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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"Simon & Garfunkel & The Vatican" 


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"Tanti Tanti Grazie!" Welcome to the only newsletter that would have convinced that arrogant midget, Napoleone, to stop stealing from Italy, "Only In Italy!"

"Buon Giorno" to our lovely readers. If we may be serious for a moment...

Please take this time to say a special prayer with us for a wonderful company that desperately needs our help, thoughts and prayers...Alitalia airlines.

Lord, we humbly ask that you have mercy on our Alitalia during its darkest moments. We never imagined that one of the most respected and professional airlines in the world could ever arrive to the brink of complete bankruptcy and chaos.

Please have mercy on the managers who insisted on yearly pay raises, denied the reality of competition and thought 9/11 only affected the USA.

Please have mercy on the extra 1500 workers who were hired to do...nothing.

Please have mercy for the poor souls who planned poor marketing, poor sales, poor communication, poor financial strategies, poor management and...hired ugly flight assistants.

Please have mercy on the driver who parked a maintenance truck on a runway causing an Alitalia plane to lose a wing after it clipped it.

And especially have mercy on the Italian judicial system that ordered 4 airport employees who were sentenced to prison for manslaughter of 118 people from the Milan Linate go back to work.

Forgive them all for they do not know how to run an airline. Amen...

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       


Naples Sighs with Relief as Saint's Blood Liquefies Once Again

Rome - May 1, 2004 - Inhabitants of the southern Italian city of Naples relaxed when the blood of their patron Saint Gennaro liquefied in mid-morning, a day late, and so put off any imminent disasters.

According to the city authorities the blood, in two small vials, turned to liquid at 10:29 in the presence of a congregation of the devout and local dignitaries gathered to celebrate mass in the Treasury chapel of the cathedral where the blood is kept in a safe under the altar.

The phenomenon can happen three times a year: on September 19, the festival of San Gennaro, who was beheaded in AD 305, on the Saturday preceding the first Sunday in May, and on December 16, the anniversary of the AD 1631 eruption of Mt Vesuvius, halted, legend says, by the saint.

The Vatican does not recognize the liquefaction as a miracle, preferring to describe the event as a marvel.

Ceremonies to mark the liquefaction began Saturday with a mass in the Santa Clara basilica where the vials had been conveyed in procession through the streets of Naples with the silver and gold bust of the saint.

Two giant screens had been erected so Neapolitans could follow the ceremony which included prayers for the three Italians being held in Iraq. But after seven appeals from the cardinal archbishop conducting the service the substance remained obstinately coagulated.

Failure to liquefy is believed to foreshadow bad news and word spread throughout the city even though the prelate said that "to believe that non-liquefaction of the blood is the forerunner of bad things to come is a superstition."

He called for more prayer and said that the liquefaction could happen when the vials were taken back to their usual home in the Treasury at the cathedral.

The first time the phenomenon was observed was in 1389. It did not happen at all in 1976 but has occurred every year since though on nine occasions since 1981 it has been late to happen.

"E' un miracolo!"

Hmmm...Is it really a miracle and what's the difference between that and a marvel?

Naples is officially the most dangerous, corrupt and impoverished major city in Italy. Those Neapolitans go through hell almost every day! Mafia, corruption, mountains of garbage, baby gang crimes, stupidity, incomprehensible dialects, body odor and bad music.

This may be hard to believe but couldn't it be that the liquefaction is having an opposite effect on the city? Every time the blood liquefies, everyone rejoices the miracle (or marvel) and runs to take cover!

The blood should stop liquefying for at least a couple of years to give time for Mt. Vesuvius to erupt (or marvel) again and clean up the city.

Vatican Accepts Visa, MasterCard and Amex

Vatican City - June 11, 2004 - The collection is being taken up in Catholic churches worldwide on the World Day of Papal Charity, June 29, solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, or on the Sunday closest to that day.

In the main index of its Web page , the Holy See's Secretariat of State has opened a section on the spirit of Peter's Pence and practical ways to send donations.

In addition to participating in the annual collection, the faithful also may send their donations directly to the Holy Father, whose address is: His Holiness, Pope John Paul II - 00120 Vatican City - Europe.

Credit cards may also be used to send donations (American Express, Visa, Diners, MasterCard), communicating to the Vatican fax (+39-06-6988-3954) the name of the card holder, card number, expiration date and amount.

"Offerings made by the faithful to the Holy Father are used for the works of the Church, for humanitarian work and social development work, as well as for the support of the activities of the Holy See," the Vatican Web page explains.

The origin of Peter's Pence goes back to the end of the eighth century, when the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity, and, as a sign of union with the Bishop of Rome, decided to send a contribution in a stable manner to the Holy Father, the page explains.

"It was thus that the 'Denarius Sancti Petri' (Alms of Saint Peter) originated and spread throughout Europe," it adds.

"Like other practices of its kind, this custom underwent many changes in the course of the centuries, until in 1871 Pope Pius IX gave his approval in the 1871 encyclical "Saepe Venerabilis," it notes.

"Gesu Cristo!" That's some pearly Vatican, isn't it?

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner's Club...

We heard the list won't stop here. They'll soon be accepting the following methods of donations. Of course, all based on faith:

- Cash mailed in
- Debit cards
- Western Union
- Wire transfers
- Stocks & options
- 401K plans
- First and/or second mortgages
- College loans
- Supermarket discount cards
- Gas station cards
- Car wash cards
- Blockbuster movie cards
- Other peoples' money
- Organ donations


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Simon & Garfunkel to Perform at Rome Colosseum

Rome - May 4, 2004 - Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel will take the stage just outside the Colosseum this summer in what Rome officials say is their first concert together in Italy.

The July 31 concert by the 1960s folk-rock duo will be free, Rome officials said Wednesday. It will take place on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the large boulevard that leads to the Colosseum and is lined with ancient Roman relics.

Simon and Garfunkel performed across America last year their first concert tour in two decades playing such hits as "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer."

The Rome concert will be the only Italian date for the "Old Friends" tour, officials said.

"Ma che se ne frega!" Our dreams have come true...

Hmmm...It should be a great concert; two ancient relics performing in front of ancient relics.

Of course it's free. It's because no one will pay for it.

Do they realize no one cares anymore about "Mrs. Robinson" or the "Boxer"? The Italians would prefer to hear the literal "Sound of Silence" rather than the song.

We wish we could go back in time when the Roman Empire existed. What would have been more entertaining than to have them perform in the Colosseum and, afterwards, thrown to the lions? They could have used their guitars to defend themselves.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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