17 August 2006

Viva Italia Show, London Olympia

Another Italian-themed show is taking place in London this autumn, at Olympia. The Viva Italia Show runs from 22-24 September 2006. Organised in conjunction with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the UK, the fair is a chance for Italian firms and organisations - and UK ones with an Italian theme - to promote and peddle their wares. The brochure promises Italian entertainment, cooking, tourist stands and Italian products to sample and buy. And probably lots of people trying to sell you property in Italy. For more info visit the Viva Italia Show website. Maybe we'll see you there.

7 August 2006

Algae scare empties beaches

Stretches of Italy's coast near Rome and along the Italian Riviera near Genoa have been closed to bathers in the last couple of weeks after an invasion of toxic algae. Traces of poisonous seaweed have also been found in the sea off Palermo, in Sicily.

The closure of Rome' s beaches must have been a blow to local businesses and sunbathing Romans, although the area which was closed last week, between Nettuno and Ladispoli, is not a stretch we'd recommend to tourists. The beaches nearest to Rome are not terribly pleasant at the best of times: dirty, crowded and lined with ugly and expensive bathing establishments. Far nicer beaches can be enjoyed to the north in Tuscany and further to the south - such as our favourite, Sperlonga.

If you're planning on a trip to the areas affected, we'd recommend you ask your hotel for the lastest information. And be aware that some of the problems cited in the articles below - expensive beaches, jellyfish stings - are perennial.

> The Times: Poison algae and jellyfish drive bathers from the beaches
> The Guardian: Swimming ban hits Italian beaches as toxic algae bloom
> Ansa.it: Toxic seaweed appears in Sicily