"Che bella giornata!" Welcome to the only newsletter that goes down smoother than overcooked polenta, "Only In Italy!"
Many years ago I ate in an Italian restaurant in North Beach, San Francisco. The only Italian wine I knew was Chianti, which I had drunk previously in Australia. To me the Chianti tasted sweet, and I commented so to the waiter. He replied, "That's the way Americans like it." Was my leg being pulled, or was Chianti bound for US markets different to that sent to Australia? Vernon R.
Thanks for the wine inquiry, Vernon. You came to the right place.
Yes, Vern, he was pulling your leg along with a part of your anatomy. Chianti is a red wine, strong and bold, that comes from the Chianti region of Tuscany. Only wines from this region can properly be called Chianti!
You should return to this so-called Italian restaurant and ask for that incredibly courteous waiter to serve you again. Order any bottle of wine and have the waiter open it. Ask him to smell the cork to verify that the wine is good. If he does smell the cork, ask him, "What's the matter with you, ignorant mule? Why did you smell the cork? You know you can't tell if a wine is good by smelling the cork!" Then snatch the cork from his hand in disgust and check to make sure the cork is intact and moist (not moldy). This means the wine was stored correctly, Vernon.
Then ask for after-dinner drinks on the house to get over the trauma.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Udine - September 19, 2007 - A group of amateur Italian astronomers have discovered six new asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The president of the astronomy association in the town of Remanzacco near Udine, Giovanni Sotero, said Tuesday:
"This is an exceptional event because they were all spotted at the same time and because they're really close together, all in the Pisces constellation"."Chi cazzo se ne frega?!"
To all our subscribers who are puzzled as to why this made news: Italians need more pictures of outer space (more black background with lots of stars)!
Obviously, the six amateur "Galileos", who majored in astronomy because the chiropractic classes in college were full, do not realize the Italians have stopped caring about stars and constellations since 1977; the year they finally got color TV.
The next time the star gazers want to go comet chasing, they should say to themselves, "I should be wiping the dust off my wine barrels."
Florence - September 7, 2007 - Italian fashion house Fendi on Friday shrugged off the anti-fur lobby saying that its winter collection would be based on the idea that a fur coat was a must-have item for all women.
Fendi said it would be offering previews of the collection at its luxury boutique in Florence next Thursday. It said the advance viewing would be a chance for mature women to reminisce over their first fur coat and buy one for their daughters as a necessary step into adulthood.
Fendi, which has always been a fan of fur, will also be staging a fashion show of its winter creations at Florence's vintage Helvetia & Bristol hotel.
Last year's fashion season brought furs firmly back out of the closet with no apologies to animal lovers.
"Fendi's iconic "Double F" logo pattern has been used on a variety of Fendi products, including handbags, wallets, luggage, shoes, and apparel."
"Vaffanculo" is usually the iconic word that first comes to mind when you notice the hostage-ransom prices Fendi charges for one of their wallets that will definitely hold less of your money than the wallet is worth.
In fact, it would be more appropriate to give it a double "vaffanculo" to match their "Double F".
Animal traps should be set up in front of their headquarters in hopes of snagging at least one of the five Fendi sisters. Then the group PETP (People for the Ethical Treatment of Plastic) should drag her down to one of their hired factories and show them how much blood, sweat and tears goes into making their plastic crap "Spy" bags that sell for over 4000 US Dollars!
Cagliari - October 19, 2007 - He is a Sardinian - ergo he is entitled to a light sentence for rape. Sardinian public figures and politicians reacted with outrage yesterday to a German court ruling which effectively stated that an Italian defendant's Sardinian origins had to be taken into account when it came to sentencing him for rape.
The Sardinian in question is Maurizio Pusceddu, 29, sentenced one year ago to six years' imprisonment in a court in Buckeburg, Germany. During his trial, Pusceddu had admitted to sequestering, raping, torturing and humiliating his Lithuanian girlfriend over a three-week period, merely because he suspected that she had betrayed him with another man.
In evidence to the police, the unnamed woman reported that not only had Pusceddu locked her up, raped and gang-raped her but that he had also covered her body with cigarette burns, poured vinegar on to her wounds and on occasions urinated on her.
Under German law, Judge Baron Burries von Hammerstein could have issued a sentence of up to 15 years. However, the judge took into account Pusceddu's partial confession, the fact that he had no previous criminal record and, controversially, his Sardinian origins. In his judgement, Baron von Hammerstein wrote: "one must take into account the cultural and ethnic characteristics of the accused. He is a Sardinian. The roles of men and women in his country certainly cannot be used as an excuse but they must be considered as an extenuating circumstance."
The case came to light only this week, one year after the trial in Germany, because Pusceddu has requested that he might serve his sentence in Italy. It was only when his lawyer, Anna Maria Busia, was preparing to present Pusceddu's prison transfer request to a Cagliari court of appeal that she received the full text of Baron von Hammerstein's original ruling.
Even though her client benefited from a reduction of his sentence, allegedly because of his Sardinian origins, Ms Busia still described the sentence as "racist". Junior justice minister Luigi Manconi, himself a Sardinian, called the ruling an "example of differential racism" whilst the president of the region of Sardinia, Renato Soru, commented: "this whole story just shows that there are idiots everywhere".
Former Cagliari footballer and modern-day Sardinian folk hero Gigi Riva expressed his disappointment, saying: "I thought that all those cliches about the island had been long forgotten. Clearly I was wrong."
"Che fortuna, che culo!" Cazzo, he could have reduced his sentence even further if he appeared barefoot in court .
"One must take into account the cultural and ethnic characteristics of the accused. He is a Sardinian." Hmmm...He does have a point. Sardinians speak a language completely incomprehensible to all other Italians, including goats, and celebrate more saints' days than the Vatican.
The drunken kraut must have been referring to another interesting cultural and ethnic characteristic of Sardinia and that is it's the home to the most beautiful witches in the world.
The witches of Sardinia are very secretive. Practically every village has a witch but outsiders can never discover who they really are. This is based on the fact that it is very difficult to reach these villages because public transportation in Sardinia is a lie.
A Sardinian witch is a beautiful woman; almost always married with children. While most sane Italian mothers pass their heirloom and favorite sauce recipes down to daughters, Sardinian witches pass their secrets down to only one of their daughters, starting from when the girl is very young. If she has no daughter, the witch takes her secrets with her to the grave.
However; her clueless husband and family come second to her wacky calling.
When townspeople of questionable intelligence and sanity seek her services, she usually gives them free of charge. She works her magic by creating special chants and dispelling homemade potions, and is paid in household and farm goods.
The "filtro di amore" or love potion is what is most sought after, especially by young ugly women. The second most asked-for service is the removal of a "malocchio" or evil eye. This incredibly mesmerizing act is performed by dropping a stone into a glass of salted water. Somehow, as the stone sinks the curse is removed or maybe it's the way in which the stone sinks that removes the curse. Either way, it doesn't compare to the performance of rocks in her head.
Another way the witch removes a curse is to have you give her some of your intimate apparel, preferably clean; she makes a chant over it in secret, gives you back the clothing and the curse is supposedly removed. If the curse is actually removed, then payment by live chicken is happily accepted.
This is white magic...funny magic!
But things can get serious if black magic is involved. How much black magic the witches perform is a mystery; it simply isn't spoken of because Sardinians have enough problems of their own.
But if the witch is willing to do black magic, she will go in her kitchen and make a doll out of cork or rags, then stick a pin in the shoulder or the leg. The person who commissioned the curse then risks illegal trespassing and breaking and entering by hiding the doll in a secret place in the cursed one's home, probably on top of a ceiling beam or beneath a floorboard. In short time, the person starts having a series of misfortunes or gets a terrible ache in the shoulder or a dreadful pain in the leg.
And until the doll is discovered and removed from the house or a couple of aspirins are taken, his problems continue.