“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”
“Italy is the land of Vatican City, the Holy Roman See and the Pope, but most Italians don’t know what it means to have a deep relationship with God. It’s common for people to take part in the church’s traditional rituals without understanding what these things mean or why they do them. Even faithful Catholics often practice a religion mixed with superstition. In this post-Christian culture, it can no longer be assumed that people believe in such basic truths as the existence of God or the authority of Scripture.”
— Carre Gardner
How to Pray For Italy:
Prayercast: Italy (youtube link)
Here are a few short vimeo videos posted by Chris Castaldo who serves as the Director of the Ministry of Gospel Renewal for the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College:
“Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy!”
More Info. on Italy:
Life in Italy (I check this site regularly; it has lots of interesting and current news and cultural articles)
I’ve been to Italy six times now. My first trip there was on a semester abroad program in the Spring of 2003. I spent three months in the beautiful city of Florence. The following summer, in 2004, I and five friends from college spent a month in Bologna where we worked along side of Pastor Mike D’Anna and his church, La Parola della Grazia (The Word of Grace). To my delight, in the summer of 2006, my older sister choose to be married at a villa in a small town outside of Lucca. I returned from the trip in ’06 with an unused half of a roundtrip ticket to Europe. I could not barre to see the ticket wasted and on this account was forced to return again in 2007 when I spent a month traveling from Munich to Rome.
Of the places I have been to in Italy, the regions of Tuscany and Emilia-Romana are among my favorites. The rolling hills covered in vineyards remind me a great deal of the beautiful California counties of Mendocino and Sonoma where I grew up. I am terrible at picking favorites of just about anything but a few of the towns and cities I like the most include: Rome, Florence, Orvieto, Arezzo, Padova, Lucca and the towns of Cinque Terre.
Sweet “Sicilia” truly is a world all its own. The history of Sicily is drastically different from the rest of the country. Now that I have spent some time in Sicily, I understand, at least to some small extent, why Sicilians insist they are Sicilian rather than allow someone to refer to them as Italian. I spent the majority of my time in Sicily in and around the city of Catania but of the few other places I’ve been to, the beautiful coastal town of Cefalù would be among my favorites. Watching Lady Etna erupt almost on a weekly basis at times, was certainly a highlight to say the least and describing what it was like the first night I saw her erupting still is something I can hardly put into words.
Sicily may have its own history, language, pace, reputation (for better or worse!), cuisine and style but there are still many common elements within daily life Sicilians share with the rest of their countrymen. The centricity of relationships, espresso, delicious food, vespas, fashion, local wines, traditions, pasta, soccer (“calcio”), riposo (the mid-day rest taken from approx. 1-4pm) and an innate love for the beach are a few of the common denominators that come to mind.