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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April 2004
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"Linda, Where's My Diary?" 


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"Buona Pasqua!" Happy Easter and welcome to another political issue of "Only In Italy!"

Here's a great question that the entire world would like the answer to?

What the hell really happened between the Beatles? Huh? Who's fault was it really? Paul, Ringo and all the family heirs will never really tell the truth because of obvious business interests. Well, believe it or not, there are two young sisters who live in Rome who might know the real reasons why, according to Paul. Wait till you read what these 2 little hurricanes did.

I really enjoy receiving "Only In Italy" every day. It makes me laugh and gives me a better understanding (that may be a stretch) of my late Sicilian husband and his family. If the woman in this story were my mother-in-law, she would have put her apron on herself and shooed everyone out of the kitchen. The first Sicilian/Italian word I learned was "mangia". Keep up the good work. Ciao! Louise

Mille grazie, Louise!

We all know that Italian grandmothers are outrageous and absolute geniuses in the kitchen. They could cook up meals that could even bring peace in the Middle East. Just give them second helpings of Sicilian lasagna. If the first word you learned is "mangia", then we assume the second word you must have learned is "attento!" (watch out!). If Italian grandmothers can come back from the dead, imagine what havoc they'll wreak on your lives!

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       

Italy's Most Colorful Politician Demands Vote for 'Beauty and Reason' Political Party

Rome - April 10, 2004 - One of Italy's most colorful politicians has announced that he is launching a new political party, "the Party of Beauty and Reason", on the single issue of protecting Italy's culture from depredation.

A former professor of art history with a deep and visceral disdain for most things modern, Mr. Sgarbi's behavior was unlike that of a typical under-secretary.

He labeled one modern art show "excremental", said unspeakable things about Richard Meier, one of America's leading modern architects, and tried to stop him building a museum around the ancient temple of Augustus in central Rome.

He let fly at the project by Japan's greatest modern architect, Arata Isozaki, to build a modernist extension to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and succeeded in having it cancelled.

Mr. Sgarbi quit Silvio Berlusconi's government on acrimonious terms, but this week announced he is planning a comeback with his Party of Beauty and Reason.

The party's first poster is a sharp dig at Mr. Berlusconi, who in December last year had plastic surgery to remove bags and wrinkles on his face. Alongside a photograph of Mr. Sgarbi the poster reads: "We don't need a facelift." The co-founder of the party with Mr. Sgarbi is Giorgio La Malfa, 65, the son of Ugo La Malfa, one of the founders of Italy's first republic after the war.

Mr. Sgarbi quit the government over plans by the Minister of Culture to sell off many of Italy's thousands of cultural assets to the highest bidder. Protecting and fostering the nation's heritage is the single issue on which the party will campaign. Mr. Sgarbi has said: "If you see the destruction of the Great Buddhas by the Taliban, one has to say, 'The barbarians are also here'."

"Grazie! Grazie! GRAZIE!" The Italians were wondering why a full 3 months had gone by without the putrid birth of another political party. We spoke too soon...

"The Party of Beauty and Reason"

What a fantastic and meaningful name! Another Italian political party, in addition to the 467 that currently exist, couldn't possibly be 'excremental' for Italy as Mr. Sgarbi would say. Italians will accept this party with open arms because it has so-called BEAUTY and REASON.

We're also going to start a political party called "The Party for Pizza and Pepperoni". Its single issue is for the promotion of more pizza with pepperoni topping. The pepperoni has suffered much depredation around the published nutritional facts that it contains too much fat.

Our party staff will say: "When you see the destruction of a pizza because it has an insane pineapple topping, one has to say,
"Pepperoni is bad for your health?"

Unemployed Shoplifts in Supermarket, Judge Clears Charges

Rome - March 17, 2004 - It began in January 2003 and it ended with an unexpected conclusion.

A man entered a supermarket in Alessandria and, after grabbing two packages of fruit, walked out saying 'I'm not paying!'.

Fiorenzo Banchero, 40, who eventually turned himself into the police and returned the stolen fruit explained that he was unemployed. Banchero also declared that if no one helped him he would repeat the crime.

After a few weeks Banchero was acquitted because, as was written in the sentence, according to the judge it was just an act of rebellion of an unemployed man reacting to a difficult financial situation.

"Porca Miseria!" What's the message here? You can shoplift in Alessandria if you're unemployed.

That's marvelous!

How far are we away from pan handlers just shooting us because we don't give them enough spare change? How far are we away from carjackers trading in our stolen cars at the dealerships for newer models?

To all tourists coming soon to Italy: Don't worry about not having enough cash on you. Just declare you're out of a job and Italy will be your oyster!


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Finally It's Back to Where It Once Belonged

Rome - May 14, 2004 - Paula and Francesca de Fazi went off with Sir Paul McCartney's diary when they found it in a gazebo at his home more than 30 years ago.

WHEN the two sisters approached one of Sir Paul McCartney's bodyguards with their seemingly far-fetched story, he was not impressed.

But Francesca and Paola de Fazi were insistent; they had a copy of an authentic diary kept by the star which chronicled the dying days of The Beatles.

The bodyguard relented and took the hard-backed red diary away to show Sir Paul, who was in Italy for a huge free concert outside the Coliseum which attracted 500,000 people.

Minutes later, the sisters were sitting in his Rome hotel room, reliving the time when they were two young schoolgirls with a naughty streak.

The sisters took the diary - packed with notes, doodles and sketches from 1970, the year The Beatles broke up.

Sir Paul was not angry at all. He just called then "naughty girls", signed autographs and confirmed the diary was authentic.

"Perhaps they returned it because they really enjoyed the Rome concert," he said.

Francesca and Paola said that during a trip to London in 1980, aged 10 and 11, they had sought out McCartney's house in St John's Wood, London, to take a few snapshots.

"The house was being refurbished and the gate was open. We screwed up our courage and went in," they told reporters.

Recounting the audacious theft, Francesca, the daughter of a Rome-based lawyer, said: "In the garden behind the house there was a gazebo with glass doors and in the middle of it there was a table where the diary was. How could we resist that temptation?"

Paola went on: "There were all sorts of things: film reels, videos. We took the diary, a pair of boots and some music paper and made off while our friends were keeping watch outside."

The sisters considered selling the diary but were told they needed a statement by Sir Paul himself to prove its authenticity, and decided to keep it.

"Over the years we did think about having it valued because friends told us it was probably worth millions but we decided against it and after Linda died we seriously thought about giving it back," Francesca added. "We thought it would be good to give him his diary back. Without his acknowledgement, there was little we could do with it."

Notes in the diary include meetings with the press, birthdays and appointments with record companies.

An entry on 8 April, reads: "Paul tells John: 'I'm not a Beatle either'." Another in June reads: "Paul leaves Beatles".

On the page dated 16 April 1970 was scribbled the words - "Paul leaves Beatles" then "Heavy press hanging around house."

On another page dated 26 March are written details of a conversation with George Harrison, which reads: "It's you who misunderstands not me, Hare Krishna."

Francesca also revealed that there was a shopping list belonging to Linda tucked into the pages of the diary for "six tins of tomato soup and a salmon." Also in the diary were psychedelic drawings including pictures of cannabis cigarettes.

The girls handed back the diary to Sir Paul at The Hassler hotel, close to the Spanish Steps, following his huge concert on Sunday.

Musician Francesca, 35, said: "When we told the bodyguard, at first he didn't believe us but we showed him some photos from pages of the diary and he took them away to Paul's room.

"A few minutes later, he came back down and said that Paul would see us in his suite and we were taken up to his room where we gave him back the diary.

"He was very grateful and was smiling and joking with us that it was an important sentimental diary for him.

"Paul was really friendly and he signed some autographs for us and he even took some of our CDs which we have recorded and said he would listen to them.

"We have always been great fans of The Beatles and to meet him in person was fantastic."

Francesca also revealed that she and her sister had taken a pair of boots but had not returned those.

"We wanted to keep something as a souvenir," she said.

"Madonna Santa!" You have to read this article twice just to believe it. What parts shocked you?

1.) That two 10 & 11 year old Italian thieves invaded the property of Paul McCartney and stole his priceless belongings?

2.) That in 1970 these 2 little Italian spoiled brats knew, first hand, why the Beatles really broke up?

3.) That Paul may have accused (and probably fired) any of the hired people working on his house and property for the theft.

4.) Or was it the part when they returned the diary to Paul? That's not very Italian, sorry to write.

These 2 must have started pick pocketing while they were in diapers.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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