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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5 reasons why Italians aren't hopping with joy over release of aid workers kidnapped in Syria

Rome - January 16, 2015 - Reports that Italy paid up to 12M Euros ($10.5M) to secure the release of two young Italian women who had been held hostage by Islamic militants in Syria for months prompted rage on Friday.

Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli, who were working on humanitarian projects, were flown home to Italy after being kidnapped six months ago by an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

The Italian media, quoting tweets by Syrian rebels, said their release was secured after the Italian government paid 12M Euros to their captors.

Italian authorities would neither confirm nor deny that a ransom was paid.

Italy's foreign minister said the country was opposed to the payment of ransoms for hostages, but did not clearly deny that money had exchanged hands in this case.

"We are against paying ransoms and we take part alongside other countries in multilateral efforts to combat the phenomenon of kidnapping," Paolo Gentiloni said in an ambiguously-worded statement to the Parliament.

He said the reports of Rome paying up to 12M Euros for the two Italian women were based on "unfounded rumors".

"As far as Italians taken hostage are concerned, our priority is always the protection of the lives and physical integrity of our fellow citizens," the minister said.

Ms. Ramelli, 20, and Ms. Marzullo, 21, had only been in Syria a few days when they were kidnapped last summer.

Italy, along with France and Spain, has a long track record of paying ransoms to secure the release of its citizens if they are kidnapped.

Britain and the United States have long argued that paying such ransoms only encourages militant and terrorist groups to kidnap more victims, and helps finance terrorism.


"Mamma mia", thank God you're okay! You brave, compassionate, naive nincompoops.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you today's silly young Italian hippies. Isn't it entertaining they think they can go on jolly adventures anywhere in the world to spread peace and love Italian style with impunity?

Well, it wasn't to us Italians when we found out we had to foot the bill to get Feather and Flower home. Ah, we're so fed up about this. Look...

1) Italy has a history of paying ransoms for just about every one of its citizens that has been kidnapped abroad. That's why we're hunted down like prized deer in these upside down countries. These fanatics can hear the word "ciao" muttered miles away and cash registers go off in their heads.

2) If you're lucky to be a freed hostage chances are you going to look emaciated and be whisked away in an ambulance once your plane lands at the airport. Someone is it that these two individuals looked like they went on a "kebab" eating binge in Syria? They have bigger pot bellies than we do.

3) Greta (unattractive one on the right) worked for the Red Cross, doing volunteer work in Zambia and India. If you were already doing humanitarian work, why did you leave it? Imagine the reasoning: "Red Cross...I can't waste my energy on their petty poverty and hunger issues. I've got to start my own ONLUS association, get to Syria and STOP THE BULLETS!"

So, how do you explain that they're wrong? Eh? Italians think they're NEVER wrong!

It's not the same as you being wrong or I being wrong. When Italians think they're wrong...they seriously believe the planet makes a little less sense.

4) Want to help refugees? What about the refugee problem we have right here in Italy! You have to see what the hell goes on down here in Sicily during the summers. Not a day goes by when a refugee doesn't wash up on the beach, come up to you and beg for some of your baked eggplant parmigiana, a cup of espresso and some spare change so that he can grab a bus to the nearest consulate and demand political asylum.

5) There is a pizza maker in Bologna, Mohammed Yaser Tayeb, Syrian origin, who is being investigated for helping these two get into Syria. This guy was crafty enough to escape from Syria, convince some Bologna pizzeria he could make pizzas and persuade a couple of hippies to go and help rebels in his country.

We're in the hole for 12 million...and there's a retarded pizza connection we need answers to.


What's the thick-headed reason why Italy's police forces will all go on a nationwide strike?

Rome - January 1, 2015 - Local police forces across Italy are planning to strike for the first time ever on a national level, in support of their fellow officers in Rome who were ridiculed around the world when over 80% of the capital's police officers called in sick on New Year's Eve.

Italian police throughout the country have vowed to avenge the "mud-slinging" directed at their Roman colleagues.

Many of the striking officers will gather in the center of Rome on February 12 and march along a two mile stretch from Piazza della Repubblica to Santi Apostoli. They will arrive by bus from all over Italy.

The union has estimated around 60,000 municipal police officers, from cities such as Florence, Milan and Genoa, will attend.

The announcement comes less than a month after 83% of officers did not show up for work on December 31, leaving the partying capital to fend for itself. Three quarters of the absent officers said they were suffering from "health problems".

Around 30 officers, who were found to have no justification for their absence, are facing disciplinary action and could be sacked.


A strike in Italy. never hear about these things.

We know what you're thinking, "Where do they find the audacity to go on strike over criticism, NOT mudslinging, of a 83% absentee rate?"

But we know what's going on here. We've studied Italians. That's all we study because none of us on the staff are that bright.

To any Italian cops reading this stupid newsletter, you've got to understand: You have all the right to protest against the government over changes to salaries and working conditions. But how do you think you're going to get satisfaction if you're protesting to defend the honor of those "vigili urbani" (traffic cops)? Besides, it sounds like there will be more police in Rome on the 12th than on the night in question. Where's the payback?

Regardless..."cazzo," no satisfaction! Measurements have to be taken to see if a mop or broom can fit by their buttocks.

And as for those sick traffic cops who started all this, time to see who can specialize in "air application" in tires at the Roman gas stations. How dare they!


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5 reasons why most Italians never read a book

Rome - January 16, 2015 - Nearly 60 percent of Italians do not read a book from one year to the next, with almost a tenth of families owning no books at all, according to new numbers from ISTAT, the country's national statistics agency.

Last year just 41 percent of Italians over the age of six read a book for pleasure, marking a gradual decline from 47 percent in 2010.

Women and girls were shown to consistently be far greater readers than males, with 48 percent reading a book last year compared to just 34.5 percent of males.

Bookworms are most likely to be found in the north where 48-49 percent of Italians read at least one book in 2014.

This is in marked contrast to southern Italy, where just 29 percent read for pleasure last year. The figure rose slightly to 31 percent on the Italian islands.

ISTAT discovered that book ownership didn't necessarily translate into book reading. Over a fifth of Italians that bragged having over 400 books at home admitted they hadn't read even one in the past year.


1) Because we can entertain ourselves.
Your most important benefit from reading is entertainment, and a good book can keep you amused while developing life skills.
Italian: We can tell enough stories to fill a library...and have out of control ecstatic reactions to our own humor. In other words, we crack ourselves up. All you need is one innocent interaction with the wrong family member and you'll have 83 people knowing about it, spreading 179 different entertaining versions.

2. Because we have the wildest imaginations.
You're limited by what you can imagine, and the worlds described in books will help you expand your understanding of what is possible.
Italian: Ever see an Italian walk into a kitchen of an improvised and heated family meeting that suddenly turns quiet? He's imagining which lie was meant as an excuse (or vice versa), all while heading for a curve at top speed in a "carrettu sicilianu" (Sicilian cart).

3. Because we already live the arts.
When you read you're more likely to visit museums and attend concerts, and almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work.
Italian: You may have noticed Italians live in a country that is one giant open-air museum (with security guards nowhere to be found when you need one). And almost EVERY Italian is forced to do volunteer and charity work whether they like it or not. Who do you think are the tour guides and does all the cooking for "super distant" relatives (and their friends who tag along) who come visit during the summer seasons?

4. Because there are other ways to reduce stress.
By reading silently for 6 minutes it will slow down your heart rate, ease tension in the muscles and lower stress levels.
Italian: Sometimes, an Italian will find himself in a stressful situation, for example, when giving an explanation in front of family or relatives for some God-unknown reason. Unfortunately, it will always reach that level of stress where he will no longer be able to distinguish between what is being said as being rhetorical...and a question directed at him. One of the best ways to ease tension in the locked up face muscles that usually follows is to leave and go for a long walk around the piazza and unwind...with the other Italians down there who also happen to be unwinding.

5. Because we have overdeveloped verbal abilities.
You will tend to have a higher level of vocabulary to use in everyday life in order to express how you feel and to get your point across.
Italian: Our vocabulary is underlined by hands which work overtime, fingers moving into strange shapes and wild directions as if the native were working on some invisible origami creation on his hands. And sometimes there's no punctuation one can use to chime in, interrupt or shut them up with.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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