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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"I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce than be unhappy on a bicycle."


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"Buon Giorno!" Welcome to another informative milk, fashion and soccer issue of "Only In Italy!"

Well, it's time for one of our rare lessons in Italian language class. Here's a great letter from one of our own "paesanos" that blew lots of sunshine up our behinds here at the news office.

Author: Spero proprio che l'autore del sito in questione sia capace di leggere questa mail nel tanto odiato idioma italico.
Translation: I hope the author of the site in question is capable of reading this mail in the totally loathed Italian language.

Author: (anche se l'ignoranza esposta nel sito mi da dei dubbi non da poco)
Translation: (even though the exposed ignorance from the site leaves me little doubt)

Author: Fate schifo,
Translation: You're disgusting, (fate is you, plural. It refers to all of us at the office.)

Author: mi piacerebbe sapere di quale nazionalità è l'autore, cosicchè noi si possa prendere in giro tutte le cagate del suo paese.
Translation: I would like to know what nationality the author is so that we can joke about all the crap of his country.

Author: Ti auguro le più grandi sfighe di questo mondo.
Translation: I wish you the biggest misfortunes in this world.

Hmmm...A lot of love in that letter!

We would like to respond to the angry "paesano" (fellow countryman) by writing that the nationality of the authors is...Italian!

Now, isn't that a kick in the "cocuzzolo" (crown)!

We appreciate your offer of writing material on our country, Italy, but we have more stories that we can handle. Don't be misled. There are many things we love about Italy; unfortunately, none of them come to mind right now. But I would like for you to sit back, our lovely and angry disciple, and drink in the warmth, the humor, and the truth that is "Only In Italy".

And please reflect on the important words once uttered from a famous Italian woman (Patrizia Reggiani; Gucci's wife and accused murderer), "I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce than be unhappy on a bicycle."

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and grazie!

Tanti Saluti, 
"Only In Italy" Staff


Milk Fraud: 412 People Busted in Northern Italy

Milan - July 3, 2004 - The Cremona nuclear anti-adulteration operation has resulted in 412 people being reported, 232 searches having been carried out throughout North Italy and many hundreds of liters of milk being seized. It has resulted in the discovery of a criminal association which adulterates milk that then ends up in dairies and on the premises of the large distributors.

The inquiry, which was managed by the Brescia public prosecutor's office, began just after a control was carried out on the produce in Mantova. Some milk samples were shown to have powdered milk added to them. The anti-adulteration police (NAS) reconstructed the different steps of its commercial history and discovered that the adulterated milk came from the Brescia company at Quinzano Doglio. It was there, the Carabinieri police discovered, that powdered milk had been added. But hydrogen peroxide and salt were not just added to stabilize the bacteria. 100 quintals of hydrogen peroxide and salt water were added to every 1,000 quintals of milk in order to produce more milk. Milk which ended up with the large distributors and dairies.

During the inquiry, the police also found that those who were reported were producing milk "beyond their quotas". Therefore, in addition to the adulteration of the milk, they were also defrauding and cheating the State. The provinces involved in this fraud are Milan, Mantova, Bergamo, Brescia (106 searches), Aosta, Cuneo and Torino. Four organization 'heads' are all shareholders in the companies involved. The firm at Quinzano, in particular, was sequestrated for a value of two million Euro. The inquiry also led the police to the Naples region where a firm there was using powdered milk.

In the course of their inquiry, police also found that bills issued by providers were made out to non-existent firms. The fraud to the State is proven to be worth up to 15 million Euro whilst the inquiry has calculated that it will have cost the State at least 60 million Euro.

"Got milk?"

You have to give us credit. What other country can take an unsuspecting and innocent beverage and practically 'milk' the world with it?

Parmalat: Europe's Enron

- One of the biggest financial fraud scandals in the history of this planet, Mars, and now, Saturn.
- It was revealed that a bank account at Bank of America said to be worth $5 billion didn't exist. An audit put the company's total debt at $18 billion. Parmalat has no plans to give any money back to old shareholders.
- Powdered milk worth hundreds of millions of dollars was never sold to Cuba as recorded.
- Many fear the whole of the financial system may be affected as foreign investors lose faith in Italy.

Italy Today: Prostitute Milk

- powdered milk
- nonexistent milk firms
- phony cows
- questionable gelato
- peculiar yogurt
- bogus cheese

What a mess! We can't believe we're going to have to move to Yemen!


The Gucci 'Black Widow' Wins Retrial Over Hitman Murder of Husband

Rome - July 10, 2004 - An Italian court yesterday ordered a retrial for a woman convicted over the 1995 death of her former husband, the fashion heir Maurizio Gucci, after her family claimed she was too brain-damaged to have committed the crime.

Patrizia Reggiani, dubbed the "black widow" by Italy’s press, was sentenced to 26 years in jail in 1998 for hiring a hitman to kill her estranged husband outside his Milan office in a Mafia-style hit.

Her family said she suffered the damage during surgery for a brain tumor many years ago, and it meant she could not have planned a murder. New medical tests show the extent of the brain damage, her defense said.

In addition to ordering the retrial, the court appointed four experts to write a new report on Reggiani’s mental health. The defense had argued that new medical tests not available in Italy during the original trial provided fresh evidence about her mental state.

"It’s a just and logical decision," the Reggiani’s lawyer, Danilo Buongiorno, said after the hearing in Mestre, near Venice.

Reggiani, who is serving a 26-year term, did not attend.

"We are partially satisfied," one of her daughters, Alessandra Gucci, said. "We are very worried for our mother, because she is not well. We hope she can come home soon."

It was not clear whether Reggiani would remain in jail pending the retrial.

Her first trial was the stuff of a Hollywood drama, from family feuds to clairvoyants and rumors of "cursed" evidence that gave court officials skin rashes.

Lawyers have said the retrial, requested by her daughters, Allegra, 22, and Alessandra, 29, will not question whether Reggiani ordered the murder, but whether she was sane after having a brain tumor removed in 1992.

In the original trial, the prosecution said Reggiani ordered the murder after her 12-year marriage to Maurizio ended and he moved in with a younger woman. The two allegedly fell out over the divorce settlement.

She had wanted £1 million but was given £650,000, which she labeled a "plate of lentils", and set about arranging the £180,000 hit on her husband. He was shot four times on his office doorstep.

Reggiani and three others, including a female clairvoyant, the hitman and getaway driver, were arrested and tried in 1998, three years after the murder in Milan.

The court heard a fascinating story of jealousy, hatred and betrayal that had eventually led to murder.

Prosecutors portrayed Reggiani as a gold digger who was furious after her husband dumped her for another woman.

She was once famously quoted as saying: "I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce than be unhappy on a bicycle," and the court heard how in her diary on the day of her former husband’s killing was written the word "Paradise".

Star witness at the original trial was Pina Auriemma, a clairvoyant to whom Reggiani turned to arrange the hit, but who turned informer at the trial.

In 2000, an appeals court in Milan upheld Reggiani’s conviction but reduced the sentence from 29 to 26 years.

Yesterday’s court proceedings in Venice come after a lengthy campaign by her daughters and will focus on new medical evidence.

When judges agreed to a retrial in May, the sisters issued a statement saying: "We want the truth. Our mother did not order any killing."

Mr. Buongiorno said before yesterday’s court hearing he would present expert reports and X-rays of Reggiani’s brain to prove the mental damage she had suffered.

"An instigator must have lucidity," Mr. Buongiorno told RAI state-run TV.

"How could an instigator have organized everything if she didn’t have mental capacity?"

Since she was jailed Reggiani’s health is said to have worsened. Three years ago she tried to hang herself with bed sheets in her cell at Milan’s tough Opera prison and had to be cut down by prison officers.

Maurizio Gucci was the grandson of Guccio Gucci, founder of the fashion company known for its luxury leather goods.

Maurizio had sold his controlling interest in the family fashion empire to an Arab investment company for £300 million three years before he was gunned down.

"Cristo!" Just look at how much history your very expensive Gucci bag contains:

- The founder's actual name was Guccio Gucci.
- Supposedly, during meetings, family and board members used to bash and beat themselves over the heads with their own Gucci bags.
- The so-called "black widow" wife eliminates one of the founding heirs.
- The murder trial has "cursed" evidence that gave court officials skin rashes.

She was once famously quoted as saying: "I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce than be unhappy on a bicycle." Is that the same as saying, "I'd rather hit myself over the head with a hammer than run into a brick wall?"

Her divorce: "She had wanted £ 1 million but was given £ 650,000, which she labeled a plate of lentils, and set about arranging the £ 180,000 hit on her husband." What a street smart executive woman! She didn't want that plate of lentils but spends 180,000 kidney beans to eliminate her husband.


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Italy Fans Toss Eggs at Danish Consulate

Rome - June 23, 2004 - Disgruntled Italy fans have hurled eggs at the Danish consulate in Milan in protest at their team's early exit from Euro 2004.

The attack, which happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning, was confirmed by Italian police, who added that no official complaint had been made.

Italy beat Bulgaria 2-1 in their final Group C match on Tuesday but Denmark's 2-2 draw with Sweden ended the Azzurri's participation in the tournament.

While most Italians blamed their own side's shortcomings for their departure, a minority remained convinced of a Scandinavian plot to dump them out.

In the past, Italy fans have found more subtle ways of showing their disappointment.

Two years ago a small Sicilian town named a block of public toilets after Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno, who many Italians blamed for their humiliating World Cup defeat by South Korea.

"Arrivederci Italia!"

Why the poor eggs? They should have hurled cartons of that prostitute milk we produce.

Speaking of shortcomings, our country has made many interesting "early exits" in the past:

1.) It was conquered by Napoleon when he was twenty-six (and we're still paying the price for that).
2.) It declared war on the United States in 1941 (you can't have an exit without an entrance).
3.) It lost both World Wars (and we sure had many things thrown at us).
4.) It occupied Ethiopia (and the Ethiopians couldn't have cared less).


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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