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 2010
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"Uh, I wouldn't want to swim in Italy..."



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"Ciao ragazzi!" We welcome you to the Italian Development Cooperation Newsletter of Mozzarella, "Only In Italy!"

It's still too early to tell but the day could end without a stupid casualty. Mah...    

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

Mafia Turncoat Counts His Last Days As Witness Protection Program Request Is Denied

Rome - June 15, 2010 - A Mafia turncoat who alleged that Premier Silvio Berlusconi had links with Cosa Nostra has been denied access to a special witness protection program.

The Interior Ministry said Tuesday that Gaspare Spatuzza's application had been denied because an important part of the testimony he gave came after the deadline of 180 days from the start of his cooperation with the authorities.

However, the Interior Ministry committee that manages access to such programs stressed that Spatuzza would continue to have ''ordinary measures of protection considered adequate for the level of risk reported''.

Spatuzza told an appeals court in December that Giuseppe Graviano, a powerful boss convicted of a string of bombings in 1993, had confided to him that Berlusconi and his aide Marcello Dell'Utri helped Cosa Nostra. Spatuzza alleged that during a meeting at a Rome bar in 1994, Gravina told him that Berlusconi and Dell'Utri were "serious people" who had given the Mafia a hand.

He was testifying at Dell'Utri's appeal trial against a 2004 conviction for helping the Mafia.

Berlusconi denies any wrongdoing and Graviano and other mobsters rejected Spatuzza's version of events during court hearings. Dell'Utri, who worked for Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest from 1974 till 1994 and then played a key role in creating Berlusconi's Forza Italia party in the early 1990s, denies all charges against him.

Gaspare Spatuzza: Sicilian house painter convicted for 6 bombings and 40 murders.

On renewed faith in religion:
"Forgiveness comes from God and not us. We can give Him our full support and backing."
(Maybe he's not such a bad guy. After all, he has discovered God. Maybe he deserves access to the special witness protection program.)

On Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister:
"He had links to the Mafia dating at least to the early 1990s, and had struck a deal with Cosa Nostra bosses which we boasted had put the country in our hands."
(A little delusional but he's starting to confirm the doubts the Italians have always had with the perma-tanned, mutton head psycho-dwarf who runs our country. He still deserves to be enrolled in the protection program)

A Caravaggio painting, "Nativity with Saints Francis and Lawrence", worth 30 million USD, was stolen from the oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo in 1969:
"The painting was repeatedly displayed during important mob summits as a sign of prestige and power of the clan that hosted the meeting. It was kept hidden in a farm outbuilding in Palermo where it was eventually eaten by rats and pigs. Afterwards, it was burned."
("Porca miseria," so sad. Who was the "testa di cazzo" art connoisseur among the construction workers who make up the most part of Mafia organizations? And they couldn't find a better place than "The Louvre" of pig slop in Palermo to hide the painting? I'm really starting to doubt this protection program request).

On Giancarlo Caselli, the former public prosecutor in Palermo:
"We'll blow you up...with a surface-to-air missile, which arrived to us from Yugoslavia. We'll fire it at the helicopter which flies you from Punta Raisi Airport to Boccadifalco."
(Hmmm...Take care and "addio", Spatuzza. Don't let the cemetery gate hit you on the ass on the way in.)


Phony Priest Blesses Police Who Arrest Him

Rome - June 14, 2010 - A thief who disguised himself as a priest to rob a Catholic college in Rome became so caught up in his holy pretence that he blessed the police officers who helped foil his bid to steal a batch of antique books.

The fake cleric, a 52-year-old Venezuelan, mingled among students and teachers on Saturday at the city's Venerable English College, a seminary for priests for England and Wales, before heading to its library and nabbing 25,000-euros worth of books.

But the college's vice rector became suspicious when the unfamiliar man could not explain what he was doing there.

When questioned furthered he took flight but was stopped before he could make off with his haul of seven tomes.

Officers said that, even when the game was up, the man kept up the part, blessing them by making the sign of the cross before being taken into custody.

Police said they were familiar with the man following attempts to steal antique books and works of art elsewhere.

Rome is so wonderful. Anyone can just stroll in a Catholic institute with a convincing religious costume and begin blessing at 360 degrees. He could have said he was Lazarus from the biblical times and we think he still would have gotten away with it.

"Madonna mia, I was in a coma for four days until my doctor, Gesu, pulled me out of it, bless his heart! Dear brothers, when do we break bread? I'm famished."

It's also amazing how the priests can be all open arms with the South American brother...until a superior comes to his holy senses that something is amiss because an "insubordinate" finds himself within the vicinity of something very "sacred" (in other words, of high cash value).

Vice Rector: "Brother Lazarus, what would Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have thought of your actions?"
Lazarus: "I do not know, Father. Didn't they have a few hit songs in the 60's?"

Lazarus (at the moment of his arrest): "The handcuffs are too tight, my son! Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

"Remember, dear officers, non fare il male ch'č peccato; non fare il bene ch'č sprecato."
(Don't do evil because it's a sin; don't do good because it's wasted.)


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EU Environment Commissioner: "Uh, I wouldn't want to swim in Italy..."

Brussels - June 13, 2010 - The quality of bathing waters at European beaches, both inland and at the seaside, have improved steadily over recent years, the EU observer reported Friday.

As of last year, a full 96 percent of coastal beaches met EU minimum standards and 90 percent of beaches next to rivers and lakes, according to the latest annual "bathing water report" from the European Commission. This is up from an 80 percent compliance rate for seasides in 1990 and 52 percent for inland waters.

"Over the last 30 years, EU and national legislation has significantly improved the quality of Europe's bathing waters but our work does not end here," said environment commissioner Janez Potocnik upon the report's publication on Thursday.

"Despite our decade-long track record of high quality, we need to keep up the effort constantly to both improve and maintain what we have achieved."

Almost all the seaside beaches in Cyprus, France, Greece and Portugal complied with the EU's tougher "guide values." However, some two percent of coastal bathing sites had to be banned in 2009 and most of these were in one member state - Italy.

Additionally, just 46.4 percent of Italian inland bathing sites met the EU's minimum quality levels last year, down 19.4 percent from 2008. The findings prompted the commissioner to suggest he would not go swimming in the country.

"Italy has work to do," he said. "I don't know about the discrepancies, but I'm swimming on the other side."

Freshwater bathing sites showed greater variation in their water quality, according to the commission, but the best lakeside or riverside places to swim are in Finland, France, Germany and Sweden.

"Porca miseria", I don't know about the discrepancies either but I hope no one lights a match while I dip my toes in!

"Ah-ah-ah! Abbronzatissima!"
"sotto i raggi del sole, come č bello sognare, abbracciato con te."

(For 2010, a day at an Italian beach for a family of four will cost a whopping average of 95 Euros or $120 USD. This includes sun beds, beach umbrella, light lunch, gelato, and the 3-5 Euro fee for the illegal, shady, son-of-a-whore parking attendant who points to where you WILL park your car.

"Ah-ah-ah! Abbronzatissima!"
"a due passi dal mare, come č dolce sentirti, respirare con me."

(27 percent of the garbage collected from our beaches happen to be cigarette butts. Of course, a more appropriate and civil place to discard such refuse would be down the person's bathing suit. But that's neither here nor there.)

"Ah-ah-ah! Abbronzatissima!"
"Sulle labbra tue dolcissime, un profumo di salsedine, sentirņ per tutto il tempo di questa estate d'amor."

(At the private beaches in Italy you'll find the prime beach area, perfectly aligned sun beds and umbrellas, the beautiful boy who walks around "filtering" the sand for tiny garbage, attractive female "escorts" working on their perfect tans, and sparkling conversation about Italian politics, lifestyles, and everyone's evasion.)

(The limited free beach area, usually off to some side, you'll find incredibly cultured Italians with their towels, multi-colored umbrellas, and crappy beach chairs in complete disarray; third rate "escorts" taking a bath after a hard day's night, scattered empty lasagna trays and gelato wrappers, and the most colossal and incoherent argument erupting from any given family over why Filippo did not deserve to be left back in school.)


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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