"Buon Giorno!" Welcome to the newsletter that asks the question, "Where did they hide the 1 million tons of Naples garbage?", "Only In Italy!"
ONE OF YOUR READERS COMMENTED ON THEIR SICILIAN GRANDPARENTS DIALECT. I GREW UP WITH SICILIAN GRANPARENTS WHO LIVED IN MANHATTAN. IN SCHOOL WHEN I WAS ASKED TO SAY SOMETHING IN SICILIAN I WOULD GET CRUDE "WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
EXAMPLE: "PECHALEDO" (SPELLING?) MEANS YOUNG CHILD; NEVER USED RAGAZZO AND BAMBINO...WAS ONLY FOR THE NEW BORNS.
EH, WHAT DO I KNOW? I WAS BORN IN THE U.S. 72 YEARS AGO AND I STILL SOUND CRUDE. Joe I.
Thanks for the feedback, Giuseppe.
Don't worry, you don't sound crude, Giuseppe. Be proud of your Sicilian heritage just as we are (some of the time). Besides, people will simply think you're funny...and a bit senile.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - October 31, 2008 - An acclaimed violinist has been caught selling his students fake vintage violins for hundreds of thousands of euros.
Sergey Diatchenko, 64, a Russian with Italian nationality, was arrested on fraud charges after police went to a payout for a violin he claimed was made by the great 16th-century violin maker Gasparo da Salo'. Da Salo' is credited with making the first modern violins along with Andrea Amati, another historic craftsman whose work Diatchenko claimed to have.
Diatchenko, a student of the great Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan, also sold a fake violin he said was made by Andrea Amati's even more famous grandson Nicolo', the man who taught Antonio Stradivari his trade.
The student who led the police to the payout had become suspicious after paying 650,000 euros for a fake instrument attributed to the celebrated 18th-century craftsman Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.
Police found 197 violins in Diatchenko's studio, all cheap modern mock-ups of historically famous instruments. So far police have identified six students cheated by the violin teacher - six Italians, a Dutch man and a South Korean woman.
"Cacchio" of course it's a genuine 'Guadagnini'! Now, stop drooling and look at the craftsmanship.
You know, an earthquake is less of a threat than a typical Italian fraud; less people hurt.
The person who was shafted of 650,000 Euros (812,000 USD) on the fake 'Guadagnini' was a 30 year-old, wheelchair-bound student of Diatchenko who spent his entire accident compensation on the spectacular purchase. For all of you who wake up at the crack of dawn and constantly repeat the words, "customer service, how can I help you?", does this story make you want to pour your breakfast over your head...or his?
A warning to all violinists (handicapped and non) who have a "deal of the century" in the works in Italy: All the real 'Stradivarius' violins are accounted for!
There are no original Strads out there floating about or in some Sicilian barn, Naples attic, or villa estate sale.
Valeggio sul Mincio - October 31, 2008 - Divorcing couples in Italy are flocking to a photographer who's offering to shoot a wedding-style album of their split.
Gianni Fasolini, from Valeggio sul Mincio, had the brainwave after reading that the divorce rate was going through the roof.
"People celebrate a marriage as a milestone in their lives, but a divorce is an important event too," he explained.
The 45-year-old added: "I have been doing photos of weddings and marriage ceremonies for years, day in and day out, and people told me they like having a photo marking important events in their lives.
"Then I got to thinking that maybe there would be some demand for people marking their divorces and so I started to offer photo sessions for freshly divorced couples them smiling or shaking hands or in some cases even kissing.
"I advertised the offer and as soon as people found out about it they were lining up at my shop for sessions."
"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's..."
"Hey Gianni, make sure you get a real good shot of my foot kicking his ass out the door."
The "Two People with Nothing Fight Over Nothing" Photo Album
Photo 1: Francesca showing how difficult it is to keep a pair of matching socks together,
Photo 1: Mario's fashion statement (wearing sandals with socks),
Vatican City - October 30, 2008 - Would-be priests should be vetted by a psychologist before they are allowed to start training, the Vatican said Thursday.
Under new guidelines issued to bishops and the heads of seminaries, mental health professionals should assess candidates' personalities and sexual leanings in order to evaluate their suitability for the role.
"Vocational errors of judgement are not rare, and too many mental shortcomings come to the surface only after ordination. Recognizing this in time will prevent so many dramas," the guidelines say.
The trainee priests must consent to the psychological probing, which will be carried out by Catholic professionals. A candidate must stop training if, despite the support of a psychologist or psychotherapist, "he continues to show an inability to deal realistically with his own serious immaturities," according to the guidelines.
These immaturities are listed as "strong emotional dependence, notable lack of frankness in relationships, excessive rigidity of character, lack of loyalty, uncertain sexual identity and strongly rooted homosexual tendencies" as well as "evident difficulty" with celibacy.
While in the past the Vatican has distinguished between gay tendencies and the practice of homosexuality, the guidelines come closer than ever to an outright ban on admitting gays to the priesthood.
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of Catholic Education Congregation, said at the presentation of the guidelines that even if a trainee priest does not practice homosexuality, "if he has a rooted tendency, he cannot be admitted to the seminary".
Grocholewski stressed that this was "not because he commits a sin, but because homosexuality is a deviation, an irregularity, a wound" that prevents priests from doing their job.
The guidelines reinforce recommendations issued in 2005 following a wave of pedophile priest cases around the world as well as frequent reports of active homosexuality among clerics.
"Per l'amore di Santa Maria", is this my evaluation for the Catholic Church or Broadway?
Seminary evaluation for "Don Peppino":
Is still able to get the Mass done...if altar boys help.
Donated his brain to the Church before he was done using it.
This priest is depriving a village in Calabria of an idiot.
Finds seventeen reasons to do anything except take a confession.
Works incredibly well, when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.
Does unfunny impression of Saint Gennaro.
Not very convincing when persuading American tourists the Statue of Liberty is a symbolic representation of the Church.
Recommendation: Can still be involved in Church activities, without having to be ordained...like shoveling the sidewalk.