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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"Fat Italian Kids and Annoying Co workers"


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"Ciao-Ciao!" Welcome to the only newsletter supported by fat & hungry Italian children, "Only In Italy!"

"Buone Notizie!" It finally happened! According to the International Obesity Task Force, Italian kids are the fattest in Europe. That's right, they're in direct competition with American kids. May the fattest kid win!

Once again, pizza is the preferred food by hungry & bored Italian kids who pop them in their mouths like Tic-Tacs.

And don't forget the overprotective Italian mothers who have to force kids to shovel down at least a pound of ziti marinara and lasagna everyday.

"Nine Afghan Soccer Players Missing in Italy - Ye GADS! You sound like an American living in America! Fussing about the influx of af'ginnis here. What?! We should open OUR borders to them?! By the way, I LOVE your newsletter. I am a transplanted midwesterner living in RI, home to 1/2 of transplanted Italians...and I love it! Rita

Believe it or not, Rita, Italy is actually a country that is pro middle east and boasts great diplomatic and economic relations with Arab countries. However; our involvement in the USA-Iraq situation hasn't exactly blown sunshine up the delicate arses of Arabs. We hope we won't pay the same consequences as Spain has.

What's more important, Rita, is the following. What the hell are Italians doing in Rhode Island, USA?

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       

Italian Children Are the Fattest Pigs in Europe

Rome - April 13, 2004 - The youth of Italy have wavered from the fabled Mediterranean diet. Led astray by fast food and snacks, they are now the fattest children in Europe.

According to the International Obesity Task Force, part of the World Health Organization (WHO), 36 per cent of Italian children are overweight, compared with 22 per cent in Britain and 19 per cent in France. Ten per cent of Italian children are obese, the WHO said.

The rest of Southern Europe also fares badly, with Malta, Greece, Spain and Croatia in the top five in the survey.

The Italian Health Ministry said that although obesity in Europe had not reached the epidemic proportions of the United States, the figures were worrying. Girolamo Sirchia, the Italian Health Minister, proposed a revival of the religious tradition of fasting on Fridays, with schools and canteens offering reduced portions.

Walter Veltroni, the Mayor of Rome, announced a revolution in school lunch menus from September, with "high-quality dishes", such as artichoke risotto, mixed salad and grilled fish, replacing pizza, chips and fish fingers.

Father Luigi Ciotti, a priest who runs an anti-dependency center for young people in Turin, said that they became addicted through advertising and peer pressure, not only to "must-have consumer items" such as fashionable clothes, but also to fattening foods.

"Sei un porco!" No kidding, Italians are getting fat.

Here in Sicily, we prefer to be a little more firm with our little fat cows that get out of control at the stables.

Our Aunt Gianinna who, by the way, has more food caught in her teeth than we eat the whole day, advises our kids who are "obesely impaired" to follow these simple diet rules:

- Stop grazing!
- Only 7 meals a day!
- Only eat when you're awake!

Noisy and Annoying Coworkers Kept Quiet with Sleeping Drugs

Monza - April 14, 2004 - A worker was sentenced to a year in jail for drugging her coworkers for two years with sleeping medicine that she placed in company water bottles.

Tired from the constant gossiping, the 36 year old woman probably preferred to work quietly without interruptions but the real motive to the crime was never discovered. The Court House of Monza had also sentenced her to pay for work damages.

The woman had defended herself by declaring that her employer had driven her to the crime for having gossiped about her secret affairs with the other employees.

"Sta Minchia!" What a street-smart and efficient employee.

To all our male readers involved with women of the Italian species: Ever watch a nature film when they show a coyote eat his own leg off to escape a trap? Start chewing.

To all our female readers: Would any of you like to personally thank this woman for setting back the 'Women’s Movement' 34 years?


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When in Rome, Use Chopsticks

Rome - April 14, 2004 - A growing Chinese community has made a district its own. The arrival of a new culture is provoking unease in the Eternal City.

Maria Santonastaso has lived most of her six decades in Esquilino, a popular, busy neighborhood of wide streets and 150-year-old buildings atop one of ancient Rome's seven hills.

For generations, Romans came from all over the city to shop for bargains at Esquilino's vegetable and fruit market, stopping on the way at its mom-and-pop coffee bars and homey trattorias.

But today the merchants are more likely to be named Ling Chong than Luciano.

Santonastaso and her Italian neighbors have watched in dismay as, first, their dry cleaners, then their favorite bakery and, more recently, the little place where they bought their mozzarella have disappeared.

The Piazza Vittorio at the heart of Esquilino is flanked by more signs in Chinese characters than Latin letters. A coffee bar on the piazza is named Caffè Del Portico Xu Ping. Most of Rome's 250 Chinese restaurants (10 times the number of 15 years ago) are within a few blocks.

Esquilino has become home to Rome's fast-growing Chinatown, and many Italians are feeling displaced.

"We have lost our neighborhood," said Santonastaso, a translator for a legal firm. "We are being thrown out. I go outside and I don't see Italians anymore."

"Romans don't know foreigners and immigrants very well," he said. "They say we are stealing Italian jobs, and they always assume we are doing illegal things. You hear negative comments all the time."

The tensions between Chinese and Italians in Esquilino are typical of any immigrant community and its new home, and cities throughout Europe are struggling with questions over how to accommodate the foreign-born. But Romans are particularly tradition bound, and the growth of "La Chinatown" is proving traumatic.

"It's not only the fault of the Chinese," Tripodi, 56, continued. "It's also the local government's fault, for allowing the area to decline in an accelerated way. Against a background of decadence, the Chinese moved in and took advantage."

Residents are convinced that some of the businesses conceal money-laundering and smuggling operations. In Tripodi's apartment building, for example, a Chinese family obtained permits for a small bed-and-breakfast. Neighbors say it functions instead as an all-hours gambling house.

"There certainly is Chinese Mafia in Esquilino, but you cannot prove it," said Antonio Franco, deputy police chief for the area. While noting that the majority of Chinese residents are law-abiding, police have long complained of encountering a "wall of silence" when trying to investigate alleged crimes in the Chinese community.

"It's easy to blame the Chinese," Wong said. "Compared to other immigrants, we are more visible."

"Porca Miseria!" We used to feel good about the Chinese being in Italy. Now we can't even trust them.

What would Julius Caesar have done?

What will become of Italian food in Rome?
What are they going to eat?

- Ming Lo Mein Mozzarella
- Pizza alla Ginseng
- Eel Lasagna

It looks as if there's nothing Rome can do to slow down the so-called invasion. So, it's best that the Romans just eat rice and shut up!


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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