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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June 2004
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"The Laziness Conference"


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"Salve!" Welcome to the only newsletter that would have convinced Mark Antony that Cleopatra was a pig, "Only In Italy!"

Buon Giorno, Pasquale (was my father's name too)!

I am bene! I love your newsletter, it is always fun, interesting and educational. I've learned a lot about the "homeland" by reading it and picked up some really good ways to insult people who deserve it! You all do such a good job on that part... I always look to see if there is a new one I can use!

You know, I'm trying to learn to speak Italian, and I have met a wonderful young woman from Florence who is an exchange student here in our area. She is coming over to visit us and is helping me with my Italian... I have a lot to learn too! I wish I had known about her sooner, I would have invited her to stay at our home for the year she is here. I haven't taught her any of our "bad" words yet or insults but I will have to teach her some. Just as in Italy, a person has to know how to handle people who are a pain in the tush!

I enjoy hearing from you so stay "tuned", Rita

Thanks for the letter, Rita.

We're happy to hear that our 3rd grade level newsletters are teaching you so much about the "homeland". You can always learn a lot more just by interrogating Miss Florence. Ask her the following:

1.) Why do most Red Brigade terrorist members come from Florence? Wouldn't it be more fun to throw in a few recruits from Naples?
2.) Isn't it cute that 90% of Italians insist that the Mafia doesn't exist?
3.) Why are there showgirls on every single Italian TV show and do their heads whistle when air blows through them?
4.) Italians in Italy are undisputedly the most unfaithful lovers in the world. Why is that?

Rita, after you ask these questions, make sure to measure her temperature.

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       


Italian Couple Tie the Knot In Shark Tank

Cattolica - July 31, 2004 - Most people get married flanked by friends but an Italian couple tied the knot in a shark tank surrounded by the creatures they want to save.

Daniela Consolaro, 31, and Maurizio Andreosi, 40, each wearing bubble-helmet immersion suits, were lowered in a cage into the shark tank at the aquarium in Cattolica on the Adriatic coast on Saturday.

Fourteen sharks swam around looking bored as the couple, his nickname is Bull Shark and hers is Nurse Shark, responded "I do" to Mayor Pietro Pazzaglini, communicating via a phone link.

The couple wanted to draw attention to finning, a practice where fins are cut off for use in shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in Japan and elsewhere in Asia.

Environmentalists say the practice is severely depleting shark populations around the world.

"Madonna Santa." All this to stop a bowl of soup!

Some Italians just don't know what to do with themselves. But, then again, it doesn't make much difference where and how you get married in Italy (particularly in the south). You'll be surrounded by sharks anyway.

You should particularly watch out for the females grouped together and dressed in death black. They seem so harmless but they'll rip the flesh right off of you with a stare.

Hmmm... Someone should have told that happy couple that if God wanted us to see fish, they'd walk on land!


Italy National Service Finally Comes To An End

Rome - August 14, 2004 - Farewell to national service. The last young conscript to be called up for military service will leave home no later than December 31 2004. From January 1 next year, that's it. After the end of the year, no more young men will be summoned to the recruiting offices to get ready for the "naja", as military service is known.

The last to go will be males born in 1985. Defense minister, free-marketeer Antonio Martino, has ever since his arrival at the ministry viewed military service as an "unjust tax" levied on young men. Mr. Martino has decided to abolish it two years earlier than scheduled and yesterday, his bill became law. There was applause from both sides of the chamber after the vote. One hundred and fifty three years after national service was introduced, the lower house approved the provisions that will abolish it. Opposition parties also voted in favor.

The armed forces will follow the example of almost all other Western countries and will be made up exclusively of professionals, that is young people who enlist as volunteers and choose the military life as a career.

Remuneration for a year of military service comprises a salary of 850 Euros a month for the first three months, and 980 euros in subsequent months. Anyone refusing to wear uniform for a minimum period of 12 months will not be admitted to the examinations for entry into the law enforcement forces.

Clause ten deals with the "Alpini", the mountain troops. The Alpini are granted a status of excellence in the context of the army. This means that those who choose to don the feathered Alpino hat will be entitled to a special incentive allowance that will boost their salary by about ten per cent. In addition, an Alpino headquarters will be maintained in all the regions where the mountain troops have traditionally been rooted. The provisions will encourage above all young people resident in northern Italy to enlist.

Mr. Martino calls the law "an epoch-making measure" that is in the "interests of many young people who have hitherto been hindered by military service from entering the world of work". It is not just to the advantage of young people, adds junior defense minister Salvatore Cicu, "the armed forces themselves will also benefit as they need professionals for their arduous missions abroad".

"Christo, finalmente!" Be all you can be at 980 Euros a month!

Hmmm... But if it's adventure you're looking for you, can always join the elite mountain infantry regiment; the "Alpini". You'll get 98 Euros more a month and get to wear a stylish hat with a feather. This is the same feathered elite regiment that accidentally invaded Sweden in May of 2000:

May 2000 - For most of the armies taking part, it was a routine exercise that involved little more than turning up at the right place. For Italy's elite mountain infantry regiment, this proved too much. The 116 soldiers from the Alpini unit were due to arrive at Kristiansand in Norway on Saturday for a NATO exercise.

Nobody had consulted a map, however.

Puzzled immigration officers at the airport of Kristianstad in Sweden watched as the troops, in their distinctive Alpine caps decorated with feathers, disembarked some 300 miles from where they should have been. "It does not seem to have occurred to anyone in the unit that Sweden is not part of NATO," local newspapers commented. "Kristiansand and Kristianstad may sound remarkably similar, but that is no excuse for Italy invading Sweden in error." Kristiansand is on the southern Norwegian coast, facing Denmark, while Kristianstad is in southern Sweden, not far from Malmo.

The incident comes at a particularly embarrassing time for the authorities, who are trying to counteract an "unfair and outdated" image of the Italian military as comically inept. Defense Ministry officials said that the plane had been chartered from a civil airline. The flight had "not followed the usual military procedures".

They should burn the feathers and buy a map and compass!


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Delegates Organize and Attend Laziness Conference

Rome - August 8, 2004 - The pressures and rhythms of modern life often prompt people to seek new ways of unwinding; a course of yoga, a massage or a long stroll.

In Italy, though, a group of people are this weekend proposing a different approach to the problem. Their answer; simply do nothing.

The first National Convention of the Idle is taking place in a village near the Swiss border. Organizers say they hope the whole concept of idleness can be re-evaluated.

According to one of the organizers, comic actor and writer Gianni Fantoni, idleness is not a vice but a sign of intelligence, as idle people find smart ways of getting the same results with less effort. He says it is also an elixir of long life in a world of deadlines.

Compulsory siesta

Italy's lazybones will gather, if they can be bothered, in the mountain village of Champoluc, where they can comfortably arrive by cable car.

The event will include an exhibition of idleness through the ages, and a display of objects that reduce effort to a minimum, a dinner suit with shoes and socks incorporated, a rubbish bin with a chute attached, a mould to make snowballs without freezing your fingers and, almost a symbol of the movement, a hammock.

Participants have been promised that the seminar on idleness will last less than half an hour, a long siesta is obligatory and they will receive tips on perfecting laziness.

The organizers will also present a series of 10 commandments on how to avoid effort. These include letting others always make the first move, remembering that exercise is for other people, and never, ever volunteering for anything.

Underground motto: "Let's get nothing done and onward to the next cigarette."

9 proverbs written by lazy Italians:

"Chi ha fretta vada piano." Make haste slowly.

"Chi non fa, non falla." Those who do nothing, make no mistakes.

"Chi va piano va sano e va lontano." He who goes slowly goes far and surely.

"Il tempo viene per chi sa aspettare." All things come to those who wait.

"La gatta frettolosa fece i gattini ciechi." The hasty cat gave birth to blind kittens. Haste makes waste.

"Meglio tardi, che mai." Better late than never.

"Non destare il cane che dorme." Let sleeping dogs lie.

"Quando la pera matura, casca da s." All things happen in their own good time.

"Roma non fu fatta in un giorno." Rome wasn't built in a day.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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