Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Countdown to Eurovision

Last night Sanremo finished. Finally. I know it sounds really anti-Italian of me, but it just doesn't interest me at all.  I've tried watching it in the past, I genuinely have, but I just don't 'get' it. In 2009, the first time I could watch it in Italy, I saw Annie Lennox (one of my idols) being interviewed; but since then I've watched very little of it. The inevitable scandal which is always created annoys me, the discussion about who's wearing what bores me, and the music seems to play only a tiny part in the whole event. The only way I was remotely interested in it was because I knew, as with last year, that Italy's representative for Eurovision would be chosen during the final evening of the competition. Thanks to all the talk about Sanremo everywhere - even my anti Sanremo filters on Tweetdeck weren't enough to avoid all the tweets - I knew very well who all the contestants were. I was very happy to wake up this morning and discover that Nina Zilli, my favourite singer from the Big or the already established singers, was going to be going to Eurovision. Here is her performing her Sanremo entry Per sempre from Tuesday. In bocca al lupo Nina!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Big Freeze

It's been a week since it started snowing here in Milan, and the white stuff on the ground isn't going away any time fast. Parts of Italy have been brought to a standstill as the snow's been gradually moving from North to South. I've seen images on the news from my beloved Urbino deep in snow, with some of the university students going around the city clearing the streets. Central Italy in general has been hit really hard, but the most talked about city in the news is Rome. The city was bought to a standstill when it started snowing on Friday, public transport was hit hard as many vehicles didn't have winter tires or chains, and even today the news has been showing abandoned cars in the region of Lazio that are still stuck in the snow.

But as far as Milan's concerned, I've been very impressed. The roads are cleared - the pavements not so much, but pazienza, you can't have everything - and cars and public transport are circulating. When I ventured out on the weekend I was amazed to see a completely clear Via Buenos Aires and Piazza Duomo. It was almost as if the centre of town hadn't seen any snow at all. Except for one place though, Parco Sempione. The park was still covered in snow, and as much as the snow can annoy me, I must admit that it did look beautiful.