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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"The Party and Picnic Are Over"



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"Buon Giorno!" Welcome to the only newsletter that asks the question, "Is it part of our DNA to wear sunglasses inside and after dark?" "Only In Italy!"

Ahh...this article is so true! Here in Italia we have our version of "Survivor" and you would laugh as hard as I have when I watched it!

First of all...they are "stranded" on an island, but with a suitcase each full of their personal articles and clothing! They are also supplied with fire, cooking utensils, water and at times "mystery" food seems to appear! I still have not seen any challenges done... just lot's of gossip, men and women walking around half naked, working on their bronzed tans! It's like watching an Italian soap opera!

So...when I read your article, I just laughed at the part of makeup and how lazy they would be to have to walk around the island in search of their own bananas and pineapples! On this show, it's a showcase for all the Italian designer clothing they are wearing! Ciao from Milano! Joyce

Thanks for the TV review, Joyce.

No need for us to watch "Survivor" for we live the show. We're also stranded on an island and it's called Sicily.

We have fire, cooking utensils, gossip, bronzed tans and fresh water...every 4 days, though. Sometimes, we break down and cry in front of a TV camera and ask to be taken off the island but this usually occurs during the winter months.

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

Italian Cabinets Approve Fiscal Federalism

Rome - October 3, 2008 - The cabinet on Friday gave the green light to a so-called 'fiscal federalism' bill - a system whereby regions collect and spend their own tax revenue rather than sending it to central government.

The bill, drawn up by Simplification Minister Roberto Calderoli and Regional Affairs Minister Raffaele Fitto, also gives greater autonomy to city councils and provincial governments to manage revenue and spending. Fitto said that the bill, which was agreed with regional, provincial and city governments, is still "necessarily generic" at this stage but that the cabinet approval was nevertheless "a historic moment".

Calderoli said that the government's task was now "to add the numbers" to the bill. Calderoli has hit out at critics who say fiscal federalism will benefit the highly productive north at the expense of the underdeveloped south, stressing that the bill also foresees an equalization fund to help regions with lower income. But opposition politicians reacted with suspicion to the bill, which they claimed was too vague.

"They're telling us that with fiscal federalism the north, the center and the south of Italy will benefit - something's not right here," said Democratic Party MP Giuseppe Berretta.

"Our priority is that federalism is connected with renewed attention for the south and a guaranteed respect for service standards for all citizens, whether they be from Veneto or Sicily," he added.

The president of the southern region of Calabria, Agazio Loiero, also urged caution.

"I would avoid blowing the trumpets (prematurely). We are just at the beginning and we only have an outline of the idea," he said.

"There's still a lot to clarify and a lot of work to avoid perpetuating Italy's north-south divide," he added.

The devolutionist Northern League party, which forms part of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, has fought a long battle for fiscal federalism. Parliament is now set to examine the bill as part of the state budget, which will be voted on by the end of the year, although Calderoli said it would take "up to 24 months" before fiscal federalism could be put into motion.

Federalismo Fiscale = Napolitani, Calabrese, Pugliese e Siciliani Fottuti.

Understand, the major differences between the North and South boil down to the management of time, finances, relations and the kitchen. Whether all of this justifies a separation of North and South, the future will tell. One thing is for sure: splitting up Italy seems to be a lot easier than trying to unite it.

1.) The border between North and South Italy is not clearly defined:

The Northerners: "Tuscany is the southernmost part of the North. Rome is accepted to be positioned centrally, but we claim Rome is already part of Southern Italy considering the level of corruption there. We have no reason to cross it other than for beach holiday purposes."
The Southerners: "The Northern borders are constantly open like the legs of a "mignotta" and have allowed the entrance of aspects of just about every European culture. This is why they are not real Italians."

2.) Occupation and Industry:

The Northerners: "We associate Italy with design, science, industry and prosperity. The Southerners do not even work hard enough to call themselves Italians."
The Southerners: "Life in the North is all about work, not about living. We live for life. However, we are not afraid of hard work...just low-paying hard work."

3.) Language:

The Northerners: "The official Italian language is Dante's Italian which comes from the Tuscany region. Northern Italian is much closer to the ideal Italian than Southern Italian. Southerners often speak repulsive Italian. They make lots of mistakes, even if they are not speaking their regional dialect."
The Southerners: "But you understand "Vaffanculo", don't you? So did Dante."

4.) Stereotypes:

The Northerners: "Southerners will always be "Terroni", which presents them as ill-mannered peasants attached to the countryside. The women are less punctual, less patient and more hot-tempered."
The Southerners: "We prefer to call them "Polentone", for the fact that they eat tasteless corn-based Polenta, which we do not consider proper Italian food. And why are they so vicious to the South? They act surprised when they see us wearing belts instead of rope to hold our pants up."


Pope: "Money Leads To Sand"

Vatican City - October 6, 2008 - The international cash crisis has shown where the pursuit of money can lead, Pope Benedict XVI said Monday.

Taking his cue from a famous Bible parable on false prophets, the pope said: "He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money, he builds the house of his life on sand".

"We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing," the pope said at a televised Bible reading.

"All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God's words are a solid reality".

Msgr Claudia Maria Celli, head of the Vatican's culture department, told reporters the Catholic Church doesn't have solutions to the crisis because they would be outside its remit. He said the Church's reflection on financial crises "has just started". But he stressed the significance of the pope's words, saying "the economy is a penultimate reality, however important it is".

"Grazie Pope!" Words of wisdom that should be observed by the greedy "figli di puttane" who work in the financial sector and brought us the crisis of the century. Many years will pass before the people will ever trust you again, "disgraziati!"

Luckily, the Italian race learned its lessons long ago...

The Pope must know the Italians would render unto God but never to Caesar. In other words, they will always evade paying taxes.

Fact: Of Italy's 40 million taxpayers, 10 million report less than 6,000 Euros a year, only 5% admit to 40,000 Euros and a paltry 0.8% declare to more than 100,000 Euros. The gap is at least 100 billion a year Euros, 7% of GDP.

For centuries Italians have had a very keen sense of hiding money and avoiding taxes for they have always despised and mistrusted the despicable, loathsome, vile, obnoxious and corrupt politicians who clearly run the country and wildly spend their earnings. These feelings go back to the ancient times of Emperor Nero.

When this great Roman fruitcake finished playing the fiddle while Rome burned, he decided it was essential to rebuild the city. At one point he ran out of existing funds so he felt there was a need to raise a tax. He went to all the heads of noble and wealthy families in the Empire and gave them a clear choice:

"Uh, buon giorno! So sorry to intrude. I need you to please sign all your wealth over to the state in your will and then commit suicide. If not we kill you and your family now and take everything anyway. Thank you and arrivederci."


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The Picnic in St Mark's Square Is Over!

The Picnic in St Mark's Square Is Over!Venice - October 6, 2008 - People have started obeying orders not to stop and snack in Venice's famous St Mark's Square, officials said Monday.

"The picnic's over," said city decorum pointman Augusto Salvadori. "Today there was no one lying around eating in St Mark's".

Six city cops have been deployed to enforce the 'anti-bivouac' ordinance, Salvadori said. He voiced the hope that soon they won't be needed any more.

"Tomorrow we'll see multi-lingual signs go up detailing what is allowed in the square, and hopefully people will get the message."

"If need be, we're always here to remind them".

Among other things, the signs will point people to the Royal Gardens as a better place for snacking. Salvadori said the next front on the clean-up drive will be the graffiti that is despoiling palazzi and monuments.

"They cause enormous damage and we plan to get compensation from these so-called 'writers'," he said, announcing the arrival of 70 new surveillance cameras to join the 35 already in operation.

But the clean-up czar denied reports that the city drive was also aimed at preventing kids using chalk to mark the squares for skipping games.

"That's nonsense. I agree perfectly that children should have space to play in Venice," Salvadori said after traffic wardens were reported to have scolded children for drawing patterns for the traditional game of 'campagnon'. He said the city planned to open up more areas where children could play.

Venice authorities said last week they would launch an international competition for schemes to stop mass tourism spoiling St Mark's and the city's other famous squares. Venice launched its decorum drive two years ago to fight a modern wave of scruffiness and lax behavior it said was dragging its image down. Among other things it has employed so-called 'City Angels', a band of young women, to tell tourists to put their shirts back on, stop putting their feet in fountains and have their picnics away from the most popular sites.

The city has also launched a drive to rid St Mark's of the pigeons many people associate with it by banning feed vendors and taking other moves to shoo the birds away. Authorities said last week the anti-pigeon measures were proving "an unqualified success". The square's pigeon population was down from its historic levels of 20,000 to a bare thousand.

"Just a few months after the feed ban most of the square is free of the animals who have moved off to find food on the islands," said Venice Artistic Superintendent Renata Codello. She said the birds had "almost completely disappeared" from the logge on Palazzo Ducale (the Doge's Palace), once their favorite gathering spot.

The animals, which have been judged a health hazard and threat to city monuments, had also decamped from St Mark's Basilica, allowing the historic church's facade to be cleaned.

Since when does eating a candy bar that costs 6 Euros (plus tip) appear as if one is enjoying a mini-picnic? "Hey, non mi rompere le palle!"

"Tomorrow we'll see multi-lingual signs go up detailing what is allowed in the square, and hopefully people will get the message."

Do you understand, you good-for-nothing tourists?
Venice wants to know if you got the message? (il messaggio?, le message?, die Nachricht?, el mensaje?)
The party and picnic is over!

Rule: The tables in the Piazza are there for a reason!

Caffè Florian in St. Mark's: What's the brilliant logic behind high menu prices but no customers. Is one supposed to sit at one of the 60 empty tables and say, "Minchia, I was at the Florian. I left a kidney when I finished my cocktail but I saw the table of Goethe, Byron and Proust."

It would cost you less if you bring a chair, classical music and a nice bottle of Barolo to Byron's grave.

Rule: Music costs so don't listen!

"Excuse me waiter, Giuseppe, faccia di culo, whatever your name is...Two glasses of crappy house red wine (17 Euros for two), a tiny bottle of fruit juice that could barely nourish a mouse (8.50 Euros) and 12 Euros for listening to the chamber music (3 Euros per ear)?"

"Ah, you forgot the 6.50 surcharge because I'm wearing a hearing aid?"

It would cost you less if you buy a bottle of wine in a Venice bottega, chug it down in one of the aisles and dance over to the square to enjoy a lovely evening.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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