QUIRKY WORLD ... Try the fried cow’s brains, they’re our local speciality...

ITALY: Fried cow’s brains might not be to everyone’s taste, but more people may sample the Florentine specialty now that Italy’s art capital has ordered food outlets in the city centre to sell mostly local produce.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Try the fried cow’s brains, they’re our local speciality...

Florence is the latest Italian tourist destination to adopt the mantra “you are what you eat”, and is requiring shops and restaurants to make sure that 70% of their food comes from the surrounding region.

“We are seeing an unstoppable distortion in our cultural heritage, of which food is a part,” mayor Dario Nardella wrote on Facebook.

“A restaurant opens every week in Florence, not to mention minimarkets and Asiamarkets,” he said, apparently referring to food shops often run by immigrants and open all hours.

Promoting a short supply chain and seasonal eating has been fashionable in Italy for years, promoted by the Slow Food movement and upmarket food hall chain Eataly. Local governments are now turning up the heat. Last month, Verona mayor Flavio Tosi said he would not allow new kebab shops to open in the historic centre.

These measures have prompted a mixed reaction among Italy’s legion of gastronomic pundits and business people.

Nardella’s drive in Florence appeared even simpler, though: To offer good local food and less junk to the city’s visitors. “Where once there were artisans’ workshops, historic cafes, cinemas and old taverns, now fast food, pizzerias and low-grade restaurants have opened, ready to snare the first unsuspecting tourist.”

Mistaken identity


A small village in northern Romania is revelling in the virtual attention caused by a spelling mistake by rapper Snoop Dogg.

Posting a selfie on Instagram, the star, who has been on tour in Bogota, Colombia, told his fans he was in Bogata, in Transylvania.

Romanians soon spotted the mistake and began posting about it.

A tourist website, visitbogata.com, also popped up, describing the village of 2,000 as the “best place for chillin’ in Romania”.

There is no hotel in the village, so visitors are advised to bring a sleeping bag. If they get hungry they can feast on a twist of the famous Hungarian goulash.

Sorry singing


A felon offered a musical apology, apparently inspired by singer Adele’s Hello, before being sentenced to up to 17 years in prison in Michigan for unlawful imprisonment and carrying a concealed weapon.

The Ann Arbor News reports 21-year-old Brian Earl Taylor on March 10 sang the refrain to Washtenaw county trial court judge Darlene O’Brien that sounded like it was based on the hit song. It was recorded on courtroom video.

“Hello there, your honor,” Taylor sang. He continued: “I want to say I’m sorry for the things I’ve done and I’ll try and be stronger in this life I chose, but I want you to know — that door, I closed. And your honor I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.”

Veteran ink


A great-grandfather could become the oldest person in Britain to have a tattoo when he gets inked to celebrate his 104th birthday.

Jack Reynolds, who completed the Ice Bucket Challenge two years ago, has been hitting the weights to build up enough muscle on his arm. Otherwise the tattoo will have to go on his bottom.

Mr Reynolds, of Hollingwood, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, said: “I’ve been using these weights to try and build up a bit of muscle — my arms are a bit skinny and I’ve got two weeks to make them bigger.”

Mr Reynolds’ family claim he will enter the record books as the oldest person to get a tattoo when he has it done for his birthday on April 6.

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