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Italian Man Fined $200 Because His Rooster Crows Too Early in the Morning

An 83-year-old man was ordered to pay a 166 euro fine after he failed to prevent his pet rooster from crowing at 4:30 in the morning, which some of his neighbors had complained about.

Angelo Boletti, a pensioner from the Italian town of Castiraga Vidardo, in Lombardy, was found to have violated local rules, which state that pets must be kept at a minimum distance of 10 metres from neighboring homes. But the real problem was that the pet in question, a rooster named Carlino, crowed loudly as early as 4:30 in the morning and waking up the neighbors. After receiving several complaints about the bird’s morning routine, police started monitoring Carlino, and after confirming his early crowing decided to fine the retired bricklayer.

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Italian Police Find Drugs Hidden Inside Coffee Beans

Drug dealers are always looking for ingenious ways to get their products past checkpoints, and sometimes they exhibit some truly outside-the-box thinking.

The attention of Italian customs officers at Malpensa Airport was recently drawn by a small package from Colombia to a man named Santino D’Antonio. If you’re not an action flick buff, that name most likely means nothing to you, but if you’re a fan of John Wick movies starring Keanu Reeves, you probably recognize it as the name of the mafia boss and main antagonist in John Wick 2. Luckily, the officers recognized the name, and decided to inspect the package more thoroughly…

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We’ll Be Back! Inmates Escape Prison, Leave Note Promising to Return in Two Weeks

Italian media reported the strange case of two inmates who managed to escape from Rebibbia prison and left behind a letter explaining their reason for escaping and promising to be back soon.

On the night of June 2nd, Davad Zukanovic, 40 and Lil Ahmetovic, 46, two cousins serving time at Rome’s Rebibbia prison, managed to escape by cutting through the bars on their prison cell window, rappelling down into the courtyard on a fire hydrant water hose and climbing over the outer walls by climbing the barbed wire with a wire cutter. This alone was a feat worthy of a Hollywood movie, but what really made their escape stand out was the note they left in their prison cell, explaining that they had an urgent family problem to take care of and promising to be back in 15 days.

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Cascate del Mulino – Tuscany’s Stunning Limestone Pools

Among the rolling hills and vineyards of the Tuscan countryside lies one of the most stunning tourist attractions not only in Italy, but in the entire world – a cascade of white limestone pools overflowing with warm, turquoise water known as Cascate del Mulino.

Translated as “Waterfalls of the Mill” in Italian, this surreal-looking natural wonder is located on the grounds of an old mill, just a few kilometers outside of the village of Saturnia. Since the time of the Roman empire, people have been coming here to have various ailments cured by the special water of the underground springs in the area, which is rich in sulfur and other minerals. But nowadays, Cascate del Mulino has become a popular destination for tourists and Instagram travel influencers, offering both stunning views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside and attention-grabbing social media pics.

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Italian Company Proposes Plexiglas Beach Cubicles for Pandemic Summer Fun

Summer at the beach doesn’t sound that enticing this year due to the threat of Covid-19 and social distancing measures, but one Italian company has conceptualized a solution and it involves Plexiglas beach cubicles.

Having to pass on the summer vacation season entirely would be catastrophic for Italy’s massive tourism sector, but  Modena-based Nuova Neon recently unveiled a type of transparent Plexiglas cubicles that could be set up on beaches to ensure that people can enjoy some time in the sun while still maintaining a safe distance from each other. These large  transparent boxes are designed to delimit the bathers’ spaces; they surround individual groups of people thus avoiding interactions with other vacationers.

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Italian Town Bans Use of Google Maps After Too Many Tourists Stranded Because of It

Baunei, an idyllic mountain village on the Italian island of Sardinia, has launched an appeal to visitors asking them to stop relying on the directions of Google Maps when driving around the area.

Salvatore Corrias, the mayor of Baunei, claims that in the last year alone the local fire service or mountain rescue team have been called 144 times to help stranded tourists who had followed the directions of Google Maps. Apparently, people are often using the GPS-powered app to reach so-called “hidden beaches” around Baunei and end up driving down lanes that are unsuitable for cars or onto off-road tracks. To stop this from happening, local police have put up signs that read “Do not follow the directions suggested by Google Maps”.

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Italian Winemakers Set Vineyards Ablaze to Keep Them from Freezing

Breathtaking photos of vineyards in northern Italy lit up at night by hundreds of torches have been doing the rounds online for the past week. As temperatures unexpectedly dropped below zero last week, winemakers had to come up with a way to keep the vineyards from freezing, and fire was apparently their best choice.

Farmers usually do their best to keep fire away from their grape vines, but with temperatures expected to reach a freezing -9 degrees C, winemakers had no choice hundreds of torches spread out over several hectares to keep the vineyards from freezing. This technique has long been used by winemakers all over the world to create air movement, which prevents frost pockets from forming. Temperatures under -1 degrees Celsius can cause serious damage to emerging buds, so teams patrol the vineyards all night long, making sure that the fires are burning, to at least mitigate the damage.

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Man Fakes Inability to Walk for a Decade to Collect Disability Pension

An Italian man who went to great lengths to convince everyone that he had lost the ability to walk after being involved in a staged car accident 12 years ago was recently exposed as a fraud.

The incredible story of Roberto Guglielmi, an Italian con artist who managed to fool everyone, including doctors, neighbors and even the Pope, that he couldn’t walk began over a decade ago. In 2007, he came up with a plan to pass himself off as a disabled person and collect the pension offered by the government, but he needed an accomplice to pull it off. At the time, he had someone living in his home who was behind on rent, so he proposed to forget about the payment he was owed if his housemate would pretend to hit him with the car while he was crossing the street. The man agreed and everything went smoothly. With the help of a false medical document, Guglielmi was able to become a paraplegic, even though he could walk like a normal person.

What’s most remarkable about this tale of deception is the extreme lengths that the Florentine went to in order to deceive doctors during mandatory visits to confirm his disability. According to prosecutors, he would inject lidocaine into his legs to numb his muscles, undergo traumatic therapies and use a wheelchair whenever he left his home. For over a decade, no one suspected that he was actually a healthy person with full use of his legs.

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A Different Kind of Chicken Farm – Italian Farmer Raises Thousands of Chickens in the Woods

Most chicken farms nowadays consists of hangar-like facilities where chickens are cooped up by the thousands with hardly enough space to move around and, in some cases, no sunlight. It’s sad, but it’s also the only way food corporations can keep up with the increasing demand for cheap meat and eggs. However, one farmer in northern Italy runs a very different type of poultry farm – he is raising over 2,000 chickens in a patch of pristine Alpine forest.

48-year-old Massimo Rapella claims he became a chicken farmer by accident. He and his wife used to run an education NGO in the town of Sandrio, in northern Italy’s Valtellina valley, but when the 2008 financial crisis hit and the Italian government cut funding for social enterprises, they decided to move to the nearby mountains. They got a few chickens to provide eggs for their own consumption and soon noticed something interesting. The domesticated birds loved venturing into the nearby chestnut forest, but instead of building a fence to prevent them from doing so, the Rapellas actually encouraged this behavior. Today, they own around 2,100 chickens who spend their days rummaging and laying eggs in a 2-hectare patch of Alpine chestnut forest.

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Italian Restaurant Serves “Fried Air”

A restaurant in the Italian town of Castelfranco Veneto has come up with an ingenious way to get a leg up on the competition – treating guests to a unique dish called “fried air”.

Nicola Dinato, the head chef at Feva Restaurant wanted to capture the essence of being outdoors and breathing fresh air in an dish aptly called “aria fritta” or “fried air”. The name is a tad misleading, as the crispy treats are actually made of tapioca skin that’s first baked and then deep fried. However, there’s some air involved in the cooking process as well, or at least a component of it – ozone. After the tapioca skin is baked and fried, it is infused with ozone for 10 minutes, which gives the treats a special perfume. After the special infusion, the crispy fried air is placed on a bed of cotton candy, which Dinato hopes will remind patrons of clouds.

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‘Robin Hood Banker’ Steals From Rich Clients to Help the Poor

Gilberto Baschiera, the former manager of a bank in Forni di Sopra, a small town in Italy’s Dolomite Alps, has been nicknamed the “Robin Hood Banker” for taking around €1 million ($1.15 million) from rich savers’ accounts, over several years, to help poor people qualify for loans.

It all started in 2009, at the the height of the global financial crisis, when banks’ criteria for credit approval assessments changed. It was no longer about an overall assessment of the customer, but about the reliability of the client, which was established at the bank desk, on a computer. So when a local man came to Gilberto Baschiera’s office asking for a small loan, and the bank manager saw that he didn’t qualify according to the new criteria, he felt sorry for him. Instead of turning him away like most bank managers would have done, Baschiera took some money out of the account of a wealthy client, and added it to the poor man’s account, so that he would qualify. But this was only the beginning of Gilberto Baschiera’s career as a modern-day Robin Hood of the banking world.

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Venice Cafe Charges Tourist $50 for Two Coffees and Two Small Bottles of Water

A cafe in Venice, Italy has been slammed as a tourist trap after recently charging a man €43 ($50) for  two espressos and two small bottles of water.

Venice’s St. Marks Square is known for its notoriously pricey cafes and restaurants, but one such establishment has been getting a lot of negative attention online after a bill of €43 for two espressos and two small bottles of water went viral online. Juan Carlos Bustamente, a 62-year-old Chilean political consultant currently living in Italy, posted the receipt from Caffe Lavena on his Facebook page and it quickly went viral, with many commenters expressing their outrage about the insanely high prices.

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Europe’s Oldest Tree Is At Least 1,230 Years Old And Still Growing

A team of researchers studying a national park in southern Italy recently discovered the oldest tree in Europe ever to be scientifically dated – a Heldreich’s pine that is at least 1,230 years old and still growing.

Nicknamed “Italus”, the ancient tree was discovered on a steep mountain slope in Italy’s Pollino National Park by a team of researchers from the University of Tuscia, led by Gianluca Povesan. As soon as they saw Italus, researchers knew that they had stumbled upon an ancient specimen, but they didn’t expect it to be the oldest tree ever discovered on the European continent. Even more surprising was the fact that despite its age – a whopping 1,230 years, at least – and an almost non-existent canopy, the tree seemed to be thriving, with heavy ring growth added to its trunk over the last several decades.

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Italian Parents Forced to Change Daughter’s Name Because It’s Not Feminine Enough

A couple in Milan, Italy, who had chosen to name their baby daughter “Blu”, was recently ordered by a court to change the name to something more suitable for a girl or risk having it changed for them.

According to a presidential decree issued in the year 2000, “the name given to a child must correspond to their sex” and Italian authorities apparently don’t consider “Blu” – the Italian spelling for ‘blue’ – to be a suitable name for a girl. Despite having already registered the 18-month-old child’s name on her birth certificate and passport, the parents were recently summoned to appear in court last week in order to choose another, more feminine name.

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16-Year-Old Takes Mother to Court for Posting Photos of Him on Facebook

We all post photos of our loved ones – especially adorable children – on social media all the time without ever giving any thought to the potential legal consequences, but as this recent case in Italy proves, posting photos of other people online is not as simple as we all think it is.

Last year, a 16 year-old Italian boy took his mother to court for constantly posting photos of him on Facebook without his consent. The boy claimed that his mother’s actions had such a serious impact on his social life that he was considering transferring to a high-school in the United States so he could “start over”. One December 23, 2017, Judge Monica Velletti of the first section of the civil court in Rome made a historical decision, ruling in favor of the teen, and ordering the mother to delete all references of him from her social media account by February 1, 2018, or risk a fine of €10,000 ($12,270).

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