"Oh, Mamma Mia!" Welcome to the only newsletter that still asks why was Italy conquered by a short 26-year-old ego-maniac named Napoleone, "Only In Italy".
Salutations to all our dear readers! We hope you have all enjoyed your Easter Holidays.
All of us at the news office sincerely appreciate all the feedback (good and bad) you have given us these past few years. It has given us the will and joy to continue bringing you the news of wacky incidents that can only happen in our befuddled but beloved country.
We would love to answer all of your much-appreciated questions and comments but time is of the essence for us. However; we're sure our readers would love to comment on our stories and, perhaps, share some of their wacky Italy experiences within our lovely community.
Therefore; we have decided it was about time to convert the articles and archive sections of our site into a blog format. We hope to have the blog up and running within the next few days. Stay tuned...
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Bolzano - March 29, 2007 - An Italian conman has been caught playing dead for the second time in six years in a bid to escape prosecution.
Stefano Ramunni, 44, from the southern city of Bari, sent in forged certificates of his own death to a court in this northern city. The court let Ramunni off the forgery charge, deciding to prosecute the forger, a friend of the conman but Ramunni is still up on several counts of fraud.
In 2001 Ramunni was arrested for fraud in another northern city, Sondrio, and found to be carrying two bogus death certificates. On that occasion he did not have time to use them.
Ramunni has also donned other disguises to evade justice.
In 2000, in Verona, he posed as a justice ministry psychiatrist and gave evidence that helped clear him of fraud.
Two years earlier he slipped into Genoa police headquarters and got hold of a prosecution dossier after persuading officials he was a young assistant to his lawyer."Non posso, sono morto."
Stefano deserves a medal not jail time. He deserves it for locating stupid Italian people that work in our public offices. He's doing us a favor. Now, we can identify all of them, fire them, flush them out and make sure they don't breed again.
"In 2000, in Verona, he posed as a justice ministry psychiatrist and gave evidence that helped clear him of fraud." "Buon Giorno! My name is Dottore Sigmundo Freud..." You too can play the Italian version of "Catch Me If You Can" the next time you visit our befuddled country.
"Two years earlier he slipped into Genoa police headquarters and got hold of a prosecution dossier after persuading officials he was a young assistant to his lawyer."
If you dress in a dark blue suit and tie, carry standard folders attorneys use (which can be found in any office supplies store in Italy) in one hand while muttering on a cell phone with the other, you will have an 80% chance of entering an Italian courthouse and/or police headquarters without a security check. Your odds will improve the further south in Italy you go and/or the closer to lunch time it may be. Afterwards, you can make a request and receive whatever court documents your little heart desires.
For additional fun, play "hide and go seek" by switching documents between case folders and you will postpone the pending court cases into the next century. Before you exit the building, leave a "cacciocavallo" cheese in one of the bathrooms. This is an official sign that the courthouse employees had been played for Italian fools!
"In 2001 Ramunni was arrested for fraud in another northern city, Sondrio, and found to be carrying two bogus death certificates." If you have an enormous amount of money, an annoying spouse, greedy children, inconsiderate relatives or all of the above, then you may need a death certificate (courtesy of the Oristano town hall).
Naples - February 28, 2007 - A 74-year-old Italian grandmother who bought a sack of potatoes at the her local market found a live grenade among the spuds.
"I found a bomb in the potatoes," Olga Mauriello said in a telephone interview with reporters.
"I went to the market to buy some potatoes and that's where the bomb was. But this bomb was covered in dirt, and I put it in water and got all dirt off. And then I realized 'It's a bomb'!"
Police said the pine cone-shaped grenade, which had no pin and was still active, was the same type used by U.S. soldiers in Europe in World War Two. Authorities believe the mix-up happened at a farm in France, where the grenade was plucked from the ground along with potatoes.
To the woman's relief, police and explosives experts in the small town of San Giorgio a Cremano, near Naples, recovered the grenade and safely detonated it on Wednesday.
But Mauriello was still shaking off her close brush with death. It didn't look like a potato and it was heavier than one. But what if she had cooked it?
"If I hadn't felt its weight, I wouldn't even have realized that it was a bomb," she said."Non sembra una patata..."
"If I hadn't felt its weight, I wouldn't even have realized that it was a bomb," Unfortunately, anyone who has ever had an Italian grandmother knows very well her complaints will not end here! Nonna Olga is going to drag this on and on...
This article could be a great idea for a small Broadway show:
"Figlio di puttana, I found a bomb in the potatoes," she told the police in her overly melodious and annoying tone.
"Mamma mia, I went to the market to buy some potatoes and that's where the bomb was," she quietly told her untrustworthy friends at church while making a good impression by attending Mass because otherwise, people could talk behind her back.
"Cristo Santo, but this bomb was covered in dirt, and I put it in water and got all dirt off. And then I realized 'It's a bomb'!" she complained as she prepared lasagna and tiramisu to her over-30 children who still live at home.
"Oh, porca puttana, if I hadn't felt its weight, I wouldn't even have realized that it was a bomb," she explained to reporters in a sing-song intonation while flailing around her hands.
Milan - March 17, 2007 - Avant-garde theater is under attack in Italy for pushing the boat out too far after police raided a Milan playhouse to save a lobster from being bludgeoned to death and eaten on stage.
Following complaints from animal rights groups, the first-night performance of Incident: Kill to Eat by Argentinian playwright Rodrigo Garcia was broken up by three plainclothes officers who spared the lobster from an all-too-real death scene.
A full house was expecting to see Garcia's examination of death and meat eating, during which an unlucky crustacean is suspended from a nylon cord and a microphone picks up the sounds of its squirming. In his program notes, Garcia, a former butcher, denounced the dishonesty of not killing what you eat. "You need plenty of imagination, and I don't have it, to feel the fear of death as you open a can of meatballs with peas in the kitchen at home," he wrote.
That did not wash with Milan's assessor for animal rights, Gianluca Comazzi, who backed the police raid.
"There is a law here which forbids exposing audiences to animals experiencing drawn out and useless stress," he said. "I know this goes on in restaurants, but there it is not turned into a spectacle."
Theater staff protested to the police that the lobster was due to be eaten on stage by the cast at the finale of the show, but to no avail, forcing them to show videos of the death scene to the audience.
"This ban has been enforced by judges wearing leather shoes and carrying leather bags, and policemen wearing shirts sewn by children in Asia," Garcia wrote in an angry press release before flying to Madrid to join his theater group La Carnicerķa Teatro, or The Butchery Of Theater.
"Sta pippa!" What's the matter with the Milan police? Don't they realize that when you stop the visual hanging, killing and eating of a lobster on a stage in front of a packed theater house, you are interfering with the creation and expression of theater art?
Dear readers, we honestly do not know what to tell you about what is going on in that Milan. We do not know if its the smog, drugs, inflated prices, or the jackass fashion shows that drive the "Milanese" to promote this so-called art.
We do not know if Rodrigo entered Italy with a valid Visa! And we don't know what happened to the lobster! You would think the cops would have fed it to the anorexic air-head runway models that roam the streets of Milan.
"You need plenty of imagination, and I don't have it...," he wrote.
We have plenty of imagination, Rodrigo. How about we let you battle it out with a few lions in the Roman Coliseum?
We'll give you a can of meatballs with peas as your last meal and you can defend yourself with a lobster and your artistic wits and creativity. Afterwards, we'll fly back down to Sicily to join our theater group "The Vaffanculo Of Theater".