"Mamma! Sono a casa!" Welcome to another water soaked issue of "Only In Italy!"
I've been shopping for new furniture lately, and everywhere I go I see advertised furniture upholstered with "Genuine Italian Leather." Y'all are Italian, so I was wondering if you could tell me what's so special about "genuine" Italian leather and why it's so damn expensive. Is it made from genuine Italians, or what? Allen
Thanks for the note, Allen.
Fine exquisite Italian furniture with leather upholstery is quite tasteful and expensive, my dear Allen. The price range is based on the superb quality of the leather and, above all, the detail and hand stitching. Most fine Italian furniture is designed and produced in the provinces of Florence, Milan and Venice.
Then there's the rest which is mass produced crap with cheap leather imported from China produced by first generation Italian Chinese whose parents crash landed into Italy and discovered America. This furniture is then loaded on a boat loaded with more immigrants, exported to the USA, distributed, sold and delivered to your front door with the Chinese made plastic logo, "Genuine Italian Leather".
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
The socio-economic think-tank Isae said that the number of young adults staying home had climbed by 6% in 13 years and today about 75% still lived with their parents. According to Isae, 68.4% of young adults lived with their parents in 1991 while in 2004 this percentage rose to 74.1%. In 1991, the think-tank pointed out, first job salaries were 83% of the average national salary, while in 2004 they were only 74%.
Last October Economy Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa sparked controversy when he referred to the young adult Italians living at home as "big babies".
"Let's get these big babies out of the home," the minister told a parliamentary committee in regard to a budget measure to set aside funds to help young adults pay the rent on a place of their own. "We need to encourage young people to leave home. If they don't, they just stay with their parents, they don't get married and they don't become independent," he said.
Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi recently has spoke on the need to improve prospects for young people in regards to both salaries and job security.
"If they expect to have a salary which is lower than in the past and have to battle continually with job insecurity, they will lower their spending permanently," he said. Low salaries and precarious working conditions also prevent young people from leading independent "adult lives", Draghi added.
The economic reality of why young adults stay at home is in contrast with the stereotype of young Italians living at home for the comfort and security. This stereotype was the basis of a successful 2001 French film, Tanguy, about a 28-year-old college graduate who fights his parent's efforts, even in court, to get him out of the family nest. The film was inspired by a real Italian court case won by a son whose parents tried to force him out of their home.
In Italian marriage vows couples promise to maintain their children until they fulfill their aspirations. This concept is recognized by the country's constitution which does not set a time limit on this obligation."Quanto costa? Cacchio! MAMMA!" The economics minister, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, has lost touch with reality. His comments make no sense...just like his name. It's a good name if you're traveling by covered wagon somewhere in Sardegna.
It's a fact, Tommy, many Italians do not graduate until their late 20s and end up in poorly paid internships or with short-term contracts. The average salary is 1100-1300 Euros per month.
Let's say you decide it's time to finally say goodbye and live life on your own. You kiss your Mamma goodbye and head down to the local bank to ask for a mortgage. Padre Pio is smiling upon you that day and the bank decides to give you a 30 year mortgage of 85,850 Euros.
From the 85,850 Euros make sure to subtract:
Now, after forgetting the fact that your Notary is a whore, you drive your little Vespa scooter down to your local real estate agent to see what's available.
Hmmm...with 65,550 Euros you can purchase:
- Two garages (28 sq. meters),
You drive back home, walk in the front door, kiss your Mamma hello, eat three helpings of her "Linguine alla Puttanesca" and promise to her you will never stray again.
Rome - January 21, 2008 - Recording secret videos of sex with your partner is not illegal, Italy's supreme court has ruled.
Rome's highest appeals acquitted a 49-year-old man who, unbeknown to his girlfriend, had recorded and kept films of them having sex, news agencies reported. It overruled two previous verdicts which had given him a four-month jail sentence.
The woman had agreed to the man using a video camera to project live images of them having sex on to the bedroom wall, but did not know he was recording the action.
The court acquitted the man because he had not distributed the films to other people.
When the relationship ended the man gave the videos to his partner in a package accompanied by a note saying: "These are my last thoughts for you."
Dear poor naive women,
Italy. The very idea of this country can rush thoughts of romance and deep passion in the mind of any desperate woman.
What most of you have learned of Italy, you have learned through books, movies, travel documentaries and cackling girlfriends that never know when to keep quiet. Stupendous villas, sensational seasides and little romantic cafes that open up to the passions and desires that lie within yourselves.
Every year our beautiful but wacky country attracts loads of single women from all over in search of romance and adventure.
And Italian men are ready, waiting and willing...
Italian men have been known to comment that foreign women, in particular, American, can sometimes be quite clueless and gullible when it comes to the subject of romance. Love can be more of a game to Italian men, or more descriptively, an art.
When an Italian man finds a woman attractive he feels it is appropriate to tell her so, and possibly in ways that, although an Italian woman would take his words in stride and advise him to be home by midnight so as not to anger his mother, the foreign woman may take literally.
Starting off slowly and moving with caution is not his half-witted way, and words may come from his ludicrous mouth that seem like words of sensual love to a foreign woman, where to him they are simply words of simple praise.
Ladies, an Italian man does not expect to be taken literally for everything he says. The jackass is doing the ritual dance that Italian men have learned so well and practiced since the days of the gladiators. In turn, he can be easily confused by the anger and hurt a foreign woman expresses when she feels that he is not living up to his professed promises.
Does this mean Italian men are liars? Yes.
Italy is a beautiful country, rich with art, architecture, ancient history and fun loving people. So, be careful when you wander into the Garden of Eden.
Milan - January 24, 2008 - The ancient Romans may have mastered the art of building impressive aqueducts to deliver water across their empire, but modern day Italian engineers seem to be struggling with water retention, a study shows.
The aqueduct serving Puglia, the important agricultural region that forms the heel of the Italian boot-shaped peninsula, is riddled with so many holes that it leaks more water than it delivers, according to a study by Italian investment bank Mediobanca.
The 102-years-old Acquedotto Pugliese, Europe's largest with about 16,000 kms (10,000 miles) of conduits, loses 50.3 percent of the water it carries.
Overall Italy wastes 14 percent more water than France, 36 percent more than Spain, 56 percent more than Britain and 311 percent more than Germany, the study said.
The Puglia aqueduct is so important because the region produces wine, olives and a vast array of vegetables, nuts and grains, but average rainfalls can be a third less than those in northern Italy.
In contrast to the Acquedotto Pugliese is the aqueduct serving the northern Italian city of Milan. It was rated the most efficient in the country, losing only 10.3 percent of its contents en route, Mediobanca said.
The conduits serving Rome lose 35.4 percent of their water.
"Acqua, per favore, ACQUA!" These brilliant engineers should struggle with personal water retention just to teach them a lesson.
10 Water Saving Tips From One Italian to Another:
1.) Check for hidden water leaks. Read the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak. Our solution: Purchase and install a faulty meter that only reads a third of the water consumed (available at your local open air market).
2.) Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted. Our solution: Throw it out the window. It appeared to have worked in Naples for a number of years until the situation got slightly out of hand.
3.) Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators. Long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. Our solution: Take your showers at a relative's home (make sure to bring a small gift like a bunch of garden vegetables or fruit).
4.) Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing. Our solution: Don't brush your teeth.
5.) Rinse your razor in the sink. Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water. Our solution: Don't shave. Beards have been part of the Italy fashion trend since the days of the Red Brigades.
6.) When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing. If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. Our solution: Eat all you want on disposable plates and cups.
7.) Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Our solution: Use the faucet in your neighbor's yard.
8.) Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Our solution: 95% of Italians (including the Pope) drink purchased bottled water.
9.) Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn't need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Our solution: Install faulty meter (see tip 1) and build a homemade and illegal water reservoir in your backyard. Afterwards, water your lawn whether it needs to be or not.
10.) Don't run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing - this simple practice can save as much as 150 gallons when washing a car. Our solution: Drive your car, tractor, horse, cow, etc., to any public water fountain and attach a hose.