Category Archives: adam & eve

Italian romances nun with text messages

zoomata.com staff A text message an Italian sent by mistake started a romance that convinced a nun to leave the Catholic church.

It began when a factory worker from the island of Sardinia, Maurizio Degortes, thumbed a message to a female friend intended to help her get over a broken heart. His message by accident reached a nun and changed her life.
Seven months of courtship via mobile phone convinced Geraldine, 35, from the Philippines but living in a Palermo convent, that her future was with Maurizio.

The final push, however, may have been given by the mother superior who found the woman of the cloth furiously texting messages in private.
These star-crossed lovers met only once in the airport when she was being sent home. They reportedly only shared a caste kiss on the cheek.

Shy, with a grey and white striped polo shirt monastically buttoned up, Degortes, 32, told national news program TG5, “I don’t think I’m prince charming or necessarily her soul mate but I do think she deserves another kind of life.”

The mother superior shipped Geraldine back to the Philippines but Degortes says that didn’t stop the two paramours from talking, or texting, every single day.
Degortes hopes to sponsor Geraldine for a tourist visa but he says that if the authorities do not grant it he will gladly go to the Philippines to spend time with his new-found friend.

Latin lovers may have an advantage with new technologies: it is estimated that 10,000 text messages are sent every day in Italy making it one of the most prolific countries for thumb jockeys. ? text 1999-2005 zoomata.com
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Woman cheats with woman: twice as guilty, Italian court says

zoomata.com staff

For Italian judges, if both spouses cheat the one who has an affair with a member of the same sex is the guilty one. In a case brought before the country’s Cassation court, because of her relationship with another woman a wife in Sicily was faulted with the breakup of her marriage.

Judges deemed her affair with a daughter’s former schoolmate as a deciding factor in the breakup of the home and harmful to her daughters. Husband Settimo, called only by his first name to protect privacy, will keep the family home and care for the daughters. His former wife of 21 years, Anna, was also ordered to pay 3,100 euro in court costs.

The recent sentence was brought an end to a dramatic eight-year-long case. Anna requested a divorce in 1997 on the grounds that her husband was known to all of Palermo as a very busy Latin lover.
She requested custody, the family home and 2,000 euro a month in alimony. Settimo found out about Anna’s gay relationship and had his daughters and a relative of Anna’s testify in court about it. His wife, however, was not able to provide such convincing evidence of his numerous affairs. Judges, faced with proof of only her infidelity, sided with the husband.

“I completely sympathize with her,” law professor and activist Francesco Bilotta told newspapers. “Not so much for having been unfaithful to an unfaithful husband but for having the courage to take it to the highest courts. If more people were so brave, gay and lesbian rights would gain considerable ground.” ? text 1999-2005 zoomata.com
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Noisy sex? Only in certain hours, Italian court rules

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An Italian couple has been ordered to have sex only in the daytime after the man’s wails of ecstasy provoked complaints from neighbors. Retirees next door, who claimed the grunts equaled decibel levels of a jackhammer, will now be able to sleep soundly after a Rome judge imposed a sex ban from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on a married couple.

This is the third case of roof-raising sex to hit Italian courts in a year; all three judges have imposed a blackout on sonorous love making at night.

What’s all the ruckus about?

Italy has the fifth-highest population density in Europe and most of those circa 60 million people live in apartment buildings.
Regulations on noise, however, are stuck in a post-war time warp. The fine for too many decibels in an apartment building is 100 lire, about 5 cents in euro (as set out in 1942, during Fascist rule) and unhappy neighbors must go through an already overloaded court system to get justice.
Politicians have proposed bills to update fines and develop mediation centers for out-of-court settlements, but have not reached an agreement.

In the meantime there are 4.7 million pending cases of apartment-building spats, most of them about noise, frequently sex noise — especially during the hot summer months when Italians sleep — or try to — with the windows open.

Identified only as ‘Signora Carmen,’ the woman in the Rome case told Italian media, “This is absurd, you can’t limit passion. I think the neighbors are just jealous. I guess we’ll go back to having sex in the car and hope we don’t get arrested for obscene acts in public.”

Image used with a CC-license, thanks Emily’s mind.

Parking lot of love for Italians opens

by Nicole Martinelli It’s tough being a young Italian in love: there’s just no privacy. Ask the 90 percent of Italians between the ages of 20 and 24 who still live at home. As a result, Italians will do it anywhere, especially in the car.

But while surveys say 88 percent of Italians have car-copulated at least once, back-seat sex has continued to come under fire from officials.

In 1999, one Italian court even ruled that unless the car windows are covered up it can be considered an obscene act. (Italy’s sexier streets and parking lots have since seen a huge rise in ad hoc entrepreneurs selling newspapers to drape over the windshield.)
Finally, it seems some local governments are coming around, too. The town of Vinci in Tuscany has just become home to Italy’s first “Love Park.” The town’s mayor, Giancarlo Faenzi, appropriately announced the plans on Valentine’s Day 2003 but in true Italian fashion only managed to get things ready for the summer lovin’ season.

“There’s nothing revolutionary here,” mayor Faenzi told zoomata. “It’s a practical consideration, we’re simply trying to keep in mind the way the space is used. This is the city of Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace, after all. We are very rational — there’s no point moralizing or trying to discourage people simply looking for privacy.”

Whether Italians will flock to the park is another question. Call it the Love Park, but it’s basically a re-furbed sports-center parking lot on the outskirts of town. That’s 172 (compact) parking spaces for the amorous, with soft lighting, extra trash cans within easy reach, flower pots and condom dispensers for a love haven away from home.

Still, Italians may come to appreciate their new getaway when they remember the alternatives: either the local polizia looking over their shoulder as they sneak their lover a kiss, or Mama watching every move as she makes more manicotti.

Vinci isn’t the first Italian city where proposals to legitimize these alcoves for lovers have been bandied about, but this is the first time local government has given it the green light. Making official this basic necessity may also help improve safety — smooching couples are regularly prey to robberies or worse, as in the still unsolved murders of nine young couples parked in lover’s lanes in the Monster of Florence case. This story first appeared in Newsweek.

Cicciolina, undaunted by angry wives, plans Italian comeback

updated June 8 15:59 p.m. zoomata staff

There is no stopping a true diva. After a group of angry wives in Italy had a strip club where porn star Cicciolina planned her return on the scene shut down, the actress found another club. And plans to up the stakes by appearing completely nude, at age 52.

Manager and X-rated film producer Riccardo Schicchi announced that Cicciolina will be the opening-night attraction in a lap-dance club in Pavia, about 25 miles south of Milan on June 12. There have been no protests so far about Cicciolina’s comeback at the new locale, scheduled to take place during EU elections.

Last month, things were looking glum for the blonde star.
Instead of confronting husbands they thought might go see the protagonist of films like “Private Vices, Public Pleasures,” angry wives went to police with suspicions that the night club was violating the fire code.
Police investigated and then shut down the hot spot for 15 days after finding various infractions. They also discovered that the return of Cicciolina, hailed by posters around of the topless star around town, hadn’t been approved by the city government.

It’s the latest in a series of ‘not-with-my-husband’ protests by Italian wives, who have evidently decided the old rule of turning a blind eye is no longer the way to go. Last month another band of wives in the Tuscan town of Arezzo turned a local priest into detective and had three ‘sex dens’ frequented by their husbands at lunch time closed down.

Italian women have traditionally ignored philandering and still ignore nearly pornographic displays by scantily-clad dancing girls on TV shows. A recent poll of 1,000 Italians, however, showed that women are just as jealous as men — and less likely than male counterparts to ignore a straying eye.

Cicciolina, a.k.a. Ilona Staller, Hungarian, served in Italian parliament from 1987 – 2002. Staller since disappeared from the Italian scene but has made numerous TV and magazine appearances in Europe.?text 1999-2004 zoomata.com
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No-fault Divorce for Italian Husband in Sexless Marriage

A cheating husband who does not have sex with his wife is not to blame for the failure of their marriage, an Italian court ruled.
Rome judges of the Cassation Court, the country’s highest, ruled that husband Filiberto’s ‘continued’ philandering and ‘total lack of interest’ in having sex in his wife didn’t cause the breakup of their over 30-year union. Wife Monica (full names are not supplied in sentences to protect privacy) is entitled to a 250 e. monthly alimony check because of the no-fault ruling.

As author James M. Henslin pointed out in “Marriage and Family in a Changing Society,” until recent reforms in Catholic countries the only way to get a divorce was to prove adultery, because it meant ‘breaking a central property right, sexual access.’

The sentence delivers a jolt to the traditional stance of Italian wives who close an eye or two on their partner’s dallying to save the marriage. Because his wife accepted to live in a sexless marriage and knew of her husband’s affairs, the relationship was bound to deteriorate and fall apart, reasoned judges.

Another recent Cassation sentence also underlined that all is not fair in love and war, at least not in Italian marriages. The court sentenced a snooping husband and his accomplice friends to jail for tapping his wife’s phone, hoping to catch her cheating. Though he said he was trying to ‘preserve the unity of the family’ by keeping tabs on his partner, the judges ruled that the nosy trio had violated the woman’s privacy. The three men were sentenced to eight months in prison. ?1999-2003 zoomata.com

Big Fat Italian Weddings Spark Crime Wave

by Nicole Martinelli
posted Thu 10 July 9:38 am

Big, fat traditional Italian weddings have become so expensive that would-be brides and grooms are begging, borrowing and, yes, stealing to have enough money for the big day.

Recent nuptial-related crimes include a couple in Rome who were caught with fake scratch-off lottery tickets trying to save enough to say ‘I do’ in 50 euro increments (they’d managed to get 1,400 euro so far) and a groom in Turin who stole money from the bride to pay for all that pomp. She reportedly asked for a divorce after seeing the state of her bank account.

Italians aren’t having big families anymore but that doesn’t keep them from having big weddings — and more of them. After a downward trend in weddings in the 1980s, the last few years have registered a boom (about 3,000 more couples each year than the previous year) in those taking the big step. All those relatives, a five-course meal, wedding favors, a designer dress, an exotic honeymoon: at 25,000 euro the ‘average’ Italian wedding is anything but when compared to the $18,000 to $21,000 spent in the US. The stretch? An average Italian income is $7,600 less than a US counterpart.

Not only are the weddings a financial burden, but sometimes the planning lasts longer than the marriage itself. Italian couples are prone to long engagements (averaging almost five years) and the trend seems to be lengthening.

“Let’s see — we were engaged for seven years, officially for a year and a half,” marketing consultant Susanna Carazza, 31, told zoomata. “The marriage was over in about 18 months…I get a little queasy every time I think about how much it cost.”

Carazza says the cost of ‘doing things right’ was unexpectedly high — from the 500 euro donation to the church, the 3,000 euro spent on her dress and the 4,000 euro spent on a the video and an endless series of posed photographs in a nearby castle — her estimate for the total cost is more like 30,000 euro.

The expense has become so high that the Italian government is working to change tax laws to make wedding costs tax deductible, but more young Italians are avoiding marriage altogether. Italy still has the lowest rate of couples living together in Europe — but that figure has nearly doubled in the last decade to 344,000 partners between 25-40 years old.

The general wedding fever might explain the unexpected success in Italy of plodding reality TV show ‘Marry Me Now,’ which was criticized heavily before it even aired by parent groups and religious associations. Despite the misleading title — Italians cannot legally be married in a TV studio — it regularly creamed the competition, the equally plodding local version of ‘The Bachelor.’ Organizers have announced that this nuptial farce will be a fixture in the RAI’s fall schedule.@1999-2008 this is an original news story. Play nice. Please use contact form for reprint/reuse info.

Related resources:
Abbondanza! Planning an Italian Wedding

Italian City of Venice Helps Couples Wed

Italy’s First Gay Union

Italian Judge OKs ‘Regular’ Adultery

by Nicole Martinelli
posted Thu 8 May 10:07 am

In a country where one of the harshest insults remains ‘cuckold,’ an Italian judge recently ruled that run-of-the-mill affairs don’t warrant any special remuneration for the spouse who was cheated on.

Electrician Mario N. took his wife’s lover — and employer — to court in Milan seeking 300,000 euro in emotional damages caused by the tryst. While the judge found that his wife’s extramarital activities fault her for divorce, the ‘ordinary’ way the affair was conducted meant her husband wasn’t eligible for damages.

The ruling’s a long way away from Italian film classic "Divorce, Italian Style" where eternal playboy Marcello Mastroianni plots his wife’s adultery then gets away with killing her for a ‘crime of honor’ — it seems Italian spouses are now expected to tolerate a certain amount of discreet philandering.
Judge Bianca La Monica’s sentence made a distinction between ‘regular clandestine affairs,’ which qualify for fault in divorce but that don’t cause "serious damage" to the cheated on partner. And, more importantly, that the lover couldn’t be held responsible for the infidelity of a wife who apparently did more than just dust the bookshelves at her employer’s home.

Perhaps the judge is just trying to make furious husbands to accept what’s commonplace — a recent poll of Italian women found that 69% said cheating is an equal-opportunity sport for both partners and 23% of those who have cheated did so because their man "wasn’t good in bed." Interesting to see whether the ruling will have other consequences — a wife was fined 500 euro in 2001 for calling her husband ‘cuckold’ (cornuto), the judge in the case ruling that the term constituted slander. Zoomata is the brainchild of a bilingual journalist, based in Italy, who thinks out of the box. This brain is for hire.

Related resources:
Italy by Numbers: Quicker Divorce

Italy by Numbers: Bad Cooking=Road to Divorce

Parking Lot of Love for Italians

It?s tough being a young Italian in love?there?s just no privacy. Ask the 90 percent of Italians between the ages of 20 and 24 who still live at home. As a result, Italians will do it anywhere, especially in the car.

But while surveys say 88 percent of Italians have car-copulated at least once, back-seat sex has continued to come under fire from officials.
In 1999, one Italian court even ruled that unless the car windows are covered up it can be considered an obscene act. (Italy?s sexier streets and parking lots have since seen a huge rise in ad hoc entrepreneurs selling newspapers to drape over the windshield.)
Finally, it seems some local governments are coming around, too. Next month the town of Vinci in Tuscany will become home to Italy?s first ?Love Park.? The town?s mayor, Giancarlo Faenzi, appropriately announced the plans on Valentine?s Day, and efforts are currently underway to make good on his word by mid-April.
But don?t expect Italians to come running to this official love shack right away?it?s not exactly the height of romance, involving some ?minor adjustments? to a sports-center parking lot on the outskirts of town. The minor adjustments: soft lights, extra trash cans and condom dispensers to provide a love haven away from home.
Still, Italians may come to appreciate their new getaway when they remember the alternatives: either the local polizia looking over their shoulder as they sneak their lover a kiss, or Mama watching every move as she makes more manicotti.

(This article, by zoomata.com editor Nicole Martinelli, originally appeared in Newsweek.)

?1999-2004 zoomata.com

Zoomata is the brainchild of a bilingualjournalist based in Italy who thinks out of the box. This brain is for hire.

Italy by Numbers: Quicker Divorce

74% want shorter waiting period
3 years, current waiting period
9.4% + increase in divorces, since 1995

The life cycle of the Italian family is changing — longer engagements, bigger weddings, fewer children and shorter marriages. Divorce is still relatively new in this Catholic country — allowed by a 1974 referendum — and lengthy legal separations (a three-year minimum) mean ending a marriage isn’t taken lightly.

Though Italy has the lowest divorce rate in Europe, this may soon change if lawmakers approve a current proposal to reduce the waiting time to a year — when the formal separation period was reduced from five years to three, rates increased more than 9%.

While divorce, Italian style stereotypically conjures up images of crashing plates, raging jealousy and lifelong vendettas — 86,4% of Italian divorces are no-fault and around 30% of couples who legally separate never get a formal divorce.

Nevertheless, the number of divorces and type change radically from North to South — about three times more couples decide to call it quits in the upper half of Italy, but those that decide to split in the Mezzogiorno are more likely to contest the divorce. The average marriage lasts 13 years and there are few "repeat offenders" — of those who remarry, only 1.1% get divorced or separated again. ?1999-2004 zoomata.com

Zoomata is the brainchild of a bilingualjournalist based in Italy who thinks out of the box. This brain is for hire.

Related resources:
Divorce Italian Style
The good old days? Marcello Mastroianni plotting his wife’s adultery and his subsequent crime of "passion" to justify the split…

Couple Weds After 62-Year Engagement

Italy by Numbers: Here Comes the Bride