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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March 2010
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"Don't Worry, You Can Sleep On the Job"

(03/24/10)

 

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"Ciao-Ciao!" Welcome to the only newsletter that thinks it's time for that Vatican to get a grip on itself, "Only In Italy!"

Talk about stupid prejudices and the stupid people recommending or suggesting such idiotic ideas that there are many in the USA who still think all Sicilians are mafioso. About the only good thing they think of Sicilians is that we're great lovers which I doubt my ex would agree to. Paul

Thanks for your point of view, Paolo! You're right. We're not all Mafiosi and our love making does give Brazilians a run for their money.

By the way, tell your ex-wife to kiss our Sicilian asses!  

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      


Pompeian Snack Bar Reopens For Business

Pompeii - March 18, 2010 - A 2,000-year-old snack-bar in the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii will 'open for business' once more this Sunday, with a special one-off event marking its restoration.

A limited number of visitors to the Campanian archaeological site will be taken on a 45-minute guided tour of the Thermopolium (snack-bar) of Vetutius Placidus, which was previously closed to members of the public. Once inside the Thermopolium, participants will also be treated to a typical Roman snack of the type once served to customers.

The shop takes its name from electoral graffiti engraved on the outside of the shop, calling on passersby to vote for the candidate Vetutius Placidus, and on three amphorae found inside the premises. Prior to the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the Thermopolium opened directly on to a main street, the Via dell'Abbondanza.

One of the best preserved sites in Pompeii, it has been closed to the public for years in order to protect it from damage.

But months of detailed excavation and preservation work have now finished and all visitors will soon be able to enter the Thermopolium and get an idea of what a typical Ancient Roman snack-bar was like.

Inside, visitors are greeted with a typical, decorated counter, just as in modern cafes and bars, where customers stood to enjoy a quick lunch. Cylindrical holes in the bar once contained glass dolia, or jars, which were used to hold food.

However, archaeologists working at this site also discovered a large quantity of coins in one of these. They believe the owner left them there in a last-ditch attempt to save his wealth as he fled the city, presumably hoping he might one day return.

The Thermopolium also boasted a triclinium (dining area) with couches, for those of its customers who wanted to eat in the reclining Greek style. This is decorated with a beautiful painting showing the Rape of Europa with Jupiter as a bull. An internal garden, viridarium, included an outdoor triclinium, which excavations have revealed was once shaded by a grapevine pergola and featured flowerbeds growing herbs used in the kitchen.

Premises adjoining the snack bar were the home of the owner and his family.

The Larario, or household shrine, is decorated with beautiful Corinthian columns. Wall paintings depict the household gods and personal companion spirit, or 'genius', carrying out a sacrifice at an altar. Mercury, god of trade, and Dionysius, god of wine, appear to the sides with protective snake divinities painted overhead, slithering towards a central altar.

"Porca l'oca", there has to be a sign carved in rock somewhere with the words: "Closed for renovation. Reopening soon." So sad to see it still takes over 1900 years to obtain a simple snack bar permit in Italy.

Pompeii's cuisine was sweet and sour, blending sharp tastes with honey and figs. Back in the day, people in Pompeii ate boiled broom, poppies and mallow and the oven was used to make "libum," a quiche-like pastry shell filled with cheese, similar to today's ricotta, and served on bay leaves. The menu would have also included cereal soups, fish, eggs, cheese, garum (a sauce made by fermenting fish entrails) and savillum (a cheesecake with a poppy seed glaze).

There was a difference in the eating habits between the Pompeii social classes. A high-energy diet of bread, dried fruits, low-quality cheese and cheap wine was reserved for slaves. Upper and middle classes had the same food, with the wealthy enjoying larger quantities and finer ingredients. The tradition continues today with how tourists are treated when they dine at nearby restaurants:

- Italian tourists -> upper class (because Italians keep their scam alert set at "maximum" at all times)
- USA tourists -> slaves (give them non existent Italian dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, Veal or Chicken Parmesan and they're happy)
- Japanese tourists -> upper class (add an additional 600% plus tip to the bill)
- French tourists -> upper class (because they complain about everything)
- German tourists -> slaves (make sure there is plenty of cheap beer available to dull the palates)

 

Don't Worry, You Can Sleep On the Job

Rome - March 18, 2010 - Taking a nap while on the job is not fair grounds for dismissal, Italy's highest court said Thursday.

A Verona security guard sacked after a boss caught him asleep will have to be rehired until he defends himself with a union rep, the Cassation Court said.

The court, whose rulings set precedents, said cat-napping was among the misdemeanors which should be handled under Italy's Workers' Statute, which protects workers from unfair dismissal.

The guard, Claudio P., committed a "disciplinary" and not sackable offence in getting 40 winks during his shift in 2000, the Cassation judges said, overturning a Venice court's verdict two years ago.

"Figlio di una mignotta," if you listen carefully you'll hear the continuous thuds of Italian employees' heads hitting their desks for their afternoon cat-naps.

Hmmm...hard to imagine why foreign companies think twice before investing in Italy. of course, we're not saying all of Italy's workforce is comatose. We're actually genuine hard workers especially, when we're under constant supervision and cornered like Sicilian rats in a trap. However, future employers should always keep in mind that lazy Italians are the ones who invented the "motorino" (scooter). They created a motorized bike so small and fast it could give us a quick get-away when there’s work to be done.

Italian employers recognize that valuable employees are becoming a rare commodity. Hiring good-for-nothing and pointless jackasses like Claudio P. could ruin their company-while hiring effective, productive employees could cause business to soar. Most times, these employers do not realize what kind of workers they have hired until they are taken all the way to the highest courts in Italy...over a nap.

In this particularly loony case, the employer would have been better off substituting Claudio with a straw-filled scarecrow in a guard's uniform. Unlike Claudio, the scarecrow would have not found 17 reasons to do anything except its job and been able to walk up a flight of stairs without losing its breath.

 

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Workers Protest By Pulling Their Pants Down

Rome - March 17th, 2010 - Fifty or so town hall officials in Rome decided to protest against the slow bureaucratic process of the city’s 2010 budget by pulling their trousers down on Monday.

They carried banners saying that the city’s Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, of Mr Berlusconi’s Pdl Party, had "reduced them to their underwear". Other banners criticized the abandoned state of parks and public gardens and blamed the number of homeless people in Rome on the current administration.

The workers suspect that the budget is being delayed because it contains unpopular taxes. They are concerned because no new projects can begin without the release of the 2010 budget funds.

Please! "Andate tutti a 'fanculo" for your propaganda is more out of control than the hair on your legs! Pull up your trousers, sit down, and be ashamed of yourselves!

Italy's bureaucracy means 'office power' and nowhere on this Italian planet are offices as powerful as in Italy. One study suggested that two weeks of every working year are lost by Italians in lines and bureaucratic transactions. Italians need, on average, 25 visits to various offices each year. So, the equivalent of almost 7,000 minutes each year are spent on lines!

AH! And let's not forget about their other favorite past time: 'clientelismo'. That's the culture of looking after your friends and family, and thereby keeping outsiders and unknowns out of the loop. "Bastardi!"

Now these fifty officials have the nerve to protest against a nerve-racking system they savor and use on a daily basis to put us on our knees? "VAFFANCULO!" How dare they! We should also protest by whipping out tweezers and pulling out a hair from their scrawny legs for each minute we are forced to spend on line every damn year (stubble included).

Our uncle Goffredo is so fed up with all these strikes and protests that he thinks Italy is one step away from dogs being upset because they can't be bus drivers.

You laugh at this now but mark our words, 10 years from now, you'll see the first case of an Italian dog saying, "Hey! I can drive a bus just as good as anyone so, I deserve equal pay!"

 

Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
 
 
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