New York, NY
Monday, October 9th
Carve out a spot along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for a family-friendly celebration filled with colorful floats and rousing musical performances. The parade honors Italian-Americans’ contributions to New York City and draws around million spectators and 35,000 marchers.
The parade travels from 44th Street to 72nd Street and marching bands will perform along its length, and there’s also a “red carpet” area between 67th and 69th Streets for stage acts—special passes are needed to get up close. For more information, visit columbuscitizensfd.org.
Saturday, October 7th
The Saturday before Columbus Day always turns Pittsburgh’s Little Italy into one big celebration. And even though the old Bloomfield neighborhood is affectionately known as “Little Italy,” there’s actually nothing small about the annual Columbus Day parade. Thousands line Liberty Avenue to see everyone from Pittsburgh politicians to pint-sized pageant queens.
The 32nd annual parade will step off at 11 a.m. at Bloomfield Liberty Avenue.
Monday, October 9th
For nearly half a century, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has sponsored Chicago’s Columbus Day celebration. Festivities begin with a mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and a wreath laying ceremony at the Columbus Statue located in Arrigo Park, followed by the parade. The parade of over 150 floats, bands and marching units travels down State Street, from Wacker Drive to VanBuren Street.
Many prominent Italian-Americans have been honorary parade Grand Marshals, including Ernest Borgnine and Tommy LaSorda.
Monday, October 9th
The 65th annual Cleveland Columbus Day Parade will step off at noon on Monday, Oct. 9. The parade will take place in Little Italy, where it moved in 2003 after decades downtown.
The 15th parade in Little Italy will begin at Murray Hill and Cornell Roads and proceed north to East 125th Street and Fairview, then turn north on Fairview and march back to Mayfield past Holy Rosary Church.
The parade will feature more than 100 groups, including marching bands from Mayfield, Garfield Heights, Holy Name and other high schools. The Knights of Columbus, local Italian associations and Little Italy Montessori school will also march in the parade.
San Francisco, CA
Sunday, October 8th
Columbus Day’s three-day holiday weekend delivers San Francisco’s oldest civic event — the nation’s first Italian-American Columbus Day Parade. Introduced in 1869, the free event has continued growing, with colorful marching bands, floats and plenty of people waving red, white and green flags to celebrate Italian pride. The Italian Heritage Parade kicks off from Fisherman’s Wharf beginning at 12:30 p.m. and finishes in North Beach on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017.
Spectators are treated to dozens of handcrafted parade floats from Bay Area businesses, community groups, Italian organizations, local high school Italian clubs and marching bands. Traditional Italian musicians and performance artists led by grand marshals are on show, as well as special character appearances by Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella and her court.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
This is the 127th Columbus Commemoration in Baltimore. The parade begins 2 pm Parade on Key Highway and ends in Little Italy. Join Baltimore's Italian community in the longest-running parade and commemoration in the country to honor Christopher Columbus... Bring the family!
PARADE CHAIRMAN: Al Massa, firstname.lastname@example.org
PARADE DAY COORDINATOR: Gina Piscopo, email@example.com
From the Local:
Tourism in Italy boomed in summer 2017, with an increase in visitor numbers expected to continue throughout the colder months. In total, almost 50 million people spent the night at an Italian hotel during June, July, and August this year.
The exact number was 48.3 million, according to figures shared by Italian hotel trade association Federalberghi and the Cultural Ministry, and represented a two percent increase compared to last year.
On top of that, a further three million spent the night at an Airbnb accommodation, a huge 20 percent increase year-on-year. Seaside resorts reported a dramatic rise in visitors, with 16 percent more people visiting beach resorts this summer than in the same period in 2016.
But tourists were also attracted by culture, and museums saw a 12.5 percent increase in visitor numbers, with Puglia leading the way.
Click to READ MORE...
In Italy, natural disasters are fairly common... Earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, floods, even volcanoes erupting. Americans give selflessly to these causes to help. Now our country needs help.
I'm putting out a call to Italian citizens and Italian-Americans to dig into their pockets--even if it's only a small amount--and donate.
Over 50 inches of rain and still counting... dam waters being released into rivers and creeks... homes, business and even rescue centers are being flooded.
It's time to do something!
Here's where you can help... Click the links below.
If you have a home in Texas or a nearby state that you can offer to a displaced family for free, AirBnB is waiving fees and has a special link to set up your offer.
Here's how you can prevent being scammed while trying to donate to help victims of Hurricane Harvey... Contact Charity Navigator. They list all legitimate charities along with ratings of each that are taking part in the recovery effort.
Are there Italians in Texas?
Of course there are. Italian heritage has spread all over the world. The 1990 census placed the number at 441,256, while the 2000 census put the number of Tex-Italians at 363,354. Although that shows a drop, there has been an influx of people rushing to Texas in recent years to fill jobs, so the number may be considerably higher. Houston especially has a large Italian-American population of nearly 100,000 and Dallas over 60,000.
Like Christopher Columbus himself, Italians were often in the employ of the Spanish court during that early period of discovery. Some soldiers of fortune came from northern Italy, but the larger numbers were from Sicily and Naples, provinces that were under the Spanish crown at various times. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's trek across the High Plains in 1541 included soldiers with the Italian surnames of Loro, Napolitano and Romano, among others.
When Texas became settled territory in the late 1700s, individual Italian merchants began to arrive. Among them was Vincente Micheli who came to Nacogdoches from Brescia. In 1836, when Texas won independence from Mexico, Italian-born Prospero Bernardi was one of the Texans who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. The older cities of San Antonio, Nacogdoches and Victoria have Italian families who date back to this period.
In 1880 Italian farmers settled in the flood-prone area of the Brazos Valley between Hearne and Bryan--by 1905 the town of Bryan had 3,000 Italians. In the same period of time, the Texas Pacific Coal Company hired thousands of Italian immigrants to work in their mines in the Fort Worth area. By 1910 Burleson and Robertson Counties also had large numbers of Italian residents. The Qualias Val Verde Winery in Del Riois the oldest licensed winery in Texas and was started by Frank and Mary Qualia from Milan.
Ischia Earthquake Report
from Staff writers, AAPNews Corp Australia Network:
Italian firefighters working through the night, sometimes digging by hand, freed a seven-month-old baby and then his two older brothers from the rubble of their home that collapsed when a 4.0-magnitude quake struck the resort island of Ischia during the height of tourist season. In the hard-hit town of Casamicciola, dozens of firefighters worked for 14 hours to dig the Toscano brothers out of their home, where they were trapped alone after their father was rescued and their pregnant mother managed to free herself.
Cheers went up with each rescue.
CLICK HERE to read more...
Important Info from Grand Voyage Italy
One of our GVI Facebook Group members wanted to reassure people that the effects of this earthquake have been minimal on Ischia... Here is the post:
If you're planning on viewing today's total eclipse of the sun in Italy, forget it. Not happening. Only Italian-Americans (and the rest of Americans) have that privilege today (and a small part of western Canada). But don't lose hope. If you really want to see a total eclipse in Italy, it will just take some special planning... and perhaps a time machine.
The last total solar eclipse visible from Italy occurred in the twentieth century, on February 15, 1961. So, a time machine would prove handy here. You might also travel back to see a partial eclipse on August 11, 1999 or October 3, 2005.
To see the next solar eclipse from Italy, log onto Bookings.com and make your reservations for August 2nd 2027. Let's see... I'll be 77, hopefully I'll have new knees by then and will be pretty spry for another Italy Voyage.
Beyond that, I suppose my son might book a flight to the Bel Paese to witness the solar eclipse of September 3, 2081. He' be 78 by then... perhaps he'll have some new knees and God knows what other body parts that they'll be replacing with future technologies.
The rest will have to be viewed by my great, great, great... er... great? - grandchildren on July 6, 2187 or May 16, 2227.
Of course, if we had a time machine we could take the ultimate Voyage and see all of them now... or before... or later?
Oh... and unlike my Photoshop montage above, one thing no one will be seeing in Italy is spaghetti and meatballs. It simply doesn't exist there...
(Getting out the cardboard solar eclipse viewer Lucas and I slapped together for this event...)
I think I first fell in love back in 1970... with the comedy writing of real life duo of Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna in their film Lovers and Other Strangers, based on the Broadway play in which they played the lead roles. These two geniuses wrote like my family lived. I recognized just about every character in the plot... overbearing, guilt-weaponized mother, the always bothered Dad, the son just trying to live his own life his own way, and siblings trying to out-do each other. "What's the story, Jerry" and plastic slip covers are my strongest memories from the plot. This film also has one of the most accurate and funny depictions of an Italian-American wedding that I've ever seen on screen.
But my love of their work grew stronger when I saw them play the leads in their '71 film Made for Each Other, a profile of the stumbling beginnings of a relation between two people who seem anything but made for each other. Again, they reminded me of my sisters or my brother and the way they stumbled into their own relationships and marriages.
Joe and Renee were in fact, made for each other in real life. Their comedy sense and character development were superb. Their timing perfect. We didn't laugh at them as much as laugh at ourselves when we watched them work. Bologna went on to appear in both film and television, one of my favorites being the American version of Blame it on Rio, a sexy May-September romp with co-star Michael Caine.
He could play it as tough as it gets and as funny as anyone would want. He plays a proud Italian-American catering venue owner in Love is All There Is (which Joe and Rene directed), whose Long Island son is wooing a real Italian princess while his own wife is trying to woo her hubby away from napping with his poodle to her bed. The story was based on Romeo & Juliette, except this time the feuding families were the Cappamezzas' (Half Heads) and Malacicis' (Bad Beans). This is one of the funniest films I've ever seen.
This real life tough guy battled pancreatic cancer for the last three years... an unusually long period for this fast moving cancer. “He had a beautiful life and a beautiful death having fully and gratefully experienced three years since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at Cedars Sinai,” said Renee Taylor, wife of 52 years.
A common face in literally hundreds of TV roles, Bologna will be missed.
Italy is in the middle of the worst heat wave to hit the Boot in years. It is expected to only get hotter in the coming weeks as Ferragosto (the Italian vacation season) is set to begin on the 15th.
Yesterday, 16 Italian cities reached the rank of Bollino Rosso (a Red Alert), expected to rise to 24 major cities in the next few days. Every major city center is affected except for Genoa in the northwest part of the country. Temperatures are expected to break all past records, with some temperatures reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the south-central region!
I pity the residents and tourists in Florence with scorching temperatures rising to 107F. And people trying to escape the heat in the mountains of Abruzzo were disappointed when temps rose to 104 F... very unusual for an altitude of 2500 feet above sea level. Even in Potenza--huddled in the mountains of Basilicata--the temperature equalled body temperature... 98.6 F, offering no relief. The worst is in Naples where it rose to 116 F... and if anyone thought they would cool off by taking a ferry to Capri, the heat there wasn't much better--111 F! Water temperature in Capri is a un-refreshing 82 degrees. One blogger living in Naples said that her pool felt like someone had "drawn me a warm bath".
This is the fifth heat wave to hit Italy this summer.
If you want to know how to stay cool while Voyaging in hot, hot Italy, check out THIS POST.
I've noticed our numbers have dropped slightly--perhaps by my own fault. There has been a lot going on so far this summer... a vacation on the Chesapeake Bay, planning a big camping party for my son's birthday, a couple of power blackouts, a minor health crisis (I'm OK and getting better)... all the while trying to put the finishing touches on a fireplace mantle and hearth that I built toward the end of last year. (The hand made tiles are finally installed!)
So, look forward to a deluge of new articles and photos in the coming weeks. I actually am backlogged on editing many that are almost finished.
We're still here, living our Italian life, cooking, laughing, loving and picking our home grown tomatoes from our garden...
by Rich Monetti (on the GEEK)
Every summer, as the sizzle perspires from the cement, urban thoughts of running streams, flowing grass and cool mountain breezes inherently materialize around every New Yorker and only subside with the arrival of fall. But few would consider the very nearby setting today that many Italian families once made an affordable respite and desired vacation getaway. A sentiment reflecting the desolation this upstate destination of a bygone era now suffers. Nonetheless, a holdout remains and is the subject of The Last Resort.
So for those completely at a loss in the younger generations, the only introduction that suffices with a question: What the hell are the Catskills “Exactly. Right now there’s one Jewish place and three Italian places. I used to go to a place called Villa Maria," said Filmmaker Dante Liberatore. “The whole setting was an extension of little Italy for Italians. It meant going to a place with people just like themselves and reminded them of home in Italy where they could catch the mountain breeze.”
Unfortunately, the Catskills sunk as Americans were no longer grounded by the high rates of travel. “When the airlines went through deregulation, prices fell dramatically. This giving people so many more options – who really wants to go to the mountains and look at trees,” said the Yonkers born writer.
Still, who does a movie about the Catskills. “After finishing my previous project on Arthur Avenue, the producer wanted to do another Italian themed film. So I said, why don’t we go see if there’s any Italian resorts left in the Catskills,” said Liberatore....
Click HERE to read more...
A series of fires, suspected to have been started by arsonists, have broken out on the slopes of Italy's Mount Vesuvius just outside the city of Naples, prompting several evacuations of both tourists and local residents. The huge plumes of smoke rose a mile into the sky about the volcano's summit, looking very much like eruptions of the past.
There have already been two fatalities as a result of the fires and at least 10 people have been treated at local hospitals for smoke inhalation. One man died while trying to extinguish a fire near his property in the Cosenza province. Another man was found dead in the Vibo Valentia province. Over 1000 tourists have been relocated due to their proximity to the blaze.
The past few months in Italy have been very dry and hot, creating ideal conditions for wildfires throughout Italy. There are also many wildfires currently being fought in Sicily, for example. Even more locally, wildfires are also currently burning on the Amalfi coast, while up and down Italy, 200,000 acres have burned so far this year. This past Tuesday, 197 fires were reported, with heavy rains in the north helping the effort in stopping them.
After another sweltering day today, the temperatures are going to drop a bit in southern Italy and the chance of thunderstorms will increase. The rainfall will be welcome in combating the fires, but they may also start new fires with their lightning.
Is the Mafia Involved with the Fires?
As reported by the Guardian and other news sources, many of the hundreds of fires sweeping Italy this summer might have been started by organized crime families. In one incident, a firefighting helicopter was shot at and a communications beacon used by firefighters near Naples was put out of operation.
"There is a clearly an offensive under way, presumably organized by the powerful Casalesi Camorra clan," a regional government official, Corrado Gabriele, told Il Giornale. "Behind these simple fires hides a business worth millions, with the Camorra aiming to create new zones for building."
Some have called for the army to be sent into the area to help with security. Italy's Environment Minister, Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, said the fires were a "real criminal assault on the country's parks and other areas ... by people linked to organized crime groups and illicit construction".
The Italian environmental group Legambiente has said more than half of all Italy's fires are started deliberately, whether by organized crime, building speculators or farmers seeking more land to cultivate.
Some groups have suggested rewards for turning in arsonists be offered while others suggest importing more sheep (and shepherds) might lesson the possibility of wildfires. There have be less shepherds in recent years, allowing fields of grass to become overgrown and dried, creating more fuel for fires.
Whatever the reason for the fires, we wish our Italian cousins well through this difficult time.
Stay safe, miei amici.
Coming from a broken home, Al Pacino was raised by his mother and her parents. As it turns out, his maternal grandparents--John and Kate Gerardi--emigrated to America from Corleone, Sicily, the very town that fictitious Vito Corleone hailed from and borrowed its name.
Less than 40 miles from Palermo, the town of Corleone had a genuine reputation as a Mafia town and spawned its share of Mafia kingpins, the reason the town was immortalized by Mario Puzo in his book, The Godfather and Coppola in his Godfather trilogy.
Pacino is quoted as saying, “In America, most everybody who’s Italian is half-Italian--except me. I’m all Italian. I’m mostly Sicilian, and I have a little bit of Neapolitan in me. You get your full dose with me.”
His grandparents didn't get rich when they came to American, however. Pacino's early life was a struggle with the family being poor. Pacino’s parents divorced when he was a toddler and his mother raised him with the help of her parents in the Bronx, New York. He became a high school drop-out and worked at a variety of odd jobs--messenger, janitor, clerk, and busboy. He was even homeless for a while in the 1960s.
Both Pacino’s mother and grandfather supported his efforts to become an actor. He spent endless hours watching old movies on their black and white television, often acting out the parts for his grandparents. His first significant role was in 1968, portraying a young punk in the play The Indian Wants the Bronx.
I remember meeting Pacino on the streets of Manhattan one night back in the early seventies. He was leaning on a car outside of an upper west side restaurant along with a very tall British actor, Paul Benedict who had a role as the neighbor on the Jeffersons sitcom. The height difference was obvious between the two. I am a short man, but as Pacino stood up, I thought he was standing off the curb--he wasn't. He is really that short.
He is a great actor... and he has something in common my wife Lisa. Lisa's grandfather was also from the town of Corleone--Giuseppe Friia.
Small town. Small island. Small world.
by Lorenzo Zanini
Italy is the country with the highest number of companies in the Deloitte “Global Power of Luxury Goods” 2017 report, the consultancy said.
Italian companies account for around 16% of total revenues of $212 billion generated by the top 100 luxury groups in the world. Revenues made by Italian companies increased 9.3% from the year before, above the top 100 average growth of 6.8%. However, the average size of the Italian luxury goods makers is smaller than their French, US and Swiss rivals.
According to the report, Luxottica is the fourth-largest luxury goods group by revenue, with $9.8 billion, and the only Italian firm in the top 10.
CLICK TO READ MORE...
Reported from the World Economic Report:
Italy tops a ranking of the world’s healthiest countries, and diet may play a central role.
The Italian economy may not be in great shape, but Italians certainly are, according to a ranking of the world’s healthiest nations.
The Bloomberg Global Health Index ranks Italy top of 163 countries, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia.
While Italian babies can expect to live into their eighties...
(CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...)
Why are Italians So Healthy?
While Italy is among the most developed countries, its economic growth has stagnated for decades, almost 40 percent of its younger people are out of jobs and it has one of the world’s highest debt loads relative to the size of its economy. Even considering how the economic pressure must filter down to each citizen, Italians are still far better shape than Americans, Canadians and the British populations, who all suffer from higher blood pressure, high cholesterol and mental health issues.
Besides the Mediterranean diet helping to keep Italians healthy, the rest of their lifestyle also contributes. Hilly towns require people of any age to walk and get lots of exercise doing daily tasks--up stairs and inclined streets. Many older homes in villages and in the countryside are on multiple levels, and older city apartments rarely have elevators, causing some to walk up and down 4-6 flights of stairs.
The varied environment in Italy draws people to the outdoors. Young people in Italy are really into outdoor activities, beyond soccer there is cycling, skiing, kayaking, trekking, swimming and much more. Even older people are active--even bocce can give a decent workout, with thousands of serious bocce associations around the country.
Ties to family traditions also helps, with younger people still joining in on the preparations and traditional dances for their festivals, carnivals, and sagre. Families also have obligations to tending olive trees, almond and other nut trees, growing tomatoes (and making and bottling many gallons of pomidori pilati), and other crops--often these are large family events--harvest times brings lots of work and activity. And in pretty much every village and town in Italy--every night after dinner--families, friends and neighbors join each other taking long walks in the main piazza, viale or promenade, called the passeggiatta. A baby born in Italy might easily live into their eighties, with many communities having a larger than expected part of their population over 100 years old. (Read more about this HERE).
Want another reason? As it turns out, Italy--with its socialized medical system--has “an excess of doctors,” said Tom Kenyon, a physician and CEO of global relief organization Project Hope. And of course, there is the Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Many desserts even contain the magical, golden oil! In general, Italians eat much more fresh produce, fish and meals made from scratch in their diet. They also tend to eat less in the mornings (espresso and a sweet pastry), a larger lunch with a nap during their 2-3 hours riposo, and a much smaller dinner. Even gelato is healthier than American style, cream based ice cream.
In the end, perhaps Italy itself--the landscape, the colors, the beautiful architecture, the its flowers and trees, the art and the history all around people living there--help lower stress and afford a true happy and content lifestyle that we as Americans might be lacking. Living within a the beautiful painting that is Italia... Wow... what a dream it must be.
Learn to live like and Italian, and perhaps you too can live to be 100--or more!
For those of you who want to check in with Grand Voyage Italy while on Facebook, click the photo above to take you to the Grand Voyage Italy Facebook Group!
Chat, dream, reminisce about your own Voyages in Italy and don't forget to post some photos! Share your own Italian family recipes with us. For Italian nationals, join nostre gruppo and teach us about your home town, your family traditions and share your stories about growing up in la Bel Paese.
And don't forget to SHARE links to our posts all around the known universe!
(OK... Sharing our links on other Facebook pages will do fine.)
From Wanted in Rome...
The restaurant breathes a bucolic atmosphere: high arches evoke a barn, niches in the bare walls display copper bowls and plates, and demijohn bottles and country-style tablecloths decorate rustic wooden tables.
The immigrant workers live crammed in derelict and abandoned buildings without electricity, running water or sanitation.
The dish is exquisite. The tomato slices are tickling your palate and the pasta mixes well with the juicy S. Marzano.
When Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visited the workers across the southern Italian regions of Calabria, Puglia, Campania, Basilicata and Sicily in 2004, they diagnosed 94.4 per cent as being chronically ill. The workers were suffering from respiratory infections, skin diseases, intestinal parasites and tuberculosis. On top of this, all the workers were undernourished. They earned up to €4 for every crate of 350kg they filled with tomatoes. Yet they had to pay middlemen five cents for every such crate, €5 for transportation per day and €50 a month in rent. The men who were picking food from 06.00-18.00 could afford but one meal a day.
A waitress takes your empty plate. You have a look at the menu: will you try the carciofi alla giudia or rather the zucchine ripiene di carne, both “recipes prepared with local ingredients”? The local ingredients are a well-guarded secret.
Read the entire article HERE...
Emma Morano, the world's oldest person, has died in her home in northern Italy--one day before Easter Sunday.
Dr. Carlo Bava, Morano's doctor for over 30 years, said that Morano's caretaker had called him to say she had stopped breathing in the afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore. Bava said he visited Emma on Good Friday. He says "she thanked me and held my hand" as usual.
Morano, born on Nov. 29, 1899, had been living in a tidy, one-room apartment, where she was kept company by her caregiver and two elderly nieces.
Think about it... Emma is reported to have been the last living person born in the 1800s. She is blessed to have lived such a long and productive life. Read more about her life HERE.
We'll all pray for you, Emma.
A Milan Court Agrees with Husband that His Wife is Possessed by the Devil - Divorce Granted
Since 2007, a man in Milan has claimed that his wife has been afflicted with demonic possession. Although medical experts claim she is physically and mentally healthy, her frightening behavior has caused their marriage to come to an end.
She has been seen lifting--with one hand--a church pew and throwing it at the alter. Parishioners have also witnessed her levitating for seconds at a time, with her body then crashing to the floor. Her demonic behavior was also witnessed by a priest and a Capuchin monk, who both claimed she was a devout Catholic. The behavior was so extreme, that several exorcisms have been performed--with all of them failing.
The couple, who have two children, have received a no-fault divorce since the judge could not rule that her behavior could be explained by doctors or psychiatrists.
Prior to 1970, there was no such thing as divorce in this Catholic country. Current law requires only one year of official separation before couples can begin divorce proceedings, or six months in the case of a separation by mutual consent. Previously, couples had to be officially separated for three years.
A bishop in Sicily has banned known mafia criminals from acting as godfathers at baptisms in churches in his diocese.
Michele Pennisi, bishop of Monreale, near Palermo, said Friday he had issued a decree to that effect in a bid to challenge any notion that the bosses of organized crime have a paternalistic side to them....
Click to read the whole story on The Guardian....
This Wednesday, after a "10 month, exhaustive investigation", Sicilian police arrested three men for stealing 230 bottles of rare vintages of fine wines worth nearly $50,000 from Ristorante Tiramisù in Taormina. Prices per bottle ranged from $200 to over $1000 each. With restaurant mark-ups, the value of the wine could have reached well over $100,000. The professional thieves managed to get past a sophisticated alarm system complete with video surveillance cameras.
But these weren't wine connoisseurs that did the deed. They didn't want to add the bottles to their own wine cellars or to drink the stuff themselves. They were holding the bottles for ransom--to the tune of about $16,000 for their safe return... otherwise, the bottles would go to an early grave.
The bottles were returned to their home in the cellars of Tiramisù, but there was no word on how they are holding up after their terrifying ordeal, or if their ten-month captivity affected their nose, flavors or colors. There was one report that one of the former captives--after having been opened--showed notes of strawberry, new-mown hay, aged oak and a surprising hint of rusted Tre Ruote, formaldehyde and woolen ski mask....
Food Crime on the Rise in Italy:
A spike in cheese theft saw robbers make off with an estimated €6 million worth of Italy's prized Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese between 2014 and 2016. The combination of high value - one 40kg wheel is typically worth €500 - and small, rural producers which aren't equipped with anti-theft seasons makes the cheese warehouses an irresistible target.
Two years ago, Ligurian police foiled an attempted heist of 29kg of Nutella, the popular chocolatey hazelnut spread, which the thieves reportedly planned to sell on the black market.