Category Archives: italy

But who will protect us from our protectors?

Guido Bertolaso, the head of civil protection in Italy, looks like turning into the gift that keeps on giving. After being flown to Haiti by Berlusconi to offer his expert advice, he upset Hillary Clinton by calling US aid to … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, corruption, italy | 1 Comment

Fuck off, Binetti

Good news for all those people, like me, who know that the best way of getting rid of Berlusconi is to concentrate votes on the Partito Democratico (PD), but just can’t stomach it while Paola Binetti, fundamentalist catholic and – … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, binetti, homophobia, italy, PD, politics, religion | 4 Comments

Personality politics

Local elections are coming up in Fondi and the walls of the town are plastered with advertising for the candidates for town mayor. They tend to appear in pairs, like teenage girls on a first night out. They use as … Continue reading

Posted in election, italy, politics | 4 Comments

Fear and loathing in Empoli

This sign, which forbids entry to all Chinese who don’t speak Italian, can be found* in the window of a clothes shop in Empoli, near Florence. In an Italy that seems to have woken up and found itself racist and … Continue reading

Posted in italy, politics, racism | 3 Comments


In Italian the word ape means ‘bee’, but it’s also the name of the type of vehicle in the photograph above. It’s a 50cc moped engine with the body of a small van or, in this case, truck, grafted on … Continue reading

Posted in italy | 4 Comments

The shopkeeper is always right, well, sometimes

I was in my local profumeria last Sunday. This particular profumeria is the size of a large provincial bookshop (in a town that doesn’t have a bookshop), its walls and shelving units lined with exquisitely packaged small bottles containing liquids … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, italy | 1 Comment

No-B Day (two weeks late)

Not hot news, I’m afraid. I wrote the following piece the day after the No-Berlusconi Day march in Rome almost two weeks ago, then put it to one side to settle. Well, it has, and there’s nothing I want to … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, italy | 1 Comment