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Parcel bomb found at EU food watchdog in Italy

A parcel bomb was intercepted on Tuesday at the headquarters of the EU food safety watchdog's headquarters in northern Italy and was safely detonated by a bomb disposal team.

Parcel bomb found at EU food watchdog in Italy
The headquarters of the European Food Safety Authority in Parma. Photo: Paco Serenelli/AFP

Italy's Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin slammed the “intimidatory act” on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma after the parcel bomb was found in the post room.

It “calls for swift action from all investigative forces to throw light on what happened,” she said.

“I strongly condemn the vile act and express my deep sympathy with all of the employees at the Parma offices,” she added.

The alarm was sounded after the package was found to be addressed to someone who does not work at EFSA. An X-ray revealed it contained a battery and wires, local daily Gazzetta di Parma said.

The security service at the postal sorting centre of the European agency's headquarters alerted the police and bomb disposal experts were called in, detonating the device in a small square near the EFSA building.

Prosecutors in Bologna have launched a probe into the bomb, which investigators said was likely to have exploded or ignited on opening.

“Science will not be intimidated,” EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, said on Twitter.

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.

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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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