He has been one of the most outspoken critics of the government, though he is technically classified as a comedian, and is very popular. You may have never seen him on television since he was effectively “blacklisted” in the 1980s…his blog I believe is the 3rd most-popular website in Italy.
Time wrote an article about him this year as “2005 European Heroes,” so you know it’s legit! You can also check out Wikipedia’s Beppe Grillo.
So, Merriam Webster has released their list of most looked-up Words of the Year. I’ll tell you, #1 was: integrity. To be honest, I’m not sure if that makes me very sad they had to look it up, or very happy that now they (hopefully) know what it means. I guess what is more disturbing is that most of the IP addresses looking up the word resolved to the whitehouse.gov domain.
Ok, this isn’t true…but I bet some politicians used their AOL connection to mask their access to the page.
This Thursday, we went to the L’Artigiano in Fiera exhibition at the Milano Fiera (think: convention center). It was HUGE! It was much bigger than I had expected, and there were tons of people there. We spent a good six hours going through the halls (I think we may have skipped one entirely). They were broken down by geographic region, with Italy being given the most attention, but the Southern Italy pavilion was definitely the most crowded. Sicily, Puglia and Calabria all in one place!
The exhibits ranged from displays of food – men shaving great wheels of parmesan and giving out samples of the delicious ribbons (which of course, we bought), tastings from Fichi d’India (Cactus fruit) liquor to honey sticks from Tunisia (we bought) and even torrone (we bought); to art and home decoration made from Vesuvian lava pieces and glass sculptures; to jewelry displays of rare crystal to mountains of Indian necklaces (bought) and lots of bellydancing outfits (yes, I have been eyeing them since I went to Turkey last year). Prices ranged from very cheap to very expensive, and the quality ranged as well…all in all I think it was a good experience and you just have to get around the fact there are a lot of people and no place to sit!
Of course, we had to do most of the tastings…throughout the day, we had a real German Wurstel with craut, and the most heavenly pistachio ice cream in a waffle bowl. It was only 2 euro which meant, of course, a big line. We took home a few jars of their pistachio “Nutella” as a parting gift. Sante had to sample to the cannoli in the Sicily area, and we kept an eye out in the Puglia area but we didn’t see any good Taralli!
I had good intentions…I brought my camera with me – two charged batteries, one empty memory card…and came home with only two pictures, one you see above and another of Sante with a bunch of ninja swords. My only defense is that my eyes were the photographer and my stomach was the darkroom that day, and there were so many people and stimuli that I had to go with the flow!
I’m looking forward to going back next year….this time with an eye to discover some other treats.
For those of you who really enjoy a good cappuccino, and when sometimes the witty bartender makes a little heart design for you, next time request something more difficult like a lion or hippopotamus as seen on Latte Art Etching – we’ll forgive them for mixing a cappuccino with a latte…
As the hours on my 5-day holiday quickly tick down, I notice that I haven’t thought about work…the whole time!