Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only In Italy is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources in Italy.
Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.
 
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January 2009
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"Mafia Fans on Facebook Are Potential Mobsters And Irrational Mules"

(01/07/09)

 

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"Che minchia di giornata!" Welcome to the most intellectual newsletter in the history of Italy and sardines, "Only In Italy!"

Bob L. you were not on my flight. I had a broken arm in a sling and they handed me a tray of food, because the tray in the arm of the seat was broken, now I had it how was I supposed to eat it? So, the steward said well if you can't eat it...and took it from me.

I flew with no food and they added 1,400 euro to my ticket and would not change me seat or I had to pay 4500 euro to change it...and that was the best part of the trip. It got worse... Father George M.

Thanks for your feedback, your holiness.

What happened?! We're confused. Did you fly Alitalia airline or did you eat in a mob dinner theater in a shady part of Naples? 

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      


Spouse of Six Months Dies At 101

Imperia - December 23, 2008 - A 101-year-old Italian man who married his 98-year-old French sweetheart last summer after more than 50 years together has died after six months of wedlock, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Giuseppe Rebaudi, a retired surgeon, died "in the arms of his housekeeper," the daily said.

Rebaudi met his future wife, Sylvie Basain, in Marseille in 1952. They were together for 56 years before she persuaded him to become man and wife. Their wedding on the Ligurian Riviera on June 26 attracted a lot of media attention.

Basain, a former employee of a French newspaper, told reporters: "We've only been together for 50 years. Marriage is not a step to be taken lightly".

Rebaudi said: "I'd never thought about tying the knot but Sylvie convinced me, even though it's a bit late".

Amore between two people can be beautiful. But, "porca vacca", this is not!

When she persuaded him to marry her, did he almost change the expression on his face?

"We've only been together for 50 years. Marriage is not a step to be taken lightly". Absolutely. If you read between the lunacy, she actually makes sense. After all, one wants to be positively sure he or she is the one.

- Would her future husband consider wife swapping seeing that one in four Italian couples indulge in it?
- Would he help count the silverware?
- Wear matching socks?
- Stop saying that France's contribution to world cuisine was not just the "souffle", or as he claims, something puffed up with a lot of hot air and full of fattening crap?

 

Restaurant Owner On Trial for Mistreating Lobsters

Milan - January 6, 2009 - A well-known Milanese restaurateur and his wife have been sent to trial for the mistreatment of lobsters and will find themselves before a judge in early March.

The alleged crime took place in November of 2007 when health inspectors found that live lobsters were on display for potential customers on packs of crushed ice and not inside a water tank.

According to the prosecutor in the case, Giulio Benedetti, not only did this constitute a violation of food preservation laws, but the couple were also guilty of mistreating the lobsters and causing them "unbearable physical pain" by keeping them alive out of their natural habitat, water. The prosecution also suspects that this treatment may have been a contributing factor in the lobsters' death.

The case is similar an April 2006 one in Vicenza when a restaurant operator was fined 688 euros for mistreating lobsters by keeping them on ice. The fine was the result of a complaint filed in March 2002 by a former activist from Italy's animal protection agency ENPA.

According to the restaurateur, at the time of his alleged 'crime' there were no specific guidelines on maintaining live lobsters, regulations which entered the law books only in 2004.

The general opinion of lobster men is that a hard shell lobster can survive out of the water for 24 hours or more, while soft shell lobsters, those which are regrowing their shells after shedding in the summer, are best kept in water. They also maintain that lobsters, sometimes referred to as the 'cockroaches of the sea', do not suffer in the traditional sense, even when they are thrown into boiling water for cooking.

Most lobsters in Italy are hard shells and arrive from northern Europe and North America packed in ice.

The local press in Vicenza noted at the time that the case had given the restaurant operator some excellent and free publicity.

"Figlio di una mignotta", how about sending restaurant owners to trial for the mistreatment of tourists? Have you ever been fleeced in a restaurant in Milan? "Cacchio", you would think you were being displayed on crushed ice.

See, here in Sicily we're used to having a hard time giving a crap about problems of the Milanese however, something smells fishy here (pardon the stupid pun)...

How is it the health inspectors found a few lobsters shivering from the cold but not the illegal World Cup football game going on in his kitchen? Or could it be that, in Italy, "all the roads lead to...kickback" and Signore Benedetti got off the wrong exit somewhere?

"Mamma mia", all this drama can be avoided if people would just eat a nice simple dish of "pasta con le sarde" (sardine sauce) and shut up.

 

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Mafia Fans on Facebook Are Potential Mobsters

Palermo - January 7, 2009 - People who have joined Mafia fan clubs on social networking site Facebook are mobsters in the making and should be investigated, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's transnational crime envoy Carlo Vizzini said Wednesday.

Thousands of people have signed up to fan club pages dedicated to jailed Cosa Nostra super bosses Salvatore (Toto') Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. Reacting to a statement from Palermo public prosecutor's office that it will not investigate mafioso pages because they are not a criminal offence, Vizzini said that user's personal details should still be collected before Facebook is asked to remove the pages.

"With the exception of a small minority of macabre pranksters, these people represent potential mobsters," said Vizzini, who is also a member of Italy's parliamentary anti-Mafia commission.

"They belong to the so-called gray zone of people willing to support the bosses and the Mafia".

Police said they were monitoring the site but explained that the only law governing opinions expressed on the Internet related to race discrimination and Fascism. People who join online fan clubs dedicated to Mafia bosses are therefore immune from prosecution, as are those who signed up to serial killer fan sites, they said.

The Union of Young Italian Lawyers (UGAI) on Wednesday appealed to its members to remove their profiles in protest at Facebook's silence and added that its owners could be seen as complicit in instigating criminal behavior.

"Although it's clear that the Facebook owners do not share the opinions of the Mafia fan clubs, it's also true that they could be seen as abetting because they are tolerating such content," said UGAI president Gaetano Romano.

At the weekend centrist UDC senator and anti-Mafia commission member Giampiero D'Alia called for Italian politicians to remove their profiles and said there was a "concrete risk" that the Mafia could genuinely take an interest in such sites.

"We need to prevent Mafia and criminal infiltration of the Internet and force Facebook to clear the social network of those who put themselves - not just virtually - at the disposition of Mafia bosses," he said.

Opposition Democratic Party leader Walter Veltroni meanwhile joined a new Facebook group set up to ask site organizers to remove mafioso pages and which currently has 50,000 subscribers.

"We must stop criminal organizations from finding space on Facebook. Freedom of expression has nothing to do with it - the Mafia must be destroyed and we must do it together. Thank you guys," Veltroni wrote on the site.

The Facebook row first broke a week ago when furious relatives of Mafia victims called for Facebook to remove fan club pages. One club dedicated to Toto' 'The Beast' Riina has almost 2,228 subscribers, who leave him messages wishing him a happy Christmas, telling him he's "great" and posting videos about him. Riina, 78, was the undisputed Cosa Nostra 'boss of bosses' until his arrest in January 1993 and is currently serving twelve life sentences for murder.

Riina's successor, Bernardo Provenzano, has a smaller fan group with 202 subscribers who claim to "honor someone who tricked the state for 40 years" as well as a group calling for him to be made a saint with 152 subscribers.

Another group on the site is searching for an "official look-alike" for the Cosa Nostra kingpin and posts photos of people bearing physical similarities to the 75-year-old.

A peasant who rose up the Mafia's ranks through his ability as a killer, Provenzano helped run the Mafia from various hiding places for more than 40 years before police caught up with him at a sheep farm outside Corleone in April 2006.

Many individual Facebook users have meanwhile signed on to the site using the names and photos of Riina, Provenzano and Trapani boss Matteo Messina Denaro, the last of Provenzano's key henchmen still at large. Facebook users accepted as 'friends' by people claiming to be the mobster post messages asking if they are "the real Messina Denaro" and telling them they are "honored by his friendship".

Police said Wednesday that users who posed as notorious Mafiosi on the site could be prosecuted for stealing identities.

"Yawn"...You know the whole world has really suffered since Provenzano and Riina have been in jail. It's really affected my daily life. My pasta is no longer 'al dente' without them.

Luckily, there are the irrational mules on Facebook that keep their memories alive.

"Facebook users accepted as 'friends' by people claiming to be the mobster post messages asking if they are "the real Messina Denaro" and telling them they are "honored by his friendship". Hmmm...the gates are down, lights are flashing, but the train just isn't coming.

Mafia: (Sends request for friendship)

Irrational mule: "Si Si! I'll accept your friendship! I'm so honored!"

Mafia: "Grazie! Thanks for being on the winning team. You wouldn't mind if I take a peek at your email address, date of birth, work/educational information, home address, phone numbers, screen name, family and employer info, would you?"

Irrational mule: "Per favore, no! Not at all. After all, we're now friends on Facebook. Isn't life wonderful? :0)

Mafia: "Grazie! Afterwards, would you mind if I bury you in the yard?"

Very few of us without food in our ears would provide this type of information to someone we met in real life, but we're quite happy to give it to an organized criminal organization online. "Mah..."

 

Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
 
 
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