(Photo Credit: Scavetta, Richard (Rick) A., CIV USARMY IMCOM EUROPE (US)) VIEW ORIGINAL

U.S. Army Garrison Italy's Public Affairs Office provides this courtesy summary and translations of local news to our community for situational awareness. The views expressed in this news summary are of Italian news organizations and do not reflect the official viewpoint of USAG Italy or the U.S. military.  Italian News translation team includes Anna Ciccotti, Angela Balbo, Chiara Mattirolo and Laura Kreider.

Italian News from Vicenza & Livorno – April 22, 2022

COVID-19 Updates – April 15, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Il Tirreno & Il Giornale di Vicenza

Italy registered 64,951 new infections and 149 deaths in the last 24 hours, with a positivity rate at 14.8 percent. Lombardy had the highest number of new cases (+8,780), followed by Lazio (+7,200), Veneto (+6,861) and Campania (+6,627). Currently, there are 1,227,662 active cases in Italy, of which 78,515 in Veneto and 49,125 in Tuscany. There were 35 new admissions to ICUs as compared to 42 on Wednesday. The total number of intensive care patients fell to 420 from a previous 449.Media note that various Omicron sub-variants are predominant in all regions.

New sources continue to report that Italy has begun offering a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the over-80s, residents of nursing homes and those aged over 60 who are considered most at risk from the virus. Italy's medicines agency AIFA gave the green light to the "second booster" for the over-80s and those over-60s deemed vulnerable, provided it has been at least 120 days since their last dose.

The move comes a week after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended a fourth dose for the over-80s but said it was "too early" to consider using a fourth dose in the general population. (Summary by Anna Ciccotti)

US Army Europe, NATO commander has strong ties with Vicenza & Italy - April 15, Giornale di Vicenza

There is also Vicenza in the history of the new commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. As anticipated by the Wall Street Journal, the General of U.S. Army Europe Christopher Cavoli could soon become the leader of all U.S. and Alliance forces on the continent. The officer was chosen by US President Joe Biden. He will take over from Air Force colleague Tod Wolters, presumably over the summer. The son of an Italian-American officer stationed in Germany during the Cold War, Cavoli Jr. known as Chris grew up in Rome, Verona and Vicenza. He speaks five languages, including Russian. Cavoli Jr. was born in Würzburg (then West Germany) to Ivo Cavoli, an Italian-American officer at the time engaged in the Cold War, then commander at the Ederle base, and to Rita Maffei Maestranzi. Cavoli grew up in Rome, Verona and Vicenza. He became an army officer after graduating in biology from Princeton, and he was assigned as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the 325th Airborne based in Vicenza, where he served from 1988 to 1991. Deployed in Bosnia and Afghanistan, Cavoli’s professional attention has always remained on Europe, his adopted continent also on a personal level. Since he grew up in Italy, he speaks our language well, and often in the summer he goes to Pinzolo (Trentino) with his wife and two children where the Cavoli have a house. In an interview with Defense News in early October 2020, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy confirmed the promotion of General Cavoli: “We have strongly supported and pushed his promotion. As the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, he would be the commander of the land component of the connecting force, and in that capacity, if a war breaks out on the continent, he will be the officer who can lead all of those elements under the NATO umbrella.” Retired Army General Ben Hodges also told Defense News: “Bringing the U.S. Army Commander General in Europe up to the rank of four-star general is an important sign of the American commitment, and of how important Europe is in our strategic thinking.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Healthcare professionals at Healthcare Expo at Villaggio – April 13, Il Giornale di Vicenza

There are almost 15,000 citizens with U.S. passports in Vicenza and its province. It is a population that has always utilized Italian services, primarily health care. And, it is precisely to improve the knowledge of the Vicenza health care world that the Ederle U.S. command gathered seventy health professionals, including doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians and dentists who work in public and private facilities in the Vicenza area. Each with their own stand, in the middle school gymnasium, the operators presented themselves to the U.S. community offering smiles, gadgets and, above all, information material in English. “We are based in Torri di Quartesolo and we have been working with American patients for some time, this fair is one more opportunity to make ourselves known,” says Dr. Domenico Sarandria, a cardiovascular specialist. The Expo is at its second edition, after the success of the first one that took place in 2019. Students from high and middle schools also took part in the initiative, welcoming visitors and taking care of the logistical aspects of the event. “I always say that we - Americans and Italians - are a strong and solid community - concludes Col. Matthew Gomlak, garrison commander, greeting the participants - and this day is proof of that.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

COVID-19 impact on working household incomes, loss of 212 euro – April 15, Il Giornale di Vicenza

Poorer than before. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on households from the Vicenza province registered an average loss of 212 euro per family. In 2020 the average salary passed from 22,172 to 21,960 euro. The data released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance certify the loss from the analysis of the statements of the income presented last year. The town of Monteviale remains in command of the top ten of the wealthy municipalities with 728 euros ahead in the annual payroll over the second in the list (Alonte). In 2020, on average the “Montevialesi” brought home 27,014 euros. Alonte follows with 26,286 euros against the 26,720 of 2019. In the "ranking" follow Costabissara with 25,924 euro per year and Sovizzo 25,095. Arzignano ranks fifth with 24.290 euros while Vicenza is sixth with 24,158 euro. The poorest incomes are in Foza with 15,378 euros despite an annual income increase of 2.4 percent with respect to year 2019. (Summary by Anna Ciccotti)

"National monument": a plaque celebrates the Palladian Basilica - April 15, Il Giornale di Vicenza

The Palladian Basilica is part of the assets of the Italian national heritage. A recognition that Vicenza's architectural jewel obtained as early as eight years ago, but that only yesterday was finally sanctioned by a plaque, unveiled on the left of the main entrance. A brass rectangle to celebrate the eighth anniversary from the proclamation and to give new impetus to the symbol of the city. Vladimiro Riva, councilor of the Vicenzaé Consortium was the main promoter of the proposal to insert the Basilica in the national list. Exactly as, twenty years earlier, he supported the candidacy of Vicenza and its villas in the UNESCO heritage circuit. "Finally those who enter know that the Basilica is a national monument and that this implies greater commitment to its enhancement," says Riva. "It was duty to highlight this important recognition," adds mayor Francesco Rucco. Words also shared by the Councilor for Culture Simona Siotto, who speaks of "an honor for Vicenza but also of a commitment that our administration wants to honor the best." (Summary by Anna Ciccotti)

Homophobic review to a pub, owner replies: “Stay away from here" – April 15, Il Giornale di Vicenza

A negative review for being seated “next to gays” was posted on the Google's restaurant and club rating service by a customer of the Faedo bruschetteria in Monte di Malo. The news ran fast on the web, and it attracted the attention of the media nationwide, with hundreds of comments on social networks. The post reads: “They put me to eat next to gays and honestly I did not feel at ease, too bad because the bruschetta was very good.” The author – who probably used a fake name - gives an evaluation equal to one star out of 5. On the same portal, the owner invites the customer not to return, as “we accept everyone, except homophobes.” The owner also published a post on the Facebook profile of the restaurant telling what happened, obtaining in response hundreds of virtual likes and expressions of solidarity from all over Italy. Among the comments, also that of senator of the Democratic Party Monica Cirinnà, promoter of the law on civil unions: “Thank you for having the courage to stand up for rights, against prejudice and hatred - she wrote - you have made your place a safe place, open to welcome everyone, and this is a beautiful example of social responsibility. I wish you the success you deserve and will try to visit you soon.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Food and transportation prices skyrocket, inflation at record levels – April 14, Il Giornale di Vicenza

Confartigianato [local small business association] analyzed the price trends of over 230 goods and services, and there emerges a merciless picture, with prices that have risen immeasurably and bring the clock back over thirty years. Electricity, gas, transport, food: everything you can't do without to live is reaching stellar costs. In January, the rise in price had exceeded +5.4 percent, in February it jumped to +6.1 percent and in March - although the data are still provisional – it is estimated that there will be a further jump up to +7.5 percent ( the national average is of 5.7 percent.) In Veneto, inflation at 6 percent like the one recorded in February had not even been recorded since July 1991 (not surprisingly, in the days of the beginning of the war in the Balkans). President of Confartigianato Gianluca Cavion is worried: “The climate of uncertainty makes it increasingly difficult to make ends meet for citizens and businesses. The danger is that many companies will be forced to reduce their activity, some even for good.” Working in constant emergency is no longer sustainable: “If the pandemic is an unpredictable event, the energy costs were predictable and solvable - continues Cavion - Our country's dependence on external suppliers must be solved, and in the meantime companies must be allowed to work in serenity.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Salvation buses bring Ukrainian refugees back home – April 14, Il Giornale di Vicenza

A month and a half after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the refugees asking to return to Kiev have become a substantial movement. The Vicenza Cas (extraordinary reception centers) registered 24 exits against 301 entries, a percentage that is close to eight percent. According to Anna Parovyak, representative of the Ukrainian community in Vicenza and spokesperson for the Voluntary Movement, about fifty people have already left Vicenza. The first to leave was a mother with four children: she felt she had to return to bury her husband who had lost his life in battle. Others who are in contact with the families and friends who remained at home would like to return. Apparently, in some areas of the country the situation is relatively getting back to normal and some factories that had closed in a hurry have decided to reopen, which is why many of the women who arrived in Italy now want to return. There are those who are sure of being able to return safely at the end of April, while others are more prudent. Few of those who have arrived think of staying in Italy for a long time. The goal is to get home as soon as possible. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Restaurants are fully booked for Easter – April 13, Il Giornale di Vicenza

This is going to be the first Easter “in presence” after two years of delivery and take away. Thousands of Vicenza residents are preparing to celebrate Easter Sunday at the restaurant, resuming a tradition abruptly interrupted in 2020 by the pandemic. “There are many restaurants already sold out - confirms the president of Fipe Confcommercio Gianluca Baratto - after all, we haven't worked for two years at Easter and this is the first major event, in which it is possible to work normally again.” But, to cast shadows on an opportunity for recovery are the increases in gas, electricity and raw materials. “On the one hand we observe a good trend almost everywhere - explains Baratto - on the other hand, there is the big problem of internal costs, energy, but also meat, fish, oil, which will push restaurateurs to raise prices.” According to Fipe, the bars have already adjusted their price lists by three percent, and in many restaurants a lunch that a year ago cost 50 euros (from appetizer to dessert, including water and wines), today increases to 55 euros. “The expensive costs of energy weigh heavily on the final bills, but I recommend to colleagues to justify any increases by dedicating greater care to the preparation of the dishes, and offering an increasingly attentive service” says Baratto. (Summary by Angela Balbo)

COVID-19 contagions continue to grow, “Staff exhausted” at San Bortolo – April 13, Il Giornale di Vicenza

The infection is still circulating abundantly, even if the arrival of summer should favor a respite. At San Bortolo, the staff of the front line wards do not have a moment of rest and are exhausted after more than two years. Over the past weekend, another four medical beds had to be opened in order to cope with the increase in hospitalizations. Outside of the hospital, most people live as if COVID-19 were just a bad and now distant memory, but in the hospital the pandemic remains a very current reality, and a puzzle for the future. An average of eight people go to the Vicenza emergency room every day with symptoms of the infection. The COVID-19 occupancy is at 84 percent. The swabs uncover about a thousand positives every 24 hours. Fortunately, for those who have taken the three doses and become infected, the consequences are minimal. "There are few serious cases - explains the head of infectious diseases Dr. Manfrin - and they are almost always the unvaccinated, demonstrating the importance of vaccination.” The future, however, is a big question mark. “I hope – says Dr. Manfrin - that the pandemic will grant us a summer break. I trust I can give breath to the staff who really need it. It has not been possible to plan even a minimum holiday for two years now.” (Summary by Angela Balbo)

Darby Military Community

The United States teaches: it is possible to combine military and environmental needs – April 22, Il Tirreno

COLTANO, PI - In these past few days, the project of the military base in Coltano ignited debate throughout the city. Many rose up to cry out against the hypocrisy of an incredible agreement: a coexistence between military needs and environmental protection. But it has not been so for decades in the United States. The U.S. included natural ecosystems in military installations to represent a realistic environment for training and operational testing of equipment. These ecosystems are also home to a diverse array of wildlife species, many of which are rare or even endangered. The U.S. Department of Defense is a leading institution in the research and development of appropriate species and habitat conservation measures to ensure that ecological balances and training requirements are met. At Camp Blanding in Florida, the military authority is committed to securing the unique habitats of red-cockaded woodpeckers and gopher tortoises, both of which are endangered species. On the other hand, Fort Bragg in North Carolina has long been actively working with representatives of scientific environmentalism to ensure that the needs of military readiness and the preservation of butterflies and birds do not conflict. The base of Coltano could represent the first example of effective dialogue between military needs and respect for the environment, channeling important resources to an area characterized by delicate ecological balances but neglected until now and with the risk of being left neglected for years. At this point, it is not difficult to think that the possible interaction between military personnel with qualified skills on the environmental front, the Forrest Carabinieri, for example and the scientific institutions of our territory could really translate into an objective benefit for the Park as a whole. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Lucca Classical Music Festival – April 21, Il Tirreno

LUCCA - Ezio Bosso's symphony dedicated to the "sounding forest". Bach's biblical masterpieces and the oldest vernacular song. The texts of D'Annunzio and the virtuosity of Segovia. These are just some of the highlights of the Lucca Classical Music Festival. Nine days of total immersion in music and culture, from Saturday April 23 to May 1, in some of the most beautiful places in the historic center and the surroundings of Lucca. As part of the program is a trip in the history, art, beauty and delicious Brunello: the destination is Montalcino, an enchanting village between Mount Amiata and Val d'Orcia. Admission is free for several appointments, for others there is a varied ticket cost. (visit www.luccaclassica.it for further information) (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Rules of conduct for outdoor activities in San Rossore - April 21, Il Tirreno

VECCHIANO - Here are some useful indications from the Park Authority for those who intend to spend their free time in San Rossore: The San Rossore Estate is open every day of the week from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the spring and summer for visits free of charge. For public access, it is divided into three zones: the area closest to the city, around the avenue that connects Cascine Nuove to Sterpaia, and its extension. The intermediate area going towards the coast is accessible by foot and by bike on available bike trails. The coastal area, of highest naturalistic value and most delicate, is accessible in limited numbers and only with an environmental guide. Barbecuing is allowed in the dedicated areas equipped with windbreaks, however you need to bring your own braziers, take all the necessary precautions and leave the area as you found it; in good condition. In addition to the free activities in the park, there are also other special activities available, which need to be paid for through the San Rossore visitor center (call 050-530101 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or email centrovisite@top5viaggi.com) which organizes many itineraries: guided and educational tours on foot, by bicycle, by bus and by ecological train, they have bicycle rental (from late March to October), bicycle wheelchairs, electric cars and 8-seater buses to accommodate the disabled, excursions on horseback and pony school (organized by Equitiamo, phone 338-366 2431 and 349-427 7315) and visits in a carriage (organized by San Rossore in a carriage, phone 330-206235). (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Stop the militarization of the territory: Demonstration outside Camp Darby  April 22, Il Tirreno

PISA - A gathering took place to say "no" to the construction of the new military base for the Carabinieri special units, but also to reiterate "no" to war, to sending weapons to Ukraine and to claim the "demilitarization" of the territory. Tomorrow, at 3 p.m., the No Camp Darby committee will meet in front of the gates of the U.S. military base to protest the "war policies carried out by Italy and the West", but above all to point the finger at the new projects that aim to expand the military presence in Pisa. From building a base in Coltano to strengthening Camp Darby with a new railway line for the transport of ordnance and munitions in the deposits of the American base, one cannot question the future expansion of Coltano without talking about the entire war industry that, piece by piece, has been eating away at the territory over the years and looking at its green areas only as places for future expansion and military exercises. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)

Livorno hosts International sailing week – April 22, Il Tirreno

The event is scheduled to begin tomorrow, April 23 until May 1. Tuscany Region President Eugenio Giani defined Livorno as a world capital of sailing. The Region has collaborated with the Naval Academy and the Municipality of Livorno to realize this event. The International Sailing Week Naval Academy and City of Livorno, traces its origins back to the Naval Academy and City of Livorno sailing trophy, whose first competition was held in 1981 for the anniversary of the academy. Among the many innovations of this fifth edition, there is also the return to the Livorno waters of foreign navy competitors. The crews of the Naval Academies from at least four continents will take part in the Naval Academies Regatta of 2022: a spectacular match to be held over four days of racing on the monotype Trident 16. The Naval Academy Regatta will also be part of the event. It is one of the longest regattas in the Mediterranean with over 600 miles to be covered with departure and arrival in the city of Livorno, rounding the buoy of Porto Cervo in Sardinia and Capri. During the nine days of the event, inside the equipped area set up at Terrazza Mascagni, there will be recreational, educational, promotional and sports entertainment located throughout the different locations. (Summary by Chiara Mattirolo)