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 2004
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"Wealthy Italian Doctors and the Annoying George Clooney."


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"Buon Giorno!" Welcome to the only issue that insists there is nothing wrong with eating horse meat hamburgers, "Only In Italy!"

Ciao everybody at "Only In Italy"!

I read your article on olive oil and found it to be very interesting. I'm organizing a very important barbecue dinner for my husband's relatives who are mostly Italian and I need to know what brand of Italian dressing is considered very good here in California. How about a Caesar salad dressing? Thanks for any help! Concetta

Thanks for the question out of left field, Concetta!

Supposedly, the Caesar salad was invented around 1903 by Giacomo Junia, an Italian cook in Chicago, Illinois. Giacomo called the salad, Caesar Salad, after Julius Caesar, the greatest Italian of all time.

Sorry but no real Italian would use it. Authentic Italian dressing consists of just olive oil and vinegar (balsamic vinegar is ok), salt and maybe pepper. That is it! No garlic powder is in any real Italian dressing. And it is not an already prepared, bottled industrial product but rather it is mixed at the table with the above-mentioned ingredients.

In Italian restaurants, when you order a salad, you will normally be expected to prepare the dressing yourself and will be provided with an oil and vinegar set. In an oil producing area, the hosts will not be surprised if you ask for some olive oil to sprinkle on the bread while you are waiting for your meal to be served.

By the way, if Julius Caesar was still alive he would have shoved that dressing up where the sun doesn't shine on Giacomo Junia!

On our next issue, Concetta, we're going to help you choose the right water pik for your home!

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       


Italian Study Finds Apples Can Protect Against Stomach Cancer

Rome - June 30, 2004 - Eating at least two apples a day may reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer, Italian media quoted a new study from the University of Naples as reporting on Tuesday.

Italian researchers said in the study, soon to be published in the prestigious international gastroenterology journal GUT, substances in apples have a major protective effect on stomach.

They apparently achieve their beneficial effects by warding off damage produced by free radicals, the culprits in a number of processes including aging and the development of gastric tumors, the study aid.

The research team, led by Camillo Del Vecchio Blanco and Marco Romano of Naples' Federico II University, found that the benefits of apple extracts were due to their high content of anti-oxidants like catechin and chlorogenic acid.

The apple extract, along with the chlorogenic acid, was shown to inhibit the growth of stomach cancer cells.

"The next stage is to move on to testing in humans and measuring the effect of the active ingredients of apples as gastro-protective agents," Romano said.

"It is possible to conceive using these substances in other specific cases, such as when patients have to take anti-inflammatory drugs."

"In this case the apple extracts reduce the negative effects that these medicines have on gastric mucous," he said.

"Bravo!" It's comforting to know that Italian doctors can contribute to the world of science when they're not on one of their numerous espresso coffee breaks.

However, the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", holds no validity in Italy. You can starve and infect yourselves and they'll still keep away.

Here are a few interesting facts you should know about Italian doctors:

1.) Although Italy is practically infested with doctors, they are very hard to find!
2.) Over 90% are employed by the state and have private practices on the side!
3.) Leaving a receipt or invoice of your visit is a practice they do not learn in medical school!
4.) They only accept cash as payment!
5.) They can claim 25,000 Euros a year on their income taxes but purchase 500,000 Euros of real estate without losing a wink of sleep.
6.) After they retire, they receive a special retirement bonus from the Italian government that ranges from 50,000 to 300,000 Euros.

Now you understand why Italians will throw an apple, a pear, or any kind of fruit or vegetable at a doctor to keep them away!


George Clooney Angers Italian Neighbors

Como - July 1, 2004 - George Clooney has angered neighbors surrounding his $7.2 million mansion by Italy's Lake Como by descending on local village Laglio with Hollywood pals Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

Clooney, 43, is staying at his Villa Oleandra home while filming Ocean's Twelve leaving locals exasperated at the sight of his fellow co-stars, their partners Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Snowdon and Luciana Barroso and their bodyguards.

Resident Stefano Magnoli says, "We want him out. We are not happy with him staying here with his big group of Hollywood friends.

"It's like we are fenced into our own homes and not able to go out as freely as we would like to.

"Wherever you go you have to carry ID cards and this has not made it easy. I have to show bodyguards my ID when I go to the post office, even the local shops."

However one local businessman is delighted with the extra tourism, with hordes of fans descending on the picturesque setting in the hope of spotting the Hollywood hunks.

Nearco Folloni, owner of Bar Laterna, enthuses, "It's great for business, not with the actors, but from the people looking for the actors."

"Per Favore!" Can you believe the size of the "coglioni" of these people?

George, Brad and Matt obviously don't understand that their neighbors are very important people with very important functions in life. First, they have to get to the bar before 10:30 for their first espresso coffee. If Clooney stops them from getting to that bar in time, their entire day could be reduced to shambles.

Second, how can they eat their spicy 'pasta and fagioli' in peace with a bare-chested Brad Pitt walking around in Clooney's garden?

Third, they don't want to be disturbed during their 2-3 hour siesta especially by people who want to inquire about purchasing their properties for 2-3 times the market value.


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Separations and Divorce On the Fast Rise in Italy

Rome - July 2, 2004 - In Italy the number of couples who separate or divorce is constantly growing, according to research by ISTAT, who has studied the data of 165 civil courts during the period 1995 to 2002.

In 2002 there were 79,642 separations and 41,835 divorces, with a positive change compared to 2001 at 4.9 pct and 4.5 pct respectively. If this figure is compared with 1995, it reveals how in Italy, separations and divorces have more than doubled, by 52.2 pct and 54.7 pct respectively in 1995, there were 52,323 separations and 27,038 divorces.

From the research it emerges that if, in 1995, from a group of 1,000 marriages, there were around 158 separations and 80 divorces, seven years later (in 2002) the proportions have grown, reaching 257 separations and 131 divorces in every 1,000 marriages.

The divorce rate in Italy however, still does not reach the levels of many northern European countries. In Italy in fact, the divorce rate is the equivalent to 0.7 every 1,000 inhabitants, well below the European average, which has settled at 1.9 divorces every 1,000. Still - ISTAT reveals - it must pointed out that almost everywhere in Europe the dissolution of marriage happens via divorce almost at the same time as the couple decides to stop living together.

In Italy, divorces be preceded by at least three years of legal separation, but not all the separations then turn into divorce. In other words, for the current norms in Italy, the separations represent the first - and often the last - stage of the process to an end of the marriage.

if you consider the separation rate in Italy (and not just divorce), the gap with other European countries is reduced substantially: in 2001 the rate out of every 1,000 inhabitants was 1 to 3.

"Sta Pippa!" What a surprise!

What are the grounds for divorce according to Italian husbands?

1.) She flushes everything down the toilet except the cat,
2.) The one time breakfast was served cold,
3.) She paces herself like a Sicilian regional employee,
4.) Insists on preparing Sunday 'braciole' with horse meat.

What are the grounds for divorce according to Italian wives?

1.) (Husbands with bad toupees) How can he run a marriage if he can't run his own head?
2.) He has more food caught in his teeth than I eat the whole day,
3.) He puts the cigarette ashes in the kid's shirt pockets,
4.) Can get more intelligence and better conversation from Michelangelo's David.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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