Have you heard? Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is a total horndog. Worse than Bill Clinton or Mark Sanford, even!
Call girls, audio tapes, barely legal teens, “gifts” of seats in the Italian Parliament for pretty girls … mamma mia! Four years of high school level Italian did not prepare me to make sense of this mess. Click through for a cheat sheet on why Italy’s head honcho, Silvio Berlusconi, has said, “I’m no saint.”
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Rowing a gondola through Venice’s famed canals used to be a tradition passed from father to son. But not anymore! Twenty-three-year-old Giorgia Boscolo, mother of two, completed the 400 hours of classes required to become the first female gondolier in Italy’s history. Not everyone is uncorking a bottle of vino, though; Boscolo’s papa is a gondolier and he still thinks rowing down the canals is a “man’s job.” But Boscolo has told detractors like her father to chillax. “Childbirth is much more difficult,” she said. [The Age Australia] Keep reading »
While the rest of her friends will be graduating from the University of Washington this weekend, 21-year-old Amanda Knox will go over her testimony given earlier today in Italy defending her innocence in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found dead — stabbed in the neck and strangled — half naked in a pool of blood on November 1, 2007 in the house she and Knox shared while studying abroad, beginning the murder trial that continues to shake the little town of Perugia, Italy. Five months into a case that has so many missing pieces and piles of misinformation, Knox took the stand today facing life imprisonment, in hopes to finally clear her name. Unfortunately for Knox, charged with murder and sexual violence along with ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, that is going to be a very hard thing to do. Keep reading »
Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, is going on a Roman holiday. And he’s made a very interesting request for the Italian government—he wants a party with 700 Italian women, including Italy’s Equal Opportunities Minister (and former model) Mara Carfagna, and other female politicians, business women, and cultural movers and shakers. It looks like Italian leaders are going to oblige him, since Italy ruled Libya in the colonial era and lately they’ve been trying to make nice by issuing a formal apology and giving $5 billion in restitution. Even more interesting—this isn’t the first time Gaddafi has made a request like this. Two years ago, when he traveled to Paris, he held a meeting with 1,000 French women, in which he bemoaned the, “tragic conditions of the woman in Europe, forced sometimes to do work which she refuses…I want to save the European woman who is struggling.” Huh?
We’re just not sure if Gaddafi is progressive or pervy. He is credited with liberating the women of Liberia, but then again he has a troop of bodyguards that is women-only. Either way, that’s a lot of Italian ladies in one room. I won’t say anything of their fiery temperament, but I kinda hope they give him lots to think about. [TheTimes] Keep reading »
Supposedly, Italians in the late ’90s couldn’t grasp why the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal caused such hysteria in the states. Well, my dear Italians, the tables have turned. In case you’ve been under a rock (like I have) Italy’s premier, Silvio Berlusconi, has been living out a Clintonian mess for the last week. First, Berlusconi attended the 18th birthday party of model Noemi Letizia in Naples. Then his wife, former actress Veronica Lario, filed for a divorce, saying it was inappropriate for Berlusconi to be at the girl’s birthday since, well, he never bothered to show up at any of his own kids’ 18th soirees. (Good point.) And now photographs have leaked depicting a New Year’s party held at Berlusconi’s Sardinian villa where model Letizia was part of the turnout.
Berlusconi vehemently denies the rumors, and says that if anyone can prove the allegations are true he’d resign “in an instant.” This saga couldn’t come at a worse time for him. Elections are next week and this political pickle might push Berlusconi’s Italian rightist party out of power.
In other news, now I can name at least one person I’m having a better week than. [Associated Press]
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Locks have long been a symbol of never-ending love. Earlier this month, Frisky reader Charlotte told us about the tradition of couples attaching locks to the Uzupis Bridge in Lithuania and throwing the key in the river below to show they’re stuck with one another forever, and that country isn’t the only one with such a tradition.
In Italy, lucchetti attached to bridges, gates, and barricades have become a bit of a problem. In 2004, after a film showed lovers hooking a padlock on the Milvian Bridge in Rome and throwing the key into the Tiber, the craze took off there and in Florence. It got so out of control that a lamp post almost fell off the Milvian because it was so weighted down with locks. A few years ago in Florence, the city had to remove about 5,500 padlocks from the Ponte Vecchio bridge railing and instituted a $65 fine for attaching new locks. Still, workers couldn’t remove the locks fast enough. Keep reading »
Andrea Vasa, a 30-year-old hot football — in other words soccer — player for Milan’s Brera team, is living in Dirk Bikkembergs, a high-end Italian store, parading around half-naked, lifting weights, and lolling about for anyone who happens to look in the windows. “Among the shelves and clothes hangers exposing the items that are for sale, Andrea’s personal clothes can be found, as well as the pictures and books he chose to take with him to his new home.” He’s got his own housekeeper and can invite over whomever he likes, but what if he wants to leave? “Before going out, Andrea will take a shower in a relax room papered with pages from Gazzetta dello Sport, compose his outfit for the following occasion, preen himself in one of the silver trophies, step into his Porsche and drive it out through a massive window that doubles as a garage door.” Fascinating! Too bad, Towleroad notes, the shower is the only part of the live-in scene that’s shielded from public view. Keep reading »
Reader Haley took this in Rome on Christmas last year right between the Colosseum and the Forum/Palatine Hill area.
Have you seen graffiti that’s kind of sweet (even if it is against the law)? Send your pic to email@example.com. Keep reading »