You know...when you wake up one morning and finally realize your family, relatives, friends and enemies will never be refreshed and challenged by your pearls of wisdom, then it's time to stop getting cornered in the kitchen and get back to warning the rest of the universe. Enough said...
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - October 1, 2013 - While Euro zone unemployment maintained a steady 12% in August, Italy's jobless rate rose from 12.1% to 12.2%. But it was youth unemployment that took the worst hit in the Euro zone's third largest economy, reaching a new all-time high of 40.1% from 39.7% in July.
The rise comes at a time of political instability in Italy. The Italian center-right party, headed by Berlusconi, pulled out of Prime Minister Enrico Letto's coalition government on Sept. 28 after five months of shaky cooperation.
Italy's coalition government has been particularly unstable since Berlusconi's tax fraud conviction was upheld by a top Italian court on Aug. 1.
In addition to its high levels of youth unemployment, Italy is also struggling to manage a two-year-long recession and a two trillion Euro ($2.7 trillion) public debt.
Youth unemployment is a huge problem in Italy and we know that it's not just about numbers. It's about the lives, career aspirations and futures of hundreds of thousands of so-called hard-working young Italians. They say it's a complex problem...but whose fault is it? You know we have to give the blame to someone.
Politics: Should the Italian government do more to encourage businesses to hire young people, by offering tax breaks, for example? And the answer: "Well, it's my firm opinion that the unemployment problem should be apprehended in its entirety, and the authenticity of the outcome is a reality."
Suddenly afterwards, you get that far away look on their faces.
Their energy drips and their minds...float away.
We think it has something to do with the way they absorb food.
See? Now you know why they need that 3 hour afternoon siesta to recuperate.
Unfortunately, these characters are going to stick with us until retirement...unless we do something physical to them first.
Parents: Could the expectations and demands of most Italian parents be irrational? That's the idea you get when they start discussing the merits of their children as if they were some baron or artist from the Renaissance period.
"Our Leonardo has already blossomed into a very important person and should be acknowledged so in the workforce. So, when the perfect career opportunity arises, he will receive our blessings to pursue it."
Don't mistake these Italian parents as being rude. They're just treating you as insignificant. Just lean back and enjoy, and know one day Leonardo and company will wake up and realize they're caught in the Twilight Zone.
La Spezia - October 1, 2013 - A hamlet in the Ligurian Riviera hills is celebrating its first baby in 67 years, an arrival that has boosted its population to a whopping six.
Francesco was born last week to Michele and Sabrina Isella, a couple who said they moved to the tiny village of Lissa five years ago "because we love the woods around here".
"We didn't want to start a family in an industrialized zone," Sabrina told a local paper. "We discovered this place and decided to change our lives".
Sabrina teaches middle school in a nearby town while her jobless husband, both from Lecco north of Milan, tends to the trees surrounding their home. "We don't have any problems" they say.
Lissa residents who, like those of many isolated Italian villages, have seen their birthplace become deserted over recent decades, said they saw the blue ribbon on the Isellas' house as "a sign of hope".
Oh, that poor little Francesco. You have to feel for the little eggplant.
"We don't have any problems..."
And talk about burning bridges. The only explanation they all must have in common for living like this is the inherent mistrust of relatives.
And there's no worse feeling than knowing you're not alone. Walk down the street and immediately get pulled into a conversation no matter how much time has gone by (this is where the nincompoop factor kicks in):
"I heard Francesco's toilet training has finally hit a turning point. I'm just a bit disappointed I'm the only one around here who shouldn't know he finally hit the bowl right."
You see? This is the type of recklessness that can throw an entire town for a loop.
Venice - October 1, 2013 - A proud Italian who was so irritated with what he saw displayed in a window shop in Venice decided to take a photo and send it to the Palermo edition of Italy's largest-circulation daily newspaper; a fake Sicilian cannoli advertised as the real thing.
"It represents a damage to the entire Sicilian pastry tradition and an insult to tourists who think they are tasting one of the best products of that tradition," he wrote to the paper.
The cannoli on display in the Venice store are made with puff pastry and filled with whipped cream. A real Sicilian cannolo is made with crispy dough and filled with sweet and creamy ricotta cheese.
Cannoli are so important in the culinary tradition that they have been included in the list of "Italian traditional food products" by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of the Italian Government.
"Disgraziati", no shame. If you're expecting a rant against those Venetians, forget it. Not in today's issue. (Give us a chance to finish dusting the office.)
"Si", we realize it's insulting to us Sicilians, but if you suggest to a Venetian that he/she shouldn't burn their bridges the typical arrogant response you'll get is, "Oh, minchia, that's ok! I have a boat right outside. Next topic!"
Those Venetians are who they are. But, "mamma mia", our Italian compatriots who emigrated to the United States are another story.
The cannoli versions with which Americans are most familiar tend to involve variations on the original concept of the Sicilian dessert. This is definitely due to the adaptations made by bored Italians who emigrated to the USA in the early 1900s...and jokingly claimed the limited availability of important ingredients.
Cannoli (warning: can only be found on the black market):
"Oh, no, no, noooo...it's not the same. Per favore, please, don't insist. It's not the same."
Pete (American baker): "How about a custard of sugar, milk, and cornstarch?"
Note: If we may defend Italians for a quick moment. Italians don't lie. They just say things that, one generation later, turn out to be untrue.