Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Italian days. (anecdotes about Italy include a non-traditional church fair in Vincenza, ticketing double-parked gondolas, laws against kissing or embr

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Organizers of an annual church fair in Vincenza, who have long challenged traditional Catholic doctrine, are offering sinners in a hurry the option of faxing their confessions to a priest. Conservative clerics are as happy about the fax booths as they were when, a few years ago, the same fair organizers peddled confessionals equipped with air-conditioning.

For the first time, tickets are being issued to gondolas double-parked in the canals of Venice. Parking spaces are so hard to come by in the city's main lagoon that even the smallest canals are now clogged with boats. The first scofflaw who was caught asked, sensibly enough, "Where am I supposed to put it?"

New travel regulations are showing up elsewhere in Italy. The highway code bans kissing or embracing at the steering wheel -- and includes a special warning against ear-nibbling.

Custodians at the Vatican Museum in Rome are now being trained by judo black belts -- the better to defend the museum's masterpieces from those bent on defacing them. Since the classes started, guards put a few good moves on a perpetrator who had doused gasoline on Raphael's priceless Madonna di Foligno and was prepared to set it on fire.

Source Citation:"Italian days." Life 16.n4 (April 1993): 24(1). Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 2 Sept. 2009

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