What do marble and lard have in common?

Both are white, and both are specialties of the hills near Carrara, Italy.

Driving along Italy's A12 expressway, just north of Pisa and Livorno, you may spot mountains covered in what looks like pure, white snow. It's not snow. It's marble. These are the marble quarries above the town of Carrara, where the beautiful white marble used for most statues has been mined for over 2000 years. Today the mines still give up about 15,000 tons of marble each working day, with no end in sight.

in nearby Colonnata, the white stuff they produce is not as weighty, but much more delicious. Made from the back fat of pigs, Lardo di Colonnata is a pure white fat that tastes delicious on unsalted Tuscan bread.

Taxing the world's oldest trade

In a sign of economic times, the city of Amsterdam is looking to close budget gaps by going after tax cheats who earn their money in the sex trade. Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, so the women are viewed as independent business people, working in a business that generates just under $1 billion per year. Many of them come from other countries to make as much money as possible, and then disappear back to their home country without paying any taxes.

Underground warfare: beneath the trenches of the Somme

Anyone who has seen pictures from World War I is familiar with the scenes of muddy trenches, where soldiers spent a good part of their time hiding from enemy gun fire and shells. But deep underneath them, in tunnels up to 100 feet underground, their fellow soldiers were fighting a different war.

From the BBC:

Archaeologists are beginning the most detailed ever study of a Western Front battlefield, an untouched site where 28 British tunnellers lie entombed after dying during brutal underground warfare. For WWI historians, it's the "holy grail".

Naples in a nutshell: a Roman tomb buried under tons of illegal garbage

In news fully that captures the state of modern Naples, Italian police have discovered a Roman-era mausoleum buried under 58 tons of illegally dumped garbage.

The mausoleum was found by police in the coastal town of Pozzuoli. Police used earth-moving equipment to dig through the garbage, revealing the entrance to the mausoleum. Marble beams and decorations came to light after trash was removed from the tunnel. The owner and user of the 1,700 square meter site are accused of breaking Italian environmental and archeological conservation laws.

Pozzuoli, once the main port of the Roman naval fleet, is one of a string of villages that line the Bay of Naples on either side of the city of Naples. It was from here that Pliny the Younger witnessed and described the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in 79 AD.

Exploring the aqueduct that feeds Rome's Trevi Fountain

Thousands of tourists gather at Trevi Fountain every day to enjoy the beauty and atmosphere of Rome's most famous fountain. Trevi Fountain, as we see it today, was built in the 18th century on the orders of Pope Clement XII, but the water that feeds this fountain has been pouting into the city for nearly 2000 years.

The original aqueduct was built under the reign of the Emperor Trajan, early in the 2nd century AD. Known as the Aqua Virgo, the old aqueduct is still accessible through a small door in the side of the Medici Villa, near the top of the Spanish Steps. The video below is a look inside this 2000-year old marvel of Roman engineering.

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