"Weh, bella! Qui sono!" Welcome to another informative cheese, fashion and soccer issue of "Only In Italy!"
Remember: "Il primo amore non si scorda mai." You never forget your first love...unless she was an 'escort'.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - September 6, 2010 - Italy's eruptions and earthquake institute INGV may stop putting data on the Web because of the far-fetched conclusions some people are making, director Enzo Boschi said Monday.
"Our data on the Web are being used to reach conclusions that are frankly outlandish," Boschi said.
The National Geophysics and Volcanology Institute might have to restrict itself to more conventional ways of disseminating data, he said.
Civil Protection chief Guido Bertolaso said putting the latest data online "gives doom-mongers too much scope". Recently there has been limited seismological activity near the Abruzzo area hit by a catastrophic quake that killed 308 people in 2009.
People have gone online and panicked after reading alarmist assessments, despite reassurances that there isn't another big tremor on the way.
Hmmm...According to statistics, a 1/3 of Italians are semi-illiterate. They can't do simple tasks and have very little notion of history and science...and this includes the Napolitani. Don't have a tissy, folks. It's true. "Cazzarola", how are these Italians interpreting the assessments if most of them can't read their watch while sitting still at a red light?
You could just imagine the outlandish conclusions on the forums:
Naples: Napolitani! Stop drooling and read carefully! There was a tremor near the "Mount Etna" volcano in Sicily yesterday. So...this obviously means that our "Mount Vesuvius" is going to erupt any minute now seeing that volcanoes are connected with each other (my Uncle told me this). You want to end up like Pompeii?! "Minchia", empty your bank accounts and head for the hills!" (Tanino R.)
Pisa: I had lots of free time this week and decided to take a look at the latest readings from the INGV institute. "Cacchio", it doesn't look good. There's a 60% chance of a quake hitting the Leaning Tower. According to my calculations, there's an 80% chance it will lean even further (but not topple over) and a 17% chance it will completely straighten. There's also a 3% chance it will sink underground but that's ridiculous. By the way, I have a degree in Botanical Sciences but I took an extracurricular course in Greek mythology that made references to the ground shaking. (Angela S.)
Calabria: I was surfing the net with my "mago" or fortune teller (who I pay a fortune to every week) and we felt the ground shake a bit. I went over to the INGV site to see what the hell was happening and I saw a bunch of squiggly lines near my beloved Calabria. "Porca miseria", a major earthquake is on its way! My "mago" did not need to look at the screen for she knew it is coming. She told me leave immediately and go protect myself. After I paid the 150 Euro fee, I ran out the door and went to the safest place I know. I'm typing this on my Iphone while taking cover under my uncle's fat stomach. (Beppe F.)
Rome - September 7, 2010 - Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafiís behavior during a trip last week to Italy has stirred controversy. His remarks on Islam angered church officials, and many politicians worried about the Libyan leaderís growing clout in the Italian economy.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi laid out the red carpet for Gaddafi on the Libyan ruler's fourth visit to Italy in just over a year. It marked the second anniversary of a friendship treaty between the African country and its former colonial master.
Gaddafi brought a surprise with him: Bedouin riders mounted on 30 thoroughbred horses, flown in from Libya, performed for the Italian hosts. Nearly the entire government, as well as leaders of the business establishment, were present at what one newspaper quipped was a "circus spectacle," with Gaddafi acting as ringmaster.
Berlusconi had only words of praise for Gaddafi and even kissed his hand.
"It is an advantage for everyone that relations between Italy and Libya have changed and are definitely positive," Berlusconi said. "Those who do not understand this and criticize Libya belong to the past and are prisoners of outdated ideas," he added.
A day earlier, Gaddafi addressed 500 young women hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam. Gaddafi urged them to convert and said Islam should be the religion of all of Europe. The remarks caused anger. A Vatican official called them a provocation. Some Italian government officials also were disturbed, accusing Gaddafi of having transformed Rome into his own private Disneyland for his senile vanity.
Critics of Gaddafi the onetime sponsor of terrorist groups say the 2008 Italy-Libya friendship treaty has given the Libyan leader a big role in the Italian economy. In the past two years, Libya has invested nearly $40 billion in Italy, according to economic journalist Stefano Feltri.
"It is the most important foreign investor in terms of strategic investments, so they are the only foreign country who can buy shares in companies like our biggest banks and biggest energy firm," Feltri says.
Gaddafiís Libya is now the largest shareholder in Unicredit, Italyís biggest bank. It is planning to raise its stake in ENI, the state-owned energy company, to 15 percent, and it has interests in construction, helicopters, telecommunications and insurance as well as in the Juventus soccer team.
Libya is currently the fifth-largest investor on the Italian stock market. And the friendship treaty stipulates that Italy will provide $20 billion worth of infrastructure to Libya.
One key aspect of the treaty has prompted strong criticism from the United Nations and the European Union; the agreement under which Tripoli intercepts and takes back immigrants who try to enter Italy by sea.
Rome has been widely accused of turning a blind eye to human-rights violations in Libyan camps where would-be immigrants are detained. Opposition Parliament member Furio Colombo says 50 percent of those seeking to enter Italy are asylum seekers, and Italy cannot turn them back under international law.
"They wanted someone to perform the dirty work for Italy, paid by Italy but without the Italians being involved and without public opinion knowing anything, to make sure no boats of refugees could pass through," Colombo says.
Now, Gaddafi is saying he should be paid millions by the EU to keep African migrants out of Europe.
Many Italians are wondering what will be the ultimate cost of an agreement with the dictator of a country that has never ratified an international treaty on human rights and who now plays such a key role in Italian business.
"Cornuto", we don't understand this love affair between our chuckle-faced, butt-sucking, unfunny jackass of a Prime Minister and his ugly Libyan girlfriend. How annoying is it that more people read about Gaddafi when he visits this country than during his entire career as supreme dictator "della minchia"?
Look at the history between this sand "coglione" and Italy:
- In 1970 Gaddafi expelled Italians living in Libya and confiscated their property (Libya: "Arrivederci Italiani!").
- In 1985 Italy's Prime Minister Craxi refused the request by U.S. President Reagan to extradite the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship "Achille Lauro" and for the murder of American citizen, Leon Klinghoffer (Italy: Well, at least, they didn't sink the ship. Just cover up the bullet holes, clean up the blood and it's as good as new).
- In 1986 Craxi warned Gaddafi that the U.S. would bomb his country. Craxi not only said no to U.S. flights over Italy, but he used all the channels available to him to warn the dictator, saving his life. (Italy: "Pronto, hello Gaddafi? Buon giorno! How are you? Listen carefully...")
- In 1986 Libya fired two Scuds at the U.S. Coast Guard navigation station on the Italian island of Lampedusa, in retaliation for the failed bombing. The missiles passed over the island, landing in the sea, and caused no damage. (Italy: "Oh, figli di puttane, che minchia fate?!)
- In September 2010 Gaddafi addressed 500 young Italians women hired by a modeling agency and paid $100 each to listen to a lecture on Islam. Gaddafi urged them to convert and said Islam should be the religion of all of Europe. (Italian women: "Is Islam a new modeling agency in Milan? I'll convert if it will help my modeling and 'escort' career. I don't care what I did to the 'Women's Movement'! I'll move where my career takes me. The wind whistling through my head is starting to annoy me!")
- In the past two years, Libya has invested nearly $40 billion in Italy. (Libya: "We want receipts." Italy: "'Fanculo, we're one step away from cooking our pizzas in the sand!")
Como - September 8, 2010 - A traditional donkey ride called off last week after protests from animal lovers could be replaced by a parade of the jockeys dressed as donkeys, Italy's Anti-Vivisection League (LAV) said Wednesday.
LAV said holding the parade with the jockeys would be a "suitable" way to uphold tradition in the small town of Fenegro' near Lake Como.
In the event, which dates back to the Middle Ages, donkeys are ridden through the town's narrow streets, often getting hurt in the process, in the pursuit of a Palio (flag) like the more famous one contested in Siena.
Organizers canceled the Fenegro' Palio last Saturday at the last minute after a LAV complaint led to the local health authority withdrawing its veterinarian approval certificate.
Horses are often hurt and have to be put down in Siena's bareback Palio but animal rights activists appear to have little chance of getting it stopped given its worldwide appeal.
"Cavolo!" What a tragedy. You know, when I'm not visiting the incredibly entertaining town of Fenegro', I'm usually home occupied with phone, gas and electric bills.
Don't get us wrong, we're all for keeping with the wonderful traditions that our beautiful Italy is famous for...but some have to be let go and die! This tradition which dates back to the Middle Ages is one of them. "Che se ne frega?" Back then Italians had lots of free time and no shoes. We're positive some drunk in the local tavern must have come up with this brilliant game.
"Minchia, I just thought of a great event we can hold! Paolo, I'm quivering! Listen to this...first, we'll need a few jackasses and a flag..."
By the way, the other chivalrous games the citizens of Fenegro' will be holding during the festival is the famous "rolling a hoop down the street with a stick" and the "pushing a wheelbarrow with a haystack". What extraordinary entertainment. They're a step away from the "passing mozzarella balls back and forth from between their butt cheeks" game.
For any of our readers who will be witness to this incredible festival, don't forget to find time to head north and visit Laglio (just 30 minutes away) where you can rent a row boat, go out to the front of George Clooney's villa, and take a bath in the toxic lake where George probably spit in.