"O sole mio!" Welcome to another "fun under the Sicilian sun" edition of "Only In Italy!"
Quick, open the taps and fill the bottles! Our Lord Jesus Mayor screwed something up again. "Alla Saluta! Alla Saluta to you fine gentlemen for keeping us in stitches, with or without "wine on tap." Grazie! Debbie
Thanks for the letter, Debbie, and drink up!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - October 21, 2008 - A concert violinist has been given a gun permit so he can protect his 7.6 million Euro (9.7 million USD) Stradivarius violin.
Matteo Fedeli, 36, travels all round Italy with his rare instrument and has been given police permission to protect it with a a 357 Smith and Wesson Magnum.
He said he also has a team of bodyguards wherever he goes with the instrument who plan his route meticulously and make sure he is not followed. And he also has an armed escort as he travels to his concerts.
"Thankfully I've never had to use my gun but a 357 Magnum is certainly a useful deterrent," he said.
"I did once have a concert though where the crowd started to get a bit close to me and the violin and my bodyguards quickly made a human barrier around me.
"Anyone would tried to steal a rare instrument would be a bit silly though because they have satellite alarms built in and it's not as if they could just go and sell it at an auction without being noticed anyway."
"Ma chi se ne frega, Matteo?
Amadeus, you should have a cup of tea and try to relax. After the 3 Tenors broke up it's been pretty much down hill for classical and opera music.
Regardless, we're sure our readers would like to know:
- Have you ever played your violin with too much emotion and have your gun accidentally go off and shoot you in the foot?
Last but not least, has it ever occurred to you to avoid all this aggravation and worry by storing the violin in a safe deposit box, firing the bodyguards, putting away the gun, and buying a violin on Amazon?
Trapani - October 21, 2008 - A man was arrested Tuesday for growing marijuana on his balcony opposite the law court in this Sicilian city.
Police confiscated five 2 meter-high (6.6 feet) plants growing in pots and half a kilogram of marijuana laid out to dry on a clothes horse. The man was named Alberto Cangemi, 22.
Police said he used "special" fertilizer to make his plants grow quicker.
"Porca di quella vacca", am I hallucinating or is the 'polizia' running across the street and coming into my building?
The residents of that Sicilian community will probably give the blame to the police:
"Cazzo, you're supposed to understand the community!"
"Vaffanculo, they don't understand that when a man is growing pot on his balcony, he's communicating with his community."
It's been said smoking marijuana raises one's consciousness level, doesn't it? (We wouldn't know because our news staff gets high on Sicilian life. Don't believe us? Pull up a few chairs in a typical Southern Italian piazza and inhale the hilarious everyday life that goes on. You'll float all the way back to your hotels.)
Getting back to the festival in Alberto's head... At what level of consciousness would you have needed to arrive to before you realized your 6 foot-high Super Pot was growing and sticking out from the side of the building?
Luxembourg - October 21, 2008 - Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said Tuesday that Italy had no intention of reneging on the fight against climate change but repeated that it could not accept a European Union package as it stands without further discussion.
Prestigiacomo was responding to a warning by French Premier Nicolas Sarkozy, who said Tuesday that it would be "irresponsible" and "a historic mistake for Europe" to let slip the EU's climate commitments. Prestigiacomo had told a conference of EU environment ministers on Monday that "profound changes" were needed in the climate package in light of the global economic crisis.
"Italy cannot accept measures that would pass unsustainable costs, without advantages for the climate, onto Italian businesses and families," she explained Tuesday.
"What Italy wants is flexibility and equality in the measures". "We came to express Italy's point of view and find shared solutions," she said, adding that at least 10 other countries shared Italy's concerns about the need to take additional time to evaluate the impact of the credit crisis.
Although Sarkozy, who with France currently leads the EU rotating presidency, said he wanted Europe to stick to the objectives, at the same time he said it would be necessary to "find rules of flexibility" in the package.
Sarkozy repeated that the climate package would be approved in December with a majority vote. In the meantime, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said Tuesday that he would launch a technical discussion between the Italian authorities and the European Commission next week to discuss alleged disparities in the application costs of the package.
The EU have set costs at 9.5-12.3 billion euros, while Italy claims these will be 18-25 billion.
"We hope there will be a clarification on costs within the next few days," said Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo.
Angelo Bonelli of Italy's Green Party said the Italian government's attitude towards the climate change package was "medieval, and light years away from that of enlightened EU countries such as France, Spain and Germany".
"Every year Italian families pay extremely high economic, environmental and health costs, around 22 billion euros a year, as a result of climate change and the absence of initiatives to combat it," he said.
"Cough-cough, cornuto...I can't breathe in this country."
Why does the European Union have to break Italian chops? Maybe it's too difficult to understand Italy has been mentally handicapped in confronting its environmental problems.
Can't we all just pollute and get along?
- Air pollution is a significant problem. Last checked from the sheets hanging from the clothes line, Italy had the world's tenth highest level of industrial carbon dioxide emissions. In Palermo, if the lack of oxygen from the traffic doesn't kill you your defiance of physics will; an enchanted city where the vehicles and pedestrians combat like in Matrix to occupy the same space at the same time.
- Water pollution is another important environmental issue. The nation's rivers and coasts have been polluted by industrial and agricultural contaminants and its lakes contaminated by acid rain. That's why Italy packages and sells 280 brands of bottled water which is considered an everyday drink for most Italians. You see, we NEED lots of water to choose from. We need to compare and choose between this water, that water...and water.
- Facilities for the treatment and disposal of wastes are inadequate. Italy's cities produce 19.1 million tons of solid waste per year. 18 million tons of this waste is produced in Naples alone.
- The long-term threat posed by flooding, pollution, erosion, sinkage, AND praying to the island city of Venice. The prayers originate from fleeced tourists who pray for the city to sink.
Stefania Prestigiacomo, Sicilian Princess and Environment Minister: "We are really doing badly on Kyoto. We actually have a 13% growth trend in emissions instead of a decrease of 6.5%. However; does it make sense that it is we who must deal with the pollution of the world while countries like the United States try to wriggle out of the Kyoto Protocol?"
"Mamma mia", no hint of brains or femininity in that statement, whatsoever!