"Buon Giorno Vietnam" Welcome to the only newsletter that asks the question, "What would have happened to Sicily if Italy remained in the hands of the Germans? "Only In Italy!"
You know, the day is going to end on a bad note. But at least the chickens are safe.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - August 14, 2010 - Police in Sicily say they've hit at the heart of the financial empire of a convicted Mafia associate, seizing 800 million Euro (over $1 billion USD) in property and businesses in Palermo, including a clinic for cancer patients and a local soccer team.
The businesses included eight construction companies. Local health mogul Michele Aiello, 53, was convicted of Mafia association, corruption and fraud and sentenced to 15 and 1/2 years in prison.
Carabinieri police said Saturday that Aiello had close links to Bernardo Provenzano, the former No. 1 boss of Cosa Nostra, who was captured near Corleone in 2006.
Prosecutors insist the state go after mobsters' wealth as well as the mobsters. Aiello's seized property will be given to anti-Mafia and other community groups for use.
Palermo...what a "citta bastarda". God, I hate that city and its people, the Palermitani.
Sicilians have become shell-shocked and immune to all the crime that surrounds them. If a typical Sicilian sees a person getting robbed and/or stabbed in the street, he would say, "porca miseria, thatís a terrible thing" and they would keep walking. You know, in a way, I'm being light about it. He wouldn't keep walking. He'd run like a bastardo just to get away from the trauma.
I might not know a lot in this Italian world. If you ask me to add two numbers together, I would have stop and use my toes and fingers but how is it that a medium-sized city like Palermo can accumulate the incredible amount of 800 million Euro (over $1 billion USD) without arousing any suspicion from the city of Palermo, the province, Sicily region and the government at Rome? It's almost like Liberace saying, "Gee, I hope no one notices my clothes."
The businesses seized included:
"'Fanculo!" What a total mess! I can't believe I'll have to go to Afghanistan to have the benign mole on my back removed.
Florence - August 15, 2010 - A fierce fight has erupted over the ownership of Michelangelo's David between the Italian state and Florence, the city where the masterpiece is on display.
A symbol of the Florentine Republic's defiance of its enemies, including Rome, when erected in 1504 at the entrance to Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall, Michelangelo's portrayal of the slayer of Goliath has remained a mascot for proud locals long after the unification of Italy.
But after delving into centuries-old archives, two lawyers commissioned by the government of Berlusconi have produced what they call conclusive evidence that the renaissance masterpiece belongs not to Florence, but to the Italian state.
In a country where local loyalties often triumph over national pride, the reaction in Florence was fast and furious, starting with the mayor. "With all due respect to Roman lawyers," said Matteo Renzi, "the unquestioned documents in the possession of the city and the state are clear: David belongs to Florence."
In a nine-page document, the legal team from Rome argues that the state of Italy, not the city of Florence, is the legal successor to the Florentine Republic, which funded the purchase of the sinuous, sling-bearing David that Michelangelo daringly carved from an awkwardly sized block of Carrara marble that had lain unused in Florence for decades.
Claiming that the lawyers in Rome had "nothing better to do in August" than seize statues, Renzi cited his own historical research. "When Rome became the capital of Italy, a decree in 1870-1 assigned Palazzo Vecchio and all it contained to Florence, including David," he said. "David is ours, that is what the documents state."
Not according to the lawyers, who note that the paperwork related to the handover of the palazzo makes no mention of David "even though by this time it had acquired an enormous symbolic value". Additionally, when David was put on display at Florence's Accademia gallery in 1873, the city asserted no rights to the sculpture. A year later, the report adds, the then mayor of Florence even claimed David belonged to the Italian government when he billed Rome for the cost of moving it.
Renzi, a rising star of the Italian center-left said he was unswayed and would demand a face-to-face meeting with culture minister, Sandro Bondi, a published poet who has dedicated some of his work to Silvio Berlusconi.
After surviving an attack in 1991 from a hammer-wielding visitor who damaged toes, before it benefited from restoration work in 2003, David is today worth 8M Euro ($10M USD) in annual ticket sales, which to Renzi's irritation is pocketed by the government, along with revenue from other Florence museums including the Uffizi Gallery, for a total of 30M Euro according to a local daily newspaper. The government has meanwhile failed to make good on repeated promises to provide special funding to protect Florence's heritage, the mayor claimed.
Earlier this month, Renzi said he would bill Rome for the scrubbing off of graffiti left by bored tourists waiting in the long queues to see Florence's collection of renaissance marvels. "The state takes the money from the visits to the Uffizi and to see David but does not clean up. The city is entitled to be cleaned," he said.
Hey Florence, Rome..."Andate tutti a 'fanculo!"
What a stupid, trivial and boring issue. Florence must have instigated the fight by reminding Rome that David symbolizes the defense of civil liberties that was integrated in the Florentine Republic which once flourished...and that set those mutton heads off.
You know, it's not as if David is going to be taken away and moved into some politician's home (although the idea must have crossed the mind of some dolt in Parliament whose head is as solid as David's). We're more than sure the fight is political in nature due to the incredible amount of free time our politicians have on their hands. After all, running an Italian government office must be easier than a sheep herder trying to intercept a herd of 217 sheep before it invades his next door neighbor's vegetable crop.
We sincerely hope they'll leave David to the enjoyment of Italy's tourists and get to more difficult issues like how to get the most juice out of fresh lemons.
Naples - August 16, 2010 - A Naples ferry captain on Monday denied letting a teenage girl pilot his high-speed boat as apparently shown in a viral Youtube video.
"She wasn't steering," Michele Siniscalchi, 54, told a news agency.
Siniscalchi, whose job is on the line, insisted: "The girl was only simulating the maneuvers".
"I never left the controls," said the Naples-Capri ferry captain, who has been suspended because of the alleged stunt on August 11.
Siniscalchi said he was afraid he might be sacked "because of a game, a bit of fun". The captain claimed he had let the girl have a go up front "to please another passenger".
"But I never abandoned effective control of the vessel".Oh, "mamma mia" those wonderful Napolitani! Who does Michele the Napolitano ferry captain think he's fooling? We saw the stupid video.. We're 99% sure this is how it went:
After a vast consumption of wine, grappa and traffic noise the evening before, Michele woke up on August 11 and went to work.
After an hour or two of excruciating work of driving a boat on a gorgeous sunny day in Capri, along comes a young lady with the face of a mule and makes a special request to Michele "to please another passenger". The passenger was another young lady who was filming the scene. We are very certain it was a young lady for if it was a male companion, Michele the Napolitano would have responded, "Non scassare le palle, cretina, and go suck on daddy's wallet."
At this point, while the mule is steering, Michele transforms himself into an expert and starts to give away his incredible knowledge for free. He knows EVERYTHING; the fastest way from Pompeii to Naples, the chemical breakdown of iron, and the solution to the Mideast crisis.
Next, Michele is cracking stupid jokes in his incoherent Napolitano dialect. Unfortunately, he doesn't understand there is not a funny bone in any Napolitano family and there hasn't been one since Nino DíAngelo.
Chances are his email inbox isn't choking with job offers so, we're sure the local labor union will promise the city of Capri they will keep him under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.