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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May 2010
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"Monkeys and Apes Sulk Like Italian"



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"I received my cookies and they are wonderful. I've been serving them to my friends and they think they're the best they've ever had. I served some to my 91 year old uncle who is Italian (as we all are) and he ate as many as he could and took the rest home. He said that at Christmas he doesn't want cigars, he just wants a box of your cookies. Ciao!" Mary Lou K. (Binghamton, New York)

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"Si, si...ciao!" Welcome to another Burqa-clad issue of pepperoni and eggplant advice, "Only In Italy!"

Come on now. Who wrote the comments about the Burqa being okay. I am guessing man. Typical!

I agree with the mayor of Novara. The burqa is just another way to subjugate women under the pretence of religion. Good on you Mr Giordano for not giving into this ridiculous "political correctness" that will eventually lead to the extinction of western society and the rule of Sharia law! Anonymous

Thanks for the thought. We appreciate it however, we're not going to indulge into the issues of religion because it will only bring an onslaught of comments from skeptical people. And yes, skeptical people are boring. They do not know how to be open-minded and enjoy life.

When we are aware that a discussion with a skeptic is about to take a turn for the worse, we'll convince him into joining us for a walk to a farm behind our building and a laugh watching goats ramming their heads together. "See? Life can be good!"   

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

15 Kgs of Manure Dumped Outside Berlusconi Party Office

Rome - May 6, 2010 - A suspected group of young leftists dumped some 15 kg of manure outside the headquarters of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party in Rome Friday.

The 20 or so militants, caught on security cameras, planted a PdL flag, a child's potty, and a flag of a rightist youth group on top of the manure before running away from police.

Police are inspecting video footage of the stunt, which echoed an incident in 2003 when 50 young anti-capitalists dumped about 130kg of manure outside Berlusconi's Rome residence.

Apart from the unnecessary potty chair, is this supposedly shocking? After all, there isn't an Italian that would ever consider an Italian party office to be more prominent than a barnyard.

- Down that street, there's a constant rancid and putrid smell that wafts in the air...especially during election time.

- They are always prepared to 'poop plenty' about their politics.

- And God forbid there's a mule in that building that would challenge the head farmer, Berlusconi,...that would call for a shot between the eyes.

- Sometimes, they'll gather around some other manure pile and talk about how to solve Italy's latest fiscal problem. A cow will come along, stop, give that blank stare and say, "Itís my firm opinion that the Italian fiscal budget should be apprehended in its entirety, and the authenticity of the outcome is a reality."

They'll all nod their heads in approval while chewing their cud...and with that same blank stare on their faces.


A Rare: Italy's Industry Minister Resigns

Rome - May 4, 2010 - Industry Minister Claudio Scajola announced his resignation on Tuesday saying he could not continue to do his job and defend himself at the same time.

For over a week the Italian media has been running daily reports claiming the minister covered up the real price paid for his Rome apartment which he is said to have bought with the help of a businessman arrested earlier this year in a broader corruption probe over public tenders.

Speaking at a press conference, Scajola explained that "everyday I find myself in the crossfire of contradictory press reports. I do not wish anyone to be in such a position and I must defend myself".

"And in order to defend myself I cannot continue to be a minister as I have for the past two years, giving my all. You (the press) are my witnesses, I have dedicated all my energies and all my time, perhaps making mistakes, doing what I thought was best," he added.

"For the past ten days I have been in a very difficult situation. I have been at the center of an unprecedented media campaign and without being under investigation. I myself have spent nights and days examining the press trying to understand what is going on," Scajola said.

"I have received messages of support from Premier (Silvio) Berlusconi, his government and our People of Freedom party and appreciate the responsible and institutional attention shown by the opposition," the outgoing minister added.

"In order to take part in politics, which is a noble art with a capital P, one must have a clean slate and not be overshadowed by suspicions," he said .

Scajola has denied wrongdoing, saying his 2004 deal to purchase a 180-square meter apartment which overlooks the Colosseum was totally above board. Lawyers for Diego Anemone, the businessman said to have helped buy the flat, told news agencies on Monday their client categorically denied any involvement, saying the press reports were "totally made up" and without "a shred of proof".

"I've never paid for anyone's house," his lawyers quoted Anemone as saying.

During Tuesday's press conference Scajola said that "should it be proven that my apartment was paid for by others without my knowing the existence of the ulterior motives, my lawyers will move to have the acquisition annulled".

Anemone and three other people - among whom the former head of the state public works office, Angelo Balducci - were arrested in February by prosecutors probing alleged graft in public tenders for the construction of state venues, including the renovation of the original site of last year's G8 summit on the Sardinian island of La Maddalena and a police barracks in Florence.

Scajola has maintained that he took out a bank mortgage to pay the previous owners of his apartment, sisters Beatrice and Barbara Papa, 610,000 euros for the first-floor flat in a 1950s apartment block.

The press has noted that the price was considerably below its market price in 2004.

An architect working for Anemone, Angelo Zampolini, is reported to have told magistrates that he was given 900,000 euros in cash from the businessman to convert into 80 cashiers checks which were handed over to the sisters to cover the difference between the asking price and the amount paid by Scajola.

The 80 checks were later deposited by the Papa sisters.

Scajola was forced to resign from a previous Berlusconi government in July 2002 after sparking controversy by making derogatory remarks about slain Labor Ministry aide Marco Biagi. Biagi was gunned down the previous March by the Red Brigades after being denied a police escort by Scajola.

In off-the-cuff remarks, Scajola said Biagi had been a "pain in the ass" and that had Biagi been given an escort "three people would have been killed instead of one.".

Please, a moment of silence for Minister Scajola...we're going to miss the "grandissimo figlio di una porca".

Now that he is no longer Italy's Minister of Industry, he can dedicate all his free time to finding out "who paid for his home in Rome (with a view of the Roman Coliseum) without his knowledge of it."

Someone has to explain to us how this works because we're obviously too stupid to get it. For example, most of our readers are homeowners. So, when you return at home after a long day of having your "coglioni" busted at work, you are well aware that..."CAVOLO", YOU'RE PAYING FOR THAT HOME YOU OWN!

And it's a good thing the police informed him of the scam for he was probably a few days away from going to his attorney's office to close the deal on the ownership of the "Fountain of Trevi"...without his knowledge of it. But let's look at the bright side. The ex-minister could be the only criminal placed under house arrest with a gorgeous view of the Coliseum.

This isn't the first time the unconscious ex-minister has fallen into trouble. In 1982, he spent 72 days in jail for accompanying the mayor of Sanremo to a meeting where the mayor was to collect a kickback for the construction of a casino in his city. Scajola was acquitted because he was not "aware" that the mayor was to pick up a kickback.

This is the sad story of a man who does not have any "knowledge" of what is going on around him...nor even what he has in his pockets. A man who has lived the past 28 years of his life without his "knowledge" of it.


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Monkeys and Apes Sulk Like Italians

Rome - May 6, 2010 - Animal primates throw sulks just like their human counterparts, according to a conference staged at Rome's Biopark Zoo on Thursday.

The seminar on primate behavior looked at communication techniques between apes, monkeys and prosimians, the group that includes lemurs.

"We wanted to get a broad-ranging view of how primates communicate," explained the event's organizer and primate researcher, Elisabetta Palagi of Pisa University.

"Gesturing is typical of primates close to humans but we have also discovered that gestures are adapted to many different situations and used in a variety of contexts and situations".

All primates communicate to some extent through smell, gesture, vocalizations and facial expressions but the emphasis on each varies according to how far the species has moved along the evolutionary scale. The more evolved the animal becomes, the less it relies on smell, for example.

The distinctive striped tail of the ring-tailed lemur not only sends out clear visual signs to other lemurs, it is also used to mark territory, explained Palagi. Male lemurs assert their dominance by impregnating their tail with scent and wafting it at opponents.

The great apes, the primates closest to humans, rely less on scent and more on acoustic communication and clear, exaggerated facial gestures.

Both bonobos and chimpanzees, like humans, use exaggerated and repetitive gestures during play and are able to 'catch' yawns from one another. They also use head gestures such as nodding, bowing and shaking to interact with other group members, to initiate sexual contact or indicate happiness.

But expressing annoyance through body language is also common. Chimps are particularly well known for sulking or resorting to 'rude' and aggressive hand gestures - clearly recognizable as such to human onlookers - when they don't get their own way.

And just like human toddlers, some baby monkeys have even learned that throwing a temper tantrum in public is a good way to get results.

Research on rhesus macaques in the wild revealed that mothers were more likely to give their baby extra food if there were irritated bystanders nearby.

More interesting facts about monkeys and Italians:

- Monkeys never catch cold. (Southern Italians never catch cold unless they are public, state employees, which in that case they will call in sick to work every 3 days.)

- Yawning of a monkey means that either he is tired or he is mad at something. (Yawning of an Italian means that he is tired from eating a 4-6 course meal and mad at the relative for insisting that he eats more.)

- Howler monkeys are the loudest monkeys and their howl can be heard as far as 10 miles away. (Napolitani are the loudest monkeys and their annoying and incoherent babble can be heard as far as the next Napoletano town.)

- Monkeys live in groups, known as troops, and travel together to find food. (Sicilian construction workers associate in groups, known as 'asini' (jackasses), and travel together to Northern Italy to find work.

- Monkeys can breed at any time of the year. (Italians are fantastic lovers that can breed at any time of the day but we can no longer afford it.)

- Monkeys use vocalizations, facial expressions and body movements to communicate. (Southern Italians use vocalizations, facial expressions and body movements to communicate too but we can't keep our mouths shut the same.)


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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