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Chris Slatter

My Blog


The Italian Life

Tags: italy berlusconi summer 

Rune of the Day: Perth reversed, Danger


As I suspected they would, Italians voted overwhelmingly against the revival of nuclear energy in the referendum a couple of weeks ago. I accompanied a journalist who was vox popping outside the local polling station and she reported that she couldn’t find one person who was in favour. Italy, which at present derives around 22% of its power from renewables, is looking at a massive investment if the growth in electrical demand is to be met into the 30’s and 40’s without nuclear power. However Italy accomplishes this, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won’t be around to contribute to the planning. “We’ll have to say goodbye to nuclear power,” he said as the results came in. We may soon be saying goodbye to Il Cavaliere himself. He’s lost a lot of ground lately as well as a lot of support from the Italian electorate. But however you judge him, and many judge him very harshly indeed, there is no one in Italian politics today who commands such attention. Of course, it may not be the sort of attention you want.


Summer has come to Ostia and with it the crowds, the markets and
the itinerant salespeople. Italians have a wonderful childlike ability to extract the maximum joy from the simplest thing. There’s money in it, of course. Entrepreneurs , no doubt in league with the Comune, the local council and other authorities, have fenced off most of the beaches, filled them with sun loungers, umbrellas and bars and charge admission. If you want to swim, you pay – depending on the level of service – up to 12 euros. This will get you a sun lounger, the use of a cabina to change in and unlimited access to the sea. It has been the source of much criticism for years that only in Italy are you physically denied access to the sea and made to pay for a privilege that almost everywhere else is a right. The elite disport themselves like elephant seals, bronzed and glistening with oil, lying in ordered ranks  behind the barriers. Of course, Italian rules are only made to be flouted, so locals have liberated a patch of sand a kilometre along the beach for their own free use from which they make forays at low tide along the shore onto the elite beaches. Proud to be invaders, they sneer at those silly enough to have paid.

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About Me

I have been an advertising copywriter, film director, teacher of screenwriting and a television producer. I have worked for some of the world's largest advertising agencies in Australia and the UK before attending the London Film School for two years.

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