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Turin Ready, but Reserved, Ahead of Olympics

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The  view of Cesana i

The view of Cesana, one of the venues near Turin for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Sylvia Poggioli, NPR
The  view of Cesana

The view of Cesana, one of the venues near Turin for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Sylvia Poggioli, NPR
The ski jumps at another venue, Pragelato. i

The ski jumps at another venue, Pragelato. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Sylvia Poggioli, NPR
The ski jumps at another venue, Pragelato.

The ski jumps at another venue, Pragelato.

Sylvia Poggioli, NPR

The Winter Olympics in Italy are just three weeks away, and all the venues appear ready. The games will take place in the city of Turin and in mountain areas up to a 90-minute drive away.

Usually these major international sports events unleash a wave of national euphoria. But in the city of Turin, there seems to be little excitement. Though a taxi driver notes that Turin has "never been a very warm city," it's not just reserve. Ticket sales are lagging, hotel rooms remain open and newspapers give little coverage to the Olympics.

Protests and political battles have marked the country's hosting of the games, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has not yet announced whether he will attend.

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