Cronaca – June 29, 2017

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Lobsters Win Ruling in Italian Court

Italy’s highest court ruled last week that lobsters must not be kept on ice in restaurant kitchens because it causes them ‘unjustifiable suffering’ before they head to your dinner plate. Judges accepted a complaint by an animal rights group against the owner of a restaurant near Florence who kept live crustaceans on ice, ordering him to pay a 2,000 euro fine and a further 3,000 euros in legal fees. Upholding a sentence by a lower court, the Cassation court ruled that the fact that lobsters are usually cooked while still alive does not mean they can be mistreated beforehand. Rather than keeping lobsters and other crustaceans refrigerated, the court said it was already common practice in high-level restaurants and supermarkets to keep them in oxygenated water tanks at room temperature.

Other Strange Italian Laws

Off to Italy this summer?  Then do try to stay on the right side of the law. In Eraclea, near Venice, it’s illegal to build sandcastles on the beach. They apparently “obstruct the passage.” In Lerici, on the Italian Riviera, you must wear more than just swimwear on your way to and from the seaside. Once back at your lodgings, you must not hang your towels out of the window to dry them. The island of Capri also insists that holiday-makers dress modestly in the street.

Quietly, as well: noisy shoes such as clogs or wooden-soled sandals will land you in trouble. Castellammare di Stabia, south of Naples, has outlawed miniskirts, low-cut jeans and too much cleavage. Offenders face a €300 fine. Also forbidden: swearing in public, lying on benches, climbing trees and walking a dog on too long a leash. In Lucca, in Tuscany, you must not feed pigeons in the town center. In Eboli, you’d better check your wallet before kissing anyone in a car. The maximum fine for such a transgression is 500 euro!

Quirky Travel Guide

Imagine traveling through Italy on a 60-year old scooter. ‘Vroom with a View’ By Peter Moore takes a trip from Milan to Rome on a ’61 Vespa nicknamed Sophia. Riding the back roads, visiting small towns, sleeping in haylofts, Moore shows an Italy rarely seen – from picnicking in the Italian Alps to rattling through cobbled hilltop towns. Sophia’s delicate nature, need for constant pampering and frequent stops created an instant connection with locals, who, unaccustomed to foreign visitors, graciously invited Sophia (and Moore) into their homes, inns and restaurants to share their memories of their first Vespa. Sophia forced Moore to slow down, but this gave him time to enjoy the simple beauty of Italy and its people. No less an authority than Mario Batali, he blurbed the book as “a brilliant love letter to Italy.”

Dog-friendly Gelateria

Usually when you see a sign that says ‘Pet Friendly’ it means that dogs and cats are allowed, but in Vieste, a lovely southern seaside town in Italy, one gelateria has taken it to a whole new level. Gelateria Maggiore recently debuted its specially-made gelato for dogs. It developed the treat in collaboration with a local kennel. This perhaps should come as no surprise, Vieste is one of the most animal friendly places that you’ll ever find. Dogs are permitted almost everywhere and can have beach chairs rented for them. They are even permitted in the Duomo. Special flavors containing no sugar had to be created for the canines, making the gelato nutritious and from all accounts, quite tasty to the pup’s palates. Italy is a good place to spend the summer, especially for man’s best friend. There is even a beach in Rimini where admittance requires visitors to bring a dog and that’s something to bark about.

A WWII Message Decoded

While using a metal detector in the south of Tuscany, a man found a German shell cartridge from WWII and rather than a bullet, it contained a cyphered scrap of paper. After some research, the basic code was broken and the contents could be read. The message was never sent, but the German officer wanted to know why the Italian hand grenades didn’t work. It seems that in the battle, Germans soldiers would hurl Italian hand grenades at the Allied troops, only to see that moments later, the ordnance would be thrown back at them with explosive results. Apparently no one told the German soldiers that the Italian hand grenades had TWO pins. The “L” type grenade looked a lot like the German “potato masher” grenade, but in addition to the pin at the base of the handle, it also required the removal of a metal tab to prime the explosive so that it would explode on impact. The U.S. troops knew about this – the Germans found about it the hard way.

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