It's been weeks of traffic in Rome due to all the random sporting events that popped up this year like Champion's League Final, Master's Tennis, Millemiglia, Giro d'Italia, Swimming World Championships and the bombastic political visits- Gaddafi, Camilla and Charles and all the G8 leaders. Romans are used to the road blocks, low flying helicopters and police barricades; for us, it is just another topic in our daily caffe conversation.
"Che traffico. Che palle."
Over the past few months, we have become accustomed to being in the center of the world's attention span, however long that is, thanks to delinquent antiquities returned, a devastating earthquake, and the dumb Prime Minister gaffes and girlfriends. Rome/Italy is [back?] on the map, I say to myself, but it's only been this morning, after stumbling across A Love Letter to Italy by Bono in La Stampa, (thanks, Tina) that I wonder if all of this press will make Italy take a better look at itself and what it does as a country, both externally and internally.
I am not too positive since just last week, the Italian senate voted in favor of a strict law against illegal immigrants, a law that is not just unpalatable for me, but neither for the Pope or the EU.
My uncle Romano' summary: "Siamo un paese di pazzi. Basta."