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     While other sectors of the economy are suffering the consequences of the global recession, the ice cream business in Italy is booming and not just because of the summer heat. According to a report from the Milan Chamber of Commerce, the number of companies producing ice cream rose by some 10% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the first three months of 2008, while the number of gelateria retail outlets rose 6%.
Most of the companies making ic

Milan, July 28 - (ANSA)
ice cream
     Italians love Salento, in the unspoilt 'heel' of the country, for its great weather, beaches and party atmosphere
Most of us know Puglia only because of its trulli houses and Bari, port for the Greek island ferries. Few venture further south - yet Puglia's lower province, Salento, is pretty special, full of southern Italian ebullience and a heady mix of traditions.
The remains of Greek and Roman temples and pre-historic monuments are scattered all over the dry sierras, popping up amid cactuses, olive groves and tobacco farms.
The coast north of Gallipoli is heavily Arabic in architectural style. In villages around Castrignano dei Greci the dialect is still effectively ancient Greek. At Giurdignano, a prehistoric menhir towers over an underground Byzantine crypt, which is still used today for worship.
But go inland and there are some superb "classical" Italian towns: Lecce, known as the Florence of the South, is replete with Zingarello's baroque carved churches. And there's Gallipoli's old town on its island bridge, Oria, Manduria and Galatina.
Until the recent past, Salento was quite poor and isolated - as you can see in Eduardo Winspeare's movie, Il Miracolo - but is now enjoying a cultural renaissance and celebrating its spicy mix of ancestors and influences.
Add to this some pretty nice beaches, baking sun and a general desire to party to musical styles from pizzica to house, and you can see why the Italians themselves love the place so much

Great weather, beaches and party atmosphere
Why Italians love Salento
Information About Otranto

     Province: Lecce. Distance fron the Chief Town (Lecce): 46 kilometers. Inhabitants: 5.282. Denomination: Otrantini O Idruntini.
     Geographic data: Surface: 76,2 square kilometers. Height above sea level: 15 meters. Min. height: 0 meters. Max. Height: 101 meters. Altimetric difference: 101 meters.
     Population and statistical data: Population density: 69,32 inhabitants per square kilometer. Population on 1991: 5.114 inhabitants - Population on 2001: 5.282 inhabitants. Percentual variation: 3,29%. Families: 1.985. Medium value of the components of a generic family: 2,66 people.

Otranto, April 12th 2009

Financial News
events and curiosities about italian culture
The Castle of Otranto

      Otranto is the setting of Horace Walpole's book, The Castle of Otranto, which is generally held to be the first gothic novel.
The Castle of Otranto tells the story of Manfred, lord of the castle, and his family. The book begins on the wedding-day of his sickly son Conrad and princess Isabella. Shortly before the wedding, however, Conrad is crushed to death by a gigantic helmet that falls on him from above ........


     If you are fortunate enough to visit this lovely city, you are likely to be impressed by the lavish decorations on its facades. The local sandstone, tinged a warm pink, is so easy to work with that it fostered the rise of a local style (barocco leccese) as ornate and intricate as any the world has seen. More than the architects, it was the local stone masons who left their mark on this city, crowding its buildings with fanciful cherubs, monsters, flowers, fruits, beauties and beasts. Far, far off the beaten track for most of Italy's art-loving visitors, Lecce sits on the southeastern tip of Italy's boot, waiting to stupefy us with its little-known magnificence. Here is an introductory itinerary
Apulia's Baroque Pearl
The Castle of Otranto
News of 2008

      What happened in 2008 ?
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Mamma mia, the Turks are coming!
News of 2007

      What happened in 2007 ?
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