I’ve been obsessed with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for a few years now. In fact, I wrote my 10-page Italian final paper (yes, in Italian) on how he’s basically destroyed the entire institution of journalism in Italy. I’m fascinated by his absurdity (just read his Wikipedia entry, and you will be too), and by the fact that people actually elected him. Three times! This video shows Il Cavaliere at his finest.
So, Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister of Italy, finally. When I studied Italian at NYU, I was fascinated by him and how it was even possible that such a corrupt and ridiculous human being was elected by the Italians…three times!
In 2007, in between his second and third terms, I wrote my final paper for my last Italian course about his impact on journalism in Italy, as it nicely tied my two majors together. (To give you an idea of how he stifled Italy’s third estate, one source said, “It’s as if Rupert Murdoch were President of the U.S., but in addition to owning FOX, he also owned CBS and NBC.”) Reading the essay now makes me sad because I’ve forgotten so much Italian since then, which is going to be a major bummer when I visit Italy in February. I ain’t taking the time to translate it to English but if you speak Italian, or you want to pop it into Google Translate, you can check it out here.
My trip to Italy in February is coming together. I’ve decided I’ll be going to Rome, then Salerno (where my paternal grandmother’s family was from), then Muro Lucano (where my paternal grandfather’s family was from; homeland of the Galellas), then back to Rome for my flight home.
I wish I could be there for more than a week, and I’m well aware that I’ll be missing out on the more popular tourist destinations of Florence, Venice, Milan and more, but the idea of checking out these smaller cities and towns is just more thrilling to me; I’ve been yearning to see them for my entire life. Coincidentally, both of my father’s parents passed away during the month of February (my grandfather in 1994 and my grandmother in 1997); this trip is essentially dedicated to them.
I just read The Secret World of Saints, an interesting Kindle Single and the newest Byliner Original, about what it takes to become a Catholic saint. (By the way, you don’t actually need a Kindle to read it — you can also download the free Kindle app for your computer or mobile device.)
Oddly enough, I’m actually blood-related to Saint Gerard, the patron saint of mothers. He’s from Muro Lucano, the tiny town in Italy where my great-grandparents (and pretty much all the Galellas in the world) were from, and his mother was a Galella. I’m going to try to visit his sanctuary in February.