The latest news about Italy – 4.03.2024

Snow and Avalanche Emergency in Valle d’Aosta: Thousands Isolated, Damages and Precautions in Piedmont

The recent adverse weather conditions have severely impacted the region of Valle d’Aosta and parts of Piedmont, causing isolation, damages, and significant disruptions for thousands of people. Avalanches and heavy snowfall have rendered several mountainous areas inaccessible, testing the resilience of infrastructure and the safety of residents.


During the night, an avalanche hit the regional road in the Rhêmes Valley, isolating the mountainous municipality of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, inhabited by around 80 people besides the tourists in the area. Fortunately, no injuries or damages to properties have been reported, but the road has been closed as a precaution, with local authorities assessing when it can safely reopen.

Other areas in Valle d’Aosta have also been cut off due to avalanche risks. The high Gressoney Valley, home to approximately 4,500 residents, has been disconnected from the rest of the region due to a tunnel blockage in the municipality of Gaby. Similarly, the municipality of Cogne has been isolated as a precaution following the closure of the regional road.

Meanwhile, in Piedmont, the effects of heavy precipitation have resulted in flooding and damages, as evidenced by recent events in Settimo Torinese, where a high school had to close due to electrical system damages.

Local authorities are implementing safety and rescue measures to address this emergency. Technicians are conducting assessments to evaluate road conditions and determine when it is safe to reopen them. In the meantime, it is essential for residents of affected areas to follow authorities’ instructions and take precautions to ensure their safety.

At a time when climate change is increasing the incidence of extreme weather events, it is crucial for communities and institutions to adequately prepare to address these challenges. The current emergency calls for solidarity, cooperation, and an immediate response to ensure the safety and well-being of all affected citizens



Obesity in Italy and Worldwide: Healthcare Challenges and Paths to Solutions

As the world observes World Obesity Day today, it is crucial to shed light on the scale of this issue and its impact on global health, including in Italy. According to data published in The Lancet, over a billion people worldwide suffer from obesity. This condition, characterized by excessive fat accumulation in the body, is associated with serious health consequences such as cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.


Over the past three decades, the prevalence of obesity has quadrupled among children and doubled among adults. This alarming trend is observed across nearly all countries worldwide. It is important to note that obesity poses risks not only to physical but also to psychological health, affecting quality of life and longevity.

Despite its renowned culinary tradition and balanced diet, Italy has not been immune to this global issue. According to The Lancet, Italy ranks 144th in terms of obesity among women and 119th among men. This troubling position underscores the need for additional measures to combat this phenomenon.

The situation is particularly serious in the United States, where the percentage of obesity among adults is the highest globally. Additionally, obesity is becoming a problem among youth, posing a threat to the nation’s future health. It is crucial to develop comprehensive programs for the prevention and treatment of obesity, including promoting healthy lifestyles, supporting physical activity, and regulating the food industry.

In the fight against obesity, the role of governmental organizations, medical institutions, educational establishments, and public organizations is incredibly important. Joint efforts are needed to develop and implement effective strategies to reduce the prevalence of obesity and increase awareness of its consequences.

It is also important to address the social and economic aspects of the problem. Obesity is often associated with unequal access to healthy food and healthcare services. Therefore, in addition to medical interventions, attention should also be paid to the social aspects of combating this phenomenon.

The global obesity epidemic requires immediate and vigorous action. Collaborative efforts between governmental and public structures, as well as broad public support, can help change the trajectory of this alarming phenomenon and ensure a healthy future for all



Airbnb in Italy: The Phenomenon of Short-Term Rentals and Implications for the Country

With over 608,000 accommodations available on the Airbnb platform in 2023, Italy stands as one of the most popular destinations for tourism on Airbnb. However, this phenomenon is not evenly distributed across the Italian territory but rather concentrated primarily in some key regions, including Tuscany, Sicily, and Lombardy.


According to data published by Jfc and reported by ANSA, these three regions account for 35.4% of the total Airbnb accommodation supply in Italy. However, the impact of Airbnb varies significantly from region to region, with Lazio recording the highest occupancy rate, followed by Veneto and Lombardy.

It is interesting to note that the concentration of Airbnb accommodations in certain areas raises sustainability issues, especially when it comes to cities and historic centers. To assess this impact, Jfc has developed a Sustainability Index (Rhr), which takes into account the ratio between the number of residents and the quantity of Airbnb accommodations. Regions like Valle d’Aosta, Sardinia, and Tuscany show sustainability indices above the national average, with Valle d’Aosta recording the highest value, albeit conditioned by the scarcity of residents.

However, the increase in the supply of Airbnb accommodations also raises issues regarding the management of tourist taxes. The recent financial law of 2024 has required platforms like Airbnb to collect the tourist tax on behalf of hosts offering short stays. This has led to increased attention to tax compliance and transparency in the short-term rental sector.

Finally, there is also the issue of the relationship between residents and tourists, especially in the historic centers of the most visited cities such as Florence and Venice. The rise in short-term rentals can lead to increased living costs for residents and a reduction in the availability of long-term housing, with potentially negative consequences for social cohesion and quality of life.

In conclusion, Airbnb represents a significant part of the Italian tourism landscape, but it requires a holistic approach to manage its economic, social, and environmental implications. It is necessary to strike a balance between promoting tourism and safeguarding local communities and the country’s cultural heritage



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