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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"Italians Are Still Not Having Babies! What's Going On Here?!"



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"Only In Italy" Staff      

Thief On The Run Takes Wrong Turn And Ducks Into Police Station

Florence - August 31, 2010 - A fleeing thief realized he had made a wrong turn in Florence Tuesday when he found himself staring at bemused police officers instead of the post-office crowds he had hoped to melt away into.

The young Romanian snatched a bag out of a car and set off with a married couple in hot pursuit, witnesses said.

Trying to dodge them he ducked into what he thought was a central post office but instead discovered was a municipal police office, in a scene reminiscent of Italian neorealist comedy classic "I Soliti Ignoti".

The couple arrived hot on his heels and he was arrested.

"Cornuto diavolo", this is a guy who’s happy he gets his shoes on the right feet...and that’s a lottery every day.

Thank God he came to this country. What a shame. It would have been much more entertaining if the thief was, let's say, Calabrese or, you guessed it, Napolitano. Regardless, we still think all the officers in that station must have tripped over themselves to make the easy arrest.

We're sure that the Romanian has learned his lesson...or maybe not. "Che se ne frega?" He would have to admit the episode is pretty embarrassing to his fellow countrymen who rob houses in Italy by performing circus acrobatics from balcony to balcony.

No, we're not kidding.

The only advice we can give the befuddled "testa di minchia" is to get directions next time. "TomToms" and "Google Maps" are doing wonders these days.

Please let us end the story with a few great lines from the classic comedy, "I Soliti Ignoti":

Capannelle: Tell me something, tough kid, do you know a certain Mario who lives around here?
Bambino: Around here there's about a hundred Marios.
Capannelle: Yeah ok, but this is one who steals.
Bambino: Still, about a hundred...

Ferribotte (at Cosimo's funeral): It's always the best ones that go!
Dante Cruciani: That's life. Today you, tomorrow him.


Italy Opening Its Doors For Dogs

Rome - August 31, 2010 - The economic recession might have shut down opportunities for many people but it has at least opened doors for Italy's dogs and their owners to the nation's shops.

Hard times seem to have forced Italian shopkeepers to be less picky and take down their "No Dogs Allowed" signs, according to a survey which said the number of retail outlets admitting man's best friend has increased 76% since 2005.

The AIDAA animal rights association said that just 694 of 3,500 shops it surveyed barred dogs, compared to 2,600 five years ago. What's more, it said almost all of the stores barring the pets were places where food was sold.

It also found that 206 of 500 supermarkets and shopping centers it polled allowed pooches into some areas, while almost all banned them totally in 2005.

AIDAA said dogs have the hardest time getting into shops in Rome, Venice and Florence.

"Si, I'll say it dog and I want to come in together. We're both interested in that ridiculously expensive Prada bag over there."

You know how annoying it is to know that, up north, dogs have more respect that Southern Italians? Take Rome, for instance: Of the hundreds of classified ads you'll find listing available apartments, there are scores that warn "no stranieri" (no foreigners)...but not one that disallowed dogs. By the way, yes...Southern Italians are considered the worst kind of foreigners.

"Oh, mamma, look at that cuddly Labrador walking with that disheveled and flea ridden Napolitano.

And it doesn't end there. Rome is a fascinating world where stepping in dog crappola on the street is considered good luck. They're a part of life in the most unexpected ways.

"Ah, 'fanculo, Leonardo! You just stepped in crap. You'll have a healthy life, fortune and beautiful women! AUGURI! Just clean it off on that lazy Sicilian over there."

But there is a fine payable for owners caught letting their dogs make a mess in public places. However, the law is commonly not enforced unless you're...that's right, a Southern Italian making the mess.


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Italian Cardinal: "Italian Are Not Having Babies"

Rome - September 1, 2010 - The head of the Italian Catholic bishops' conference said this week that Italian society is being "seriously mutilated" by its negative growth birth rate. Angelo Bagnasco, cardinal archbishop of Genoa, said at a Mass in Liguria this weekend that Italy, and Italian democracy, is facing a "serious cultural catastrophe" from its low birth rate.

The Italian birth rate has climbed slightly from an all-time low of 1.23 in 2004, which made Italy the second most infertile country in the industrialized world, to 1.32 this year. It is estimated that 25 percent of Italian women do not have children and another 25 percent will have only one child. The Italian region of Liguria in northwestern Italy now has the highest ratio of elderly to youth in the world and has closed ten percent of its schools since 2000.

The Catholic Church asserts, Bagnasco said, that "demographic balance is not only necessary for the physical survival of a community, which without children has no future, but is also a condition for that alliance between generations that is essential for a normal democratic dialectic."

"It is not only parents that, having children, must change their points of view and styles, they must plan and organize themselves in relation to the children in their various ages."

"A society without babies and children," he continued, "just as a society without the elderly, is seriously mutilated and unable to function."

While government officials are attempting, largely unsuccessfully, to shore up the birth rate with cash payouts, Cardinal Bagnasco looked into the deeper cause of the crisis, saying that falling birthrates are linked to a massive shift in cultural values.

Holding up the Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and Jesus, in the context of life in the small village of Nazareth as the ideal model, Bagnasco said, "In the cultural climate of today, couples and families seem to collapse before the blows of life and of relationships."

"The efforts of every day seem tedious and without meaning, hence unbearable," he said. "The future loses value and polish, the present is emphasized for what it promises of immediate satisfaction."

In the current materialistic context, he said, "fidelity is understood as something repetitive, tedious, deprived of thrills."

While visitors to Italy who bring small children attest that Italians still love children, they are not having their own. Contraceptive use, in this still overwhelmingly Catholic country, is considered routine and some have cited the fulfillment of the demands of the consumerist mentality, that requires that women go out to work, as the reason for the disappearance of the traditional large Italian family.

A 2004 survey by Letizia Mencarini, a professor of statistics at the University of Florence, found that women who work outside the home, and receive little help from their husbands with household chores and childcare, are more reluctant to have a second child. The women, she concluded, cannot face the "dual burden" of going out to work and looking after an extra child.

"Cacchio", we would like to thank the Bishop for all the sunshine blown our way.

Look, Italy’s birth rate is pathetic and it's going to take more than the Bishop's religious rituals to fix it. Our birth rate is 1.33 children per woman.

Don't get us wrong. We love children. We spoil the little critters, dress them up like funny little princes and princesses, over-educate them, and let them stay at home until they're about 32 (give or take 10 years). So, what the hell went wrong?

The problem is there's no state support for Italian women who want to work. Therefore, family policy needs to be designed to support fertility and women's other aspirations. Try doing that in Italy. We break out in a rash when we sense any kind of interference by the state in our family lives. Some of us can still remember the family laws that bald screwball, Mussolini, designed to produce little "Figli del Lupa" (sons of the she-wolf). They were the junior fascist boys brigade. cute. "Cacchio", nothing like have little fascists dressed in black, terrorizing the neighborhood cats and Jews.

Italian women can receive generous maternity leave, but they don't care for it. We have shown that fertility rates are often governed by much more complex cultural and social factors. In Italy, culture rules over policy.

"Another child? Che palle, one is enough. I have my vacations and social friends to consider. Besides, I've been married to that cornuto for 6 years but it feels like 15!"

"Oh, mamma mia, nothing like going home to the same person everyday for the rest of my life!"


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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