"La vita non è bella." Welcome to another informative fashion, soccer, and cheese issue of "Only In Italy!"
Hey, what would Italy be with out the Crooks, Polyticians (I spelled it right!)? Who can you complain about without them...Leave ITALY the way it is...I need to get back there soon! And this time STAY... Keep this page going, just make it bigger. Jon
"Sta pippa", we can't make it bigger because it's a constant fight. We're fighting the bureaucracy, crooks, and 'polyticians' and you're fighting the English language.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Pompeii - October 20, 2008 - The Vatican has defended Pope Benedict's decision to avoid direct condemnation of organized crime during a trip to an area infested by the Camorra, one of its most ruthless manifestations.
The pope made a day-long trip to Pompeii to say a Mass and pray the rosary at a sanctuary in the modern section of the city.
In his speeches, Pope Benedict did not use the words organized crime or Camorra, as the local mafia is known. He made only an oblique reference when he said prayer is "a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil and every form of violence".
Questioned by reporters, a Vatican spokesman said the Pope had intentionally avoided the word Camorra.
"The trip has a strictly spiritual dimension and it was out of respect for the fact that most people from this area are honest and not members of organized crime," he said.
"The pope preferred suggesting the positive energy through which the Camorra can be defeated," he said, noting the he did speak out against organized crime in a visit to Naples in 2007.
A local newspaper ran a headline wrongly predicting that the pope would make appeals against organized crime and in support of jobs in an area of high unemployment.
Modern Pompeii is one of a string of bleak, run-down towns in the Naples hinterland and in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius where the crime group has a strong presence.
The Camorra, which makes its money in extortion rackets, drug trafficking, and smuggling, was recently the subject of a hit movie Gomorra based on the best-selling book of the same name by Roberto Saviano.
The title of the film and book is a play on the word Camorra and the Italian spelling of Gomorrah, the sinful city which God destroyed along with Sodom in the Old Testament.
A Small Sad Lesson in History:
The late Pope John Paul II gave an impressive example for how a Pontiff can take on the Mafia. In May 1993, after a high-profile wave of Mafia killings, the Pope reprehended the Mafia's culture of death in an emotionally charged sermon in Agrigento, Sicily, the home territory of Cosa Nostra.
"I say to those responsible: Convert! One day, the judgment of God will arrive!"
Two months later, the Mafia cowardly responded by bombing two historic churches in Rome.
"The trip has a strictly spiritual dimension and it was out of respect for the fact that most people from this area are honest and not members of organized crime." We can agree to a certain spiritual point however, let's make it clear we are dealing with Naples. Most of the people are not members of organized crime but...they're guilty of something. All Napolitani are guilty of something!
This is a province that has proven Darwin's theory wrong: "Evolution stopped at the pizza."
"The pope preferred suggesting the positive energy through which the Camorra can be defeated." Hmmm...the only energy that comes to mind would be a nice positive lava flow from Mt. Vesuvius. It'll clean up the left-over garbage and clan members in the streets.
Mallare - October 18, 2008 - An Italian council worker is getting the bullet from his bosses after he was shot on a hunting trip when he should have been working.
Adriano Germano, 56, an engineer, turned up to work and told bosses he was going out on an all-day job to help fix some water pipes.
But he sneaked off after clocking in to go hunting in nearby forests with some pals and ended up in hospital for 20 days when a pal accidentally blasted him with a shotgun.
Suspicious bosses in Mallare, northern Italy, called in police when they heard about the injury and discovered what had happened.
Now he's facing jail on charges of defrauding the state.
A police spokesman said: "The man had tried to claim that his injuries were a result of him doing his job.
"But he was a bit stuck to come up with an explanation as to how he had been peppered with shot from a hunting gun while working on pipes."
"Adriano, che cazzo ti è successo?"
Is it us or do our readers also imagine this halfwit with a body completely covered by hair?
"Now he's facing jail on charges of defrauding the state." FAIL! Even the hunted animals know the worst that 'Grizzly Adriano' will suffer is a brief suspension from his state job thanks to the 1992 Concertazione agreements between unions, government, and business which gave labor incredible negotiating power.
If he would have brought his shot of the day into work and rest it on the side of his desk, his coworkers would have complimented him and asked what gauge he used.
The only lesson Grizzly learned is to stay away from the pal with the bad aim.
"Amici, let's get nothing done and onward to the next pheasant hunt!"
Catania - October 17, 2008 - Anti-mafia police on Friday said they would launch an immediate investigation into why a businessman suspected of Mafia association had a copy of a classified document from Italy's national crime bureau DIA in his possession.
The copy of the note from the DIA to the regional government requesting information about the financial affairs of Mario Giuseppe Scinardo was found during a police operation to seize 200 million euros of assets from the Messina entrepreneur.
"This is an unsettling and disturbing turn of events and may be a sign of the Mafia's capacity to infiltrate government bodies, especially regional ones," said Catania public prosecutor Vincenzo D'Agata, who oversaw the operation.
"However, I wouldn't want people to jump to conclusions," he said, adding that police needed to investigate how the tip-off found its way into Scinardo's hands.
Police seized company assets, villas, shops, plots of land, cement factories and agricultural tourism businesses from Scinardo, as well as 90 vehicles including sports cars, trucks, earth-moving machinery and tractors. Investigators believe Scinardo has links to the Rampulla clan in Messina and say he may have provided safe houses for fugitive mobsters and for Mafia bosses to hold meetings.
Befuddled Public Prosecutor: "Faccia di culo", how did he know what my favorite pasta dish is?
Apparently there is a problem here. The Anti-mafia police must understand they have trouble understanding.
Dialogue between the Catania Public Prosecutor and an 8-year-old Sicilian child:
Prosecutor: We seized 90 of Mario's sports cars, trucks, machinery and tractors. We suspect he may be linked with Mafia clans.
Prosecutor: We also seized company assets, villas, shops, plots of land, cement factories and agricultural tourism businesses.
Prosecutor: Why a businessman suspected of Mafia association had a copy of a classified crime document may be a sign of the Mafia's capacity to infiltrate government bodies.
Prosecutor: However, I wouldn't want people to jump to conclusions.
Prosecutor: Conversation over. Go home little boy. Ciao!