Once Upon A Winter's Night...

Italy's city of Fiats and chocolate, vermouth and the shroud plays host to the Olympics with a ceremony full of dance, Dante and other delights, even as controversies and harsh realities lurk

A 2,500-year-old Greek poem extols the power of music to enfold and enlarge Olympic glory. And so in Torino, Italy, the athletes of the world marched into a stadium originally erected by the dictator Benito Mussolini to several ancient tunes, such as Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, KC & the Sunshine Band's I'm Your Boogie Man and the Village People's Y.M.C.A. Are these the Winter Olympic Games or a disco inferno?

It does make some sense. For this is Italy, a country particularly proud of infernos. Indeed, after the thump, thump, thumping came a reading from the peninsula's poet-prophet, with the Italian...

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