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 2010
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"'World's Smallest Apartment' For Sale"



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"Piove, cavolo!" Welcome to another realtor's issue of "Only In Italy!"

Pepe, I always enjoy your "Only In Italy" newsletter. You are amazing because especially for your passion of writing of a beautiful country.

I want to compliment you on including the past articles, especially the history of Italy. The article is immense and thorough. It's as if it were whole years of history lessons of very interesting knowledge. Many thanks, Vincent

Grazie Vincenzo. We wouldn't exactly call ourselves amazing. Simply put, our writing is a result of a common Italian disease called "molto tempo libero" (lots of free time).

"...history lessons of very interesting knowledge." Is that so? Well, maybe we should publish an encyclopedia set. Make sure to buy a set for your children.    

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

'World's Smallest Apartment' For Sale

Rome - October 4, 2010 - A former porter's closet measuring five square meters (55 sq ft) has gone on the market in Rome at 50,000 Euros ($70,000 USD).

The property, which is being described as the world's smallest apartment, lies in the heart of the Italian capital, which has become one of the world's most expensive cities for property, but is barely large enough to contain a single bed.

The owner of the bijou property says he has been inundated with queries since putting it on the market a few days ago. Presented as a "compact bedsit", it is located on Piazza di Sant' Ignazio, a picturesque square overlooked by an enormous Renaissance church.

One report described it as "little bigger than a wigwam" while a daily newspaper commented: "In Rome, people now live like rats".

The flat consists of a ground floor bathroom with a shower, sink and lavatory and a ladder leading to a sleeping platform just big enough for a single bed. There is a single window, but to open it you have to climb over the bed.

It lies just behind Palazzo Grazioli, the imposing mansion which is rented by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, as his private residence in the capital.

Real estate agent: The closet is fantastic. It has all new amenities and we'll take back the mortgage on it. But we do advise it's a little tight in space so, keep your dust outside and try not to breathe heavily. And please pay no attention to the pigeons staring in the window, laughing. Italian rat: "Cornuto! How do I get out of this hole?"

Italian real estate is a convoluted and troublesome area, so before you get in contact with "figli di puttane" realtors or real estate agents who have property for sale in Rome you may find it helpful to get to grips with the costs involved in buying property there.

- Real estate agency fees: Expect to pay between 1% and 4% (average 2%) of the purchase price to the agency which took 30 seconds to show you the closet and its blueprints on a "post-it" note.

- Legal fees: Who could forget the Italian rat-bastard lawyers? Solicitors' obligations include the following: drawing up contracts, contacting the notary, paying taxes, and registering the property with the land registry (catasto). Expect to pay about 2% of the closet's cost.

- Notary fees: The "notaio minchione" is responsible for recording the transaction and contacting the relevant authorities. His fees, which closely resemble larceny, are generally about 4% of the declared price.

- Taxes: Registration tax will be a minimum of 4% for first-time buyers who are residents. Ah! Don't forget the state 20% VAT (value added tax) for your closet.

- Local Town Hall Tax: The Imposta Comunale Immobili (ICI) is the council tax and is between 0.4% and 0.7% of a property's value. The local authority decides the actual rate depending on the type, location and size of your closet.

50,000 + 16,350 = 66,350 Euros ($92,000 USD)... "Minchia", wouldn't it be cheaper to buy and assemble a nice living room and bathroom from IKEA and live under one of the bridges along the Tiber river?


Reggio Calabria: "Look, Someone Forgot A Bazooka..."

Reggio Calabria - October 5, 2010 - A bazooka was found near the main courthouse here after an anonymous phone tip-off during the course of some 250 raids across the southern city in connection with a series of threats on local magistrates.

"During the course of the phone call, fresh threats were made against Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone," police said.

Reggio has been a hotbed of threats from the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia ever since a car was found full of weapons and explosives on January 21, not far from the route Italian President Giorgio Napolitano took when he visited the city that day. On September 21 a man with links to 'Ndrangheta was arrested in connection with that incident.

Demetrio Domenico Pratico', 49, was accused of mafia association and illegal possession of weapons.

Judge also issued arrest warrants for two other men including a Mob-linked accountant who alerted police to the presence of the car not far from the railway station. Pignatone said at the time the explosives-packed car was a "charade" and reiterated that Napolitano's life had never been in danger.

However, Reggio prosecutors have been subjected to several more serious threats this year including a January 3 firebomb outside the main courtroom. The latest act came on August 26 when a bomb exploded outside the home of Reggio Calabria Prosecutor-General Salvatore Di Landro, damaging the entry and blowing out windows.

It was the second suspected act of intimidation against Di Landro since June, when mechanics found that the bolts on the wheels of his car had been loosened.

'Ndrangheta is Italy's most powerful mafia, having taken over that position from Cosa Nostra in Sicily. Fueled by drug wealth, it has expanded into northern Italy and other countries.

Let me tell you something if you have ever lived or visited that Calabria. It's not even of this planet. Oh! By the way, thatís not Calabria. Thatís what we call 'Jurassic Park!' They ought to section Calabria off and convert it into an adventure land or some scientific experiment.

The poor Calabrese have become shell-shocked and immune to all the crime that surrounds them. If a typical Calabrese sees a bazooka or a hand grenade on the sidewalk in broad daylight, he would say, "Mamma mia, thatís a terrible thing" and they would keep walking.

Hold on a second...You know, in a way I'm being light about it. He wouldn't keep walking. He'd put on an army helmet and run like a "bastardo" just to get away from the trauma. Of course, he would abandon his car for he'd be sure the bolts on the wheels were probably loosened!

A typical mamma Calabrese (a great liberal): "No no, figlio mio! We have to learn to live together and stand up to these criminals! We can't run."
Son: "Minchia, sure we can run! The whole world is running, mamma! I'm not going out there to save Private Ryan. 'Fanculo, me ne vado! (#@*%, I'm out of here!)


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Fat Italian Men Surpass Fat Italian Women

Rome - October 5, 2010 - Italian men have surpassed women for obesity but this not because women are trimming down but because men are getting fatter, according to a new study out on Tuesday.

Produced by the Italian Association for Diet and Clinical Nutrition (ADI), the report said that in Italy one out of three people are now overweight and one out of ten are obese.

Looking at the age group between 35 and 74, considered the 'heavy years', the study found that while 24% of women were obese, the same percentage as ten years ago, the percentage of men who are obese climbed from 19% to 25%.

ADI said the main reason for this was due to too much stress in the workplace, too little free time and too many meals consumed outside the home which were not exactly diet orientated.

"The positive news which emerged from our study is that Italians appear to becoming more aware of the importance of a balanced diet as well as such things as exercise," ADI Chairman Giuseppe Fatati said.

In order to help people with weight problems, Fatati announced that ADI has organized 'Obesity Day', which will actually be two days, October 10 and 11, during which the public will be able to consult with specialists and receive free information.

"Eh cavolo", what a funny and stupid race to be winning at.

The reason why Italian men are winning the fat race is because we're so in denial, we don't realize when we're eating. We can't help it. We love Italian food; the more sauce, the merrier! And there's no need to exaggerate with fat statistics for some of us are just 10 kgs overweight, not 10 people overweight. Although, we'll admit some of our "porco" friends look like they should be covered with trees.

So, "per favore", let it be.

And another thing...just because we shifted our appetite from fourth to fifth gear doesn't mean Italian women should take it easy and disregard their physical appearance. We'll bet our next pot of Fettuccine Bolognese that it's getting difficult for them to carefully choose the correct extra large clothing and facial treatments for the extra chin.

By the way, isn't it considered proper etiquette in Italy to pass fat women on the right a vehicle? Hmmm?

"In order to help people with weight problems, Fatati announced that ADI has organized 'Obesity Day', which will actually be two days, October 10 and 11." Unfortunately, most of us won't be able to make it for we'll be grazing those days.


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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