Though their grape smashing continues to hold authority across the globe, French wine-makers once had to be taught how to grow, stomp, swill their grapes. Molecular analysis of ancient wine pots and presses in the south of France indicates that the Italians instructed the French on the best methods to turn a delicious snack food into a refined grape beverage.
There was a time when Italians lived in Manhattan's "Little Italy." A long time ago. Now, it's just an area called "Nolita" full of rich people and expensive "boutiques" and the Gawker Media offices, and the only real Italian connection left is the annual Feast of San Gennaro, a horrible week-long street fair featuring fried food and seedy carnival games and lots of the same crappy vendors you see at every street fair in NYC, which represents the "true spirit of Italy" about as much as Chef Boyardee.
Picture a day where you win the lottery, score the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl, and find the perfect pair of jeans on sale. Multiply that by 10,000 and you have this announcer's level of elation.
Roberto Cavalli spent the weekend "dancing in the desert" in Dubai. Why? The permatanned Italian just opened what he calls "the first designer club in the Middle East," that's why. The Cavalli Club, which cost $30 million to construct, includes an "opulent" Italian restaurant, sushi bar, and nightclub, and features "floors made of black quartz, 20-foot-high ceilings dripping with Swarovski crystals and furnishings in his trademark animal prints." The launch also seems to coincide with a new life philosophy. A month ago, he told a reporter he was actually kind of happy that the world was in the middle of a recession, since "too many people were making too much money." Now? He wants to "give a sign of optimism for the future." Consider the message received. [WWD]
Easily-offended Italians alert: Tomorrow's Time features a fun Q&A with Al Pacino. A vowelly-surnamed reader asks the actor if he thinks "Italian-American culture is represented unfairly in film and on TV." Paco (that's what we wops call him) doesn't have any idea, it turns out, what "Italian-American" might be.