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A Travellers Guide to Italy

Italy, a founder member of the EU, is a relatively young country which was only unified as a nation in 1861. It has land borders with Austria, France, San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland while the Vatican City is a separate state within Rome.

The country's long coastline, stretching some 7,600km, has contributed to problems with immigration control. Besides deep rooted problems, such as the need to import most raw materials, the country is also plagued by corruption and crime.

The economy is divided by the industrial north and less developed and poorer agricultural south.

As in much of Europe, property prices have been rising. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor's European Housing Review 2005, the housing market has been on 'a sustained upward swing for five years'. Last year 'agents were reporting that market activity was still brisk - although it had fallen below its peak'.

Most Italian property is sold as freehold although Italian property law recognises various other property rights and tenures. Usufruct is a right to use the property of another for a fixed period but not to change its nature.

Leasehold rights, which may be for a fixed period of 20 years or more or in perpetuity, allow the lessor to use the property as if he or she were the owner, subject to a requirement to improve the land and pay a rent. Building rights entitle the holder to construct a building on land belonging to a third party, or maintain a building standing on land belonging to a third party.

Building rights may be for a limited or unlimited period of time, but if for a fixed period, ownership of the building reverts to the owner of the land on their expiry.

Italian property transfer processes have some similarities to France. Based on land registration, the state regulated process involves both purchaser and seller using the same state appointed notary to complete the transaction.

The process begins with a formal and nominally binding offer to purchase arranged through an estate agent. If accepted during the set period of the offer, this is followed by a preliminary contract signed by both parties (at which point a deposit will be paid). Finally comes formal completion.

The notary, in front of whom the completion documents must be signed, will verify that the documentation is correct, that the property is free from registered encumbrances and checks the identities of the parties involved. Searches beyond what is included in the registry are unlikely to be exhaustive.

The notary also collects the taxes and duties involved. These vary between Non-resident property purchasers are treated differently to resident purchasers in a number of ways. In particular they will be obliged to pay higher registration fees, although residence can be claimed within a fixed time subsequent to the purchase.

Total fees and charges are likely to amount to between 5 per cent and 20 per cent, including estate agents fee, if applicable, registration fees or VAT if a new property, and the notary's fee. Fees in the order of 8 to 10 per cent are also payable on sale of a property.

Some charges are based on the registered value of the property, which is likely to be less that the actual purchase price. This also applies to local property taxes, the amount of which varies from region to region. The Imposta Comunale surgli Immobili is paid by both resident and non resident owners - although the amount is halved for property that is not habitable. In addition there are likely to be charges for local services.

Italian taxation is undergoing reform. From the start of 2005 personal tax rates have been set on a graduating scale ranging from 23 per cent to 39 per cent, with a 4 per cent supplement for income in excess of 100,000 euro.

Property owners are obliged to file annual tax returns but are only taxable on income arising in Italy. However, there tax is levied on the notional rental value of the property (based on its registered value) whether or not it is rented out.

Both residents and non-resident property owners are subject to Italian inheritance law and tax. But the good news is that currently there is no capital gains tax to pay on property gains.


World Football Challenge Tickets - Team Profile: Inter Milan

The World Football Challenge is coming to the United States of America this July, so you'd better be ready for all the action with a lucky club jersey, some tickets and all your facts in a row. While most Americans will spend the summer paying attention to the national sport, baseball, European soccer clubs get neglected at the expense of the more popular sports in the States. For that reason we're here to help you get re-acquainted with one of the four clubs coming to the World Football Challenge, Inter Milan. StubHub can help you get the right World Football Challenge tickets before the games begin, and you'll need to pull that lucky Inter jersey out of the closet by the time the games begin. Here are some cliff notes about Inter Milan.

Club Basics
Football Club Internazionale Milano, or Inter Milan to most English speaking soccer fans, is a professional A-league soccer team based out of Milan, Italy. AC Milan, another team in the World Football Challenge (Club America and Chelsea are the others), is based out of Milan, Italy as well. In fact, both clubs use the same home stadium, the San Siro. The two teams are fierce rivals, so the situation is comparable to a hypothetical baseball situation, where the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox both play in Boston and both use Fenway Park as their home. Things would get heated. Inter and AC's rivalry much more intense than the Lakers and the Clippers, who share the Staples Center. Inter Milan has won numerous Italian League championships, several European club team championships, and are known around the world for attracting some of the most famous, most successful and most popular soccer stars on the planet.

Jersey Sponsor
Inter Milan have a unique uniform design. The jerseys have vertical black and blue stripes, except when the team is wearing their alternates jersey, in which case the jerseys look like an old England National Team jersey, all white with a red cross in the center of the shirt. The team's jersey logo sponsor is Pireli, not Firelli, as their logo might seem if you don't look too closely. Pirelli & C. SpA is a multinational company that's headquartered in Milan. Although it's invested in several businesses, the most famous Pirelli brand products are tires, technology and real estate. As far as brands go, Inter Milan could have picked a worse one to wear across their chests, as this company looks like a solid one. It's also a good thing that the company is Italian, because you've got local pride with you when you wear the black and blue.

Star Players
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - One of the two highest paid soccer players in the world (the other being Kaka of AC Milan), Zlatan is a forward from Sweden who has a knack like few in the business for finding the back of the net. He plays on the Sweden National Team.

Adriano - A Brazilian National Team star, Adriano plays forward. In 2005 he had 28 goals in 42 appearances.

Patrick Viera - A French National Team member, Viera has been captain of Arsenal, one of the top British clubs. He's also played stints for AC Milan and Juventus.

Luis Figo - A veteran Portuguese National Team member, Luis Figo is a famous midfielder and winger. He was named the European Player of the Year in 2000 and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001.

Hernan Crespo - A veteran member of the Argentinean National Team, Crespo is a pure striker who can still get a good knock on the ball when he's in the game, although some of the young guns have stepped father into the spotlight these days.


History of Ferrari

Which car is the greatest supercar? Many would argue Ferrari.

Ferrari is one of the best sports car brands in the world. Enzo Ferrari, based in Marenello, Italy founded the company in 1947. Initially, known as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored race drivers and manufactured racecars, before they started the production of street-legal vehicles in the year 1947 as Ferrari S.p.A. However, till date the company still continues with its racing ventures, especially formula one.

The first Ferrari road car was the "1947 125 Sport", powered by a 1.5 L V12 engine. The idea of manufacturing and selling road cars by Enzo was to fund Scuderia Ferrari. This car soon gained popularity and a reputation for excellence. Despite the gaining popularity, Enzo was reluctant in selling road cars. He believed that people were buying his cars for mere prestige and not for performance.

Ferrari soon emerged as a leading racecar manufacturer and a leading race team. Despite the success of the company, the internal tensions amongst the senior managers had reached boiling points. "Giralamo Gardini" the sales manager had problems with the interference of Enzo's wife Laura in the company. Their disputes and arguments finally led to the resignation of Gardini. Gardini had a strong support in the company. Scuderia manager, "Romolo Tavoni", chief engineer "Carlo Chitti" and many others had to leave the company alongside Gardini. As a revolt against Ferrari these men formed a new company ATS, to compete with Ferrari. This was known as "The Great Walkout". With the outburst of this walkout, the company lost one of their best racing customers the "Scuderia Serenissima".

Before the big walkout, the company was working on the "250GTO". This project then landed in the hands of a young engineer "Mauro Forghieri" and a long time racecar body maker, "Sergio Scaglietti". This project soon managed to improve things for Ferrari. The Dino road cars and legendary models such as the "F275" and "Daytona" made their way in the market and were amongst the best sellers.

The company witnessed a lot of competition in the early 60s due to the emergence of V8 engine powered "Shelby Cobra". Ford also tried to buy the company, but failed in their motives. In the year 1966 Fords, "GT-40 Mark 2" engines dominated the "24 Hours Le Mans race". After 1967, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) banned the use of prototype engines over 3000cc, which heavily affected the upcoming Ferrari 330P models. To protest this, Scuderia did not take part in the event.

The company also witnessed great challenges by Porsche in 1968 with models such as the "Porsche908". However, the Ferrari 312PB models dominated the World Sports Car Championship in 1972.

Enzo died in the year 1988 and as a result, the company saw a huge rise in the old car values as well as sales of the new models. The signing of Michael Schumacher was a comeback for the Ferrari F1 Team. From 2004 till date, Fiat Group controls Ferrari and owns 56% stakes of the company.


10 things you need to know about Italian soccer

Soccer is a world renowned game which is played all across the globe. It is one of the most prominent games which is played and loved by all. The people are crazy for this game. There are teams which are famous because of their players and the games which they have played. The god of soccer is pale who is also known as the black pearl. The player's life Maradona and ronaldo have taken the game to new heights of popularity. The craze of the game creates a sensation all around the globe when the soccer world cup which is played in every four years takes place.

All the places and the streets are deserted when the world cup is on. It grabs the whole world like a fever. There are many teams which are there in this world like Brazil, Germany, France, and Italy which are famous for its world class players which they have given to the world. There are many clubs like Manchester united and Manchester city who hire some of the top soccer players to play for their club. The pay which they get is huge as they are priceless players, and keeping them in team boosts up the moral of the other teammates.

The national Italian soccer team is very much recognized by the games which they play. The techniques which are adopted by them are different from all the other teams which are present in the world. Soccer is not just a game in Italy; it is the passion which runs in the blood of every Italian child. There are different clubs which provide with Soccer Course for the kids who aspire to be a soccer player in the future. In some of the schools in Italy, there are Soccer Academies which are included in the school curriculum of the kids so that they get the in-depth knowledge of the game.

There are various things which a person should know about the Italian soccer. The technique of hitting the ball is more important than hitting the ball with power. That is what the Italian players do. One can see the body structure of the Italian players, they are lean and thin but the technique which they have is superb. The Italian players keep their body in a relaxed way which helps them in getting the ball in a simple way. It is the technique of handling the ball rather than physical strength. The Soccer Course which is given to the kids of Italy tells about all the techniques which are required for the player to play the game. The Italian players know how to kick the ball with both their feet that is the reason the goal score rate is more. The other players of different teams don't know the technique of playing with both the feet's. The Italian players have the best tactical experience and defensive techniques in comparison to any other teams in this world.

The Soccer Academies tells about all the important points which are required in an Italian soccer player. It also tells about all the information which a person needs to know about the Italian soccer. And also the history of the Italian soccer and what is its importance.


Italian Serie A - Alessandro Del Piero is a legend in Italian football

Alessandro Del Piero is a talented striker. Because of his good performance he has evolved into one of the most important and renowned Italian soccer players.

Del Piero took his first steps in professional football in 1991 in Padova Calcio in the Italian Serie B. He remained there until 1993 when he was transferred to Juventus FC in Serie A.

In his first season with Juve, Alessandro alternated his competition among the junior team. That season he went on to score five goals in fourteen matches, including taking action in the UEFA Cup 1993-94.

From next season on, Alessandro becomes a fundamental part of Juventus. From 1994 to 1998, the collaboration of Alex takes Juventus to capture three Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia, an Italian Supercup, a UEFA Champions League trophy, a UEFA Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup.

During the 1998-99 season, a serious left knee injury leaves Del Piero out of competition for nine months. During that period, and after a complex negotiation, Alessandro renewed his contract with the Bianconeri until 2004.

The striker returned to the professional circuit the next season. Although he said he was fully recovered, the player didn't shine throughout the season. He only scored 9 goals in 34 games. During the 2000-01 season, he was not able to excel and finished with 9 goals in 25 games.

Alessandro found his best form in the 2001-02 season and took Juventus back to the winning path. From there on, Del Piero has helped La Vecchia Signora add four Scudetti, two Italian Supercup and the Serie B championship (2006-07) to its record.

His good performance is also reflected with the Italian National Team, whit which he has been playing since 1995. With Italy he has scored 27 goals and has participated in 91 international matches. His participation in the 2006 World Cup was key in Italy's win.

Among his many individual accomplishments, Del Piero has won several awards such as top scorer of the UEFA Champions League (1997-1998), Italian Footballer of the Year (1998-2008), top scorer in Serie A (2007-2008) and three ESM Team of the Year (1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98), among others.

Del Piero has gone so far as to overcame Giampiero Boniperti records, one of the legendary players of Juventus. This was marked last weekend when Alex played, against AC Milan, meet # 648 wearing the Juventus jersey. In this meeting, which ended 2-1 in favor of the bianconeris, the Italian star hit a new record by scoring his 179th goal in Serie A.

Alessandro Del Piero, is a player who has known how to gain acceptance from teammates and fans. This is one of the important points that Luigi Del Neri, the Juventus coach, has taken into account to keep the captain Del Piero within their work plans.


Formula One - McLaren and Ferrari United As One

The former arch rivals have decided to have a close working and professional relationship to show the powers that be of Formula One of their united stand as the racing teams led by the two rivals formed a group that shall look after the teams' interests. The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) was set up to represent the teams in negotiations with the governing FIA (International Automobile Federation) and commercial head honcho Bernie Ecclestone. Fota are headed by Ferrari president and Ecclestone critic Luca de Montezemelo.

McLaren top executive Ron Dennis decribed the two teams ties as profound and admitted that he did not foresee the rivals eventually joining hands. Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni visited McLaren's Woking factory to meet the staff and Dennis. I guess with this newly formed relationship, it was but natural that executives from each side visit each others' headquarters.

The two teams turbulent past reached its climax two years ago when Ferrari accused McLaren of possessing important technical data of its cars. McLaren was fined $100 million and stripped of all its constructors' points. Not satisfied, Ferrari took legal action against McLaren with Dennis and other top officers interrogated by Italian police. Ferrari dropped all action though when McLaren issued an apology.

This season, FIA head Max Mosely has implemented new rules in Formula One, shaking up its present structure with the primary goal of cutting operational costs, perhaps standardizing engines. For its part, FOTA will be responsible for all the teams' interests. It shall provide the voice for all the teams.

All the teams do agree that the new rules may have provided each and eveyone significant savings in operatinal costs not only in this season but the future as well, FOTA are negotiating that the teams shall have a greater share in the commercial revenues than what they have at the moment which is peg at 50%.

Montezemelo said that Dennis, who shall concentrate on FOTA after divesting himself of the day-to-day operations of the McLaren Racing Team, is a first-class person with a first-class team. He further added that Formula One needed great competition on the track and great unity off the track.

Formula One teams found it necessary to form a group after the financial crisis hit most of the major economies. It also affected major teams like Honda as they placed their team up for sale. The radical changes in the rules have been approved first by FOTA before it was actually implemented for this season. FOTA intends to keep the teams work together for the advancement of Formula One as they continuously seek ways and innovative ideas that shall improve the sport. They also would like to address the issues confronting men nowadays like making the cars more affordable and environment friendly.

I just hope that Ferrari and McLaren do keep their partnership lasting. For the sake of the other teams.


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