"Buon giorno!" Welcome back to another religious but funny issue of "Only In Italy!"
In reference to your Italian Post Office article, I know this is going to sound too simple, but how about making the Italian Post Office workers actually WORK to earn their pay for a change... say, 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours later in the day, with NO goofing off!
Then they'd be able to handle mail, banking, bill payments, candy, tobacco, tram tickets and milking their goats. John A.
Thanks for the letter, John!
Wow! How can we explain to you how this Utopian company works?
The Italian Postal Services lives and breathes on its own. Like the Mafia, it is an entity filled with mystery, suspense and anger (particularly from the janitors who demand to drive the mail scooters). It has its own rules and regulations that will defy the truth of any reasonable man.
Once you accept their religion, you will be at peace with yourself.
Now, go mail your letter.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Palermo - July 24, 2005 - An Italian couple stole 50,000 euros from a woman in the Sicilian city of Palermo after convincing her they were vampires who would impregnate her with the son of the Anti-Christ if she did not pay them.
The man, a cabaret singer, and his girlfriend took the money from their victim over four years by selling her pills at 3,000 euros each that they said would abort the Anti-Christ's son. Police uncovered the fraud after the 47-year-old woman's family became concerned when they discovered she had spent all her savings, local news agencies reported.
"Sta pippa!" A cabaret singer? If this crooner can bilk you of 50,000 Euros ($60,000) with birth control pills, imagine what he can do with his renditions of "I've Got a Crush on You".
You know, an earthquake is less of a threat than typical Sicilian frauds. Less people hurt!
You can't send people like this to prison. They belong in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the biggest pair of "coglioni" ever for pulling this off and for their incredibly keen sense of locating incredibly stupid people. Now, we can identify all of them, flush them out and make sure they don't breed again. We can start with the ones that drool and sell Sicilian air to each other.
Rome - July 24, 2005 - When she lost an incredible 40 kilograms in one year Maria Callas transformed herself from fat and dowdy opera singer into svelte and elegant diva.
The pressure to stay thin was tremendous for the food-loving soprano, whose newly published personal papers show how she tried to comfort herself during her tormented battles with her weight.
Callas began a habit of meticulous recipe collecting, scribbling down instructions for her favorite dishes as she traveled the world.
She would 'steal' recipes from famous cooks in hotels, writing them on scraps of paper and stuffing them into her handbag. But they were for food she herself would never eat. 'She loved food, especially cakes and puddings, but lived mostly on steak and salad,' said Callas expert Bruno Tosi, who is allowing the handwritten recipes to be published for the first time in Italy. 'Writing down these recipes was a vicarious pleasure because she rarely allowed herself to taste any of them.'
Callas's international career began in 1947 when opera singers were expected to be overweight. But at 108 kg she felt miserable and regarded herself as ugly and unlovable. When the director Luchino Visconti told her to lose 30 kg before he would work with her, she dropped 40 kg. She then went on to lose another 8kg.
According to legend, Callas's enormous weight loss came about because she deliberately swallowed a tapeworm. Tosi, president of the International Maria Callas Association, said she did have to have treatment for worms, possibly because of her fondness for raw steak, but she dropped the weight by following a diet based on consuming iodine.
'It was a dangerous treatment because it affected the central nervous system and changed her metabolism, but she turned into a beautiful swan,' said Tosi.
She never ate pasta and favored meals of rare beef or steak tartar. All the time and during her love affair with the Greek shopping magnate Aristotle Onassis she collected recipes: tomato omelettes, veal l'oriental, besciamel sauce with capers, mustard sauce, golden pound cake, chocolate beignets and a cake she called 'my cake' which was heavy and laden with sugar.
The recipes were sent back to her personal cook, who served them at Callas's dinner parties. While her guests tucked in, Callas ate only a few morsels. She rarely drank wine, but liked champagne because it was less calorific. 'She was like many women, struggling her entire life with her weight,' said Tosi.
Callas died, aged 53, in Paris, still heartbroken at Onassis leaving her to marry Jackie Kennedy. But in Italy, 28 years after her death, they still love her. On Thursday in a ceremony in Venice the Ponte della Fenice bridge was renamed Ponte Maria Callas after 100,000 signatures were gathered by the Maria Callas International Association.
Wow! What a little firecracker! Is this the same as owning a Ferrari with no gas in it?
Just because Maria had more food caught in her teeth than the average person eats the whole day doesn't mean you have to take drastic measures like swallowing tapeworms and drinking iodine cocktails.
Italian people think that losing weight is one of the most difficult things for people to do.
What? Controlling what you eat? Stop that!
Serving World War II was difficult; growing up in poverty is difficult. Stopping the consumption of sausage, pizza, baccala, fried eggplant and anything with four cheeses is not difficult! We don't want to be terribly mean to the fat. We realize it's a common problem and it's best if they are referred to as the obesely impaired.
Maria didn't make sense...
With all the wonderful Italian men that desired her, why did she remain heartbroken because of Onassis?
The tapeworm she swallowed was more attractive than him.
Rome - July 23, 2005 - A priest has refused to give an Italian woman a Christian funeral because she had "lived in sin".
Father Giuseppe Mazzotta, parish priest at Marcellinara, in Calabria, southern Italy, said he had denied a Christian funeral to Maria Francesca Tallarico, who died of breast cancer at 45, because she had lived with her partner but never married him. Her partner was separated and had an 11-year-old daughter.
"She lived with her lover, so she was a public sinner," Father Mazzotta said. "I decided not to celebrate an official mass for this woman, who was not in communion with the church."
The priest's decision has underlined the growing power of conservative Catholicism in Italy.
Romano Prodi, the leader of the center-left opposition, who hopes to oust the ruling center-right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi, came under fire from the church and the Right yesterday for suggesting Italy should legally recognize homosexual "civil unions".
Last month, a referendum proposing relaxation of restrictive laws on assisted fertility was roundly defeated. Opposition to the referendum was led by the Pope, prompting the Left to charge the Vatican with interfering in Italian affairs in a throwback to the era of Christian Democratic rule.
The Vatican's call for a boycott was widely heeded, with a turnout reaching only 25 per cent, half the quorum.
Father Mazzotta said he had performed the liturgy of absolution for the dead. He added that he was close to the dead woman's family and had offered them "words of comfort".
Father Antonio Sciortino, editor of popular Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, accused Father Mazzotta of "excessive zeal". Father Mazzotta said his action carried a message that "marriage is a sacrament. We cannot simply pretend".
The church also turned on Mr. Prodi for saying he would follow "the French example" and recognize "civil unions" for gays.
"Porca Miseria!" It just goes to show, even after you're dead... it never ends.
So then... Why must Catholics pay money for a Mass that is offered up for deceased relatives and friends when the Bible states that the gift of God is not to be purchased with money? (Acts 8:20).
Now that this has been settled, the Catholic Church can return to more important issues like how cardinals can keepeth their big red cone hats from blowing awayeth in the windeth. (Only In Italy 7:18:05)