Unlike Republic Day when there were none the Italian flags are now beginning to fly from chimney tops and flag posts all around us. World Cup fever has started and even cars now sport a flag in the window. Football is an huge sport here. Italy must be one of the few if not the only country that has as it’s best selling daily newspaper one devoted almost entirely to sport and mainly to calcio ( football) La Gazzetta Dello Sport out sells it’s nearest rival by over 1 million copies each day and some 28 of its 40 pages cover calcio.
Most coffee bars here have a range of newspapers that the owners put out for free for customers. The only one it is hard to find to read is La Gazzetta , all the others lie about on tables almost unused while the guy who nabbed La Gazzetta has 6 or 7 others around him looking over his shoulder. A coffee and La Gazzetta is how most Italian men especially start their day.
To be fair whilst it is mainly sensational journalism the newspaper has led the way in exposing bribery etc in Serie A .
However now every newspaper has pull outs, souvenir copies and special reports on the World Cup . There is, of course, an Italian Official Song for it too.
We Win is fairly understated I guess but Italy does have an impressive record in the World Cup . They have won it four times one behind Brazil with five. The last time they won was in 2006 in Germany.
The first game this time is unfortunately Italia v Inghilterra on Saturday night local time but Sunday morning here. They last played against each other in the European Championships in 2012. England lost and I still bear the scars of the ribbing I took in the bar that evening. Pirlo ran circles around the England team and is back this year to haunt them again. England have a song too Bangers and Mash. not quite We Win but hey it maybe sums the team up !
My local rag went into a long discussion this morning on how the teams will play. England with a 22.214.171.124 formation and Italy with a 126.96.36.199 formation so now you know though Italy has yet to finalise the team so things might change.
I will tape it I think and then get up and watch it before reading the papers . Ho ho !
Most Italy fans down here in Puglia are fairly fair weather supporters. A poor performance and they quickly write the team off as a load of no hopers so even if they win on Sunday morning one poor result after that and I get lots of handshakes and lots of we are useless too remarks.
Like the UK press the Italian press is as interested if not more so in the “WAGS” that accompany the team.
but the big interest is in Fanny Neguesha who one Mario Balotelli has just got engaged to before flying out with the team
but as much interest ( pictures) is shown to Cassano’s girlfriend Carolina Mercialis
Can’t think why can you ?
Well unless either England or Italy go on to win the cup I will try not to do too much on it though both teams tend to do crazy stuff.
The rest of the local paper was full of good and bad things for the greens amongst you. A huge wind farm planned in the Salento area has been turned down due to the area of outstanding beauty it was planned for so if you’re keen on renewable energy I guess that’s a boo . However Puglia Regional Council have written to Wheel of Fortune Renzi our leader re-affirming their total opposition to any drilling in the Ionia or Adriatic Seas for either gas or oil. So if you’re anti possible sea pollution that’s clearly a hurrah .
The big news was the arrival the other day of an electric only powered van in Bari. It is capable of carrying quite a load of stuff and has a range of some 120 kms on one charge. It is made by a Company in Newcastle UK which is nice too. The paper doesn’t say who the proud owner is but there is only one slight problem the company has. There are no recharging points anywhere in Puglia. And this from our Governor who claims Puglia is the greenest ( energy wise) region in Italy.
In 2011 he made a lengthy speech on the importance of electric cars and promised 250 recharging stations would be built by the end of 2012. Actually none were nor in 2013 and none so far in 2014 either.
That is to change it seems with an Italian private company stepping in where Vendola the Governor clearly failed.
DehalFV are going to build them not in existing petrol stations but in the parking lots of hotels throughout Puglia which seems quite a clever idea as vans etc go past them all the time and deliver to them and car rental firms could stock them too I guess. The only issue is still cost though. The van from Newcastle retails for an eye watering €180,000 a pop, so no snip at your local shady Italian motor dealer. Given that petrol driven rental cars in Italy are easily double the daily rate offered in other EU countries I dread to think what the daily rate for an electric car might weigh in at.
Well I better go and get my Cross of St George flag out and have it ready just in case I can head to the bar on Sunday with it proudly flying. Oh was that a pig that just went by the window.