All Articles Tagged "Italy"

Be A Traveler, Not A Tourist: Jasmine Fowlkes Clennon Dishes On Her Travel Noire Experience To Italy

May 3rd, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
Share to Twitter Email This

Stay Reddy Photography for Travel Noire

Stay Reddy Photography for Travel Noire

Many of us find ourselves ogling at Travel Noire’s Instagram account, wondering how we can achieve the same #SquadGoals as the women featured, exploring new cities and taking pics against dreamy, scenic backdrops. Thanks to Jasmine Fowlkes Clennon, 28, we’ve found the answer. Clennon recently embarked on one of the organization’s Travel Noire Experience trips and we caught up with her afterward to see what all the buzz is about. In our interview, the Manager of Television Advertising Innovations and Programmatic Solutions dished on what it’s like to be a millennial woman traveling with her husband and how the Travel Noire Experience tour to Italy changed her perspective on what it means to be a traveler and tourist. Soak up her gem-worthy advice below.

MadameNoire (MN): How do you usually plan travel?
Jasmine Fowlkes Clennon (JFC): Outside of my Travel Noire Experience (which I booked right after Fourth Of July weekend last year), I normally book my vacations out of the country based on flight deals and glitches, to be honest. I went to Africa for Thanksgiving last year—it was a great experience and the funny thing was I got a text in April of last year that said “There’s a glitch right now, a fare to go to Kenya and it looks like it’s the week of Thanksgiving and it’s less than $500 per person. Are you down?” And I was like “Absolutely! Let’s do it!” I took other trips that worked out that way…usually, several months in advance there’s usually a glitch. I want to say my glitch fare was right after the [Kenyan] Garissa attack so I don’t think there was a lot of tourism going on in the area. Glitch fares kind of force you outside of your comfort zone, it’s like “Hey we have to react quickly to this deal before it’s gone and this is what it is. Are you available to go?” Normally, that’s how it works [for me].

MN: Some people don’t have people they trust enough to travel with. Who do you usually travel with and why?
JFC: I think I have an advantage because I’m married. [As for our travel partners] my husband and I [know] young, married millennials [who are also] minorities. [So if ] they see a deal, we go together. For the Africa trip, my husband texted me and was like “Hey there’s a deal! Let’s do it and not think about it!” So that’s kind of how it happened. And then outside of the Travel Noire trip, a friend of ours booked the Travel Noire Italy experience the week after us. So once we found out, we were like “Let’s link up in Rome!” I think it’s just natural to have a husband to travel with but outside of that we have other friends between the two of us who are also travelers so it’s easy to say “Hey guys! Let’s link up here,” [especially] if we’re going to be in the same country or city. I don’t really have that problem [with traveling with untrustworthy people] but I know a lot of people who say they do [have] friends who are just hesitant or stuck in their comfort zone. But most of the time, [I travel] with friends who are already travelers as well as my husband.

MN: There are some who believe they won’t be the “right” fit for Travel Noire Experiences. What was your first impression of the brand and its group trips?
JFC: The perception I got from the [Travel Noire] Instagram was [it caters] to people from all walks of life. That was my first impression…like “this will be a unique group.” I’ll tell you what my first hesitation was: Here I am, I just booked my first Travel Noire Experience: will I mesh well with the group? Is everyone going to get along? And I couldn’t have been more wrong. We had people from all walks of life—someone from my group was from the Bronx, someone from Texas, other groups had people from other countries and everyone just meshed well, really, really well. For some people, Travel Noire Experience was their first trip outside of the country. Then you had people in the group who were young, had been to 18 different countries and knew their way around the world. So I loved that it was all different kinds of travel experience levels and different types of people. I think it’s funny that I [initially] had that hesitation. Some of us who are [from] the city [here in New York] keep in touch. When we’re traveling, we’ll [reach out to] (the people who are from Chicago or Texas) saying “I’ll be in your city!” It’s kind of like a family.

 Cendino Teme Photography

Cendino Teme Photography

MN: What was it like traveling with your husband on a group trip? Did people treat you both like the “married couple?”
JFC: [Travel Noire] created a Facebook group for all of us maybe seven months in advance to our trip, I realized that my husband and I were the only married couple. There were a few people who were married or engaged but we were the only married couple in the group. And that was my hesitation, it’s like “Hey we’re fun-loving, we’re cool, we have a lot of mutual friends but we do our own thing,” [but] will that translate well into the group? We were very intentional with this group and we said when we get there [Italy], we will separate and we will get to know everyone on our own and not be “that married couple” on the trip [who] are up under each other all the time to the point that people feel like they can’t really get to know you and they have to get to know you as a couple. So the first night of the Travel Noire trip, [during] the welcome dinner, we purposely sat at different tables so we could [meet people] at our tables on our own terms. There were a few other activities throughout the week, which were awesome: yacht, wine tasting tours and even an art class where we were in different groups. And definitely during the wine tasting class we sat at different tables. That’s just my style, though, I am one of those people who I don’t need to be up under him all the time. We had our own section of the condominium at the bed and breakfast Travel Noire booked for us, so we made sure we had a game and music night at our place so everyone can come over and play games; [and] get to know us as a couple.

MN: Who would you promote Travel Noire Experiences to?
JFC: Anyone who wants to step outside of their comfort zone and do something they’ve never done before. Most importantly, someone who wants to do something with different people; we had a few people [in our group] who came on their own, too! I thought that was really cool and if you’re looking to make friends or looking to connect with other young, Black, savvy travelers I think it’s a good group for that. I think the groups are curated in a way where there is something for everybody. For example, we did a hike one day (which is good for someone who is super outdoorsy). I’m not an outdoorsy type but it was a great hike. Then there was a wine tasting for the people who are laid back and I loved that; we also had the art class for people who were a bit more artsy. There was really something for everybody…we also did a shopping trip and a yacht tour to Capri. [There were] both high- and low-energy activities. We even had a cooking class, as well.

MN: Let’s talk money. How much should someone save if they want to be a part of a Travel Noire Experience group trip?
JFC: You have two options when you book, you can pay upfront or [use] their payment plan. For example, my Italy Travel Noire Experience came in at $1,799 and that didn’t include the flight. With the payment plan, you have several months to pay it off; keep in mind I booked my trip Fourth Of July and I went this March. So, think about the amount of time you have to pay on a monthly basis. You really save a lot by doing that. I paid upfront for both my husband and I because we have a travel fund. I save money every month towards my next trip, so I had it ready but Travel Noire makes it very easy for you to pay off your trip with payment plans.

MN: What’s the biggest lesson you learned on the trip?
JFC: My husband said this, and I agree as well: There’s a difference between a traveler and a tourist. In my previous trips, especially with Instagram, you visually see the spots that you may want to hit in advance. For example, when I went to Kenya, I was like I have to go to these places because everybody goes to these places. Or even in a domestic city, I live in New York so if someone comes to New York, they have to hit Times Square and they have to do all the touristy things. But I think a traveler looks for more of the hidden gems; I want to go to the restaurant that’s authentic that no one will know about, like take me there! Or [if I’m] in Puerto Rico, I want to go to the rain forest that no one’s hit before. [I also think it’s important] to connect with the locals. I think the main difference with the Travel Noire Experience is we didn’t stay at a major hotel and they did that on purpose. We stayed at a local bed and breakfast in a small town. Literally the lady who owned a bed and breakfast also owned the pizzeria in that part of Italy. I [also] think something that distinguishes a traveler and tourist is a traveler talks [and gets to know] the locals. In previous trips I wouldn’t say that I would talk to the locals but now as I get ready for my next trip I want to get to know locals and ask them what they like about living [in their country] or where should I go to, to have the best of your country’s [or city’s] food.

@mark.c

@mark.c

For more information on Travel Noire Experiences, visit TNExperiences.com and TravelNoire.com

Teacher Takes Creative Approach To Stopping Students From Bullying Classmate Over Her Natural Hair

April 10th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
Share to Twitter Email This

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Natural hair has been making a lot of headlines lately, but mostly for all the wrong reasons. Either a young girl is getting expelled from school for embracing her afro puffs or a young lady/woman is being chastised for proudly rocking her natural curl pattern in the workplace and being labeled as “unprofessional.” The list literally could go on, but recently an inspiring story about a young girl’s journey to embracing natural hair has caught our attention for all the rights reasons.

Alexondra Purnomo, a first grade teacher in Rome, Italy, noticed students at her predominately Italian school were bullying and teasing a new student. Why? Sasha, Purnomo’s new student happened to be the only African-American girl in her classroom. When the young girl showed up to class without her usually hairstyle of braids the teasing comments by classmates poured in.

The Sasha BunMy school is predominately Italian kids. Probably more than 95%. I have a new(er) student who is black in…

Posted by Alexondra Purnomo on Thursday, April 7, 2016

“Some of the kids made fun of her for her short hair, so she started wearing a hat to school and refused to take it off,” Purnomo wrote on Facebook. Sasha then began to wear a winter hat and refused to take it off. Purnomo and another teacher decided to use this situation as a lesson about racial differences, and show that no matter if you’re “short, tall, light skinned, dark skinned, blond, brunette, with or without glasses, boy, girl, braid, bun, sneakers, shoes… ” you are uniquely special.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

After their talk, Sasha took off her hat and revealed a small bun on the top of her head. Purnomo and the other teacher decided to wear their hair in topknots, too, and called it the “Sasha Bun,” to make her feel more at ease and comfortable. “Then one by one, all of the girls (and boys! 😂) wanted their hair in a “Sasha bun.” We were able to come together as a class and bring a smile to Sasha’s face after a long, tough week. It gave me chills to see 19 kids come together to help one fellow student.”

Pop Sugar  shared an update on Sasha, reporting that she did return to school rocking the infamous winter hat. But, classmates “cheered her on saying, “Ma Sasha, sei bella,” (“But Sasha, you’re beautiful!”), she removed it and showed off her hair the rest of the day.” Not to mention, girls in her class are still sporting their Sasha buns.

 

That’s Amore! New Webseries Black Girls In Rome Shows Black Women Finding Love In Italy

January 18th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
Share to Twitter Email This

Black Girls In Rome

YouTube

Many of us love the various web series that document the Black woman’s experience from Los Angeles to Africa and luckily for audiences another web series has been created to cover all the #BlackGirlMagic in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, an African-American woman who lives in Rome, has written, directed and produced Black Girls In Rome, a series that revolves around a woman who lives in New York City and suspects her boyfriend is seeing another woman. In an effort to move away from the drama, the woman books a one-way flight to Rome and becomes immersed in Roman culture and even finds a new boy-toy while on her new adventure! The series will also cover what it is like to live in Rome as a Black woman navigated her womanhood.

Check out the trailer for Black Girls in Rome which is slated to debut this Spring. And take a look at Dr. Pizzoli’s other web series In Nero: Black Girls In Rome as well.

Before I Die: Journey To The Ancient City Of Pompeii

December 18th, 2014 - By Subira Willock
Share to Twitter Email This

 

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Dr. Greene had a way with words and an unforgettable presence. Always dressed in earth-toned suits with his stark white hair neatly combed back, one hand on his walking stick and the other clutching the overhead projector’s clicker. When he dimmed the lights of the fifth floor Art History room, everyone knew it was lecture time. Personal photographs and slides of classical paintings from Monet to Van Gogh, from Greek and Roman neoclassical architecture to contemporary art. Dr. Greene was by far the most travelled man I had ever known and an incredible storyteller. As a college freshman whose travel experience consisted of flying back and forth between Trinidad and Tobago and New York City, it never occurred to me that I would ever visit any of the places he had been. His lectures fascinated me, not only in historical context, but because so much information about the artists’ personalities was injected into each narrative. The day he shared memories of his first visit to the lost city of Pompeii was a turning point. The images and details of an event so catastrophic that it buried thousands of people alive and wiped two thriving communities off the map for centuries, haunted me and remained in my subconscious for many years. Pompeii became the one place I had to visit before I die.

Almost eight years later, retracing Dr. Greene’s footsteps through the winding hallways of the Louvre Museum in Paris, anticipating my first glimpse of Nike’s statue in all her headless glory and Mona Lisa sitting behind her glass enclosure in a crowded room. Gazing up at the coffered dome of the Pantheon in Rome, rubbing my hands on the rough bricks of the Coloseum where ancient gladiators perished, until finally my feet touched the smooth cobblestone streets of Pompeii.

The inspiration to achieve anything may come from one event, or a number of experiences. For me, the murder of my 16 year old best friend two weeks after I moved from Trinidad to New York and the sudden death of my only sister four years later on her 26th birthday forced me to come to terms with my own mortality. We are so busy worrying about our future lives, that we often forget that some of us may not have the luxury of making it to old age. For that reason, my decision to start crossing things off my bucket list carried me halfway across the world to Italy.

Everyone loves a great story. One that captures the imagination, ignites our emotions and leaves us wanting to know more. But in 79 AD, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, the story of the residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum in what was then the Roman Empire, was written as their lives came to a horrifying end. Thousands of people went from going about their daily lives to being buried by a sea of hot, molten lava and toxic ash. They tried to escape, but could not get far. Herculaneum’s close proximity to Vesuvius meant that its residents died instantly as the intense heat boiled the flesh right off of their bones. While, gusts of wind from the crater’s explosion rained clouds of toxic ash down onto Pompeii’s residents suffocating every living thing and burying the entire town under 20 feet of volcanic debris.

On the morning we visited Pompeii, the skies were dark and gloomy as if in mourning. The cold, torrential downpour did not dampen our spirits or that of our animated Italian guide as he escorted a group of twenty-something foreigners through the soggy maze of ancient streets. As I stood in a puddle, in the main forum, among remnants of damaged marble columns, broken structures and mosaic tile, I tried to imagine what it was like to live there almost 2,000 years ago. As a young Pompeiian, hurrying to meet my friends at the bathhouse, watching a play at the open-air theatre, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the roadside eateries or spying on the imprisoned gladiators as they trained in the stadium; when suddenly I hear a roaring BOOM. As I spin around to see where the noise came from, a cloud of black smoke quickly covers me until I take my final breath.

But I didn’t need to imagine very much. Preserved remains of human bodies were carved out of the hardened ash when Pompeii was rediscovered in the 16th century. In all manner of positions, crouching down with arms outstretched, engaging in sexual acts at the brothel, even household pets were found in the exact positions in which they had died. Today, these human castes are displayed in glass cases around Pompeii as a reminder of those who lived and died in the great eruption of 79 AD.

But I could not leave without doing one last thing. It was part of the reason I had traveled all the way to Italy and would go down as one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We could barely see the cone of Vesuvius looming up above, through the overcast skies. As if to say “come closer,” we piled back into the van and began our quest to meet ‘Vesuvio.’

On the winding drive up to the top, there are now posh townhouses and gated residences. The threat of this deadly volcano and the thousands of lives lost in past eruptions did not deter brave Italians from laying their heads at the foot of a beast. As we drove higher and higher, our guide explained that Vesuvio was overdue for an eruption and that if we received word of seismic activity while at the crater, they would make their best attempts to evacuate us. With altitude sickness kicking in, I said a quick prayer for our safe return.

When the van could go no further, we began the steep 45 minute hike up to the gaping crater of Vesuvio. At the top of the most famous active volcano in the world, overlooking the Bay of Naples, with the gaseous smell of sulphuric steam filling our lungs, I asked Nicole where was the one place in the world she wanted to go before she died – because this is it for me.

Now what?

 

 

Subira Willock is the creator of Black Travel Snob, a travel lifestyle brand that spills the tea on the world’s most popular destinations. Follow @blacktravelsnob on Twitter and Instagram or visit btsnob.com for more stories.

 

 

 

 

Milan Is So Overrated

November 19th, 2014 - By Subira Willock
Share to Twitter Email This

milan

In a perfect world, everything we desire comes to fruition in the exact way we wish it to be. Life glows with the warmth of friendship, love and experiences that enrich us and make us feel whole. As travelers we tend to fantasize about what a destination will be like based on external factors like movies, travel guides, and the experiences of others. The journey first begins in our imaginations, before we ever take a single step onto foreign soil. We build up expectations of adventures that make us come alive, warm savory food that melts in our mouth, the melodic voices of handsome strangers flowing sweetly in an exotic tongue, sunshine and clear blue skies. But the real world is not so perfect and sometimes being present in a foreign city is the only way to accept that where you are is not what you thought it would be.

We emerged from Milano Porto Garibaldi on a cold, rainy Sunday morning. The almost 12-hour overnight train ride from Naples to Milan was rough. Like a scene out of a murder mystery, at the stroke of 22:00 hours, hundreds of disorderly passengers piled onto the partially rusting Intercity regional train. We both found our seats in the cramped six-seater cabin alongside a sketchy Nigerian priest dressed in white robes, a mature Sikh gentleman with his boyish lover and an Italian hipster. I shifted my eyes over to Nicole with raised eyebrows and caught her glance. After fifteen years of friendship, I hoped she could read my thoughts about the situation. Two women facing each other with our only escape route blocked by four men for an entire twelve hours. If anything crazy goes down we’ll break the windows and hop out of the speeding train like some extras from the Wild Wild West. Until then, we resigned ourselves to the uncomfortable, non-reclining seats and slept with one eye open, clutching our bags all the way to Milan’s regional station.

After a whirlwind tour with stops in Rome, Naples, Capri, Pompeii, Florence and Venice we settled into Milan for the last leg of our legendary Italian circuit. We were ready to rest our worn-out bodies, let loose and have some fun. From retracing the footsteps of gladiators in Rome, gazing in awe at the masterpiece that is Michelangelo’s ‘Book of Genesis’ painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and sailing the blue canals of Venice, we truly felt Italy’s spirit. Centuries of history, architecture, artwork and culture all preserved. But Milan was different – we landed in a metropolis, with colder temperatures, gloomy overcast skies, crowds of people zig-zagging along narrow walkways, mediocre food, and very little personality. Like Paris and New York City, Milan is known for fashion, finance, luxury and nightlife but unfortunately is the least exciting of the three. Be that as it may, if you happen to be in the area, here are some things you can do in between fashion shows and trips to Tom Ford.

Visit the Duomo cathedral. This is Milan’s centerpiece and most popular monument. Tourists are free to enter and can go up to the roof for a better view of the city. Next, go shopping in the main shopping district in Milan which is walking distance from the Duomo, called Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The area is filled with mid to luxury range boutiques from the GAP to Armani but you will only find Gucci, Louis, Fendi, and Prada at the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II next to the Duomo.  When it’s time to eat, head over to Pizzeria Rocking Horse in Corso Como for their famous pies and bruschetta. As an aside, a gentleman who was chatting me up revealed that many dishes at high-traffic restaurants in Milan are not made to order, but are pre-cooked, refrigerated and re-heated. So, if you want something fresh, go for the pizza. A night out on the town can be epic in Corso Como, the popular nightlife district, if you go on the right night. Clubs usually charge at the door and offer a free drink on entry.

If you’re not too tired from fist-pumping to electronic beats all night, grab a 24-hour subway pass the next morning and ride the metro around Milan for a day. You can hop off and on at random stops and explore different pockets of the city on your own terms. Try to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s  ‘Last Supper’ painting on one of your stops. It is one of the most famous religious works of art in the world but visitors will need to make an online ticket reservation at least one month in advance or connect with a licensed group tour guide to gain entry – same day visits are not allowed. Lastly, remember that many business and tourist sites are closed on Sundays and Mondays so check days of operation before heading out.

Why doesn’t it sound glamorous? Because it is like any other city in any other country with luxury boutiques, mid-range stores, Zaras and H&Ms lining busy streets filled with label-conscious shopaholics. Consumerism and materialism take center stage, while the rustic Italian charm we had come to expect was completely overshadowed. Oh but the people are beautiful! Dark hair, pale skin and rail thin model-esque specimens own the streets – and why wouldn’t they? Milan is Italy’s modern city, its fashion capital and the home of Prada, Versace and Guiseppe Zanotti. But if you’re an up-and-coming gal like me, whose profession is lucrative but not yet celebrity, Milan is just a place with a bunch of stores that a vast majority of visitors can barely afford to shop in. If you’re looking for things that cannot be found on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the only saving grace may be the tiny shops or local flea markets around Milan where you can buy thrifty vintage gear. Catch them while you can though, since street markets only open on random days during the week like Tuesdays and Sundays.

Overall, Milan is like the chick you bang and never call again. She has some good qualities but you really don’t care if you ever see her again – you would rather go on a date with Florence or marry Venice. That’s the thing about having high expectations and making comparisons, they are never completely fair because they are founded on an individual’s preconceptions and limited experiences. As a wise man once said, accept things as they are and look realistically at the world around you. Reality is, when you go looking for excitement, sometimes you don’t find it.

 

Subira Willock spills the travel tea as the creator of Black Travel Snob, a travel lifestyle brand for the hip-hop generation. Follow @blacktravelsnob on Twitter and Instagram or visit btsnob.com for photos and more stories.

Prada Unveils Harlem Renaissance Inspired Stores In Milan

February 20th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
Share to Twitter Email This

Prada

Prada

 

From StyleBlazer

Right in time for Black History Month, two of Prada’s stores will be recast in the image of the Harlem Renaissance at the brand’s Via Montenapoleone men’s and women’s boutiques in Milan, Italy.

The project is a part of Prada’s “Iconoclast” series originally launched in 2009 where fashion heavyweights such as Alex White, Olivier Rizzo, Carine Roitfeld and Katie Grand have reimagined Prada boutiques in the four fashion capitals: New York, London, Paris and Milan.

This time around, Prada has tapped Edward Enninful, W Magazine’s Style & Fashion Director, to “share his vision” in outfitting the store with a 1920s cool that features a Harlem Renaissance motif.

“The event is meant as a celebration of Miuccia Prada’s incredible work. Hopefully people will leave the event with a smile on their face,” Enninful told Style.com. “It is a very joyful moment, and I hope that people will be inspired by the men’s and women’s collections, the installations in each store, and the culturally inclusive direction of this moment in the Iconoclasts series.”

Read more on Prada at StyleBlazer.com 

Introducing The “Legends”: John Legend And Chrissy Teigen Married In Italy!

September 15th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
Share to Twitter Email This

"JohnChrissy"

Instagram

Many would say this has been a long time coming, but we can officially say that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen married on Saturday in Europe.

According to PEOPLE, the couple were married in Lake Como, Italy in front of family and friends.  While no “official” pictures have been released, the paparazzi was able to snap one photo of the couple during their ceremony. Chrissy posted a picture of the gown Sunday morning on Instagram. It was designed by Vera Wang and had an open back, lifted tulle skirt and hand-cut petal embroidered details. Beautiful!

"Chrissy Teigen"

Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram

For the reception, Chrissy changed into a second Vera dress, this  one in an ivory color featuring a micro-pleated bodice and sheared organza full skirt. For the after party dress – yes, there was an after party dress – Chrissy wore a crimson Vera Wang strapless mermaid gown with a hand-draped bodice, inverted flange skirt and embroidered crystal wheat detail.

The details about John’s suit have yet to be disclosed.

One of the highlights of the day was likely when John sang “All Of Me” in dedication to his new bride. The song, written specifically for Chrissy, can be found on his new album Love In The Future and is a tearjerker.

We’re sure the couple, together since 2006 and engaged since 2011, had a great time partying while eating a multi-layer cake full of crepe, pastry creme and raspberry sauce.

Congratulations to John and Chrissy, the new Mr. & Mrs. Stephens!

International Racism: Bananas Thrown At Italy’s First Black Minster

July 30th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

Just the other day I was visiting Clutch reading about racism in Egypt. Apparently, black Egyptians whether immigrants or Nubians (the native people of Egypt) feel they are often face discrimination. I found that particularly disheartening because  not only had I just visited Egypt and been assured, by Arab Egyptians, that such a thing didn’t exist there; it also seemed that if there were one place in the world where racism wouldn’t be an issue, it would be in Egypt. After all, there is undeniable proof that the ancient Egyptians who were able to accomplish astounding feats, even by today’s standards, were black. But alas, they still endure racism. It makes you wonder, as one Clutch commenter mentioned, is there any place in the world where black people aren’t demonized? (I’ll let you think on that one.)

So, I guess it’s no surprise that Italy’s first black minister, Integration minister Cecile Kyenge, would also experience racism.

As we’ve reported before, Kyenge has been a  target of racism since her appointment in April. But it all came to a head when Kyenge, a woman born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was giving a speech on a campaign to make it easier for immigrants to gain Italian citizenship.

This campaign has angered several members of a right-winged group called Forza Nuova. At the site of the rally the group left mannequins covered in fake blood. They were protesting Kyenge’s efforts to make anyone born on Italian soil a citizen.

Pamphlets that contained the phrase “Immigration Kills” also accompanied the dummies.

While Kyenge was speaking the group threw bananas that missed the stage.

Kyenge responded to the racially motivated incident on Twitter, calling it sad and a waste of food. She also said, “The courage and optimism to change things has to come above all from the bottom up to reach the institutions.”

Several of Kyenge’s colleagues stepped forward to publicly condemn the actions as well.

The Veneto region governor, Luca Zaia had this to say:

“Throwing bananas, personal insults … acts like these play no part in the civilized and democratic discussion needed between the minister and those who don’t share her opinion,”

Make no mistake, though acts of racism are nothing new for blacks living all over the world, we still have a right and a duty even to be outraged by these heinous incidents.

Source

R.I.P.: ‘Sopranos’ Actor James Gandolfini Dead At 51

June 19th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

From TMZ

James Gandolfini who famously played Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos” — died earlier today in Italy … TMZ has learned.

Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack. He was 51.

Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily — and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

Gandolfini shot to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 hit “True Romance” … and quickly became a Hollywood legend when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999.  He won 3 Emmy awards for the role during the show’s 6 season run.

Read more on TMZ.com.

Isn’t It Cheaper To Keep Her? Former Italian Premier To Pay $48 Million Annually To Ex-Wife!

December 29th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
Share to Twitter Email This

"Berlusconi Lario pf"

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)

No, you aren’t the only one speechless.

The divorce of Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his second wife Veronica Lario recently became final and an Italian paper has all the final details.  According to the NY Daily News, Berlusconi will pay Lario $4 million per month in alimony. He gets to keep the estate.

Now for the record, Berlusconi is a billionaire media tycoon and this year, he was named Forbes’ sixth wealthiest man in Italy with a net worth of $5.9 billion and probably still growing).  So he certainly has the means to cut this type of a check every month but this is certainly a wallop of a hit!

Berlusconi and Lario were married in 1990 and married for 19 years when Lario announced she was divorcing Berlusconi in 2009. She cited his presence at an 18 year old girl’s birthday party as her primary reason for the divorce.  She also stated that, in general, he has a “fondness” for young girls. The couple has three adult children (sidenote: all of whom were born while he was still married to his first wife…messy).

So far, no comments have been made by Lario, Berlusconi or their respective lawyers. But really, what is there to say?

By the way, Berlusconi is 76 years old and is currently dating a woman who is almost 50 years younger than him. Wow.