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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November 2010
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"Pompeiiís Mystery Horse Is A Donkey"

(11/08/10)

 

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"Che giornata del culo!" Welcome to the Sicilian version of the "Lawrence Welk Show", "Only In Italy!"

As usual, you guys had me in stitches. Here's some food for thought, let's send the near-do-wells at the Vaticano down to bella Napoli to clean up the trash. They'll do a real job for once and the Napolitani will get a fresh start for their next trash heap. Larry W.

Grazie Larry! Hmmm...obviously you don't know your Vatican history, Lawrence. If that Vatican invades Napoli and cleans it up, the city will become part of the Vatican's sovereign territory. They'll build a huge wall around the city to keep the Napolitani and Catholic infidels like you and I out.

Then they'll get rid of their Vatican garbage by tossing it over the wall.   

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      


Pompeiiís Mystery Horse Is A Donkey

Naples - November 3rd, 2010 - Indeed, the identity of the strange breed of 'horse' that has been discovered in 2004, at Pompeii, has been cleared out by a Cambridge University researcher, who realized it was actually a donkey.

Back in 2004, when academics unearthed skeletons found at a house in the ancient Roman town that was covered in ashes in 79 AD, they thought it belonged to an extinct breed of horse. The mistake was made at the DNA analysis, and Susan Gurney from the University's Institute of Continuing Education, working with Dr Peter Forster on horse genetics at the University of Cambridge, realized the mistake when she revisited the study.

What happened really was that there seems to have been a mix-up in the lab, which led to horse DNA being combined with donkey DNA, creating an artificial hybrid that actually never existed.

Six years ago, the skeletons of equids having belonged to a rich Roman household in Pompeii were analyzed. There were found in the stables of a probably wealthy politician, and all five of them were very well preserved by the volcanic ash that covered Pompeii and Herculaneum, when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

The team then analyzed the mitochondrial DNA sequences (mtDNA) of each of the horses, and found that one of them had a mysterious type of DNA, that was no longer found today, probably an unknown breed of horse, which had disappeared. Luckily, Susan Gurney examined the research and found that there was an accidental combination of a donkey mDNA sequence with that of a horse.

She explained in her journal article that the first 177 nucleotides matched existing patterns of donkey, and the next 193 nucleotides matched those of an existing breed of horse.

"Looking at the research with hindsight, it's possible to recognize two separate strands of horse and donkey DNA," she said.

"In addition, the horse DNA that appears to have been inadvertently mixed in with the donkey's genetic information is the same type as that found in another Herculaneum horse, which might be the source of the mistake."

This research could still have its importance, because apparently the DNA of this newly identified donkey finds its closest match with the DNA of domestic donkeys related to the Somali wild ass that lives in Italy today.

This might be evidence that the 'Somali' ass lineage dates back to at least Roman times, whereas in other European countries, asses are often descended from the Nubian lineage.

And the horse is really a donkey..."puttana miseria". And to imagine this incredible news would have never come to light if that house in Pompeii would have collapsed on the academics of asses.

Susan Gurney: "Looking at the research with hindsight, it's possible to recognize two separate strands of horse and donkey DNA."
Napolitano researchers: "Looking at these crumbling walls with hindsight, it's possible to recognize the amount of restoration and maintenance funding we're going to make disappear."

Here is a list of other Naples studies currently under close analysis:

1) Many of the houses in Pompeii contained the very well preserved remains of large households of six or more residents. 1,930 years later, the tradition of large households in Naples continues with a number of Napolitani cousins all living under the same roofs.

2) Why do 67% of open market vendors wear dirty socks?

3) There recently was a 2 million Euro study that discovered that most of the streets in Naples were filled with garbage and criminal tension. We think it was the same group of researchers that found criminal tension with vendors who wear dirty socks but can tell the difference between an ass and a horse.

 

Friends Of Italy Needed To Combat The Evils Of International Media

Rome - November 4, 2010 - A network of 'friends of Italy' is needed around the world to combat anti-government media spin that dents the country's image, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Thursday.

Frattini said there was "a network of enemies of Italy, largely made up of Italians", who "do not hesitate to spread false images" in order to attack Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

"All this is done to hurt the government. The result is that the image of our country is damaged, harming citizens and firms".

The diplomatic chief cited recent pictures of the Naples rubbish crisis, saying "tens of millions of people worldwide thought we'd gone back to the situation of two years ago," when Berlusconi gained plaudits for sorting out a previous longstanding emergency.

Frattini did not directly mention the latest scandals over girls and parties at Berlusconi's villa but stressed: "It might be an idea to have the strength to build a great international network of friends of Italy around the world".

The Foreign Minister of Minestrone is right. We invite our readers to join our cause to fight the "infidels"; the network of enemies of Italy! (Hope Facebook won't crash from the onslaught of "Friends Of Italy" pages and groups opening.)

Beatrice Minchione: "Rome has many interesting churches with fine art work worth a visit but there are some Rome churches that really stand out. However, Berlusconi should put on a cowboy hat, get on a jackass and ride out of town. Why not go play 'bocce' in Calabria somewhere?"

Bob Bastardo: "Milan is an incredible city to visit. The people are very friendly and there is a lot to do both in the city and in the surrounding areas. I also had the chance to get a glimpse of the Minister of Defense, La Russa. You know, I honestly didn't expect to see him walking erect."

Carlo Cazzarola: "You just can't ignore Sicily, if you are out to travel Italy. Sicily certainly is the place brimmed with captivating beauties and exotic sites. That chuckle-faced, unfunny hump of a Prime Minister should count his lucky stars that such a beautiful island exists."

Susan Scassapalle: "God, Naples is such a mess. What the hell is happening? It looks like the last improvements were made by Emperor Nero. Itís been downhill ever since!"

 

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The Mystery of Milan's Red Suitcase Solved

Rome - November 5, 2010 - Anyone who flies in and out of Malpensa airport, near Milan, often knows about it: the mysterious battered red suitcase.

Every so often, minutes after the arrival of a flight, it comes rolling along the relevant carousel, which then stops. The red suitcase sits in proud, if shabby, isolation for 10 or 20 minutes until the carousel goes back into action and the rest of the luggage comes through.

No one had ever dared try to open the red suitcase. But then along came Andrea Magnoni, a 43-year-old London-based estate agent whose courage was matched only by his curiosity.

After disembarking a flight from Berlin, he told a local newspaper, "I took a good look at the red suitcase, establishing there was no label to indicate either its origin or destination. So I opened it, sure in the knowledge it belonged to no one."

What he found inside were neither explosives, nor drugs, nor clothing, but "some magazines and polystyrene". It raises an intriguingly existential question: why the red suitcase? Magnoni thinks he knows.

The appearance of the orphan luggage, he said, "stops the timer that appears on the monitor and indicates the time elapsed between touchdown and the delivery of the first luggage".

To prove his point, he attached a photograph of the screen showing his Air Berlin flight arriving at 20.15 and the first bag miraculously delivered two minutes later. The red suitcase, Magnoni alleged, was part of a "typically Italian stratagem" intended to "influence international statistics and the rating of the airport's service quality".

Dozens of other frequent fliers wrote to the same newspaper saying that they also knew of the red suitcase, and backed Magnoni's view of its diabolical purpose.

Italy's civil aviation authority, Enac, said it was looking into the matter. A spokesman for the company that handled the baggage from Magnoni's flight denied it owned the red suitcase.

The spokesman said records showed the luggage took 16 minutes to arrive, adding: "It may be that someone pressed the timer button by mistake."

"'Fanculo", how dare Signore Magnoni disturb the delicate equilibrium and one of the mysteries of the Malpensa.

The Department of Mysteries at the Malpensa carries out confidential research. Most of its operations are carried out in total secrecy. Few wizards within the Ministry actually know what is located within this department. Those wizards who work in the Department of Mysteries are known as "Unspeakable Figli Di Puttana" because of the confidential nature of their work.

Here are some additional mysteries that have leaked out of the Department at the Malpensa:

- The design capital of the world (Milan) has an airport that resembles an old South American airport with a layout more confusing than downtown Palermo.

- The bathrooms are in hidden corners.

- There are shops that sell Parmigiano cheese at 33 Euros ($45 USD) a kilo and host a worldwide bottled water scam.

- The "Unspeakable Figli di Puttana" who roam around the Malpensa are unfriendly and unwilling to speak English if they notice you cannot understand their pearls of wisdom.

For those who can't get enough of Italian mysteries, wizards, and "figli di puttana", the following video is for you: "Il mistero dei bagagli scomparsi" (The mystery of the missing luggage)

Happy traveling!

 

Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
 
 
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