The Conversation Canada’s office in Toronto is across the street from Eataly, the popular Italian food emporium found in several cities around the world. If you haven’t been, picture restaurants, food counters, groceries and home goods, all under one roof.

Our editors (including Scott White, the usual author of this Saturday newsletter) enjoy stopping by at lunch to grab a bite to eat. As an Italian Canadian, I love the familiar sights and smells of Italian cuisine — gigantic wheels of parmesan cheese, salami hanging from the ceiling, fancy espresso machines … who doesn’t love Italian food?

For this Saturday’s newsletter, I’ve rounded up a selection of recent stories about Italy and Italian culture for your weekend reading — including the debate over how to cook spaghetti properly. Ciao!

Lisa Varano

Deputy Editor

Italy’s pasta row: a scientist on how to cook spaghetti properly and save money

David Fairhurst, Nottingham Trent University

Many Italians would disagree but there are ways of cooking pasta and saving energy.

Genoa, an example on how to rethink cultural heritage and urban sustainability

Erica Meneghin, Unesco

Designed to act as a call for ideas and projects by all of Genoa’s stakeholders, Rolli Lab seeks to enhance the World Heritage site’s impact on city’s cultural, social and economic activity.

Dante was the founder of Italy’s right wing, claims culture minister – an expert explains why he’s wrong

Stefano Jossa, Royal Holloway University of London

For many readers of Dante, there is in fact no connection between his writing and rightwing thinking.

In pushing away migrants, Giorgia Meloni forgets there was also a time when Italians weren’t welcome

Stéphane Mourlane, Aix-Marseille Université (AMU)

Italy’s administration has adopted increasingly hostile policies towards migrants of late. Yet, history reminds us the latter may not be that different from past generations of Italians.

Calls for Pope Benedict’s sainthood make canonizing popes seem like the norm – but it’s a long and politically fraught process

Joanne M. Pierce, College of the Holy Cross

A specialist in Catholic liturgy and rituals explains that while several popes have been canonized, it is a long process that may take several years to examine and uncover any hidden flaws.

Matteo Messina Denaro: arrest of mafia boss after 30 years on the run is the end of an era – but not the end of the Cosa Nostra

Felia Allum, University of Bath

The mafia boss is the last known face of the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate. But his capture represents the end of an era, not the end of the mafia in Sicily.

The Conversation Canada

Language is the primary way for communities to promote and safeguard their knowledge and heritage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

To revitalize Indigenous communities, the Residential School settlement must prioritize language education

Frank Deer, University of Manitoba

A recurrent theme in the testimonies of Residential School survivors is how their cultural and linguistic identities were adversely affected.

La Conversation Canada

Des recrues sur un champ de tir près de Krasnodar, dans le sud de la Russie, en octobre 2022. L’opération militaire spéciale russe en Ukraine devient une guerre totale. (Photo AP)

Voici pourquoi près d’un an plus tard, le conflit en Ukraine change de nature

Alexander Hill, University of Calgary

L’armée russe en Ukraine mène une guerre beaucoup plus intense en artillerie et plus méthodique qu’il y a un an. C’est devenu une guerre totale.

The Conversation Weekly

Beavers dramatically change a landscape by building dams that create ponds of still water. Jerzy Strzelecki/Wikimedia Commons

Beavers and oysters are helping restore lost ecosystems with their engineering skills – podcast

Daniel Merino, The Conversation; Nehal El-Hadi, The Conversation

Restoring entire ecosystems is a difficult and expensive process. Thankfully, certain species, called ecosystem engineers, can make restoration easier. Gaining social and political support is critical too.