Today in Italy For Members

Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
A helicopter pictured during an avalanche search and rescue operation. Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP

A deadly avalanche in Trentino Alto Adige, an 11-month suspension for a controversial army general, and more news from around Italy on Thursday.


Italy's top news story on Thursday:

Avalanche kills one, seriously injures two in Trentino Alto Adige

An avalanche in the Racines di Dentro area, in the province of Bolzano, killed a hiker and left two in critical conditions on Wednesday. 

The avalanche reportedly fell in the Wumblsalm area, over a kilometre away from the nearest ski lifts, at around 5pm.

All three hikers were equipped with Arva electronic emergency beacons, and were quickly located by members of the local alpine rescue teams. One hiker was found dead upon arrival, while the other two were transported to Bolzano hospital in critical conditions.

All hikers were of German nationality according to national media reports

Italy suspends top army general over book disparaging minorities

Italy's defence ministry on Wednesday suspended army general Roberto Vannacci from duty for 11 months following the publication of a book making derogatory remarks against ethnic and sexual minorities.

In the bestselling book The World Backwards (Il Mondo al Contrario), released last August, Vannacci denounces the "dictatorship of minorities", saying that that gay people are "not normal" and that the facial features of Italian black volleyball player Paola Egonu "do not represent Italianness".

The 11-month suspension came only two days after Vannacci was placed under investigation by the Rome Prosecutor's Office for allegedly inciting racial hatred. 


The 55-year-old former paratrooper is currently at the centre of another investigation over alleged financial irregularities during his posting as a military attaché to the Italian embassy in Moscow between 2021 and 2022.

Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini defended Vannacci on Wednesday, writing on X: "An investigation a day, it's ridiculous, how scary is the General? Long live freedom of thought and speech, long live the Armed Forces and the Police Forces". 

Italian culture minister rules out excluding Israel from Venice Biennale 

Italy's Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano on Wednesday rejected calls to exclude Israel from the upcoming Venice Biennale exhibition over the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Sangiuliano said in a statement that excluding Israel would "threaten freedom of thought and of creative expression" and that "the Venice Art Biennale will always be a space of freedom, meeting and dialogue and not a space of censorship and intolerance". 

The statement came as a response to an online petition signed by over 18,000 people accusing the Biennale of "platforming a genocidal apartheid state".


The 60th edition of the Venice Biennale international exhibition is set to take place from April 20th to November 24th.

Italy withdraws bid to host 2027 World Athletics Championship in Rome

The Federation of Italian Athletics (FIDAL) on Wednesday withdrew its bid to hold the 2027 World Athletics Championship in Rome. 

In a letter addressed to World Athletics President Lord Sebastian Coe, the federation said that the bid did not have the necessary requirements to be successful.

Though the exact reasons behind the withdrawal were not known at the time of writing, local media reports said that it was tied with the government's previous refusal to provide full funding (around 84 million euros) for the event. 

Rome's Councillor for Sport Alessandro Onorato said on Wednesday that the bid withdrawal represented "the umpteenth missed opportunity for sport and for the Capital".


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also