"They say so", is half a lie. (Another wonderful proverb)
Unbelievable! A country that went through the worst of times and then gave birth to the Renaissance - which produced more Masters of the arts than anyone can possibly know or digest.
Italy, a country whose name is synonymous with art and a country which is still home to 60% of the world's great art works.
Can it really be that there are none of those genes left in Italy - at least enough of those genes to protect the reputation and respect for the arts and the incredible focus on excellence that brought forth the greatest artworks, in a variety of mediums, that the world has ever known? Please say it isn't so! Diane Z. S.
Thanks, Diane. The last improvements to Italy were made by Leo Da Vinci...and it's been downhill ever since.
However, the Italians have received a rude awakening these past few years, thanks to its conniving and lunatic politics, but with the help of the Internet, today's generation is already working on trying to save what normal genes we have left before mutation sets in.
Patience, please, for it will take several years but we will pull through. Maybe.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Milan - April 2, 2012 - Milan police have arrested six people for fraud after investigators discovered a criminal ring posing as doctors and purchasing autos with false checks.
The scam artists allegedly bought the vehicles through the Internet and then met to close the deals dressed as physicians.
Immediately after sealing the purchase, the suspects transported the autos out of the country, say investigators.
"Puttana della miseria", wow! Many of you just like us must have no compassion for car dealers so, seeing them suffer rectal indignities while keeping a straight face is entertaining. The "minchioni" deserve to be bilked. Maybe they'll be less stupid.
We say the charlatans who perpetrated this scam deserve a medal not jail time. They deserve it for locating stupid Italians.
We apologize to our readers that we were not able to find the addresses of the swindled car dealers. We're sure we would have gotten this >close< to driving off the lot with a new set of wheels.
Ignazio the dealer: "Dottore Frank N. Beans, the paperwork for the Audi just came in. Here are the keys."
Giovanni the dealer: "Two Mercedes, same model? Of course I have them available. Well, I see colonoscopies keep you quite busy, don't they dottore?
Bari - April 3, 2012 - In a nation wide push to clean up tax evasion, officials in the southern port town of Bari cross-checked income declarations with boat values and uncovered owners declaring little or no incomes with costly boats, police said on Tuesday.
The operation dubbed 'Sailing Money' monitored 963 private boats, including 755 yachts over 10 meters in length, docked in ports around Bari.
Police checks uncovered the owner of a yacht valued at 310,000 Euros ($409,000 USD) who declared no income, a company with a 36,354 Euro ($47,990 USD) yearly turnover in possession of a 120,000 Euro ($158,000 USD) sailboat and a company earning 1,326 Euros ($1750 USD) annually listed as the owners of a 700,000 Euro ($924,000 USD) yacht.
Italy's internal revenue agency has been ramping up pressure on tax dodgers by introducing a new system to flush out evaders through income and spending cross checks.
Hmmm...we could be mistaken but we strongly feel Italy's internal revenue agency is being a bit harsh and nitpicking on the poor South again. Don't you agree? "Si?"
The revenue agency should take into strong consideration that most of these yachts were purchased by Southern Italians that scrimped and saved for many years. Remember, growing your own food, pumping your own gas, collecting coupons and saving string goes a long way.
We don't know about you but it pains us to see these poor "figli di puttane" pull in and drop anchor in front of the soup kitchens.
Not to change the subject, but we would also like to point out that most Southern Italians are proud and honest people who are capable of proving the stereotypes wrong:
- We're not afraid of hard work...well, unless it's low paying hard work.
But, "mamma mia", we would have loved to have filmed the scenes down at the port when those "Baresi" tried to explain where those yachts came from.
"Ma, porca vacca, NO, NO and NO! The taxes owed last year minus the..." (watching their conversations go visual, words highlighted by hands which work furiously overtime, and fingers moving into extraordinary shapes as if the talker were working on invisible pizza dough in his hands).
Rome - April 4, 2012 - Tables may have less dishes for Easter this year, but they will be just as expensive as last year, said the Italian Agriculture Confederation, Cia, on Wednesday.
Consumers are expected to spend approximately 3.5 billion euros on food goods for their holiday lunches, dinners and picnics, but with purchasing power reduced between 5 to 7%.
Classic favorites like chocolate eggs will cost approximately 5 to 8% more compared to last year, lamb 6% and salami 10% more.
Italians will spend around 650 million euros for cheese, 610 million for wine and 135 million on eggs, expected to be consumed at an average of eight per person for a national total of 500 million euros.
Well, dear readers, it's that joyous time of the year when the irritating expression "Natale con i suoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi" ("Christmas with his/her family, Easter with whoever you want") is again heard.
Our sympathies to those of you who will spend Easter with who you don't want. You're shaking your head in disappointment..but keep a stiff upper lip.
So, if you're on your way to:
- Enna (Sicily): Keep your eyes wide open while driving for there are more than 2,000 friars dressed in ancient costumes parading through the streets of the city. They could make themselves useful by giving you a hand finding a parking spot.
- Trapani (also in Sicily): You could go see their Good Friday procession, "Misteri di Trapani", that is more dramatic than "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera" combined...and is 24 hours long. We repeat, you COULD go see it.
- Panicale (Umbria): Again, eyes wide open while driving for the town residents are out in the streets playing "Ruzzolone".
Part 'bocce', part yo-yo, and part lunacy, the player launches a 4 kilo (9 pound) round of Pecorino cheese with a leather strap wrapped around the cheese's middle. The player who rolls their cheese around the outside of the town's walls in the fewest number of strokes wins. The owners of the cars with dents, broken windshields and damaged exhaust systems also win.
Smile for Easter lunch will be a festival of spectacular dishes (fried artichokes, roasted baby lamb, sauteed artichokes with baby potatoes, sweet ricotta raviolis, etc.). Eat like there's no tomorrow...and ignore the family disputes regarding the inheritance, the relative who doesn't belong buried in the family mausoleum and that other relative who didn't receive enough family votes in the local elections.
At the end when it's all over, pretend to say good-bye as though it will be the last time you'll ever see each other. Hug more. Kiss more. Force yourself to cry if you're that talented. You have no choice but to make the good-bye look very convincing...otherwise, you'll be the topic of family discussion at Christmas.