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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"Inquisitions and Catholic School Nuns"

(05/28/04)

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"Bentornati!" Welcome to the only Italian newsletter that will, one day, be published regularly and on time, "Only In Italy!"

Thank God the summer is over!

Ciao! All of us at the news office sincerely wish all our wonderful subscribers have enjoyed their summer, restored some good health and are prepared for the upcoming autumn.

We hope we can imagine all of your beaming and shiny smiles in front of your monitors after you have shipped ship your ungrateful mongrels back to school and you return to your exciting lives.

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       

 

Italians in Uproar Over Noise, Seek to Bid Arriverderci to Nightly Racket

Rome - July 20, 2004 - From Alpine towns to Sicily, noise pollution has become a leading complaint in Italy, a country where having a carefree summer is a major preoccupation.

In Turin, police have mounted Green Patrols to monitor excessive nightly noise downtown. Residents of the Quadrilatero Romano restaurant and bar district hung banners from their windows this month, pleading, "We want to sleep" and "Rest is golden."

In Milan, police patrols were extended to crack down on bars that stay open beyond 2 a.m. and to clear plazas of revelers, some of whom have been pelted by bags of water tossed from the apartments of irate local residents.

In Naples, beach parties along the city's seafront have created late-night traffic jams featuring the roar of motorcycles.

In 1997, the central government ordered cities to zone commercial urban areas for maximum noise, with an upper limit of 70 decibels in industrial zones. Environmental teams measure decibel levels up and down Italy, ranking the clatter of silverware at outdoor cafes and the chatter of pub clientele as hazards of Italian urban life comparable to smog and uncollected trash.

The effort was designed in part to shift discos and other thumping establishments to nonresidential neighborhoods.

As a result, bars and discos are scattered throughout Italian cities, and so are the pounding pop music, drunken talk and revved-up engines that go with them.

Outdoor summer entertainment is one of Italy's most cherished traditions. For centuries, a stroll through the plaza was a key ritual for those interested in socializing and flirtation.

One such romping place in Rome is Campo de' Fiori, an old, open-air market square that over the past few years has become ringed by bars catering to the young.

Tour operators have lured foreign travelers, who add to the inebriated din. For about $17, tourists can sign up for a pub crawl that begins near the Colosseum with an all-you-can-drink binge and continues on to four dance halls where the first shot is included in the tour price.

Disturbances in Camp de' Fiori have broken out frequently this summer, police say. Last month, youths threw tables at police who were trying to break up an impromptu midnight soccer game in the square.

This month, Rome banned drinking from bottles on city streets except for milk.

"Our interest was only to reconcile the interests of residents with the thousands of people who frequent this plaza," said the city's commerce adviser, Daniela Valentini.

Bottling-company lobbyists complained that the ban was discriminatory and said that if the city wanted to improve public order in the plaza, it should provide more police.

Even the pope seems to have had it with Roman noise. Speaking at his Alpine summer retreat recently, John Paul II invited everyone to rediscover silence, "a blessing ever more rare in modern society."

"Silenzio, porca puttana!"

Youths throwing tables at police? Since when did the "Campo dei Fiori" in Rome turn into the real-life movie set of "Spartacus"?

These scooter hooligans should take a good look at the center of that square. There stands a monument to Giordano Bruno, who in 1600 was burned at the stake as a heretic for contending that the universe has no center and criticizing the Church's involvement in politics.

The next time another heretic comes up with the philosophic idea of an impromptu soccer game in the square, the police should step in, set up an impromptu stake and start burning away. They could fuel the fire with soccer balls, scooters and the hundreds of bottles of liquor that scatter the square. And the charges could be for contending that their heads don't whistle when wind blows through them.

Let's all have a good laugh and then get a good night's sleep!

 

Vatican Dismisses Inquisition Myths

Vatican City - June 15, 2004 - The Vatican has published a new study on the abuses committed by the medieval Inquisition and come to a rather surprising conclusion - that in fact the much feared judges of heresy were not as brutal as previously believed.

According to the 800-page report, the Inquisition that spread fear throughout Europe throughout the Middle Ages did not use execution or torture to anything like the extent history would have us believe.

In fact the book's editor, Professor Agostino Borromeo, claims that in Spain only 1.8% of those investigated by the notorious Spanish Inquisition were killed.

Nonetheless, as the report was published, Pope John Paul II apologized once more for the interrogators' excesses, expressing sorrow for "the errors committed in the service of the truth by the recourse to non-Christian methods".

The recourse to torture and the death sentence weren't so frequent as it long has been believed

But the Pope stopped short of breaking the age-old Vatican rule on not condemning your predecessors. Pope Gregory IX created the Inquisition in 1233 to curb heresy, or denial of truths of the Catholic faith, but he was not mentioned in the Pope's statement.

After the Roman Catholic Church consolidated its power across Europe in the 12th and 13th Century, it set up the Inquisition to ensure that heretics did not undermine that authority.

It took the form of a network of ecclesiastical tribunals equipped with judges and investigators.

The punishments meted out for wrongdoers ranged from being forced to visit churches and make pilgrimages, to life imprisonment or execution by burning at the stake.

A key component of the Inquisition was that it did not wait for complaints and accusations to be made, but actively sought out so-called heretics, who included witches, diviners, blasphemers and members of other sects.

The accused did not have the right to face and question their accuser and it was acceptable to take testimony from criminals and excommunicated people.

The Inquisition reached its peak in the 16th Century as it battled the Reformation, but its most famous trial was that of Galileo in 1633, condemned for claiming the earth revolved around the sun.

The Spanish Inquisition which became independent from the Vatican in the 15th Century, carried out some of the most infamous abuses under its "autos da f" or act of faith, shorthand for death by burning.

They zealously tortured victims, held summary trials, forced conversions and passed death sentences.

"There is no doubt that at the start, the planned procedures were applied with an excessive rigour, which in some cases degenerated into true abuses," the Vatican study simply says of this dark period.

But the Vatican report, the product of a six-year investigation, insists that the Inquisition was not as bad as often believed.

Professor Borromeo says for example that for 125,000 trials of suspected heretics in Spain, less than 2% were executed.

He says that often mannequins were burned to represent those tried in absentia and condemned to death and heretics and witches who repented at the last minute were given some sort of relief when they were strangled before being burnt.

Among those targeted by the interrogators were the Waldensians, members of a Protestant sect declared heretical in the 12th Century.

"If there are many or few cases, it doesn't matter. What's important is you don't say, 'I am right and you are wrong and I burn you'," said Thomas Noffke, a US-born Waldensian pastor in Rome.

According to the study, in the Inquisition's heyday Germany killed more male and female witches than anywhere else, with some 25,000 people being put to death.

"Santa Maria!" How can that pearly white Vatican claim that the Inquisition didn't use brutal torture when in fact it still promotes a similar, less conspicuous and more dangerous network? Catholic School Nuns!

These often ugly judges of heresy ensure that heretics did not undermine there authority.
If you're 8 years old and attend an Italian Catholic school with these lunatics, the last thing on your mind is to undermine any form of authority. All you want is to make it home, just once, without crapping in your pants.

The punishments meted out for wrongdoers ranged from being forced to visit churches and make pilgrimages, to life imprisonment or execution by burning at the stake.
Luckily, the nuns no longer practice burnings at the stake but they replaced it with whacking knuckles with wooden rulers which proved to be more painful for us and satisfying for them.

A key component of the Inquisition was that it did not wait for complaints and accusations to be made, but actively sought out so-called heretics, who included witches, diviners, blasphemers and members of other sects.
Where are you going to find witches, diviners and blasphemers in Catholic elementary schools? Those poor kids are just trying to pass math and social studies.

The accused did not have the right to face and question their accuser and it was acceptable to take testimony from criminals and excommunicated people.
It's hard to face and question your accusers when they have you standing in the corner with your arms out holding school textbooks until recess (and not to mention that some of these criminals and excommunicated people were the nuns themselves)!

Its most famous trial was that of Galileo in 1633, condemned for claiming the earth revolved around the sun.
Catholic school kids would claim that the earth revolves around their ass just to avoid any further inquisitions, beatings and traumas.

 

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Italian Attorney Taormina To Defend Saddam

Rome - July 29, 2004 - "After Anna Maria Franzoni, I will work with Saddam Hussein. His sister called me from Jordan to ask me to be part of the defense team," said Taormina in an interview with local newspapers.

Taormina said, "I always thought that the worst defendant had the right to be treated with dignity, therefore I accepted the challenge."

"Bravo!" He should put on a cowboy hat, get on a jackass, ride out of town and go play "bocce" in Puglia somewhere.

Just goes to show that Italian attorneys are low-level brain powered people that just recently crawled out of the sea.

They crawled, formed spines and actually walked upright. They are still celebrating walking erect. Every September 10, Italian attorneys celebrate "Walking Erect Day". Its a big and beautiful Italian national holiday.

 

Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
 
 
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