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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October 2008
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"Italian Researchers On The Brink of Lunacy"



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"I just wanted to say thank you. I received the beautiful Sandro plate today. It is gorgeous, and was exactly like I expected! Your website gave a very accurate description. I will make sure to tell my friends and family about your company!" E. Walcott (Solana Beach, California)

Take a look at our grand catalog and you'll find that perfect & unexpected wedding and anniversary gift. Only at!

"Lasciami in pace!" Welcome to the only newsletter that would endorse sheep shaving for the next summer Olympics, "Only In Italy!"

It's not just Venice, it is the whole of Italy! "If you are not Italian we will rip you off!"

I have lived in Rome for 6 years and I have learnt when to talk and when not to. If they understand that I am English they will try to charge me extreme prices. Maria

We understand you, our dear Maria. Try purchasing a kilo of fresh ricotta from the hills of Agrigento. The sheep farmers will double the price if they see you wearing shoes.

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

Italians Consider Journalists To Be Filthy Liars

Milan - October 1, 2008 - The majority of Italians believe the nation's journalists are ill-informed, biased and outright liars, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

The survey of 2,000 Italians by AstraRicerche for the Lombardy region's journalism council showed that the public standing of journalists has degenerated considerably over the last ten years.

"This is the first time in Italy that we have addressed the problems of journalism in the eyes of the reader explicitly and with a scientific analysis," said council president Letizia Gonzales at the presentation of the survey.

Around 68% of Italians think journalists are liars (up 8% from a similar survey in 1997), 60% say they are ill-informed (up from 48%), and 52% maintain they are biased (up from 51%). Only 40% went as far as suggesting that journalists are corrupt, however.

Enzo Finzi of AstraRicerche said that although the public's view of journalists "is continually worsening", the survey also revealed that "above all there is a massive, unsatisfied demand for good information".

Around 73% of Italians polled said the social role of the journalist was useful, although 15% were unconvinced, and a further 12% said journalists didn't serve any useful purpose.

The survey also produced a list of 'commandments' that the public required of the nation's journalists, with specialized competence, professionalism, clarity, the ability to involve the reader emotionally, and effective communication in the top five slots.

But 44% of Italians said it was not necessary for a journalist to be likeable to do their job, whether working in newspaper or television journalism.

News title: "Alitalia Is Saved!"
This "schifoso cacasenno" is full of crap.

Italians considers its journalists to be liars because the country is without free information thanks to three smelly schemes:

1.) The Unconstitutional Gasparri Law:

Since 2004, the Gasparri Law allowed Silvio Berlusconi, elected Prime Minister to dominate the communications sector.

Italy suffered from a concentration of media power in the hands of supreme kingpin, Berlusconi, who, through his private media holdings and political power over RAI, the state television networks, controls 90% of the country's broadcast media. Berlusconi also owns two national newspapers (Il Giornale and magazine Panorama).

2.) Excessive Public Funding to Newspapers:

Though many European governments offer some form of subsidy to the print media, none are quite as generous as Italy, which forks out direct subsidies of about 600 million Euros per year to publishing companies, newspapers and periodicals directly linked to political parties or published by cooperatives.

An additional 400 million Euros then go as subsidies to radios, televisions and related enterprises. These are referred to as the "Publishing Industry Caste". Among the main beneficiaries are newspapers linked to political parties.

3) Restrictive National Order of Journalists:

Journalism in Italy is strictly regulated by a law enacted in 1963 which calls for journalists to take an entrance examination, placement on an 18 month probation period and mandatory enrollment with the "Order of Journalists", a one-of-a-kind roll created by Mussolini in 1925.

The "Order of Journalists" is controlled by the Italian government and placed under the auspices of the Minister of Justice.

The questionable comedy team at "Only In Italy" would like to take this opportunity to inform all our readers the following:

1.) We are not affected nor do we respect any Italian law that is unconstitutional;
2.) Our news office does not receive subsidies however, we have received a generous share of public threats,
3.) Our writers belong to the "Sicilian Order of Teste di Minchia" which calls for writers to discover electricity, buy a computer and stop picking fleas off themselves.


Potato Chip Study Wins a Spoof Nobel Prize

Potato Chip Study Wins a Spoof Nobel PrizeRome - October 3, 2008 - A study of how food that sounds better tastes better has won Italy its third spoof Nobel prize.

Massimiliano Zampini, 38, an experimental psychologist from northern Italy, got the funnier version of the Nobel for the joint study The Role of Auditory Cues in Modulating the Perceived Crispness and Staleness of Potato Chips.

Working with Professor Charles Spence at Oxford, he found that potato chips that sound crunchier taste better. Zampini said he was honored to get the Ig Nobel award, stressing that the prize may be humorous but the work was dead serious.

"People actually thought that we were giving them different chips when all we were doing was modulating the crunch," he said.

Zampini said he and Spence were sorry they couldn't attend the ceremony at Harvard University and "wouldn't dream" of refusing the honor.

"This prize represents a moment of fun, which is always welcome. Good science and humor make you laugh but think too".

The potato chip research earned Italy its third Ig Nobel. In 2000 a Pisa University team found that love was like obsessive-compulsive disorder and in 2003 a Rome group won for a work entitled Politicians' Uniquely Simple Personalities.

The Vatican also picked up a prize, for economics in 2005, for a study of "outsourcing prayer in India".

Spence and Zampini, who now works at Trento University, used the popular Pringles potato chip for their study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Sensory Research.

"The potato chips were perceived as being both crisper and fresher when the overall sound level was increased, or when just the high-frequency sounds were selectively amplified," they found. Zampini and Spence said this gives new insight into an old research finding.

Zampini and Spence's findings have already been put to work at the world-famous Fat Duck Restaurant in England, where diners who order a seafood dish also get an iPod that plays ocean sounds as they eat.

The Ig Nobels, an irreverent event that showcases the humorous side of science, takes place a few days before the real Nobel Prize announcements start. The annual award is given by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine to wacky but often surprisingly useful achievements. Organizers ham things up to the extreme.

When speeches go on for more than a minute, an 8-year-old named Miss Sweetie Poo is there to declare "Please stop. I'm bored," and usher the gushing prize-winners off the stage.

But the prizes are awarded to scientists for actual work, not stunts.

Fact: Italy has one of the lowest research expenditure rates in Europe, at around 1.1% of GDP; just enough to buy the Pringles.

"Sta pippa", realize what Italian research has come down to. They can't find a cure for cancer. They can't find a cure for the world financial crisis. What do they come up with?

"The Role of Auditory Cues in Modulating the Perceived Crispness and Staleness of Potato Chips"

An acceptance speech should have been given as appropriate as this "cazzata" of an award:

(Applause applause...)

"Ladies and gentlemen of the Ig Nobels, Mr. President, honored guests, other attendees and winners of this award..."

"As a proud psychologist devoted to the study of salty snack foods, you should be absolutely...thrilled with joy to get me to accept your stupid award!"

"How nice of my rat-bastard industry to finally open their ignorant eyes and recognize the greatness that is Zampini. Vaffanculo, did someone deem it inappropriate not to reward me with honors until I had single-handedly changed the scientific significance and approach towards potato chips?"

"I would like to thank you all again for this award...and you can all kiss my ass for not giving it to me sooner!"

On a final funny note, how did the Vatican outsource prayer in India?


Dolce per la Festa! This gift of great Sicilian taste is sure to please. Our cookie tray is filled with a scrumptious assortment of our best selling Italian and Sicilian cookies arranged on a golden cookie tray (Santo Trio Almond, Sicilian Orange Almond, Pistachio, Amarena, Buccellati and Sesame Seed Cookies). No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, or flavors.

"My mouth is already watering... Last time, I was bringing some to party, but due to weather, it was rescheduled for a month later... I froze the cookies and took them out the day of the party. The cookies never made to dessert time... Everyone kept sneaking into the kitchen to steal them and by the time dinner was more cookies! Thanks for making such a great product." Michele N. (Howell, New Jersey)

Come visit the bakery at!


Parmigiano Reggiano Most Shoplifted Supermarket Item

Parmigiano Reggiano Most Shoplifted Supermarket ItemRome - October 2, 2008 - Parmigiano Reggiano is top of Italy's food shoplifting charts, a new study said Thursday.

"The king of Italian cheeses is not only the biggest target of international food piracy but also the food item most regularly stolen from Italian supermarket shelves," the CIA farmers association said, citing a 2007 shoplifting study.

One in ten Parmigiano packages gets lifted by shop thieves, CIA said, putting it ahead of packaged meat and salami at one in twenty. Only two items, both non-food, were a more popular target than Parmigiano: disposable razors and printer ink cartridges.

Almost a quarter of throwaway razor packs gets nicked, CIA said, while 15% of ink cartridges disappears through the turnstiles.

"Oh, per favore stai zitta" and pass the Parmigiano!

Facts: Although similar hard cheese is made all around the world, the authentic Parmigiano Reggiano comes from a specific area around Parma and Reggio Emilia and is made from cows' milk. It takes 1100 liters (290 gallons) of milk to produce just two cheese wheels. It is stored for up to two years in carefully controlled conditions before being sold.

The average Italian family is said to consume half a kilo (about 1 lb) of Parmigiano a week with an average supermarket price of 12-16 Euros per kilo (16-22 USD for 2.2 lbs). Therefore; the tendency to shoplift is quite strong.

Another crime considered just as grim and uncivil is adding cheese to seafood.

Italians will turn up their noses and proclaim that cheese on seafood is an abomination. Of course, there are new Italian chefs who are creating daring new combinations that are all the rage but these are culinary mules who spend more time in the bathroom and at Fashion and Broadway shows than in front of the stoves.

Referring to a European retail theft barometer, a report on shoplifting reveals that 9 percent of all pre-packed Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is stolen, followed by meat (5.5 per cent) and wines and spirits (2 per cent). Razor blades are the most widely stolen item of all, almost 20 per cent disappearing in thefts.

Is it us or could an unemployed, unshaven Italian man with no money who wants to impress his date by cooking her dinner fit the profile of a typical shoplifter?


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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