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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March 2004
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"Mafia Homework" 

(03/23/04)

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"Buona Sera a tutti!" Welcome to another issue of "Only In Italy"!

We're off to a very good start and its all thanks to you! All of us at the news office here and in Corleone give our humble thanks to all our fantastic subscribers. Keep sending in your comments, questions and feedback because they're funny but greatly appreciated! Just like this one...

Hi, I found your web site by mistake and read it and liked it. I was sharing the information with my husband (we are both big "Godfather" fans) and just had to ask "Is there really a Corleone in Italy?" Thanks from a huge fan, Barbara.

Hmmm...That's a question we receive almost weekly and we admit it still surprises us. The town of Corleone certainly does exist (it's a tiny town located in the province of Palermo in Sicily).

One of the reasons why "The Godfather" films are some of the best selling films in history is because the films are based on the mysterious & real life cultures of the Sicilian Mafia and the town of Corleone. Corleone is considered the birthplace of the Sicilian Mafia and up until the early 90's it was their main secret headquarters.

Does it still exist? Well, is there maple syrup in Vermont, USA? I'll assure you of one thing, though. There are no "Goodfellas" in Sicily!

Enjoy the issue and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,              
"Only In Italy" Staff       

 

Italian Police Break into Church to Install Priest

Trasacco - March 17, 2004 - Police in a small Italian town had to break into a church to let a priest take up his new job, thwarting a six-month blockade by parishioners devoted to his predecessor.

The faithful in the mountain town of Trasacco had jammed the church doors shut in protest after the Church transferred their Capuchin monk and sent a non-Capuchin to replace him.

So attached were parishioners to the Capuchins, who had served them for the last 430 years, that they briefly bricked the last friar into the local monastery to try to stop him leaving their town about 100 kilometers east of Rome.

The newcomer, Father Duilio Testa, was appointed in September but only entered his church on Monday when police broke in through a window to let him in, deputy mayor Vincenzo Retico told reporters by telephone.

He said Father Testa would have his spiritual work cut out for him.

"How can the people welcome him now, arriving flanked by police?" he said.

"Everything that there is in this town today was built with the toil and sweat of the monks.

"They were part of our being."

The Capuchins are a branch of the Franciscan order, famed for their long white beards.

"Uffa!" Never mind those wacky parishioners locking up their favorite friar; picture in your mind the Italian police planning this top-secret mission for the local church and then handing over a hostage (the priest) to the custody of hostile kidnappers...using force!

The only explanation for this is that maybe all the smoke from the burning church candles is causing the parishioners' skulls to grow thicker so they get dizzy and do more & more stupid things.

Soon, Italian beach goers are going to drag rescued people back into the ocean and drown them because they weren't saved from their favorite lifeguards.

 

Jennifer Aniston Gets a Pinch of Italian Hospitality

Rome - March 23, 2004 - Jennifer Aniston was in Italy recently to promote her latest film "Along Came Polly". But she didnít use "dolce vita" as an excuse to dump her exercise regime.

She gamely continued jogging, even through the teeming streets of Rome, but got a little more than she bargained for when she felt someone pinch her behind. She whirled around to face a grinning Italian grandpa of 70!

What could she do other than to take off running again but this time with her bodyguard two paces back so he could keep an eye on her tail. Only in Rome, you say.

What's wrong with this story? Jogging through the streets of Rome is breathtaking. She should be honored "Nonno" pinched her behind. It was just his Roman way of saying, "I love you and Friends!"

Maybe his gesture was misunderstood by Signora Aniston...

He probably meant to punch her instead for making him spend his pension money on her latest crappy movie, "Along Came Polly".

We would have preferred to have gone to Rome and seen "Along Came Grandpa".

 

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Worn Out USA Mafia Looking to Sicily for New Recruits

American mobsters are returning to their roots, looking to Sicily for wise guys who won't squeal.

Rome - March 13, 2004 - Ratted on by fellow wise guys and hounded by police, struggling American mobsters are recruiting their Sicilian brethren, believing that hardheaded gangsters from the island are more likely to keep their mouths shut, U.S. and Italian organized-crime officials say.

Matthew Heron, assistant special agent in charge of the organized-crime branch in the FBI's New York office, said the combination of convictions and turncoats had led to ''a leadership vacuum'' in some crime gangs, particularly the Bonannos and the New York faction of the DeCavalcante family.

''They have reached out toward Sicily to bring some people over to fill some gaps, with part of that rationale being the thought that the Sicilians are much more inclined to maintain the sacred vow of silence,'' he said in a phone interview from New York.

''We're just now starting to see them here in the United States. It would not be accurate to say they have assumed leadership roles within the family. But by virtue of the fact that they are here, they are establishing themselves,'' Heron said.

"In the foreseeable future, it's safe to say we expect to see them assuming leadership.''

Heron noted that La Cosa Nostra in America has always avoided going after U.S. law enforcement. "From what we've been told, that's not necessarily the case with the Sicilians.''

BECOMING BETTER THUGS

In a further U.S.-Sicilian tie, American mobsters are believed to be sending their local recruits to the island for lessons in thuggery.

''They send them here to Sicily to make them become men of honor, to make them do training, because in America there's this attack on the values -- there's no respect anymore,'' mobster Antonino Giuffre told investigators, according to remarks published last week by a news agency.

"The American Mafia is different and it needs some of our qualities.''

''Every now and then, they'll send someone whose origins are in these areas so they can do a bit of Mafia lessons,'' chief Palermo prosecutor Piero Grasso said.

Sicilian gangsters infiltrated the United States among the waves of immigrants who arrived at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century.

'NOT THE SAME THING'

''The Sicilian and American groups have affected each other reciprocally according to circumstances,'' said Prof. Salvatore Lupo, a Mafia expert at the University of Palermo.

"They have a common heritage. But from what we know, they're not the same thing.''

As for the new recruits, authorities say they are not aware of any plans by Sicilian mobsters to launch attacks against American officials. But they are keeping a close watch.

''These folks coming over from Sicily are of a different mind-set,'' Heron said. "It's not outside the realm of possibility, and it's something we want to keep a close eye on.''

Mafia 101 - Class in session:

First of all, why should the Sicilian Mafia deal with the American Mafia? That's the same as putting an end to the marvelous entertainment of watching mafia members in the States imitating their favorite 'Goodfellas' and 'Sopranos' actors?

Of course, there's no longer respect for them. Have you ever seen the way they act? They should start their own off-Broadway show and charge admission.

"Ratted on by fellow wise guys and hounded by police..."

Walk into any lower to middle class Italian neighborhood in the States and throw a rock. You'll hit at least 7-8 suspects. And the police hounding? The police spend $80 a year on mafia film DVDs, give private screenings in the precincts and then go out and round up anyone who looks and acts remotely similar to the actors.

The following homework is to be completed by any so-called mafia member in the States reading this newsletter:

1.) Put away the matching jogging suits; no one will believe a fat Italian guy that wears a jogging suit every day and never breaks a sweat is jogging.

2.) Avoid the upper class Italian restaurants in the lower class Italian neighborhoods; no one will believe you're eating there just because they make great 'Veal Marsala'.

3.) Tell your wife/girlfriend/lover to shut her big trap; no one wants to hear how much Tony, Frankie, or Armando make for a living.

4.) Buy your pizza slice and leave immediately; no one wants to hear you spent 5 hours hanging out at the 30 by 40 foot pizzeria the prior night.

We could go on and on but I'm sure the befuddled racketeers are already overwhelmed!

 

 
 
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