Italian Werewolves

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What do I still have to say? What else can I do? I have the desire to transform myself into a werewolf, go out into the street and howl at the moon to get rid of my frustrations. And to bite Rutelli’s ear. In Italy, beauty has been ruined, disfigured, cementified. There’s still some left but it is becoming extinct. The courageous tourists who come to the ex Bel Paese {former Beautiful Country}spend more in Milan than in San Francisco, more in Rimini than in the Maldives. Services are non-existent. The motorways are among the most expensive in the world. The transport system cannot be described.

Tourism is one of the few economic activities that keep us on our feet. It’s a cow that is milked ever more, so that as well as milk, there’s blood coming out of its udder.
The portal www.italia.it that should have contributed to the development of tourism makes the world laugh. On its Home Page, the only one it has, there’s the writing ‘Il Portale Italiano del Turismo č in fase di realizzazione’ {The Italian Tourism Portal is being created}.

And to give an international touch, it’s said in English: ‘The Italian Tourist Portal is coming soon’. It has cost 45 million Euro. The person responsible is Stanca, the former head of warehouses at IBM, then Minister of Decline and now hidden in the woods with a fat salary in the Senate. But let’s move forward.

The 0.8 per cent given by Italians for art and culture has been used for the Iraq mission according to the statement by the president of the Italian Fund for the Environment Giulia Maria Crespi. Bullets instead of restoration. Artistic machine guns.

And now the tax on staying. A tax on tourism. Every tourist will pay to admire cities and countryside. The hotel will cost up to 5 Euro a night extra. An incentive for tourism. A cheerful economic move from a brilliant mind, yes, from Rutelli himself, Minister of Culture.

And he’s even offended by criticism. And with due haughtiness he takes it up with those who do not agree with his radicaldemochristian thinking: ”Un piagnisteo assurdo” {an absurd lament}. He can’t stand his employers. You have to understand him. Not even they can stand him. To sum up: they are even destroying tourism.

I’m asking for a magistrate that wants to take the initiative and set up an investigation into how the 45 million Euro for the Tourism portal has been spent and to see if there is the possibility of a crime having been committed for the subtraction of funds destined for Culture and finishing up being spent on War. RESET!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:18 AM in | Comments (8)
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I work indirectly with the tourist trade. And it saddens me to note a very sharp decrease in Americans traveling to Italy in just this last year alone. Previous tourists and lovers of the "Bel Paese" (some who would make the trip once a year) are now opting for Dubrovnik/Croatia. The main complaints have been the skyrocketing prices, but the saddest complaints are when they tell me all they heard was "next", and having anticipated a warm and hospitable people, were truly disappointed to be treated like cattle. The Italians, cold and insincere. Who are these NEW Italians?! As an American growing up in Italia, I don't remember one cold-hearted Italian! And then to discourage tourism even more, articles such as the following title continue to make their appearance in the American news media:
If anyone happened to read the article "Diner Beware: Turisti Pay More in Roman Restaurants" published in the The New York Times (Aug 8-9, 2006)...here is my partial response to it:

Where are the facts here?
I have friends in Rome and when I stay with them they all complain about the prices. They manage to survive the ever increasing inflated prices of Rome by knowing which restaurants and bars offer less expensive and good fare (usually mom & pop places that haven't changed in 30 years), meaning, these places haven't been remodelled (fancied up) to cater to tourists and now feel the need to price gouge.
Three dollars for a cappuccino, you say. Well, that sounds about normal.
Since the euro made its debut, Rome's prices have tripled. We used to go to Italy because everything was half the price it was here in the U.S. Not true anymore, now we go because we love it. But coffee costs the same as at a Starbucks. Plus, I would even pay a more to have my coffee sitting at a ring-side seat in any city square of Rome. Where else could you rent a table with such theater and backdrops set before you?
If you go off "the beaten path" (away from the heavily touristed areas) you can still find an espresso for 80 cents and panini for a dollar fifty. But in touristy Rome it is rare, but that has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with whether you are a tourist or a native!! It's just a fact of life. And don't get me started on Venice, where the exodus of the natives is very well documented because they can't AFFORD to live in their own city. Tourists being signaled out…bah, humbug!
I was sorry to see this article published. I was hoping it would go relatively ignored but too many people have brought it to my attention. I refuse to buy this as valid news. It just puts a bad slant on Italy and the Italians who themselves are struggling with the lowering of standards and the increasing cost of living.

Posted by: Cinzia Sanniti-Waldrop | November 22, 2006 12:49 PM


Perfida Albione??? (That's a nice nick name!!!)
:o)))
Anyway, For what it's worth...this is one or the rare times I agree with your comments!!!!

Posted by: paola filinesi | November 14, 2006 11:28 PM


Well Luigi,
As much as I love Brazil and mind you I go there every year and I would gladly live there,I am confident you don't mean Brazil,are you??? :o))

Posted by: paola filinesi | November 14, 2006 11:25 PM


Here we go again. The same old story.
It's a 3rd World country. The Bel Paese has lost the will to live. And a lot of people has lost the interest to live in it!
€45mil? It's not a surprise in such an highly corrupted country, is it? Sometimes I think that maybe the South America countries (no disrispect) are less corrupted than Italy. Or to put it in a slightly better way....I am surprised that such a corruption is still tollerated in an European country, member and co-founder of the EU!
I probably live in fairyland but the Bel Paese is ready for the scrapyard!
About the "Tourists tax"....
There are some EU countries that apply that rule. If you visit Amsterdam for example the fee you pay for your hotel will always include an handfull of € to be paid to the local authorities. Not a big deal if the money is transparently allocated and properly use to improve the city you're visiting.
The problem with Italy is that it will be use by the local authorities to add some privilegies to their already golden lifestyle!
Italy as a whole is a country of thieves.
Please Beppe explain to me: what the f**k is a notaio if not a thief authorise by the Government to steal large quantities of money and time to every italian citizen that is so unlucky to need his/her robbing services?
The more I read your site the more I convince myself that Italians in general (thanks God for exceptions, you included!) are ONLY a "bla, bla, blaaa" and a lot of worthless chitchat and nobody is and will be ever ready to get down on your lovely Piazzas to shout and make yourself heard by those useless politicians! Be there everyday, shout every minute and you'll obtain some changes.
If you seat on your bottom you'll change nothing!


Posted by: Perfida Albione | November 14, 2006 11:11 AM


Enrico Rossi, I agree with you.
I was robbed in Via Veneto Roma in the morning about 11.00 by gypsies.

I had my gold chain pulled from my neck by two on motorino, I was waiting to cross the road.

Not to mention:
The prices are always higher and they forgot to update it.
Buying bus tickets, I am always short changed. Instead of 10 tickets I am given 8 or 9 tickets, or I am given less change.
Buying stamps: it is 60 cents, they will give me a stamp of 0.60 cents and ask me to pay 0.62cents. Multiply this by x numbers of people “fregate” and you get an idea.

The incredible inflated prices of bottled water, coffee ……. It is just insane to kill the goose that lays the golden egg!

But to complain to or about Rutelli? Mr Grillo, my friends tell me that while Mayor of Rome he was known as “Parcheggiotore Abusivo” I think you might know something about it.
And like all abusivismo, You can “fregare” una volta.

Francesco now you know why your site is working and not Il Portale Italiano del Turismo !

Posted by: Marcia Visanji | November 14, 2006 09:11 AM


This is not new to me. My friends avoid Italy as a tourist destination because it's extremely expensive. The few that went in the past report horror stories of price gauging and extortion. Add to this traffic accidents caused by irresponsible Italian drivers, swarming by gypsies, general theft, stores and restaurants that refuse to display prices and the picture turns pretty uninviting.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | November 13, 2006 03:17 PM


Can´t really see the end of this black hole originated by our politically-inefficient policy-makers. Metaphorically speaking, the ship is sinking, too much water got inside. The outcome is irreversable so for those who still haven´t left the deck, better do it now and start paddling towards merrier ends, namely other countries.

Cheers from Brazil

Posted by: Luigi | November 13, 2006 01:49 PM


wow...45 millions euros for an hope page??? my entire web site costs 40 dollars...:)

Posted by: francesco | November 13, 2006 11:53 AM


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