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OBAMA

Michelle Obama: ‘We can do better’ in obesity fight

US First Lady Michelle Obama visited the World Expo in Milan, which is themed this year on food, on the lookout for ideas to help fight childhood obesity.

Michelle Obama: 'We can do better' in obesity fight
Michelle Obama talks to schoolkids in Milan. Photo: Giuseppe Cacae / AFP

Along with daughters Sasha and Malia, and her mother Marian Robinson, healthy food campaigner Obama spent the entire morning at the exhibition.

Accompanied by Agnese Renzi — the wife of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi — she met with children and students at the Italian and American pavilions.

“The truth is we still have so much work to do when we are seeing rising obesity rates, not just in the United States but all over the world,” she told them. “And it's really going to take young people like you to take this information and make something of it, turn it into action.”

Obama has long worked on her “Let's Move!” programme to get American children to eat more healthily and be more active.

On Thursday, she vowed to continue campaigning for healthy eating even when her husband Barack Obama ceases to be president.

“I know that I for one long after I leave the office of First Lady I'm going to continue to work on these issues because our children deserve better,” she said.”And we can do better, we can, we have seen it here.”

On Saturday, Expo 2015 aims to break the world's largest pizza record, with a pie set to be 1.5 kilometres (nearly a mile) long.

Meanwhile, Obama's daughters saw the day as an opportunity for fun. They drove a little electric car and then visited the Brazilian pavilion's massive rope hammock.

In the afternoon, the president's family will visit US troops in Vicenza in northern Italy, and then go to Venice until Sunday.

LA BELLA VITA

La Bella Vita: The best Italian-language podcasts, and unexpected foods you’ll find in Italy

From Italian podcasts to surprising delicacies and our favourite overlooked travel destinations, new weekly newsletter La Bella Vita offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like an Italian.

La Bella Vita: The best Italian-language podcasts, and unexpected foods you'll find in Italy

La Bella Vita is our regular look at the real culture of Italy – from language to cuisine, manners to art. This new newsletter will be published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox, by going to newsletter preferences in ‘My Account’ or follow the instructions in the newsletter box below.

A cornerstone of Italian culture, the tabaccheria is used for much more than just buying cigarettes. In fact, these little shops are pretty central to everyday life and anyone who moves to or just spends time in Italy will need to become as familiar with them as they are with the local coffee bar.

From paying bills to purchasing bus tickets, here are just some of the services you should know about and a few tips for your first visit.

Why the tabaccheria is essential to life in Italy – even if you don’t smoke

For Italian language learners: listening to podcasts is a great way to immerse yourself in a new language. Luckily there’s a vast range of audio shows for people wanting to learn Italian, whether you’re studying at an advanced level or learning from scratch. Here we’ve selected a few of our favourites, plus readers’ suggestions:

Some of the best podcasts for learners of Italian

Italy is known worldwide for pizza and gelato, but Italian cuisine is incredibly diverse and visitors are often surprised by some of the local delicacies on offer. I know rustic Tuscan cuisine didn’t exactly match my expectations when I first arrived in Italy. I quickly learned to love it – but my mother-in-law’s homemade chocolate cake made with pig’s blood (sanguinaccio is a delicacy in Puglia…) was a step too far!

So, from fried brains and tripe to suggestive desserts that you definitely wouldn’t expect the local priest to approve of, here’s a look at some more of the traditional foods loved by Italians – but not always by foreigners.

From fried brains to ‘sexy’ cakes: The Italian foods you might not expect in Italy

Visitors can find more than they bargained for at a traditional Italian food market. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

As regular visitors know, there’s much more to Italy than just the glamour of Rome, Venice or Florence, but some destinations suffer – we think unfairly – from negative reputations. From Caserta to Reggio Calabria and beyond, here are some of the overlooked Italian towns that are home to incredible sights that everyone should see at least once.

Nine overlooked Italian towns you should visit

If you’re planning a visit to Italy (or to another part of Europe from Italy) this year but want to cut down your carbon footprint, train travel is a great option and there are more routes than ever connecting Italy’s major cities to other parts of the continent.

Here are some of the main direct international train services you can use for travel between Italy and other European countries this year.

The train routes connecting Italy to the rest of Europe in 2023

Remember if you’d like to have this weekly newsletter sent straight to your inbox you can sign up for it via Newsletter preferences in “My Account”.

Is there an aspect of the Italian way of life you’d like to see us write more about on The Local? Please email me at [email protected]

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