Archive for the ‘Human Interest’ Category

Via Fondazza – the world’s first Social Street

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Although there are exceptions, in modern European society we tend to live more and more isolated from those around us. How many of us know our neighbours well enough to invite them round for meals or ask them for a favour?

In the north Italian city of Bologna, a young couple felt this was such a pity that they decided they’d try to get to know their neighbours through a simple project they called Social Street. In September 2013, they set up a Facebook group called ‘Residents in Via Fondazza – Bologna’. The response was overwhelming and the model they created has gained international attention and popularity.

The Social Street project has won a national award and been endorsed by eminent sociologists and anthropologists, such as Professors Anthony Giddens, Richard Sennett and Marc Augé. It’s even been included in the European Commission’s Social Innovation Europe directory.

So how has life changed for Via Fondazza’s population? I went down there to find out.

(first broadcast on World in Progress, Deutsche Welle Radio, 8th July, 2015)

Nutella turns 50!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Both literally and figuratively one of Italy’s sweetest success stories, Nutella this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Company legend has it that the first ever jar was consumed on May 18th 1964.
From the little town of Alba in north western Italy, the chocolate-hazelnut spread has grown in popularity to become a global phenomenon. Now produced in 11 factories worldwide, 5 of which are in the EU, 365 million kilos of it were sold last year.

From Parc de Sceaux in France to Gorky Park in Russia, millions of fans were celebrating its half century last weekend. There were special festivities in its home country, with a huge free concert featuring pop star, Mika, in Naples’ Piazza del Plebiscito.

(first broadcast on Inside Europe, Deutsche Welle Radio 23rd May, 2014)

The Riviera Romagnola: Italy’s favourite beach without sea

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The people of Romagna prove that, even without crystalline waters, they can still attract the tourists.

(First broadcast on From Our Own Correspondent, BBC Radio 4, 25th August, 2012)