Category Archives: Lifestyle

Spanish Steps sitting ban

Sitting on Rome‘s Spanish Steps ( Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) is no longer allowed as the local police is imperative to apply the rules in a more stringent way, sources said to ANSA news agency. The famous steps are also considered to be a monument, meaning sitting or lying on them is banned.

The film Roman Holiday(1953), starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck  made the Spanish Steps famous to world audience.

Those who breach the ban risk a fine of 250 , which can go up to €400 if the steps are dirtied or damaged.

The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, commissioned by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier (1723–1725).

International Cat Day: cats forever!

International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of across the world recognition and veneration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), among other animal rights groups, to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.

An estimated 500 million cats are thought to be frolicking in gardens of planet Earth, which is wonderful, because owing a cat has been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Cats are reigning in offices of Prime ministers, and in hearts of presidents, guarding Foreign offices, and Hermitage museums. Some of them have even blogs and press-secretaries.

However the cats are also victims of their own success, in Digital Age – the felines are confronted with new challenges as online sale:

“The EU Dog & Cat Alliance is calling for more attention to the rising issue of the online sale of pets.

“The vast majority of websites which sell pets in the EU are completely unregulated in more than three-quarters of Member States. 

“This trade poses risks to pets being traded and consumers, who have very little protection from rogue sellers. Animals which have been illegally bred and traded can carry diseases such as rabies or Echinococcus multilocularis, which can be passed on to humans, or have genetic disorders which consumers are not aware of at the time of purchase.”

Larry Obama

 

Selfie hazard: two dead in Spain

Two young men died in a selfie accident after falling 12 meters from the seaside promenade in Orihuela, in Alicante province. The accident took place around 7:30pm on July 3.

The Britons of 21 and 22 years old were strolling along the promenade overlooking Punta Prima beach with a third friend, who is 20, when they decided to take a selfie. Two of them lost their balance and have fallen down on the rocks below, according to the Spanish Civil Guard.

One of the friends died instantly. The other passed away on July 4 in Alicante General Hospital after being admitted in critical condition. The surviving the accident man, who did not fall, but was witness to his friends death, was treated for anxiety.

The victims fell over the railing from the promenade and landed on top of a lifesaver’s station. Local authorities underlined that the railing and promenade are in “perfect condition,” and said that the Civil Guard is investigating the incident, which appears to have been caused by imprudence.

A 2018 study of news reports showed that between October 2011 to November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths in 137 incidents reported globally, with the highest occurrences in India followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan (Himalaya mountains).

 

 

 

Grenoble: Muslim women impose burkini swim wear

With the summer weather, the debate surrounding the ban on burkini in public swimming pools has has reemerged. Muslim women defied a local municipality ban and wore the Islamic full-body swimsuit, violating hygiene rules of exploiting swimming pool in city of Grenoble.

Women who wore the swimsuit, which covers the entire body except for the face, hands and feet, were issued a fine of €35 ($40) by police, when they left the sport center.

The Jean Bron Swimming Pool is among several in France that have banned burkinis, and in spite of it many Muslim women violated the rules as part of an organized protest.

Operation Burkini” has been created this summer by members of the group Citizen Alliance of Grenoble in order to defend Muslim women’s rights. The women are demanding that public pools, which currently require men to wear swim briefs and women to wear bikinis or one-piece swimsuits, change their regulations to accommodate Muslim-style swim wear.

Negroni “cocktail of the year” 2019

On Negroni’s 100th anniversary the New York Times named it the “cocktail of the year”. The cocktail of equal parts of Campari, vermouth and gin, invented by Florentine Count Camillo Negroni in 1919, “is the perfect elixir for a summer afternoon”, the The New York Times announced.

According to the legend Count Camillo Negroni concocted it by requesting the Fosco Scarselli, the bartender. to strengthen Americano cocktail, by adding gin rather than the conventional soda water.

The bartender taken by a creative spell, also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon one of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink.

 

Caravaggio masterpiece at auction soon

Disappeared for several centuries, rediscovered in Toulouse (France) in 2014, the painting by Michelangelo Merisi da CaravaggioJudith and Holofernes’, the authenticity of which has been the subject of a long debate, should reach peaks at the auction of June 27. 

This is an exceptional sale because it is a masterpiece in a very good condition, of an iconic painter whose painting have not been sold until today’s public auction, “said Marc Labarbe.

Like the version of the painting under the same name created around 1598 and kept in Rome, the masterpiece is inspired by an episode of the Old Testament and represents Judith, the Jewish widow of Bethulia, assassinating the Assyrian General Holofernes to save besieged town.

The painting found in Toulouse was first known for its copy by the Flemish painter Louis Finson, a contemporary of Caravaggio. Two specialists of the Italian genius, Mina Gregori and Gianni Papi, had doubts of the authenticity of the canvas, insisting it could be only a second copy of Finson.

‘Judith and Holofernes’ has been exhibited in Milan, London, New York and Paris and will be on display in Toulouse from June 17 to 23 at the Marc Labarbe auction house. The auction will be held on June 27 at 6 pm at La Halle aux Grains in Toulouse and can be followed live online streaming.

According to art experts the price could mount up to EUR150 million, and it would be purchased by one of the American private collectors. None of European Museums announced allocation of funds to participate in auction bidding.

 

Everest climbing claims more lives

As many as seven people have died on the mountain this week, while incredible images show 200 hundred climbers lining up in an attempt to reach the top of the world’s tallest peak.

 

An experienced Everest mountaineer and author, Pat Falvey, says that kind of congestion can create lethal conditions for the climbers, Irish Examiner reports.

Public concerns are being raised over dangerous unregulated tourism causing traffic jams in Himalaya at the summit of Mount Everest (8,848 m) amid the death toll among climbers continues to rise.

Galway man Kevin Hynes died in his tent on the mountain this week, just a week after Trinity College Professor Seamus Lawless from Wicklow went missing.

It is creating great danger, I don’t know if there is anything they can do about that other than to restrict the numbers every year”,  Mr.Falvey explains. “But it is the cash cow for both Nepal and Tibet in relation to getting fees”.

However he finds it would be controversial to restrict tourism there,  he continues, because it is the highest mountain in the world, and  “people will want to ascend it.”

AMENDED:  “Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism has issued 375 Everest climbing permits for the 2019 spring season; on the North side, there are reportedly 144 foreign climbers. It’s illegal to simply show up at base camp with a climbing permit, pitch a tent, and try to climb the mountain. All foreigners must climb the mountain through a locally licensed logistics company, which supply base camp accommodations, meals, and basic bathroom facilities”.

There are three to four local workers to supply services to each tourist living in base camp —either climbing sherpa working on the mountain itself or base camp staff—the cooks, dishwashers, servers, and team managers who all look after the guided clients, National Geographic reports.

Image below: Everest camp “urban” luxury – Dome tent with belle vue.

Dome tent iinterior An average cost when climbing the Everest with a Western agency is $45,000 and above. With a local Nepali operator it can be between $25,000 and $40,000. The cost includes the royalty fee of $11,000 for the peak. 

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