Stories about Italy

Juventus’ pristine form has coincided with Real’s woes, and the reason is undoubtedly Ronaldo

In my 13 years as a diehard football fan, I have never witnessed a week like this one. It started with Ajax’s stunning dismantling of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) delivering their latest ‘how to choke’ lecture, Arsenal’s shock thumping at Rennes, the disgraceful pitch invasion at Birmingham, the comical disappearing act of VAR officials in La Liga, and finally, Zinedine Zidane’s surprise return in the Madrid hot seat. Somewhere in between, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s incredible away winning streak ended. Manchester City also won 7-0, but that is something I have become accustomed to. All the headlines, however, will justifiably ...

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Cinque Terre: The heavenly villages of Italy

I suppose I should begin with a disclaimer: I have never been a ‘sea person’. My husband on the other hand, being a ‘child of the coast’, mocked me for my aversion towards oceans and beaches. Sometimes, however, destiny has a different plan for us than the one we expect. So one fine morning, we decided to drive, and drive we did! The Ligurian sea Starting all the way from Brussels to breathtaking Interlaken in Switzerland, then Como in Italy and finally heading towards the five enchanting villages of the Italian Riviera, known collectively as Cinque Terre ...

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#MUNJUV: Ronaldo is coming home – along with United’s possible defeat

The 2010-11 footballing season will be fondly remembered as one of Manchester United’s most memorable seasons as they romped their way to a record-breaking 19th league title. The Red Devils reached the UEFA Champions League Final too and although they suffered heartbreak at the hands of Barcelona, the club will fondly remember the season as the one where they finally knocked Liverpool “off their perch”. England’s greatest club marvelled. The same season was one to forget for Juventus. The Bianconeri laboured their way to finish a mediocre seventh, repeating their final position from the previous season. Their struggles were laid bare ...

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Stepping into the void: A magical journey to the picturesque Swiss and French Alps

The mountains are calling and I must go – this is what I told myself while planning my summer vacation. Selecting Switzerland was a no-brainer, as it remains one of the most sought after and popular destinations for tourists around the world, thanks to its alpine peaks, mountain vistas and magical landscape. I started my European journey from Chur, reportedly the oldest town in Switzerland, and made my way to the Glacier Express, dubbed the world’s fastest slow train. This is a panoramic train which reaches Zermatt, a Swiss mountain resort, passing through spectacular lakes, enormous mountains and breath-taking landscapes. [caption ...

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Wanderlust: 8 cities, 20 days, and a life-changing trip across Europe

The earth is like a book; if you spend your entire life in your own country, then you’ve only read one page. Humanity has concluded, almost unanimously, that freedom is the fundamental right of every individual, yet they have understood it conservatively. To be fully free, you must wander, travel, eat and live – as you like and deem fit. However, given our cultural barriers, most of us are unable to realise or appreciate this freedom. Only exposure to and interaction with different people and cultures makes people tolerant and empathetic. To internalise and own the beauty you appreciate, ...

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With #SpainvsPortugal, we get to have dessert before finishing the starters

Imagine getting the chance to have your dessert before you are even properly done with the starters. Now that is precisely how the Friday night derby at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi feels like. The FIFA World Cup in Russia would barely be a day-old, when Portugal and Spain lock their horns to determine which one of the two Iberian rivals would proceed to the next round as the likely winner from Group B. With the reigning European champions set to go against the winners of the 2010 edition, group stage encounters cannot get any bigger than this. Historically ...

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Mohamed Salah: The Egyptian King and Liverpool’s mind-boggling, record-breaking miracle

While it may seem extremely ridiculous now, but last summer when Mohamed Salah was bought in, for what now seems like a measly £36.9 million, Liverpool owner John W Henry was found grumbling to his AS Roma counterpart James Pallotta, that the English club had overspent on the Egyptian. Pallota, clearly feeling smug that he had gotten the better end of the deal, jokingly offered to buy Henry a free lunch. Ever since the day he got his new paymaster free food, the 25-year-old has proven to be an absolute treat for every Liverpool supporter in the world. Salah’s first spell in ...

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7 moments that prove FIFA World Cup is more than just football

Back in the day when I started regularly following football, one of the things that struck me most about the game was its rich history. The archives of the FIFA World Cups in particular are engrossing to say the least. The furore surrounding some of the more notorious events gives enough credence to the fact that the quality of football is not always the solitary source for noteworthy events. Some of these moments can woo the world with their brilliance, while others can make our heads fall in shame. Nevertheless, they tend to live long in the memory of those who ...

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Was Italy’s apocalypse a by-product of Gian PieroVentura’s bizarre and faulty tactics?

Italy as a country is not too dissimilar to us, especially if you consider the misfortunes that have befallen this particular European nation in recent times. A corrupt head of state governing a highly unstable democracy, natural disasters and general economic woes are just some of the many elements that make us Pakistanis relate to an ordinary Italian’s life, on a somewhat deeper basis. But there is one other similarity between the two countries that is pertinent to mention here – the die-hard love for one particular sport. Football to Italy is exactly what cricket is to us. If we are ...

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Nothing screams easy and hearty comfort food like these lasagne roll ups do

Back during my Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) days, if you asked anyone what two of my all-time favourite food items were, their prompt reply would be roghni naan and pasta. Give me these two items and I will devour them happily, at any point in time. I have been in hiatus mode for quite a while now. I literally walk into the kitchen and eat whatever I find due to zero motivation to cook whatsoever. This lull was broken over the last weekend (thankfully), when the weather in Islamabad turned a full 180 degrees. Now such weather demands warm comfort ...

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