Donna Prosciutto!


It is safe to say that Italians are usually pretty liberal about nudity. Nudity is found everywhere, from modern TV and print ads to nude sunbathers all over its beaches to the walls of Italy’s treasured museums and villas.

Italians and Europeans in general often call Americans prudish and had quite a laugh at the scandal surrounding Janet Jackson’s brief display of nipple at the superbowl. Americans are taught that nudity is a dirty thing, while Europeans seem to think “if you have it, flaunt it”.

This is why this recent scandal caught my attention. Normally, A nude woman on a billboard would not raise attention in Italy. But when you add two slices of Prosciutto to said nude woman’s derriere, suddenly people are talking. In Capri, where the advertisement was placed, advocacy groups are fuming over this image.

Here’ s my question: Are they more concerned about the dignity of the Woman, or the Prosciutto?


Bad Medicine Waltz

I remembered this one, incorrectly, as ‘Butterflies’ from Cult album ‘Dreamtime’ some time 1984. Amerindian Rock, Goth Sioux and similar namealikes never even made it into the Urban Dictionary let alone mass vocabulary, but what should have been often never was. A lyric in the link, ‘it’s funny how people stare’ prompted me to write about Italians (again…). They just can’t stop staring. I know it’s a ‘cultural thing’, but in any other country they’d run into problems (‘what the * are you looking at’ and ten million variants thereof). They stare at men, they stare at women, they stare at young women, they stare at old women, they stare at anything which remotely resembles a woman (akin to skating on extremely thin ice in this town), and when they stop staring to adjust the backscatter scanner behind their insectoid sunglasses, they’ll start all over again when the next passer-by unknowingly stimulates the field of the visually deranged. Pass the pyrethrin, if you please.

Meanwhile, it’s back to business in the business of Rome tourism – what a life :p

Electruck Avenue

Italy does not work. The most recent episode of rank dysfunction was the simple matter of a power cut which blacked out my block on Friday. A full day of flickering lights in a semi-basement apartment where luce is a luxury made daily life like a night in jail. ACEA parked a white van right outside the entrance and dug a ditch tailor made for anziani. A British tourist died in one of Rome’s metro stations some years ago after falling into escalator machinery because workers didn’t make sure that (1) their work was cordoned off with warning signs, and (2) that the escalator was switched off. Little has changed. For the record, the two maintenance workers who failed to replace escalator parts were sentenced to more or less two years in prison but neither of them served any time, and directors of their employer, OCS, were also let off as first time offenders.

The overnight supply truck worked wonders. We could see, eat, wash ourselves and check Facebook, that is until the following day when the episode went into past forward. A handful of numpties in blue jumpsuits started hammering away in the magazzino next door and bulbs started to fizzle then pop. Just add TIM call centre operatives cold calling twice daily, timed to within seconds of my leaving home to work on some new fangled Vatican tours project, and it’s easy to feel somewhat cornered by lackies.

Beautiful country, but getting things done is a constant battle.


Disgusting headlines this morning from ‘Tuttosport’, hot on the heels of similar gutter journalism by Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week have rendered Italy’s fine victory over Germany to nought. Whatever happens on Sunday night against Spain, the European Championships 2012 will forever be remembered as the tournament when the star player, a native Italian, was ridiculed by his compatriots for being black.

Mario Balotelli, 21, born in Palermo on grousing day 1990, is the most exciting footballing talent in the world. Whether he is white, black, neon pink or transparent is irrelevant. It is an accepted and proven fact that Italy is not a conducive environment for non-whites to live a normal, happy, working life without prejudice. There are many reasons for this, and if I listed each and every one i’d exceed the word count time out a hundred thousand times over. One can only hope that the emergence of a new, black, home grown idol will inspire positive change.

Anyone who follows Premiership football in England knows that Mario Balotelli is very popular with supporters of all clubs. His legendary off the field antics and tremendous strength of character have elevated him to superstar status, and if any tabloid dared publish a cartoon / article which referred to his ethnicity in a derogatory sense, either directly or indirectly, it would be boycotted, fined to the tune of thousands, and eventually shut down.

So what inspired this post? Google ‘Balotelli racism’ and you’ll find yourself reading and cringing about what Italy’s sporting dailies really think of their hero. ‘Tuttosport’ are based in Turin, and Juventus fans there have always hated Balotelli for being black and successful. Perhaps the dark and twisted connection in a city known for Freemasonry and the occult makes some kind of horrible sense.

Apologies? None. Well, nothing genuine, just excuses and a dismissive air.

Here are the links you need to read:

Buongiorno :/