"Ciao Signore e Signori!" Welcome to another snap, crackle, pop and "uffaaa" issue of "Only In Italy!"
At some point, please explain to the American-Italians (mainly those who have never even been to Italy) that THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF BEING ITALIAN AND BEING SICILIAN!
We hate to see all Italians as being Sicilians and vise versa! Two very different ways of life and different ways of thinking! Unlike in the U.S.A., we haven't given up our Italian, Sardinian and Sicilian cultures to just "blend in as a melting pot" like all those in North America have done so with their many cultural backgrounds!
Here in Italy, Italian men don't wear gold chains around their necks and run around calling for their "Ma!" like they do in the States. Perhaps Sicilian & Naples men resemble this "character", but here in the North... NO WAY!
Other than this request...love your newsletter! Ciao Tutti! J Mattaini, Milano
You're absolutely correct, Matta! However; we'll elaborate your fun-packed statement to our subscribers who you just reminded to sell their gold chains they haven't worn since the late 80's.
Italy is divided in two. You have the Padania (northern Italy) and the Mezzogiorno (just about everything below the Padania borders.)
Southern Italy includes the regions of Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Apulia, Molise, Abruzzo, and Sicily.
According to the polenta connoisseurs of Padania, the region of Lazio where the capital of Rome is located would be included on this prestigious list mainly because it's filled with reputedly filthy, dishonest and slothful politicians who continue to rob the riches from the almighty Padania and give to the inferior citizens of the poor south who continue to eat pasta with sardines and dance the Tarantella.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Parma - June 23, 2008 - A Uruguayan prostitute working in Italy is refusing to pay taxes on her suspected earnings since she came to the country in 2004.
The woman, 32, was recently presented with a bill of 90,000 euros ($140,000) for undeclared income the Italian tax man has estimated at more than 350,000 euros ($550,000). The Finance Guards did not say how they arrived at the figure but the woman herself told a Parma paper she had regular professional clients from as far away as Milan who paid her a sort of monthly 'salary'.
She said she was determined to fight the case in the courts, arguing that she should not be expected to pay taxes for an often dangerous activity in which she had never been protected by the law.
"I've had to protect myself. No one listened to me when I asked for help. The police said they couldn't step in unless blood was shed. And now they're asking for taxes?"
The woman's lawyer said authorities should provide regulated and protected facilities for prostitution if they wanted to tax sex workers. He also pointed out that prostitution itself is not a crime in Italy, as opposed to living off prostitutes' earnings.
The case rekindled parliamentary debate about legalizing prostitution with leftwing MPs calling on the government to "recognize as a profession the provision of remunerated sexual services from one consensual adult to another".
The rightwing Northern League, which has backed a hard line on prostitution, said the woman should be thrown out of the country."Porca di quella bruttissima puttana...di governo!"
Taxes in Italy truly drive you up the Italian wall, both financially and psychologically.
Unfortunately, this whore-like tax fraud amongst Italians has led to a putrid upward spiraling cycle in which the state knows citizens like Miss Uruguay 1995 are going to cheat, so taxes them to Dante's hell in the hopes of bringing in at least enough to keep their whore-like circus running, and the citizens, under the incredible weight of preposterously high taxes are pushed to prostitution and cheat even more.
So more taxes.
Italians 'savor' countless different types of taxation, levied on a local, regional and national level; everything from income tax to a levy for taking away the trash. Not only are the taxes disproportionately high here, they are also almost ridiculously numerous. There really is little in Italy that one can do that is not taxed including enjoyment from scratching your ass.
Most documents needed for any sort of official whore-like transaction, from applying for a driver's license to renting a property, must be presented "in bollo", meaning with a tax stamp affixed. Even if you want to put up an index card at the local butcher's to try and sell your lazy whore-like goat who hasn't produced milk since the last Italian government fall, the thing has to have a "bollo" on it.
There is a tax on keeping your passport current.
There is a tax that goes to the state TV RAI for the privilege of watching incredibly crappy news and whore-like shows. Of course, the tax applies even if you have just a clock radio in the bedroom, an answering machine that plays bad music in the office and outdated newspapers and magazines in the reception area."
Rome - June 23, 2008 - After a week pushing for a change in the law to halt his corruption trial, Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, set his sights even higher at the weekend by demanding the Catholic church kill off a rule which stops him taking communion because he is divorced and remarried.
Evidently on a roll and wearing a white panama hat, a relaxed-looking Berlusconi sat in the front row at a service in a church near his Sardinian villa on Saturday as the bishop approached the congregation to offer communion.
"When are you going to change this rule that stops me taking communion?" Berlusconi asked the startled bishop, who had been planning to move swiftly past the prime minister without stopping to pop a wafer in his mouth.
The Catholic church considers a religious marriage unbreakable, as stated in the Bible, meaning Catholics getting a civil divorce cannot then remarry in church, unless an annulment is granted by the church.
Anyone opting instead for a civil wedding second time round can be denied communion, including Berlusconi, who has three children from his second marriage to the actor Veronica Lario.
Until now, the Italian prime minister and media mogul has remained an unwavering supporter of the Vatican's policy of promoting family values and attacking single-sex unions. Berlusconi showed up at last year's church-run Family Day demonstration in Rome, prompting critics to joke that he was well qualified to do so since he had so many families of his own.
Earlier this month, after kissing Pope Benedict on the hand at a meeting at the Vatican, Berlusconi said: "We are on the church's side." He added: "The outlook of my government cannot but please the Pope and the church."
By Saturday, after a week spent seeking to suspend his trial for allegedly bribing the British lawyer David Mills while preparing a blanket law which would give himself immunity from all prosecution, Berlusconi perhaps thought it was time to try his luck with the church.
The embarrassed bishop, Sebastiano Sanguinetti, hinted he could have worked something out in private with Berlusconi, but he was not about to provoke a scandal by giving him communion in front of watching journalists.
"I told him he could take the matter to a higher level, given that he has just been received by the Pope at the Vatican," Sanguinetti told reporters.
But in a speech made via satellite to a Canadian church congress on the eucharist yesterday, Benedict appeared to hold firm. "We must do all in our power to receive (communion) with a pure heart," he said, adding, in an apparent reference to remarried Catholics.
"Those who cannot have communion due to their situation will nonetheless find strength in their desire for it and by going to mass," the Pope said.
Move over Pope Ratzinger and make way for the Pope of Peperoni, my hero, Silvio Berlusconi.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship: Those who divorce and remarry cannot receive communion unless they abstain from sex. You cannot explain this to the chuckle-faced hump who cannot abstain from sex and keeping his mouth shut for more than four minutes.
However; the Vatican should give our virile Latin charming jackass leader the benefit of the doubt. After all, to err is human; to forgive is divine:
- He famously vowed to give up sex in the run-up to the 2006 Italian election (only to lose).
- Claims his outlandish "playboy" charms persuaded Finland's female president to give up attempts to house the EU food agency in Helsinki.
- He is fond of recounting how he fell for the second Mrs. Berlusconi (Veronica Lario) after seeing her perform topless in a play; he showered her with gifts until she became his mistress.
Rome - June 21, 2008 - The chief examiner of Italyís equivalent of A levels has been dismissed over "grave errors" in examination papers, including an English test taken from a Namibian website that critics described as "almost incomprehensible" in places.
Students taking English as part of the maturita exam were given questions on an unlikely text: an online interview by a Yemeni journalist with the German-born owners of a resort at Swakopmund in Namibia. The text, provided for examiners by the State Tourism Institute, was entitled Feel of Home at Villa Wiese - Swakopmund Namibia, described as a "funky guest lodge". It omits definite and indefinite articles and inverted commas, uses have when has is needed, spells budgets as budges and has only a passing acquaintance with good style.
"Pity us poor Italians," said Sergio Perosa, Professor Emeritus of English literature at Venice University. "No wonder so few Italians speak English properly." The errors were spotted by Jean Woodhouse, a veteran teacher of English in Italy who was formerly private tutor to Marina and Piersilvio Berlusconi, the Prime Ministerís children by his first wife.
"If the examiner had been one of my pupils I would have failed him or her," Miss Woodhouse told Corriere della Sera, which published the exam paper with her acid comments. She said that she had only highlighted "the most glaring" errors and infelicities. "Frankly the text should have been thrown in the wastepaper basket."
Students were also asked to explain why the desert was "named as" the West Coast Recreational Area, which Miss Woodhouse corrected to "known" or "called". She also censured the examiner for allowing a sentence beginning with "and" and letting through the tautology "a visit to the Cape Cross Eal Colony is worth a visit" - not to mention failing to spot the missing S in seal.
She was also scathing about a question asking candidates to describe similar places they had visited "using your imagination", when the places were presumably either real or imagined, but not both. Miss Woodhouse scrawled furiously at the end: Gravamente insufficiente! ("Seriously inadequate!") Professor Perosa said that the text had been taken off the web unchecked, and as a result the exam was couched in "a kind of pseudo-English, or what was once called pidgin English. Even the average waiter in Venice speaks English more correctly than this."
Mariastella Gelmini, the Education Minister, said: "I apologize to the students, even though I am not directly responsible for the errors."
"Che cazzo significa, funky guest lodge?" "Vaffanculo, this exam is a festival of ignorance."
Sta pippa, what a mess! Only Siegfried and Roy can clean up the Italian public school system.
Look, we're the furthest things from Oxford professors, but watching a typical Italian high school student do a simple math problem makes you want to run out of the classroom and drive your scooter off a cliff.
Basically achievements in a typical school course are measured by a year-end examination ("esame di profitto"). Most such exams are oral, which can be frustrating and intimidating, and are graded from 0 to 10 by three incredibly brilliant and compassionate examiners who majored in olive picking or astrology.
What? Che cosa?
Our grandfather says kids are stupid today because they don't go to school.
"They're always on a plane, they go to Monte Carlo, they go to Paris!"
(The kids are going to Monte Carlo instead of school!?)
We asked our grandfather if he went to school:
"I went to school until I was 13 years old, after that my father said it was over!"
(You know, if you read between the lunacy, our grandfather makes a lot of good points.)