipped more
than 2,000 migrants to detention camps on its mainland, relieving
pressure on Lampedusa, a tiny island off Sicily which has been
overwhelmed by a relentless stream of boats full of illegal arrivals
from North African shores.
2011 Apr 1, Greek authorities
said an Italian radical anarchist group, the Informal Anarchist
Federation, has claimed responsibility for three mail bomb attacks
on a Greek prison, an office of the Swiss nuclear power industry and
an Italian military barracks.
(AP, 4/1/11)(SFC, 4/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Apr 4, Italy recognized
opponents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as the country's only
legitimate voice, becoming the third country to do so, after France
2011 Apr 5, Italy and Tunisia
signed a deal to choke off the flood of Tunisians heading to Italian
shores. Italy agreed to take two flights a day of repatriated
(SFC, 4/6/11, p.A2)(Econ, 4/16/11, p.58)
2011 Apr 8, France and Italy
announced an agreement to joint sea-and-air patrols to try to block
new Tunisian migrants from sailing to European shores.
2011 Apr 11, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi made a rare appearance in open court but left
after about 2 1/2 hours, saying the hearing at his tax fraud trial
was a waste of time and accusing prosecutors of having no case
2011 Apr 15, Italian activist
Vittorio Arrigoni (36) was found hanged in a Gaza apartment just
hours after he was abducted by an al-Qaida-inspired group. Hamas
soon arrested 4 people in connection with the killing, and sought
(AP, 4/15/11)(AP, 4/16/11)
2011 Apr 17, A train carrying
Tunisian immigrants from Italy was halted at the French border in an
escalation of an international dispute over the fate of North
African migrants fleeing political unrest for refuge in Europe,
unprecedented since the introduction of the Schengen travel-free
2011 Apr 18, Italian chocolate
tycoon Pietro Ferrero (47) fell off his bike while riding in South
Africa and died. A heart attack was suspected.
2011 Apr 21, Italian automaker
Fiat, closing in on its goal of taking a majority stake and full
control of Chrysler LLC by the end of the year, announced a deal to
buy another 16 percent share sooner than expected at a price of $1.3
2011 Apr 21, Somali pirates
captured an Italian cargo ship headed for Iran with 21 crew members
on board, including 6 Italians and 15 Filipinos, in the Arabian Sea
near Oman. The Rosalia D'Amato was released on Nov 25 after a ransom
was dropped onto the ship.
(AFP, 7/24/11)(AFP, 11/26/11)
2011 Apr 23, Italian police
arrested Francesco Campana (38), the alleged No. 1 boss of the
organized crime syndicate based in Puglia, the region that makes up
Italy’s boot-shaped heel.
2011 Apr 26, French dairy giant
Lactalis offered $5 billion (€3.4 billion) for Parmalat, Italy’s
biggest manufacturer of milk products.
(Econ, 5/7/11, p.70)
2011 May 3, Italian anti-mafia
prosecutors said that 80 Mafiosi from two prominent crime syndicates
have been arrested in separate operations. 40 were arrested for
association with the 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate in Calabria.
Another 40 people in Naples were accused of trafficking drugs
between Italy and Spain.
2011 May 5, In Italy an
international meeting on Libya agreed to set up a new fund to aid
Libyan rebels, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promising
Washington would tap frozen assets of Moamer Kadhafi's regime.
2011 May 6, Commuters in Italy
scrambled to find the few buses and subway trains running during a
one-day general strike that also affected air and rail travel,
banks, public offices and schools.
2011 May 13, In Italy Rev.
Riccardo Seppia (51), who had served in Sestri Ponente as pastor of
Holy Spirit church for 14 years, was arrested for allegedly abusing
a 16-year-old boy and giving him cocaine.
2011 May 14, Italian border
police escorted a boat with 218 Tunisians aboard to tiny Lampedusa
island, where tens of thousands of illegal migrants have arrived
since January to escape turmoil in North Africa. Meanwhile, Africans
fleeing Libya by sea reached Sicily.
2011 May 15, Italians voted in
partial local elections with all eyes on the northern business hub
of Milan, a center-right stronghold of embattled PM Silvio
2011 May 27, In Italy a Naples
hospital said Puerto Rican tourist Oscar Antonio Mendoza (66), who
was knocked to the ground by muggers trying to grab his Rolex, has
died, nine days after he was hospitalized with severe head injuries.
2011 May 29, Italians began
2-days of voting to elect mayors in cities and towns across the
country, with Premier Berlusconi hoping to avert defeat in his
electoral stronghold of Milan.
2011 May 30, Italian PM Silvio
Berlusconi faced a stinging defeat in his northern stronghold of
Milan. Local elections threatened to unbalance his fractious
center-right coalition government. Berlusconi's candidates lost in
major races like Milan and Naples, as did candidates of his ally the
Northern League in northern cities like Novara where they have
(Reuters, 5/30/11)(AP, 5/31/11)
2011 Jun 3, In southern
Afghanistan two coalition service members were killed in separate
insurgent attacks. An Italian paramilitary Carabinieri was killed in
northeastern Panjsher province. Lt. Col. Cristiano Congiu, a member
of the anti-drug and security squad at the Italian embassy, was
involved in an altercation on a narrow village street. He allegedly
fired his pistol and wounded a youth, aged 18 or 19. Villagers then
fired their own weapons and killed Congiu.
2011 Jun 3, The US Treasury
reached an agreement to sell the rest of its holdings in Chrysler to
(Econ, 6/11/11, p.77)
2011 Jun 4, Italy-based Fiat
offered $125 million to buy the Canadian government's stake in
Chrysler Group LLC as it moved swiftly to strengthen its control of
the US automaker.
2011 Jun 11, Pop star Lady Gaga
performed at a large gay pride rally at Rome’s Circus Maximus. She
also used the appearance to speak out in favor of full equality for
gay men and lesbians, and to denounce countries that show
intolerance to those who are different.
(AP, 6/11/11)(AFP, 6/11/11)
2011 Jun 13, Italian voters
turned out in large numbers to defeat laws passed by Premier
Berlusconi’s government to revive nuclear energy, privatize the
water supply and help him avoid prosecution.
(SFC, 6/14/11, p.A2)
2011 Jun 17, Italy signed an
agreement with Libyan rebels meant to stem a stream of migrants
fleeing unrest, prompting concerns at the UN refugee agency that
people seeking asylum won't have proper protection.
2011 Jun 24, European Union
leaders appointed Italy's Mario Draghi as the next president of the
European Central Bank, a move that gives investors much-needed
certainty over who will lead the institution in its pivotal role in
the fight against the crippling debt crisis.
2011 Jun 30, The Italian
government approved a $68 billion austerity sweep. The 3-year plan
aimed to bring the government’s 3.9% budget deficit to near balance
(SFC, 7/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 1, In Italy a horse
smashed into a barrier and died during training for a famed race
around Sienna’s cobblestone piazza, leading to calls from animal
rights groups for a suspension of the risky bareback contest. Some
50 horses have died since 1970.
2011 Jul 3, In Italy some 45
police and carabinieri officers were injured west of Turin as
demonstrators protested construction of a high-speed rail linking
Italy to France. At least five people were arrested.
2011 Jul 6, In Italy a military
court in Verona convicted 9 former Nazi soldiers in the deaths of
over 140 civilians in massacres in the Apennine mountains in the
spring of 1944. The defendants were sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 7/7/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 9, In Italy a Milan
court ordered Fininivest, one of PM Berlusconi’s family holding
companies, to pay $798 million as compensation for corrupt
activities in a takeover battle.
(SSFC, 7/10/11, p.A6)
2011 Jul 12, In Italy Giovanni
Strangio, the ringleader of a gangland style massacre of six people
in Germany, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the
Aug 15, 2007, attack that highlighted the international reach of
Italy's Calabrian mafia. He was one of eight people convicted and
given Italy's stiffest sentence for their roles in the violent feud
that culminated in Duisburg. Three other people were convicted and
sentenced to terms ranging from nine to 12 years, while three more
2011 Jul 15, Italy passed a $99
billion austerity package. The nation’s debt was the highest in the
Eurozone at nearly 120% of GDP. The euro70 billion package did not
entail any significant reduction in the wages, perks and privileges
of the notoriously bloated, handsomely paid political elite, despite
repeated promises such cuts would be carried out.
(SFC, 7/16/11, p.A2)(AP, 7/21/11)
2011 Jul 24, Pirates seized the
Rbd Anema e Core, an Italian tanker with a crew of 23, off Benin in
the Gulf of Guinea.
2011 Aug 1, Italian officials
said 25 African migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya died in
the hold of a rickety boat so packed with people that the migrants
could not get out as they struggled to breathe.
2011 Aug 2, Italy recalled its
ambassador to Syria to protest the repression of anti-government
protests and urged other European nations to do the same.
2011 Aug 2, A boat carrying 330
migrants from Libya arrived late in the day on the Italian island of
Lampedusa, a day after officials found 25 people choked to death in
the engine room of another Libyan refugee boat.
2011 Aug 10, In Italy
undercover police donned togas, capes and sandals to stop a turf
battle among Italians who impersonate gladiators outside the
Colosseum and other landmarks in Rome and make money by posing for
camera carrying tourists.
2011 Aug 12, The Italian
government approved $65 billion in additional emergency austerity
measures over the next two years in an effort to balance the budget
by 2013. Tax hikes and cuts to local government were included.
(SFC, 8/13/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug, Belgium, France,
Italy and Spain introduced bans to prevent the short selling of
financial stocks. The EU banned naked shorting of shares in October,
effective in Nov, 2012.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.88)
2011 Sep 1, Italian police
arrested businessman Giampaolo Tarantini and his wife Angela
Devenuto on charges of allegedly extorting money from Premier Silvio
Berlusconi to ensure his cooperation in a probe over recruiting
prostitutes to attend wild parties at Berlusconi's home. Tarantini
has admitted he paid a high-end prostitute, Patrizia D'Addario, and
other women to attend parties at Berlusconi's residences, but
insisted the premier didn't know. Between September 2008 and May
2009 Tarantini recruited women of "young age, slender frame," and
told them what to wear and how to behave at the parties.
(AP, 9/1/11)(AP, 9/16/11)
2011 Sep 4, Italian police
detained a man who confessed to knocking two chunks of marble off a
statue in Rome's famed Piazza Navona and of trying to damage the
nearby Trevi Fountain a day earlier.
2011 Sep 12, In Italy an
explosion at a fireworks factory in Arpino killed 6 people.
(SFC, 9/13/11, p.A2)
2011 Sep 26, Italian oil giant
ENI said it has resumed oil production in Libya more than six months
after civil unrest brought oil and gas output in the country to a
2011 Oct 2, In Italy Allison
Owens (23), of Columbus, Ohio, was killed by a car while jogging in
Tuscany. Her body was found on Oct 5. The driver of a car turned
himself in on Oct 6 after his vehicle was filmed on roadside
(AP, 10/5/11)(AP, 10/7/11)
2011 Oct 3, An Italian appeals
court dramatically overturned the conviction of Amanda Knox, an
American student, of sexually assaulting and brutally slaying her
British roommate. The family of victim Meredith Kercher (21)
appeared overwhelmed at the ruling, saying they were shocked and
bewildered by the stunning reversal of the 2009 decision. Knox’s
one-time boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, was also released.
2011 Oct 10, Pirates of Somalia
attacked the Italian cargo ship Montecristo carrying a crew of 23.
US and British Navy ships freed the ship and 11 pirates were
2011 Oct 11, Italy’s defense
minister said armed forces can be deployed on Italian ships sailing
in dangerous waters and that ship owners requesting the service
would need to reimburse the ministry.
2011 Oct 11, Two Italians, who
say they were sexually abused by priests, completed a 19-day,
340-mile (550-km) protest march to the Vatican and tried
unsuccessfully to obtain an audience with the pope.
2011 Oct 15, In Italy hooded
rioters in Rome hijacked a peaceful protest and smashed bank and
store windows, tore up sidewalks and torched vehicles. Damages were
estimated to be at least euro1 million ($1.4 million).
2011 Oct 17, In Italy Rev. Roy
Bourgeois, a US Catholic priest who supports ordination for women,
was detained by police after marching to the Vatican to press the
Holy See to lift its ban on women priests.
2011 Oct 18, A Milan court
refused to indict Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi in a tax fraud
case involving his Mediaset media company. The court, however,
indicted Berlusconi's eldest son, Pier Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset
chairman Fedele Confalonieri and nine other defendants.
2011 Oct 20, Italian energy
giant ENI announced a giant natural gas discovery off the coast of
Mozambique, which could be the largest in company's history.
2011 Oct 21, In Italy renowned
international law expert Antonio Cassese (b.1937) , died after a
long battle with cancer. He had served as first president of the
Yugoslav war crimes tribunal (1993-197) and later as president of
the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
2011 Oct 23, In Algeria gunmen
kidnapped three aid workers, two Spaniards and an Italian, from the
Rabuni refugee camp near Tindouf, injuring one of the hostages and a
local guard in the late night attack. Security sources in Nouakchott
and Bamako later said those responsible belonged to a Sahrawi wing
of the north African Al-Qaeda branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb
(AQIM). The group later demanded 30 million euros ($39 million) to
free the 3 aid workers held in northern Mali. Spaniards Enric
Gonyalons and Ainhoa Fernandez del Rincon and Italian Rossella Urru
were released on July 18, 2012, in exchange for three Islamists.
(AP, 10/23/11)(AFP, 12/5/11)(AFP, 3/3/12)(AP,
2011 Oct 23, In Malaysia
Italian rider Marco Simoncelli (24) died after crashing and being
hit by two other riders at the Sepang MotoGP motorcycle race. This
raised the number of recorded deaths in MotoGP to 47 since it was
founded in 1949.
2011 Oct 27, Italian soldiers
and civilian rescue workers battled knee-deep mud as they searched
for survivors after flash floods and mudslides inundated picturesque
villages around coastal areas of Liguria and Tuscany. At least 9
people died and 6 others were missing.
2011 Oct 27, Pope Benedict XVI
joined Buddhist monks, Islamic scholars, Yoruba leaders and a
handful of agnostics in Assisi making a communal call for peace,
insisting that religion must never be used as a pretext for war or
terrorism. The event commemorated the 25th anniversary of a daylong
prayer for peace here called by Pope John Paul II in 1986.
2011 Nov 5, Italy’s Premier
Silvio Berlusconi said improper construction in flood plains was
partly to blame for devastating floods that have killed at least 6
people in the port city of Genoa. Tens of thousands of opposition
activists demonstrated in Rome for the ouster of Berlusconi.
(AP, 11/5/11)(SSFC, 11/6/11, p.A4)
2011 Nov 8, Italy’s PM
Berlusconi offered a conditional resignation after he failed to
reach a parliamentary majority in a key vote. He said he would step
down if Parliament passes an austerity package demanded by the EU.
(SFC, 11/9/11, p.A3)
2011 Nov 10, In Italy Pres.
Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party made it clear that it would
back an emergency government of national unity led by a
nonpolitician, which would require a majority in Parliament.
(SFC, 11/11/11, p.A3)
2011 Nov 11, Italy sped a
package of reforms toward approval and prepared to hand its
dysfunctional government over to a technocrat, who Europe hopes can
save the country from going broke. Financial markets around the
world rallied in relief. Mario Monti, a distinguished economist, was
expected to succeed PM Berlusconi.
2011 Nov 12, Italy’s PM
Berlusconi resigned after lawmakers rushed through a budget bill
seen as the first step toward winning back investor confidence.
(SSFC, 11/13/11, p.A8)
2011 Nov 13, Italy’s Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano asked Mario Monti, a former European
commissioner, to become prime minister.
(Econ, 11/19/11, p.53)
2011 Nov 16, Italy’s new
premier Mario Monti (68) formed a new government of bankers,
diplomats and business executives.
(SFC, 11/17/11, p.A5)
2011 Nov 17, In Italy
anti-austerity protesters clashed with riot police as PM Mario Monti
appealed to Italians to accept sacrifices to save their country from
(SFC, 11/18/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 30, In Italy a judge,
politician and police official were among 10 people detained in a
crackdown on the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate in Milan and southern
2011 Nov, Maria Assunta (94)
left a $13 million fortune to her beloved kitty Tommaso when she
died two weeks ago. The feline's newfound riches include cash, as
well as properties in Rome, Milan and land in Calabria.
2011 Dec 1, Berlin-based
Transparency International (TI) said corruption is hampering efforts
to tackle the eurozone debt crisis, as Greece (80) and Italy (69)
scored badly in a list of nations seen to be the most sleaze-ridden.
Nepal ranked 154th out of 183 countries. New Zealand ranked the
cleanest, while the US ranked 24th. Afghanistan ranked 180.
2011 Dec 6, In Italy an
emergency budget under new PM Mario Monti came into force.
(Econ, 12/10/11, p.57)
2011 Dec 7, Italian police
captured Michele Zagaria, one of the country’s most-wanted fugitive
mobsters, arresting the last major boss of the Casalesi clan of the
Neapolitan Camorra, one of Italy's bloodiest mafia clans.
2011 Dec 8, German authorities
said a letter bomb has been intercepted by Deutsche Bank employees
intended to chief executive Josef Ackerman. They it was apparently
sent by an Italian anarchist organization.
(SFC, 12/9/11, p.A4)
2011 Dec 9, In Italy a letter
bomb exploded at an office of the tax collection agency, Equitalia,
slightly wounding the organization's director. The Italian group,
known as the "Informal Anarchist Federation" claimed responsibility
for package bombs sent to three Rome embassies around Christmas last
year. A week later another bomb was intercepted at Equitalia.
(AP, 12/9/11)(Econ, 1/7/12, p.45)
2011 Dec 14, Italian far-right
author Gianluca Casseri (50) shot dead two Senegalese men and
wounded three others before killing himself in a daylight shooting
spree in Florence that prompted outpourings of grief.
2011 Dec 22, Italy’s Senate
voted to give final approval to a $40 billion austerity and growth
package designed to eliminate its budget deficit by 2013.
(SFC, 12/23/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 24, In southern Italy
Ettore Bruscella (77) shot and killed three members of a family who
owned a laundromat, apparently incensed by a years-long battle over
the smoke and fumes emitted by the washing machines in the tiny town
of Genzano Di Lucania.
2011 Dec 29, Italian PM Mario
Monti announced a series of measures designed to relaunch the
country’s struggling economy.
(SFC, 12/30/11, p.A7)
2011 David Gilmore authored
“The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.89)
2011 Peter Robb authored
“Street Fight in Naples: A City’s Unseen History.”
(Econ, 7/16/11, p.87)
2012 Jan 13, The cruise ship
Costa Concordia ran aground off the tiny island of Giglio, off the
coast of Tuscany, with more than 4,200 people aboard. Captain
Francesco Schettino (52) was soon detained on charges of
manslaughter. The final death toll was put at 30 dead and 2
(AP, 1/14/12)(AP, 1/15/12)(SFC, 1/16/12,
p.A3)(AP, 1/17/12)(SFC, 3/23/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 27, In Italy Costa
Cruises, the Italian operator of the Costa Concordia luxury liner,
offered a settlement of some $14,000 to each uninjured passenger in
the Jan 13 shipwreck. The Carnival Corp. unit also offered
reimbursement of an estimated $4,000. A class-action suit was
expected to seek $165,000 per passenger.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A4)
2012 Jan 27, Fitch ratings
downgraded the debt of Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain
even as European finance chiefs gathering in Davos sought to
reassure global business leaders that Europe is on track to solve
its debt crises.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A4)
2012 Jan 29, In Italy Oscar
Luigi Scalfaro (93), a past president (1992-1999) who helped write
Italy’s post-war constitution, died. He was a founding member of the
former Christian Democrats.
2012 Feb 9, Ecuador's foreign
minister said police in Italy found nearly 90 pounds (40 kilos) of
cocaine last month in diplomatic mail sent to the Mediterranean
country and two suspects have been arrested. The crates had been
inspected by police dogs before leaving Ecuador, but had traveled to
Italy through a third country.
2012 Feb 14, Italian
prosecutors asked the country's highest criminal court to reinstate
the murder convictions of American Amanda Knox and her former
boyfriend in the brutal slaying of a British student.
2012 Feb 15, Guards on an
Italian cargo ship, the Enrica Lexie, fired at an Indian fishing
boat off Kerala state that it mistook for a pirate vessel, killing
two fishermen. Indian police took two Italians into custody on Feb
19. Rome warned that the two were soldiers who enjoyed immunity. The
2 Italian marines were granted conditional bail on May 30.
(AP, 2/16/12)(AFP, 2/19/12)(AFP, 5/30/12)
2012 Feb 17, Swiss authorities
said they have confiscated $6 trillion in counterfeit US bonds at
the request of Italian prosecutors. In Italy eight people were
arrested across the country and placed under investigation for fraud
and other crimes. The bonds, carrying the false date of issue of
1934, had been transported in 2007 from Hong Kong to Zurich, where
they were transferred to a Swiss trust.
2012 Feb 25, In Italy a Milan
court ended a corruption trial against Silvio Berlusconi, ruling
that the statute of limitations had run out on the case and
essentially handing Italy's former premier another victory in a long
string of judicial woes he has faced. He was accused of paying a
British lawyer David Mills $600,000 to lie during two 1990s trials
to shield the politician and his Fininvest holding company from
charges related to his business dealings.
2012 Feb 27, The Italian cruise
ship Costa Allegra, from the same fleet as the tragedy-struck Costa
Concordia, went adrift off the Seychelles with more than 1,000
people on board following a fire. A French fishing ship soon began
towing the Allegra to the Seychelles. The ship reached the
Seychelles on March 1 with all passengers and crew safe.
(AFP, 2/27/12)(AFP, 2/28/12)
2012 Mar 8, In Nigeria a
British-Nigerian operation involving 100 troops, military trucks and
a helicopter attempted to rescue a pair of British and Italian
hostages. At least two hostage-takers were killed in the operation
in Sokoto. Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara (48) and his British
colleague Chris McManus (28) were shot by their captors. Italy’s PM
Monti was only informed by Britain’s PM Cameron once the operation
was under way. The two hostages were kidnapped by heavily armed men
who stormed their apartment in Kebbi state in May 2011. Nigerian
authorities detained five Islamist militants suspected of
involvement in the kidnapping.
(AFP, 3/9/12)(AP, 3/9/12)Reuters, 3/10/12)
2012 Mar 28, Italy seized more
than 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) of assets controlled by the
Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi's family including stakes in top
companies, land and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
2012 Apr 5, In Italy Umberto
Bossi (70), the firebrand founder of a populist anti-immigrant
party, whose crucial support kept Silvio Berlusconi in power in
three governments, resigned as Northern League secretary amid a
widening corruption scandal over party funds.
2012 Apr 23, Italian police
arrested an Italian man, identified as Andrea Campione (28), in a
crackdown in several Italian cities on an Islamic extremist network
suspected of supporting international terrorism.
2012 Apr 24, In London
Gianfranco Techegne (49) was arrested at the Broadway Post Office by
detectives from Scotland Yard's extradition unit. He has been wanted
by Italian police since 1982 in connection with the armed robbery of
a car rental agency in Naples during which a young police officer
was fatally wounded.
2012 May 3, The Italian
government said citizens could now click on a government website and
indicate where state funds are being wasted.
(SFC, 5/4/12, p.A2)
2012 May 5, In northern Italy a
bus bringing retired police officers to a national convention veered
off a highway and plunged into a canal, killing at least five
2012 May 11, In Italy an
anti-nuclear anarchist group, the Informal Anarchist Federation's
Olga unit, that previously targeted the tax collection agency
claimed responsibility for shooting and wounding the chief executive
of a nuclear engineering firm earlier in the week. Roberto Adinolfi
was shot in the leg on may 7 near his Genoa home by an unknown
2012 May 19, In southern Italy
a bomb exploded outside a vocational school in Brindisi, named after
a slain anti-Mafia prosecutor, as students arrived for class,
killing one girl (16) and wounding several other classmates. On June
6 police arrested Giovanni Vantaggioto (68), a fuel vendor on
suspicion of multiple homicide.
(AP, 5/19/12)(SFC, 6/8/12, p.A5)
2012 May 20, A 6.0 earthquake
hit northeast Italy rattled the region around Bologna, killing at
least 7 people, collapsing factories and sending residents running
out into the streets.
(AP, 5/20/12)(Reuters, 5/20/12)(SFC, 5/22/12,
2012 May 29, In northern Italy
a magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the region around Bologna, killing
at least 17 people.
(AP, 5/29/12)(AP, 5/30/12)
2012 Jun 16, In Italy tens of
thousands of workers demonstrated in Rome to protest pension cuts,
tax hikes and labor reforms imposed by the government.
(SSFC, 6/17/12, p.A4)
2012 Jul 3, In Italy Sergio
Pininfarina (85), former head of Pininfarina SpA, died overnight in
Turin. The family company was known for its designs of sleek
Ferraris and other cars.
2012 Jul 9, A spokeswoman for
Italian oil major Eni SpA said in a statement that repair work was
ongoing on its Nembe-Obama pipeline and blamed sabotage for the
spill from one of its pipelines in Nigeria's oil-rich southern
2012 Jul 14, An Italian Alpine
rescue team military official said the bodies of a Polish woman and
Spanish man were found 4,400 meters (14,436 feet) up on the Mont
Blanc Dome du Gouter peak on the Italian-French border after
spending more than 24 hours in a snow hole.
2012 Jul 23, Spain's market
regulator says it has temporarily banned short-selling of shares on
its stock indexes owing to volatility in Spanish and European
markets. It noted that Italy took similar steps today.
2012 Jul 24, Mayors from across
Italy, holding up flags and wearing their tricolor sashes,
demonstrated in front of the Italian Senate against spending cuts
planned by the government.
2012 Aug 1, Italian oil company
Eni SpA said it discovered more natural gas off the coast of
Mozambique, expanding the yield of a major field off the southeast
African nation that's the company's largest find.
2012 Aug 7, In Italy official
government statistics showed that the economy contracted by 0.7
percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three
months, shrinking for the fourth quarter in a row.
2012 Aug 10, The Italian
government announced a shake-up of the judiciary aimed at reducing
(Econ, 8/18/12, p.50)
2012 Aug 10, Carlo Rambaldi
(86), a special effects master and 3-time Oscar winner, died in
southern Italy. His Oscars were won for special effects in “King
Kong” (1976), “Alien” (1979), and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
(SFC, 8/11/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 11, Italian police
raided an underground passageway in Rome, built during the era of
Benito Mussolini, and seized a sprawling marijuana farm with a crop
valued at an estimated $3.7 million.
(SFC, 8/15/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 12, In Italy Hundreds
of Wind Jet airline passengers became stranded due to the failure of
Alitalia's deal to purchase the Sicily-based low-cost carrier.
2012 Aug 16, In Italy 6 of 10
horses crashed during the latest Palio bareback horse race in Siena.
One horse broke a front leg. Some 50 horses have died during the
race since 1970.
(SFC, 8/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 23, In Italy a gunman
shot and killed Gaetano Marino (48), a boss from the Neapolitan
Camorra, clad in a swimsuit as he walked from a beach to join his
family at a hotel in a resort town south of Rome. Marino had lost
both hands in an explosion while planting a bomb in the 1990s.
2012 Sep 7, Italian and NATO
rescue crews searched the waters off the small Mediterranean island
of Lampedusa for survivors of an apparently sunken migrant boat
after some of the 56 rescued passengers reported that dozens more
were missing. One body was recovered.
2012 Sep 19, Italy’s Supreme
Court upheld the convictions of 23 Americans for the 2003 abduction
of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hasan Nasr, aka Abu Omar, in
(SFC, 9/20/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 12, Italy’s top court
sided with doctors who blamed a non-cancerous brain tumor in
businessman Innocenzo Marcolini on electro-magnetic radiation from
his cell phone.
2012 Oct 26, In Italy a Milan
court sentenced former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, to four years in
prison and barred him from public office for five years after
convicting him in a decade-old case involving the purchase of TV
rights of U.S. films for his media empire.
2012 Oct 31, Italian architect
Gae Aulenti (84) died at her home in Milan. Her work included the
1986 makeover of a Parisian train station into the Musee D’Orsay as
well as the 2003 makeover of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.
(SSFC, 11/4/12, p.C12)
2012 Nov 24, In Italy a car was
struck by a train near the southern city of Cosenza. 6 Romanian farm
workers were killed.
(SSFC, 11/25/12, p.A6)
2012 Nov 25, Italians voted in
a primary for a center-left candidate to run in spring general
elections that will in large part determine how Italy's tries to fix
its troubled finances and emerge from a grinding recession. The race
is expected to come down to a faceoff between Pier Luigi Bersani
(61), the leader of the main center-left Democratic Party, and
challenger Matteo Renzi (37), the mayor of Florence.
2012 Nov 26, An Italian court
ordered the seizure of the Ilva steel plant in Taranto, claiming
pollutants from the plant, the largest in Europe, have driven up
cancer in the area. Workers the next day stormed the locked gates.
20,000 jobs were at stake.
(SFC, 11/28/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 2, In Italy somebody
broke into the estate of Gianfranco Soldera in tuscany and emptied
the massive oak casks of 62,600 liters of his 2007-2012 Sangiovese
(Econ, 12/8/12, p.70)
2012 Dec 8, Itallian media
mogul Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that he's running to be premier
again for a fourth term.
2012 Dec 17, Italy's government
said an Italian technician and two other employees at a Syrian steel
plant near Latakia have been kidnapped.
2012 Dec 17, A Milan court
fined Moroccan woman Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby, for
failing to appear as a witness twice at the former premier's trial.
It ordered her to testify in January. She is at the center of Silvio
Berlusconi's sex-for-hire scandal €500 ($650).
2012 Dec 20, A Thai court
ordered the extradition of Vito Roberto Palazzolo (65), a fugitive
Italian banker found guilty of laundering money for some of Italy's
top mobsters through New York pizzerias from 1975-1984. Palazzolo
has written about his legal woes and getting swept up in the Pizza
Connection probe on his website, www.vrpalazzolo.com.
2012 Dec 21, Italy’s PM Mario
Monti resigned following Parliament’s confidence vote on the 2013
budget. Monti had said he would step down after the budget was
(SFC, 12/22/12, p.A5)
2012 Dec 30, Rita Levi
Montalcini (b1909), Italian scientist and Nobel Prize winner, died.
She shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986 with American
Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate the growth of
cells and organs.
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.74)
2012 Jennifer Clark authored
“Mondo Agnelli: Fiat, Chrysler, and the Power of a Dynasty.”
(Econ, 1/28/12, p.80)
2012 Bill Emmott authored “Good
Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the
Future.” This was an updated English version of his “Forza Italia”
(Econ, 7/7/12, p.75)
2012 Robert Hughes authored
“Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History.”
(SSFC, 3/4/12, p.F5)
2012 Italy introduce a new tax
on boat ownership and people leasing boats over 10 meters. Italian
tax evasion was estimated at about 18% of GDP.
(Econ, 8/25/12, p.43)
2013 Jan 4, A small plane
disappeared off the Venezuelan coast with six people aboard,
including Vittorio Missoni (58), a top executive in Italy's Missoni
fashion house. Wreckage of the plane was found in June.
(AP, 1/5/13)(AP, 6/27/13)
2013 Jan 4, Six Russians were
killed and two seriously injured when the snowmobile and sled they
were riding veered off an Italian Alpine ski slope at night, slammed
into a barrier and flew through the air into a ravine.
2013 Jan 7, In Italy former
Premier Silvio Berlusconi announced a deal with the Northern League,
his fractious coalition partner in three governments, to jointly run
in Italy's election next month.
2013 Jan 8, A European court
ruled that Italy's woefully overcrowded prisons violate the basic
rights of inmates, fined the government €100,000 ($131,000) and
ordered it to make changes within a year. The finding came three
years after Italy's government recognized the problem itself but
failed to pass legislation designed to correct it.
2013 Feb 1, In Italy a Milan
appeals court vacated acquittals for a former CIA station chief and
two other Americans, and instead convicted them in the 2003
abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street as part
of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program. The court sentenced
former CIA Rome station chief Jeffrey Castelli to seven years, and
handed sentences of six years each to Americans Betnie Medero and
Ralph Russomando. All three were tried in absentia at both levels.
2013 Feb 12, A Milan appeals
court convicted two former Italian spy chiefs for their role in the
kidnapping of a terror suspect as part of the CIA's extraordinary
rendition program. The court sentenced Nicolo Pollari, the former
head of Italian military intelligence, to 10 years, and Marco
Mancini, a former deputy and head of counterintelligence, to nine.
Three other Italian agents also were convicted and handed six-year
sentences. All the convictions can be appealed.
2013 Feb 16, A court in
L'Aquila, Italy, convicted four people in the collapse of a
university dormitory during the 2009 earthquake in that Apennine
mountain town. Eight students died in the collapse during the
powerful quake, which struck in the pre-dawn hours of April 6, 2009.
2013 Feb 16, Italian sailor
Giovanni Soldini led an 8-member team of the Maserati to a record
47-day trip from NYC around Cape Horn to San Francisco, beating a
1998 monohull record.
(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.A12)
2013 Feb 24, Italy began 2 days
of parliamentary elections.
2013 Feb 25, Italians voted for
a second day in a national election. Italy faced political paralysis
as near-complete results in crucial national elections showed no
clear winner and raised the possibility of a hung parliament. Beppe
Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) won no less than 163 of 945
(AP, 2/25/13)(Econ, 3/2/13, p.50)
2013 Mar 7, A Milan court
convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of breach of
confidentiality for the illegal publication of wiretapped
conversations related to a failed bank takeover in a newspaper owned
by his media empire. His brother, Paolo Berlusconi, was convicted of
the same charge and sentenced to two years and three months.
2013 Mar 18, India's Supreme
Court indefinitely extended its order barring the Italian ambassador
from leaving the country and rejected his explanation of his
country's refusal to return two Italian marines charged with killing
two Indian fishermen.
2013 Mar 22, Italy's Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano tapped center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani to
form a new government following national elections that produced no
2013 Mar 22, Italy returned
Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to India to face
murder charges in the shooting deaths of two fishermen, reversing a
decision that escalated diplomatic tensions.
2013 Mar 26, Italy's foreign
minister Giulio Terzi resigned to protest his government's decision
to send two marines back to India to face trial in the deaths of two
2013 Mar 26, Italy's highest
criminal court overturned the murder acquittal of Amanda Knox and
Raffaele Sollecito in the slaying of British roommate Meredith
Kercher and ordered a new trial.
2013 Mar 30, Italy’s Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano named 10 outside experts to try to help end
political gridlock that has prevented the formation of a government
more than a month after inconclusive national elections.
(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A5)
2013 Apr 3, Italy's anti-Mafia
investigators said they have seized a record €1.3 billion ($1.7
billion) in cash and property from Vito Nicastri (57) for tax
fraud. The Sicilian alternative energy entrepreneur was alleged to
have close ties to the Mafia.
2013 Apr 5, Italy's Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano pardoned Joseph Romano, a US Air Force colonel,
convicted in absentia by Italian courts in the CIA-conducted
abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street. He
hoped the move would keep American-Italian relations strong,
especially on security matters.
2013 Apr 9, A judge in Tuscany
fined Italian cruise line Costa Crociere SpA 1 million euros in
administrative sanctions for the 2012 wreckage of the Concordia
cruise ship that killed 32 people.
2013 Apr 15, The annual Goldman
Environmental Prize was awarded to six activists for their efforts
to protect the world ecosystem. They included Nohra Padilla (50) of
Colombia, who began organizing waste pickers in Bogota in 1990 into
the Bogota Recyclers’ Assoc.; Rossano Ercolini (57) of Italy for
setting up a trash collection and conservation system; Kimberly
Wasserman (36) of Chicago her grassroots campaign to close polluting
coal-fired power plants; Aleta Baun (50) of Indonesia for organizing
villages on west Timor against mining companies clearing forests for
marble; Azzam Alwash (54) of Iraq for his efforts to restore
Mesopotamian marshland; Jonathan Deal of South Africa for his
efforts against hydraulic fracturing in Karoo.
(SFC, 4/15/13, p.A10)
2013 Apr 20, Italy's Parliament
re-elected Giorgio Napolitano to an unprecedented second term as
president, after party leaders persuaded the 87-year-old to serve
again in hopes of easing the hostility that has thwarted formation
of a new government.
2013 Apr 24, Italy’s Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano nominated Enrico Letta, the deputy head of the
Democratic Party, as prime minister.
(SFC, 4/25/13, p.A3)
2013 Apr 27, Italy’s
center-left leader Enrico Letta (46) forged a new government in a
coalition with former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservatives, an
unusual alliance of bitter rivals that broke a two-month political
stalemate from inconclusive elections.
2013 Apr 28, In Italy a gunman
shot and wounded two policemen in a crowded square outside the
premier's office in Rome. The man "wanted to shoot politicians, but
given that he couldn't reach any, he shot the Carabinieri" police at
the edge of Chigi Square.
2013 Apr 30, Italy’s hybrid
center-left and center-right government won its second vote of
confidence. Premier Enrico Letta supported his choice of
Cecile Kyenge (48), a black woman, to be minister of integration.
2013 May 6, Giulio Andreotti
(b.1919), Italy's former seven-time premier and a symbol of post-war
Italy, died at his home in Rome.
2013 May 7, In Italy a cargo
ship slammed into a control tower late at night in the port of
Genoa, toppling it into the harbor and leaving at least 7people
dead. 2 people remained unaccounted for.
(AP, 5/8/13)(AP, 5/8/13)
2013 May 8, In Italy former
Premier Silvio Berlusconi's tax fraud conviction and four-year
prison sentence were upheld on the first appeal.
2013 May 9, In northern
Italy Ottavio Missoni (b.1921), the patriarch of the iconic fashion
brand of zigzag-patterned knitwear, died.
2013 May 11, In northern Italy
thousands of supporters of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi rallied
in Brescia to protest the media mogul's recent conviction by a Milan
appeals court for tax fraud.
2013 May 11, In Italy an
illegal immigrant from Ghana went on a rampage with a pickaxe in
Milan at dawn, killing a passerby and wounding four others in an
apparently random attack. Mada Kabobo (21) was jailed while he is
investigated for murder.
2013 May 18, A union of Italian
metal workers led thousands of people in a march through the heart
of Rome to press the new government for measures to spur job
2013 Jun 1, Italy’s health
minister confirmed that 3 people were being treated in Tuscany for a
new respiratory virus related to SARS. The patients included a man
recently back from a visit to Jordan, a related child and a work
(SSFC, 6/2/13, p.A6)
2013 Jun 5, US Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel said Germany and Italy will join the United
States as "lead nations" in regions of Afghanistan after NATO
transitions into a noncombat mission there after 2014.
2013 Jun 19, In Italy a Milan
court convicted the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of
tax evasion. They were found guilty of failing to declare 200
million euros ($268 million) through a Luxembourg company to
authorities and given a one year and eight months suspended jail
sentence. They were also ordered to pay a penalty of 500,000 euros
(about $670,000) to tax authorities.
2013 Jun 24, In Italy former
premier Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison and
banned from politics for life for paying an underage prostitute for
sex during infamous "bunga bunga" parties and forcing public
officials to cover it up. He still had two levels of appeal.
2013 Jun 28, Vatican official
Monsignor Nunzio Scarano and two others were arrested by Italian
police for allegedly trying to illegally bring 20 million euros ($26
million) in cash into the country from Switzerland with a private
(AP, 6/28/13)(SFC, 6/29/13, p.A3)
2013 Jun 29, Italian
astrophysicist Margherita Hack (95) died in the Adriatic Sea town of
Trieste. She had explained her research on the stars in plain
language for the public and championed civil rights.
2013 Jul 6, In Colombia Roberto
Pannunzi, a suspected Italian mafia boss, was arrested and deported
to Italy. He was described as Europe's most wanted drug trafficker
and the world's biggest cocaine importer.
2013 Jul 12, Italian police
conducted raids on companies across the country linked to the
construction of Venice's flood barrier. They arrested 7 people,
suspected of rigging lucrative contracts for the multi-billion
euro Moses Project.
2013 Jul 13, Roberto Calderoli,
vice president of Italy's Senate, said at a political rally in the
northern town of Treviglio, "I love animals - bears and wolves, as
everyone knows - but when I see the pictures of Kyenge I cannot but
think of, even if I'm not saying she is one, the features of an
orangutan." Cecile Kyenge, an Italian citizen born in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, has been the target of repeated racial slurs
since her appointment as integration minister in April.
2013 Jul 17, Robert Seldon Lady
(59), a former CIA base chief convicted in the 2003 abduction of a
terror suspect from an Italian street, was detained in Panama after
Italy requested his arrest in one of the most notorious episodes of
the US program known as extraordinary rendition. After barely a day
in detention, he was put on a plane to the US by the Panamanian
(AP, 7/18/13)(AP, 7/19/13)
2013 Jul 19, In Italy a Milan
court convicted three of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's former
associates of procuring aspiring show girls willing to prostitute
themselves during the media mogul's infamous "bunga bunga" parties.
2013 Jul 20, An Italian court
convicted five employees of an Italian cruise company over the Jan,
2012, Costa Concordia shipwreck that killed 32 crew and passengers,
handing down a maximum sentence of two years and 10 months reached
in plea bargains. The ship's captain was denied a plea bargain and
was being tried separately.
2013 Jul 25, The Venice Film
Festival marked its 70th edition with films starring George Clooney
and Sandra Bullock as astronauts adrift in space, Scarlett Johansson
as a seductive alien roaming the Scottish countryside and Judi Dench
as a single Roman Catholic woman searching for a son she was forced
to give up decades before.
2013 Jul 25, In central Italy
at least one person was killed and 3 seriously injured after a
fireworks factory exploded in Picciano.
2013 Jul 26, Italian police
said a mafia clan in Calabria staged hundreds of fake car crashes
every year to get millions of euros in insurance payouts to buy
drugs and weapons.
2013 Jul 26, Italy's coastguard
helped rescue 22 migrants and coordinated a search for missing
people after receiving a distress call from a boat that ran into
difficulties off the coast of Libya. 31 people were reported still
missing on July 28.
(Reuters, 7/26/13)(Reuters, 7/28/13)
2013 Jul 28, An Italian tour
bus plowed through cars, crashed through the side wall of a highway
bridge and plunged into a ravine, killing at least 38 people near
the town of Monteforte Irpino.
2013 Aug 1, Italy’s supreme
court upheld Silvio Berlusconi's conviction for tax fraud.
2013 Aug 7, Italy allowed 102
migrants who were stranded on a tanker in the Mediterranean to
disembark on the Sicilian coast after Malta refused them entry for
three days despite European Union calls for it to help on
2013 Aug 7, British police
arrested Domenico Rancadore (64), a senior member of an Italian
mafia clan. He had been sentenced to seven years in jail while on
the run and was detained in west London under a European arrest
2013 Aug 8, Italy's parliament
approved measures to ease some of the worst prison overcrowding in
Europe by cutting pre-trial detentions and using alternative
punishments for minor offences.
2013 Aug 17, In Italy a German
tourist died in Venice after the gondola he was riding in crashed
into a larger boat ferrying passengers along the Grand Canal.
2013 Aug 28, The 70th edition
of the Venice Film Festival opened with "Gravity," a 3-D
techno-drama set in outer space.
2013 Sep 7, The Italian film
"Sacro GRA," a documentary about life along the highway that circles
Rome by director Gianfranco Rosi, won the Golden Lion for best film
at the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival.
2013 Sep 16, Engineering teams
on the Italian island of Giglio began lifting the wrecked Costa
Concordia liner upright in one of the most complex and costly
maritime salvage operations ever attempted.
2013 Sep 17, In Italy the Costa
Concordia liner was pulled upright off the island of Giglio. The
vessel will remain in place for some months while it is stabilized
and refloated before being towed away to be broken up for scrap.
2013 Sep 21, The Italian
government announced that police in The Netherlands have arrested
Francesco Nirta, a senior mafia boss and one of Italy's 10 most
2013 Sep 21, Italy’s coast
guard said more than 400 refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war were
intercepted near Sicily in the past 14 hours, and one 22-year-old
woman died during the passage.
2013 Sep 25, The Italian
Coastguard said three boats carrying more than 700 asylum-seekers,
some of whom were Syrian refugees, have landed on the Mediterranean
island of Lampedusa.
2013 Sep 30, Italian
authorities said at least 13 people on a migrant boat arriving in
Sicily drowned close to the coast near the eastern city of Ragusa,
apparently after trying to disembark from their stranded vessel.
2013 Oct 2, In Italy Silvio
Berlusconi acknowledged defeat and announced he would support the
government of Premier Enrico Letta in a confidence vote, a stunning
about-face after defections in his party robbed him of the backing
he needed to bring down the government.
2013 Oct 3, A smuggler's boat,
carrying migrants from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia, capsized off
Italy’s southern island of Lampedusa. 160 bodies were soon recovered
and 155 people rescued. 366 lives were lost. On Nov 8 police said
dozens of the asylum-seekers had been raped and tortured in Libya
before starting their journey. Three traffickers were under arrest.
(AP, 10/3/13)(AP, 10/4/13)(AP, 10/6/13)
2013 Oct 4, In Italy, in the
3rd trial of Amanda Knox, mobster Luciano Aviello testified that his
brother, Antonia Aviello, killed Meredith Kercher in November 2007.
Aviello had previously testified that his brother killed Kercher,
but then recanted.
(SFC, 10/5/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 5, Italian state news
media reported that filmmaker Carlo Lizzani (91), a much-lauded
protagonist of Italian Neorealism, has died. The Academy of Italian
Cinema awarded him best director for his 1968 film "The Violent
Four" about a manhunt for bank robbers.
2013 Oct 7, A French
oceanographic vessel rescued 29 Syrian refugees, part of a group of
363 asylum-seekers that have landed in Italy in the past 24 hours.
2013 Oct 8, Divers in Italy
recovered 18 more bodies, bringing the total to 250, from the Oct 3
shipwreck in which only 155 of the estimated 500 African asylum
seekers, most if not all from Eritrea, survived.
(AFP, 10/7/13)(SFC, 10/8/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 9, The head of the
European Commission announced during a visit to Lampedusa that Italy
would receive an additional 30 million euros ($40 million) in EU
funds to help settle and receive new refugees, after the sinking of
a migrant boat off the Sicilian island killed at least 302 people.
(AP, 10/9/13)(AFP, 10/9/13)
2013 Oct 11, Alitalia’s board
of directors approved a €500m salvage package. €300m would come from
fresh capital and €200m from new credit lines. The government
planned to involve the state-owned postal service in the rescue.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.56)
2013 Oct 11, In Italy
Erich Priebke (100), a former Nazi SS captain, died. He had been
sentenced to life in prison for his role in in the 1944 massacre of
335 civilians by Nazi forces at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome.
(AP, 10/11/13)(Econ, 10/26/13, p.102)
2013 Oct 12, In Italy divers
found an additional 20 bodies off the island of Lampedusa, bringing
the still provisional death toll from an October 3 shipwreck to 359.
2013 Oct 19, In Italy a Milan
appeals court set Silvio Berlusconi's political ban in his tax fraud
conviction at two years. Demonstrators clashed with police as tens
of thousands marched through Rome to protest against unemployment,
government cuts and big construction projects they say take money
away from social services.
(AP, 10/19/13)(Reuters, 10/20/13)
2013 Oct 24, Italian weekly
L'Espresso reported that US and British intelligence services have
monitored Italian telecoms networks, targeting the government and
companies as well as suspected terrorist groups.
2013 Oct 24, Italian Augusto
Odone (80), a former World Bank economist, died in Acqui Terme.
defied skeptical scientists to invent a treatment (Lorenzo’s Oil) to
try to save the life of his little boy (d.2008), wasting away from a
neurological disease (ADL. The film “Lorenzo’s Oil” (1992) was based
on Odone’s efforts to save his son.
(AP, 10/25/13)(Econ, 11/16/13, p.98)
2013 Oct 25, Italian vessels
rescued another 700 migrants while the two-day EU summit was going
on. EU leaders failed to take new action to ease the plight of
thousands of boat refugees trying to cross from North Africa.
2013 Oct 29, Italian police
arrested 17 suspected gangsters thanks to information on brutal gang
wars that a mafia informant had provided before being murdered.
2013 Oct 31, Italian police
said they have busted an international ring of former special forces
agents hired to "recover" children involved in custody battles who
were spirited across borders by one of their parents.
2013 Nov 5, Italy’s La
Repubblica newspaper reported that a group of Italian computer
boffins have launched a new website, Mafialeaks, aimed at
encouraging victims of organised crime and former gangsters to spill
2013 Nov 16, "Tir," by director
Alberto Fasulo, an Italian film about a truck driver's travels
across Europe, took the top award of best film at the Rome film
2013 Nov 16, In Italy thousands
of families marched in Naples to demand a quick cleanup of toxic
waste that has been dumped by the local Camorra crime syndicate for
2013 Nov 19, Italian declared
authorities declared a state of emergency in Sardinia as Cyclone
Cleopatra dropped 450mm of rain in an hour and a half overnight. 16
people were reported dead.
(Reuters, 11/19/13)(AFP, 11/19/13)(Reuters,
2013 Nov 27, In Italy
three-time former Premier Silvio Berlusconi was ousted from
Parliament after two decades as a lawmaker. Losing parliamentary
immunity he defiantly calling it "a day of mourning for democracy"
and pledged to continue in politics.
(AP, 11/28/13)(Econ, 11/30/13, p.51)
2013 Nov, In Italy Francesco
Bidognetti, a top Camorra boss, was convicted of poisoning the water
table in the town of Gugliano with toxic waste and received a
20-year sentence. Camorra mobsters since 1991 have systematically
dumped, burned or buried nearly 10 million tons of waste, almost all
of it coming from factories that either don't seek to know where the
waste ends up or are complicit in the crimes.
2013 Dec 1, In Italy at least 7
people died and three were injured when a Chinese-owned clothing
factory in an industrial zone in the town of Prato burned down.
2013 Dec 3, Italian PM Enrico
Letta announced measures to try to combat a fresh rubbish emergency
in the area around the southern city of Naples where organized crime
and widespread abuse have created a chronic environmental crisis.
2013 Dec 7, The Italian foreign
ministry said Marcello Rizzo (55) has been kidnapped in the Niger
felta of Nigeria. Rizzo was said to have disappeared several days
2013 Dec 11, Italian PM Enrico
Letta won a parliamentary confidence vote triggered by the fall of
Silvio Berlusconi, promising to push through a pro-European reform
agenda and fight populism.
2013 Dec 12, In Italy grass
roots protests dubbed the Pitchfork Protests continued for a 4th day
in cities and towns reflecting the pain of a continuing recession.
(SFC, 12/13/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 13, Italian police
said they have arrested 30 people linked to Matteo Messina Denaro,
the head of Cosa Nostra, including his sister and several cousins in
2013 Dec 18, In Italy
frustrated and angry, thousands of students, jobless and tax-weary
workers have moved their days-long protest against "useless
politicians" to Rome.
2013 Dec 20, Italy's justice
minister has announced that Bartolomeo Gagliano, a serial killer who
failed to return to prison after a two-day good-behavior pass, has
been recaptured in France.
2013 Dec 20, Italian
authorities said that the Camorra syndicate's mobsters have expanded
their multibillion-euro toxic-waste disposal racket to Tuscany and
beyond Italian borders to eastern Europe.
2013 Dec 21, In Italy 9
detained illegal immigrants stitched their lips together with thread
from their bedsheets in a protest to demand their release.
2014 Jan 2, Italy-based Fiat
secured full ownership of Chrysler in a $4.35 billion agreement.
(SFC, 1/3/14, p.C4)
2014 Jan 3, The Italian navy
over the last 24 hours rescued more than 1,000 migrants from boats
trying to reach Europe.