"Any cannoli left over?" Welcome to the only newsletter that believes you can shoot the messenger for ruining your day, "Only In Italy!"
Welcome back! Lovely way to start my workday with laughter from abroad.
One question...when Italian men say they love you does it mean the same as other men? Is it reliable coming from an unmarried Roman policeman who lives at home with his parents? Am I just too trusting or insane? Stephanie
Thanks for the request for dating advice, Stefania.
It's perfectly normal to assume your Roman gladiator who is full of himself loves you. However; keep in mind the following proverb on your next date, "Chi pecora si fa, il lupo se la mangia." Those who act like a sheep will be eaten by the wolf.
So, fall in love, be happy and keep an eye on his insane mother who will never trust you.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Milan - January 23, 2008 - About ten aircraft await airworthiness checks and remain grounded. Foreign jets land and take off at outlying airports without undergoing controls of any kind. Infrastructures and security systems at airports large and small are monitored by local inspectors but are no longer subject to surprise checks. Italian air transport is out of control, or rather out of controllers. Since the start of the new year, the inspectors of the Italian civil aviation authority, ENAC, have been refusing to leave their offices in protest at the suspension of their travel allowance: two euros an hour before tax.
"Two hundred and fifty inspectors are involved, including engineers, pilots and SAFA workers who implement the EU program to compile the blacklist which entails checks on non-EU aircraft", explains Enrico Deodati, who is in charge of the office that monitors non-Italian operators and is also a FIT-CISL trade unionist. All these workers now taking industrial action.
There are union meetings every day and out-of-office work has been banned. "There could be serious consequences for airlines, the sector and passengers", warn the FP-CGIL, FIT-CISL, APAC and SDL unions.
"The situation could determine situations of objective danger for flight safety", says the pilots' union. "One of the reasons is the new recruitment procedure for executives and the suspension of funds for staff development policies: air traffic is increasing, and so are our duties, but funding is not", adds Mr Deodati.
As a first consequence of the industrial action, seven Alitalia aircraft awaiting renewal of their airworthiness certificates have been unable to take off. Since Saturday, a plane belonging to Alitalia Express and another one from Meridiana have also been grounded. Worries are now growing. "If the ban continues", said a Meridiana spokesperson, "there will be problems for both Italian and non-domestic airlines". There are no SAFA inspections on foreign flights at airports like Naples, Cagliari or Reggio Calabria, or indeed at Forlž, where air traffic from the East is subject to constant controls.
ENAC executives have asked the government to modify the offending article of the budget as soon as possible. "We have received assurances. An amendment should be included in the so-called 'thousand-postponements' decree", says ENAC's director general, Silvano Manera. The amendment was presented yesterday by Antonio Attili, a Democratic Left parliamentarian: "Traffic is growing and they're making cutbacks. It's criminal. ENAC is like the police". But leaving the government crisis to one side, the assurances were not enough. The inspectors have extended their industrial action.
"Oh, figlio di puttana!" There's something to reflect upon the next time you're on a plane in Italy and get the stupid urge to sing "Volare!"
"The situation could determine situations of objective danger for flight safety", says the pilots' union. There will always be objective danger for flight safety when you're inspecting a plane by web cam. On several Alitalia flights there are McDonnell-Douglas from the 70s that make your heart jump at the sound of loose rivets and your "spaghetti all'amatriciana" revolve in your gut in the untidiness of the flying washing machine.
Then you have the sharp-suited Alitalia pilots laden with gold braid that stride like high class whores across airport concourses the world over, confident their Alitalia badges mark them out as the "creme de la creme". This "creme" should be taught a lesson by treating them like week-old tomato sauce that's salvaged by reheating, adding extra black pepper and olive oil.
And the next time you're told to put your seat in the upright position and buckle up, tell your stressed out and phoney Italian stewardess you're going downstairs with a wrench to make sure the landing gear comes down...and your luggage is still there.
Rome - January 24, 2008 - The number of women murdered in Italy surged last year to a 20-year-high of 181, according to a survey by the Eures think tank and news agencies.
Two thirds of the 181 women slain in Italy in 2006 had close ties to their killers - fathers, husbands, partners, boyfriends - or had recently broken up with them.
In homicides of both sexes, more people were killed by their loved ones than by the mafia - 32% of the 516 murders in 2006 were committed by relatives or significant others, and 23% by the Mafia."Sta pippa!" It's a figure which greatly underestimates the brutal truth of domestic violence.
Believe it or not, until 1996 sexual violence in Italy was considered not a crime against the person but one against public morality! Makes you want to shove your birth control pills down your partner's throat, doesn't it?
Few victims feel able to report these crimes; an overwhelming 90% do not go to the Italian authorities. There are many reasons for this silence: the psychological control an abusive jackass wields over their victim, a masculine Italian culture and an ignorant society which is largely indifferent to this problem.
However; it's not to say that Italian men do not live by the motto "women and children first!" especially when their favorite soccer team is playing. If a bad call is made then women and children are usually the ones to get it first.
It's encouraging to know women in Italy seek freedom, independence and personal development and are no longer willing to be constrained in stereotypical social and family roles. Men in Italy seek freedom to pursue extra-marital affairs, independence from the in-laws and the development of an additional layer of pasta in lasagna.
Salvatore Cuffaro, who had initially refused to step down pending the appeals process, told the island's regional assembly that his decision to leave office was "irrevocable."
A court in Palermo sentenced Cuffaro on January 18 to five years in prison after convicting him of "aiding and abetting" by helping a mob boss. Prosecutors said the politician learned from a former police officer in 2001 that the home of a convicted Palermo Mafia boss had been bugged by investigators, and told a doctor who knew the boss about the hidden microphones. The doctor informed the mobster, a revelation that ruined the police investigation, prosecutors said.
The governor has insisted he never did anything to help the Mafia.
Since Italy's judicial system allows for two appeals, Cuffaro had announced that he would stay in office until the end of the appeals process, which could take years.
He was criticized for initially refusing to leave office. Many, including some politicians from allied parties, were angry that he celebrated not being convicted of a more serious accusation: helping the Mafia as an organization. A widely published photo of him offering his aides a tray of cannoli pastries to celebrate fueled the outrage.
The head of Italy's politically influential industrial lobby, Confindustria, lamented Friday that Cuffaro remained in office while Sicilian businessmen were defying the Mafia by increasingly refusing to pay systematic "protection" money (pizzo).
Two years ago, while the trial was underway, Cuffaro was re-elected as governor, defeating the sister of slain anti-Mafia prosecutor, Borsellino.
Cuffaro's brother, Silvio, who is mayor of a small Sicilian town, said the governor was "very serene" after quitting and now would have more time to dedicate to his family, Italian news agencies reported. "Now would really be the time to celebrate with cannoli," Silvio Cuffaro was quoted as saying.
"Arrivederci e Vaffanculo!"
"The governor has insisted he never did anything to help the Mafia." Hmmm... It could be possible he's lying. Instead of his nose growing, his stomach grew. It's like Pinocchio gone haywire.
The Adventures of Toto "Vasa Vasa" Cuffaro
- Toto was blessed with the nickname "Vasa Vasa" [Kiss Kiss] for his disgusting and peculiar tendency to kiss anything that moves. He claims he has kissed a quarter of all the people on the Sicilian island.
- A graduate in medicine and surgery at the University of Palermo, with a specialization in radiology, he joined the "Christian Democrat" (DC) political party as a probable result of overdosing on ultrasounds and MRIs.
- He first crash landed on the news scene in September 1991, when he defiantly defended his political pimp Mannino, accused of being a witness at a Mafia wedding.
- In keeping with Sicilian wedding traditions, in 2000 Cuffaro and the brilliant ex Italian Minister of Justice, Clemente Mastella were involved in a scandal when it was discovered that they had been best men of Francesco Campanella, a former member of the Mafia.
- In June 26, 2003, he was awarded with his first investigation for Mafia-related crimes.
- On October 15, 2007, prosecutors requested eight years' imprisonment for charges of aiding and abetting the Sicilian Mafia.
- On January 18, 2008, he was found guilty and given a five-year sentence. The day after, in a scene that resembled the Sicilian version of the "Twilight Zone", he handed out 'cannoli' pastries as if he was celebrating the sentence that his demented mind considered positive because he was not convicted for "genuine" ties to the Mafia or formally accused of being in cahoots with Cosa Nostra.
- On January 26, 2008, the chuckle-faced hump swallowed his last cannoli, took a deep breath, resigned as governor and rode off into the Sicilian sunset promising all he will return.