The Befana Market, a Beloved Roman Tradition, Is Imperiled

Bitter squabbles with city authorities over the additional security measures — and who would foot the bill — had also delayed the opening for weeks, causing some vendors who had snapped up some of the 50-odd licenses available to opt out. Even though the sun was shining, Paolo Padovani, whose …

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Many Unhappy Returns? Online Holiday Shopping’s Big Hangover

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Online shopping would save us time, we were told. It would free us from the torment of malls, angry clerks and wasted Saturdays. But as the fantasy becomes real — e-commerce will account for $2.3 trillion, or one-tenth of all retail sales, in …

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