header i-Italy

Articles by: Cristina Esmiol

  • Art & Culture

    After 5 Years of Renovations, Museo Egizio in Turin is Fully Reopened

    Other than the famous Cairo Museum in Egypt, the Museo Egizio in Turin, established in 1824, is the only museum  in the world (after the Egyptian Museum in Cairo)  that is dedicated completely to Egyptian art and culture.

    During the past five years the museum has remained open to the public while undergoing major renovations, with an enormous budget of 50 million euro, but now it has finally fully reopened. Now, works that were kept in storage during the renovation process can be put out on display. The improvements made to the Museo Egizio include nearly doubling the exhibition space and adding 3-D films and historical photos. These updates will not only modernize the museum, but will allow for significantly more space for the thousands of Egyptian artifacts it houses.
     

    Despite the museum’s opening in 1824, Egyptian artifacts had been in Turin for years, the first of which was the Mensa Isiaca, purchased in 1630 by the Savoy King Carlo Emanuele I. After Jean-François Champollion cracked the code to deciphering hieroglyphics in 1822, many scholars flocked to Turin to study its many collections, most of which were uncovered in the early 19th century when the Savoy King Carlo Felice obtained 5,000 objects from the French General Consul.

    More recent excavations conducted between 1900 and 1935, lead by the Museum’s first director, Ernesto Schiaparelli, increased the collections housed in Turin.

    The new additions to the Museum have already been well received. They provide “a very immersive experience,” according to Neal Spencer, a member of both the British Museum’s Ancient Egypt department and the Museo Egizio’s advisory board.

    He believes that the updates of the past five years have improved the displays of Turin’s expansive collection by helping to make them more modern.

    Following these renovations, the Egyptian items will be displayed in chronological order with the benefit of new lighting and modern displays.

    Yet, the reopening of the Museo Egizio is just one of the exciting events occurring in Egyptology this year. The brand new Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in Giza this December. The goal of this additional Egyptian museum in Cairo is to improve the overcrowding problems facing the National Museum. This project is thought to have cost the Egyptian Ministry of Culture $550 million.

    Some of the most popular artifacts the Museum houses include the Tomb of Kha, Drovetti Collection papyri (the most important collection of papyrus in the world) and the Ellesija Temple. The Tomb of Kha might be the most significant of the three. The tomb dates back to 3,500 BC and contains sarcophagi, statues, sundries and furniture as well as other smaller, but extremely well preserved items like salted meat.

    Last year, even during the renovation process, 567,000 visitors went to the Museum. Museum directors hope to increase that number to 700,000 now that renovations are complete. Those interested in viewing the spectacular collections of Egyptian artifacts of the Museo Egizio can now take advantage of the Museum being fully open and renovated.

  • Art & Culture

    New Changes at MAXXI, the first Italian Museum Dedicated to Contemporary Art

    This year, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) is planning international exhibitions, price changes to tickets, interactive educational programming and collection outreach. MAXXI Foundation President, Giovanna Melandri, hopes that these changes will broaden the audience of their museumgoers. With that being said, perhaps one of the most beneficial changes being made to widen the museum’s audience includes ticket price reduction and even offering free tickets, for some.

    Starting on May 2, museumgoers can expect general tickets priced at one euro less than usual and only 8 euro tickets for those under 30. In addition, MAXXI hopes to attract scholars with free entrance to both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, Tuesdays through Fridays, for art and architecture students and researchers. MAXXI is even offering free entry to its permanent collection for all visitors starting October 10, Tuesdays through Fridays. Hopefully, these price changes can entice more visitors to see what MAXXI has to offer.

    Free entrance beginning in October will align with the Day of Contemporary Art. On this day, promoted by the Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art, participating museums and other art venues will invite visitors, free of charge, to display the work of new artists though shows, workshops, events and conferences in the hopes of drawing a larger audience. 
     

     Unlike its other Italian museum counterparts, MAXXI is quite new, being established only in 2010 and it’s the “first Italian national institution dedicated to contemporary creativity.”  However, should not make it appear as though the museum has a lack of artistic substance. The museum, though half the size of New York’s Museum of Modern Art at approximately 290,000 square feet, houses a variety of exhibits dedicated to art and architecture changing temporary exhibits like the current, Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968.

    The architecture of the museum itself is a work of art. Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid was commissioned to design the museum that the government supplied $188 million to construct. The exterior of the museum is sleek and modern, embodying the essence of the museum.

    According to its website, “MAXXI represents an awareness of the importance of promoting the current creative expressions of a nation such as Italy, characterised by centuries of primacy in the artistic and architectural fields…MAXXI therefore intends to be a form of antenna transmitting Italian contents to the outside world while at the same time receiving from the outside the flux of international culture.” The museum has 300 permanent artworks on display with representation from artists from all around the world, though Italian artists are perhaps most frequently represented.  

    The museum will continue its relationship with RomaEuropa, an annual six-week cultural festival, and the Young Architects Project, a yearly collaboration between New York's MoMA and MoMa PS1 that promotes budding young talent in the field. Also, this year two exciting exhibitions will make their debut, including “Food, From the Spoon to the Mouth” and “Istanbul: Passion, Joy and Fury.” The first corresponds with the unveiling of Milan Expo 2015, which also has a food focus, on May 1. The latter is the penultimate in a three-part series concentrating on the Middle East.

    Executive Director Francesco Spano spoke about the museum’s mission saying, “MAXXI is investing in culture, research, and the next generation.” In a city known for its rich, ancient history, MAXXI represents Rome looking towards the future of art.

  • Facts & Stories

    Pope Francis Announces Holy Year

    On Friday March 13, Pope Francis announced in St. Peter’s Basilica, during a Lenten penitential service, the upcoming extraordinary Holy Year. It will begin on December 8, 2015 and last until November 20, 2016. Prior to his announcement, the next Holy Year was scheduled for 2025 as Holy Years generally occur every 25 years. The focus of this Holy Year will be on the “mercy of God”, an important theme of his papacy. He explained this focus on Friday, “It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord’s words: ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’” Francis says he wants Church members to be more merciful and less rigid towards sinners.

    According to the Vatican’s website, a Holy Year (also known as Jubilee) “is a year of forgiveness of sins and also the punishment due to sin, it is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, of conversion and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and consequently of solidarity, hope, justice, commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters.” An extraordinary Holy Year can be called to commemorate a significant event.

    The announcement of this extraordinary Holy Year marks yet another reason why Pope Francis’ papacy has been so unique. Francis, former Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first non-European pope in more than 1,300 years. He is also the first Jesuit pope and chooses to live humbly in the Vatican guesthouse and travel with minimal security.

    With 1.2 billion members of the Roman Catholic Church, this Holy Year is expected to bring millions of pilgrims to Rome. In 2000, during the last Holy Year, 25 million pilgrims flocked to Rome, which is a 25% increase in Rome’s usual annual visitors. Pope Boniface VII declared the first Holy Year in 1300. Since 1475, the Church has celebrated a Holy Year every 25 years, making this newly declared Holy Year only the 29th in the Church’s history. However, in 1983 Pope John Paul II also called an extraordinary Holy Year, the occasion of which was to commemorate the 1,950 years after Jesus’ death.

    During the Holy Year, the Holy Door, which is normally closed up, will be opened so pilgrims can pass through it into St. Peter’s Basilica. The same goes for the Holy Doors of other Roman basilicas (St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside-the-Walls and St. Mary Major).

    This Holy Year will mark a significant year for both the city of Rome and the Church. While Rome will experience an influx of faithful making their pilgrimages, the Church will celebrate a year dedicated to God’s mercy and rediscovering the need to be forgiving.

  • Facts & Stories

    Regional Lazio Court Rules in Support of Gay Plaintiffs

    In Rome this Monday a step was made toward greater equality for homosexual couples in Italy. According to the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA), “The Lazio regional administrative court (TAR) ruled in favor of gay plaintiffs Monday that only civil courts, not prefects can annul the transcription in Italy of gay marriages contracted abroad.” This was against the orders of Interior Minister Angelino Alfano who wanted to annul the marriage transcriptions of homosexual couples that married abroad.

     This move follows a number of Italian cities, Bologna, Florence, Reggio Emilia, Milan, Trieste, Rome and Udine, whose mayors are going against Alfano and choosing to transcribe gay marriages. The mayors of these cities have created registers specifically for these unions and have begun to officially transcribe them.

    In a comprehensive government survey conducted in 2012, results revealed the mixed opinions of the Italian people regarding homosexuality. However, nearly two-thirds of respondents did feel that that gay couples should have the same rights as a married couples. 

    Yet, despite a majority of Italians now in favor of expanding the rights of homosexual couples, the Italian constitution recognizes the family as “natural society founded on matrimony” therefore couples who are in a civil union do not have a family that is considered “legal” according to their constitution and cannot receive the benefits that they would if their partnership was considered legal. Italy is the sole country in Western Europe in which same-sex marriage is illegal.

    But, in October in the country’s capital 16 gay marriages that were performed outside of Italy were recognized by Rome’s major, Ignazio Marino. Marino also stated that Rome’s legal department was contemplating bringing the issue to the European Court of Human Rights. While gay marriage is still illegal in Italy, some cities, like Rome, have allowed gay couples that were legally married to register their marriage as a union in city halls. Criticism followed from Alfano, who is considered a part of Italy’s New Center-Right party, and Italy’s Episcopal Conference, the national association of bishops.

    Change for this social issue has been challenging due to the importance of Catholic Church in Italy and in Italian politics. Nevertheless, change is occurring. Aside from this Monday’s ruling, last month Giuliano Pisapia, Mayor of Milan announced on Facebook that he plans to “oppose…a discriminatory decision” that would cancel Milan’s registry of gay marriages performed legally abroad. Also just last month, Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party pledged to begin to construct a law regarding civil unions in Italy following a meeting with LGBT groups in Rome.

    Looking ahead, LGBT rights groups have announced that there are plans for a mass wedding celebration to take place in Rome this May for 100 couples. Perhaps this mass demonstration will pave the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in a country that has long been resistant to such change. 

  • Facts & Stories

    Headquarters Move Would Not Diminish Ferrari’s Italian Essence

    <!--{14254204697710}--</style>Sergio Marchionne assured the public on March 3, at the Geneva International Motor Show, that if the headquarters of Ferrari were to move to the Netherlands, its “Italian-ness” would not suffer. Marchionne has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fiat Chrysler Group LLC since 2009 and replaced Luca di Montezemolo as Ferrari Chairman in October 2014.

    Due to such high demand for the high-end product, Marchionne is considering raising the public offering (IPO) stake more than the planned 10%. He explains that he feels this is necessary in order to curb the potential price increase of Ferrari sports cars. According to Ferrari’s website, their “share capital is currently divided as follows: 90% Fiat Group, 10% Piero Ferrari (son of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the company).” Marchionne is also considering establishing a holding company in the Netherlands in addition to preparing for a New York Stock Exchange listing.
     

    The chief concern of such changes is that Ferrari would lose its Italian essence, an essential aspect of its identity as a brand. Enzo Ferrari started his own company after leaving his head position at Alfa Corse in 1939. He formed his own, new racing car company called Auto Avio Costruzioni in Modena, Italy. However, during World War II all racing activities ceased. In late 1943 Auto Avio Costruzioni made the move from Modena to Maranello—the first Ferrari was built in the Maranello factory in 1947 and success promptly followed for this new race car.

    With such rich Italian roots, creating a holding company in the Netherlands has some worried, but Marchionne reassured the public that Ferrari “will always remain a sought-after mark of Italian quality.” He also shot down rumors that surfaced late last year that Ferrari was interested moving their company out of Italy for the sake of lowering taxes. He stated, “Ferrari SpA will remain Italian and will pay taxes in Italy.”

    More good news for the Italian luxury automaker is that manufacturing jobs will continue to increase; this includes jobs at the southern Italy plant in Melfi. Marchionne said that presently the plan is for 1,500 new jobs but this number “could rise to 1.900”. He continued to say that if new production lines are successful, such as the Alfa Romeo models (built at the Mirafiori plant), there is a potential for the creation of even more jobs and plant expansions. Given the fact that Italy still faces massive unemployment rates—this January the rate went down slightly to 12.6% from December’s 12.7%--this is great news for those struggling to find work.

    In relation to the car models themselves, Marchionne doesn’t plan for the brand to design cars that do not embody “Ferrari-ness”. He’s against suggestions to create larger models, distancing themselves from their trademark sports car model, such as a Ferrari SUV. He states, “That is not in the Ferrari DNA.” Looking towards the future, Marchionne is confident in his sports cars confident that “Ferrari will win its next Formula One title by 2018, or even before.”

    Fans of the Italian sports car should rest assured that Marchionne has all intentions of keeping the historic Italian identity central to the Ferrari brand, regardless of what the future holds for the company.

  • Life & People

    Italian Man is One of 100 Finalists for Mars Mission

    Conegliano Veneto native, Pietro Aliprandi, only 25 years old is the only Italian out of 200,000 applicants to be considered as a finalist for the Mars One mission. Aliprandi is one of 100 finalists, which will reportedly shrink to only 24 candidates making the extreme voyage to the “red planet”. In order to determine the final team, they will subject the 100 applicants different challenges including team-building exercises and tests to assess who can cope with isolation.

    Mars One has the challenging goal to establish a colony on Mars and in less than a decade, starting in 2024, they plan on sending a team to the planet every two years. Given that Mars One estimates that it would a lengthy seven months to reach the planet and the estimated life expectancy on Mars is only 68 days, it certainly is a difficult goal. It is also incredible the number of people were interested in completing this dangerous trek. Aliprandi himself is well aware of the dangers of this mission, yet remains determined to be a part of the team. 

     Aliprandi recognizes that “every space mission is risky” and explains that he wants to be the first man on Mars “because only the first astronaut on Mars will live in eternal memory.” In hopes of this recognition, he is willing to leave his normal life as a medical school student (in Trieste) enjoying martial arts, theatre and opera in his spare time for a life-threatening journey to Mars. However, he is aware of the risks of this particularly high risks of this mission saying he knows “there will be morbidity.” Though Aliprandi does believe that test missions without humans will help to ensure the safety of the Mars One team when they begin their mission.

    According to the official Mars One website, “Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies.”

    The Mars mission is expected to have an immense price tag of approximately $6 billion, but the team seems to justify the price with what the trip could provide for humanity—inspiration. Its website states that “a human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible, anything can be achieved.” But they are trying to meet that $6 billion through donations. If one goes on their website and click the donate tab, they will be prompted to offer a one time, or if one is very passionate about this cause, a monthly donation to this Mars mission. According to the Mars One website “All revenues received by Mars One are applied toward the primary objective: land humans on Mars.” They go on to state that eventually the Mars One Foundation will also be financially responsible for the human settlement on Mars.

    Aliprandi compares the Mars One voyage to the likes of a reality show like “Big Brother”, however a “science-based” one. The goal of this mission will certainly provide people with a greater understanding of Mars. Even though he is not confirmed to be one of the finalists chosen to go to Mars, Aliprandi is not looking back saying, “I do not have a plan B. I will go to Mars. I send you a postcard from there.”

  • Facts & Stories

    Headquarters Move Would Not Diminish Ferrari’s Italian Essence

    Sergio Marchionne assured the public on March 3, at the Geneva International Motor Show, that if the headquarters of Ferrari were to move to the Netherlands, its “Italian-ness” would not suffer. Marchionne has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fiat Chrysler Group LLC since 2009 and replaced Luca di Montezemolo as Ferrari Chairman in October 2014.

    Due to such high demand for the high-end product, Marchionne is considering raising the public offering (IPO) stake more than the planned 10%. He explains that he feels this is necessary in order to curb the potential price increase of Ferrari sports cars. According to Ferrari’s website, their “share capital is currently divided as follows: 90% Fiat Group, 10% Piero Ferrari (son of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the company).” Marchionne is also considering establishing a holding company in the Netherlands in addition to preparing for a New York Stock Exchange listing.  

    The chief concern of such changes is that Ferrari would lose its Italian essence, an essential aspect of its identity as a brand. Enzo Ferrari started his own company after leaving his head position at Alfa Corse in 1939. He formed his own, new racing car company called Auto Avio Costruzioni in Modena, Italy. However, during World War II all racing activities ceased. In late 1943 Auto Avio Costruzioni made the move from Modena to Maranello—the first Ferrari was built in the Maranello factory in 1947 and success promptly followed for this new race car.

    With such rich Italian roots, creating a holding company in the Netherlands has some worried, but Marchionne reassured the public that Ferrari “will always remain a sought-after mark of Italian quality.” He also shot down rumors that surfaced late last year that Ferrari was interested moving their company out of Italy for the sake of lowering taxes. He stated, “Ferrari SpA will remain Italian and will pay taxes in Italy.”

    More good news for the Italian luxury automaker is that manufacturing jobs will continue to increase; this includes jobs at the southern Italy plant in Melfi. Marchionne said that presently the plan is for 1,500 new jobs but this number “could rise to 1.900”. He continued to say that if new production lines are successful, such as the Alfa Romeo models (built at the Mirafiori plant), there is a potential for the creation of even more jobs and plant expansions. Given the fact that Italy still faces massive unemployment rates—this January the rate went down slightly to 12.6% from December’s 12.7%--this is great news for those struggling to find work.

    In relation to the car models themselves, Marchionne doesn’t plan for the brand to design cars that do not embody “Ferrari-ness”. He’s against suggestions to create larger models, distancing themselves from their trademark sports car model, such as a Ferrari SUV. He states, “That is not in the Ferrari DNA.” Looking towards the future, Marchionne is confident in his sports cars confident that “Ferrari will win its next Formula One title by 2018, or even before.”

    Fans of the Italian sports car should rest assured that Marchionne has all intentions of keeping the historic Italian identity central to the Ferrari brand, regardless of what the future holds for the company.

  • Art & Culture

    Siena Duomo’s “Stairway to Heaven” Set to Reopen Shortly

    The Cathedral of Siena, more commonly known as the Siena Duomo, built between 1215 and 1263, is not only a Roman Catholic place of worship but it also houses a wealth of art works by famed artists Donatello and Michelangelo. The cathedral was designed and built by the father-son team of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. One of the cathedral’s distinguishing features is its impressive Gothic architecture. The Gothic style of architecture was popular from about 1000 to 1400. Some features unique to this type of architecture include rib vaults, flying buttresses and pointed Gothic arches. Another well-known cathedral built in this style is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  

    Over one million visitors come each year to witness the beauty of the architecture and art the Siena Duomo has to offer. However, this structure does not just include the cathedral, but also a crypt, a baptistery, Piccolomini Library and a museum are a part of this massive complex.

    Now with the re-opening of the “stairway to heaven”, these visitors will have a chance to enjoy an aerial view of the mosaics on the marble floor and to get a closer look at the cathedral’s hexagonal dome with “trompe l’oeil” coffers and Bernini’s gilded lamp.

    The “trompe l’oeil” coffers are painted blue with gold stars. Along with Bernini’s gilded lamp in the center, this gives the dome the appearance of a golden sun.

      One aspect of this cathedral’s design that makes it distinct is its striking black and white striped columns and walls, made from marble. However, these stripes are not simply decorative, they pay tribute to the colors of Siena’s coat of arms. 

    Some of the magnificent artwork located inside the Siena Duomo includes Donatello’s bronze relief sculpture “The Feast of Herod” created in approximately 1427. Also, near the library’s entrance is the Piccolomini altar appointed to Andrea Bregno around 1480. Michelangelo also worked on this altar, contributing his sculptures of Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Gregory and Saint Pius.  

    This re-opening, however, will not be the first time staircases have been open to the public to enhance the experience of visiting the Duomo. In 2013, a series of staircases were opened to the public. This allowed visitors to climb up a walkway near the top of the 16-meter nave. With a view from above, visitors can fully appreciate the beauty of the cathedral located below them—the mosaics. Italian artist, Giorgio Vasari, described the mosaic-covered floor as “the most beautiful, largest and most magnificent floor that was ever made.” Each mosaic panel includes a beautifully detailed image that were created during a nearly 200 year period—1373 and 1547.  

    The “stairway to heaven” will reopen to the public beginning March 9 through October 31 for guided tours of the cathedral and attached Piccolomini Library.

  • Facts & Stories

    The Growing of Anglicisms. Italians “Don’t Really Love Their Language”

     The Accademia della Crusca (Crusca Academy), literally translates to “The Bran Academy”, was founded in Florence between 1582 and 1583. Its name holds an important significance to its mission. “Crusca” means bran and bran is the portion of the wheat that is discarded when the grain is being cleaned. In essence, the Crusca Academy works to “clean up” the Italian language like is done with the bran in wheat.

    The most fundamental of its accomplishments include the creation of the “Vocabolario” (their official Italian dictionary) in 1612; it became a model dictionary for other European countries. The Crusca Academy is a leading institution in the field of research of the Italian language that concentrates on many aspects of the Italian language, including acquiring and spreading the historical roots and evolution of the Italian language in different areas of Italian society, particularly in schools.
     

     Crusca Academy President Claudio Marazzini had much to say at a conference on the defense of the language this Monday. He also said, “The reasons why Italy is so disposed to foreign influence is the frequent lack of a good knowledge of its own history and language to the extent that would restore belonging to the national culture.”

    Language can be seen as the glue of a culture that binds people together—people could come from vastly different parts of a country, with vastly different backgrounds, but when they speak the same language they can still share a common bond. Many, like Marazzini, see anglicisms as a threat because many utilize an English word that has been integrated into their native language when a word for what they want to say already exists in their native language.

    He continues, adding, “With this basis and root, young people are easily prone to break off from the national reality and cut their bridges, the few that remain.”

    Merriam-Webster defines anglicism as “a characteristic feature of English occurring in another language.” The increasingly pervasive nature of anglicisms in languages, such as Italian, have many worried, like Marazzini, of a loss of their native culture.

    The infiltration of English into the Italian language could be for different reasons, however, having English as one of the two official languages of the European Union could certainly play a role. Knowing English helps to unite the European Union since it is often the second language students are taught at European schools. English is widely known and spoken in European countries so it is understandable to see how anglicisms could have developed in the Italian language.

    One common anglicism used in the Italian language is “fare lo shopping”. It has the same meaning as in English—to go shopping—however, there is an Italian expression for the same activity, “andare per negozi”. This is likely one of the many examples that Marazzini could consider a reason why Italians don’t love their language—because they have an Italian word to express an action or activity and yet choose to use an English word.

    Marazzini’s declaration of “Italian is not a language really loved by the Italians” is provocative, but it is a clear demonstration of his passion to preserve the Italian language. 

  • Facts & Stories

    Newest Bond Film Takes Rome

     

    the 24th James Bond movie, SpectreIMDb describes “Spectre’s” plot as “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”

    Spectre” will be Daniel Craig’s fourth Bond movie, but the 24th overall James Bond film. Overseen by its director, Sam Mendes, filming of the newest Bond movie will take place in Rome between February 19 and March 12. Filming is already well underway with a funeral scene filmed in the historic Piazza Giovanni Agnelli last week. Also, just tonight, a car chase showcasing Bond’s signature silver Ashton Martin, that shut down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II for the night, was filmed. Another anticipated scene to be shot in Rome includes a parachute jump onto the Ponte Sisto. Some of the other locations where the film will be shot include, London, Mexico City, Tangier and Erfoud (both cities located in Morocco).
     

     The film’s plot was revealed even more explicitly as this latest 007 installment was also a victim to the Sony hack that occurred late last year. Thanks to the email leaks that were a result of the hack, not only was the film’s massive budget disclosed, over $300 million, but the film’s secretive script and the film’s ending were also revealed.

    Playing Craig’s leading lady, Monica Bellucci, will play the oldest ever Bond girl, or as she prefers to be called, “Bond woman or Bond lady”. Prior to Bellucci, the oldest Bond girl was played by Honor Blackman at age 39.

    A native of Città di Castello in Umbria, Bellucci was a model before making her acting debut on television in 1990. Bellucci represents the new trend that women over 50 are still able to have a strong role in the entertainment world. She told Event Magazine, “What is the problem with a man of 30 being with a woman of 50.

    It is a matter of energy and the soul, not a matter of age of the body. True sexiness is in the mind, the imagination, not in the age of the body.” In the eyes of Bellucci, age is simply a number; it is how you feel that makes you sexy, not your age that determines it. It is also interesting to note that James Bond himself, Craig, is only four years younger than Bellucci at 46 years old. However, it seems that age is only mentioned (or perhaps matters) when referring to female entertainers.

    In addition to seeing its beautiful, historic city on the big screen, Rome will reap the economic benefits of having scenes from “Spectre” filmed in its city. The use of extras, security guards, film crews, catering services and hotels will certainly increase Roman city official’s estimate of up to 1 million euros in profit due to just permit fees. Even some locals may profit—reportedly, Roman residents living along Bond’s car chase route are offering up their apartments to fans for 1.000 euros a day!

    James Bond and his Italian “Bond woman” can be seen on the big screen when “Spectre” hits U.S. theatres Nov. 6, 2015.

Pages