News

Odd, strange, weird and unusual stories from Italy and beyond.

Updated on 12 January 2013.

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Record 3-ton Stollen Cake In Germany!

By News Correspondent Marco Prosseda

Dresden, Germany 09/12/2012. – Hordes of tourists have invaded the city of Dresden for the Traditional Festival of Stollen. It is a typical German Christmas cake made with spices, candied fruit and nuts.

Twenty pastry chefs have baked a cake weighing three tons, with 390 Stollen from fifty pastries. Here are the vital statistics: 2 million 300 thousand raisins, 440 pounds of butter, 125 pounds of sugar, 880 pounds of flour, 175 pounds of candy and a big battle of Jamaican Rum.

The Stollen is almost 4 meters long, 1 m wide and 75 cm high and 98 cm.

But this gourgeous cake has not entered in the Guinness Book of Records. The reason? In 2000 the same group of chefs baked a Stollen weighing four tons.

The group of pastry chefs who worked on the cake entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2000 for having made the largest Stollen in the world. So the tourists sampled a cake weighing over 4 tons.

Fish In Suspected Gas Leak Drama

By Irma (news reporter)

Last week, a freak accident happened near Stockholm in Sweden.
Some people phoned the fire brigade asking for help because they suspected a gas leak and they were worried about a possible fire or explosion. However when the firefighters arrived they discovered that the situation wasn’t so dangerous because the smell wasn’t related to a gas leak  but had been caused by fermented fish.

The curious aspect was that the fish hadn’t gone bad but were part of a preparation phase for the typical Swedish dish known as  “surstromming” which can be eaten in autumn.
In the end everybody was surprised by this discovery but were very happy about their narrow escape.

Pope joins Twitter

From the next 3rd of December the popular social network will probably get, among its more than 500 million users, the pope’s account too.

Tweets from Benedict’s new personal account may not be written by himself, but will be approved by him”, said the archbishop Claudio Maria Celli. In most cases tweets may be written by his staff, considering that the 85-year old Pontiff, doesn’t use the computer and writes his books in longhand.

The aim is to bring thought Twitter the evangelising message to a greater number of people.

No account name has been confirmed, although all are betting on @BenedictusPPXVI.

It’s the latest effort by the Vatican that marks a new way of communicating, after the launch of the Vatican news site in June 2011.

Manuela M.

Berlusconi’s  associate Spinelli Kidnapped

Bandits  demand 35 million,  ransom payment a mystery
A one night flash-kidnapping left Spinelli (an  accounting officer of President Berlusconi’s) in the hands of kidnappers.
“They acted with masked face and guns in hand” said Spinelli to newsmen.
He and his wife were only released after he called Berlusconi to talk about the amount of ransom.
The apparent reason for the kidnapping may be linked to the  “Lodo Mondadori”  lawsuit.
The kidnappers were said to be in possession of key documents which would allow Berlusconi to overturn the  “lodo Mondatori”  lawsuit result.
But not all sides of this story are clear and Italian prosecutors want to investigate further to understand who the real instigators of the kidnapping are   and who the other accomplices are, in addition to those currently detained in prison and under interrogation.  Investigations are continuing.
 
News reporter 
Davide Vincon
Treasure in the flea market

Retired woman buys bag of letters and a millionaire.

A retired woman went to a flea local market, in Dresda, and she bought, for only 20€, a big bag of old letters weighing 2 Kg as a present for her husband.
The woman’s husband , Reinold Hoffmann, is an old German man of about 70, who has a stamp collection. When he pulled out the letters on the table, suddenly he became happy. At the top of the pile he noted a rare blue piece of paper, a “Z grill”.
“Z grill” is an old stamp with Benjamin Franklin image, printed in 1868 by the American Post Office. There are only 3 “Z grills” in the world and they are worth about 2,5 milions of dollars. What about the other two “Z grills”? One is in the New York Post Office Museum and the other one belongs to a private collection of a rich CAlifornian man.
Sometimes it may be a pleasure to go shopping in a little market.
Francesca
Violent Storm Hits Taranto
A whirlwind on 28 November damaged cars,  houses’s roofs and in particular part of the ILVA, iron and steel industry.
During the morning, this event caused a total black out.
The factory was evacuated because there was a risk of explosion.  A shed collapsed and there was a huge black cloud and high flames.
Today 24 workers were injured and one man is lost.
This event is very serious because recently many people have been on strike because the State want to close the factory.
Valeria
Italians throw out 146 kilograms of food every  year

Every year 6,6 milions of food’s tons in Italy are were thrown away, equivalent to 146 kilograms for each Italian citizen.

Scientists, Philosophers, Entrepreneurs and Representatives of Institutions are talking about this phenomenon during the 4th International Food Forum at the Bocconi University of Milan.The amount of thrown food is four times more than the world population’s requirements.
While many men, women and childrens suffer hunger there are 1,5 billion obese and overfed people in the world.We need a strong awareness campaign to reduce discarded food especially in the home environment.Tommaso

Bank Robber Gets Stuck In Manhole

In 2003 a man organized a robbery in a bank but he was captured because he was stuck in a manhole cover. 

The thief was an immigrant from Poland. He had organized a perfect plan but he hadn’t calculated the measures of his body and of the manhole cover. So he was forced to call the other people for help and he was saved by police. 

Then he was brought to the hospital San Camillo and confessed to the crime.
In the end he was expelled from our country.

Agnese

Bride goes to hospital for a grain of rice.

A bride went to the Emergency Unit because of a grain of rice which got into her ear while the bridal couple  was leaving the church. The unpleasant accident happened a year ago in a village called Malgrate, near Lecco. While Bruno Ratti and Paola Bonsangue’s relatives were throwing rice for good luck at the end of the wedding, a grain of rice got into one ear of the bride. Many of them helped her trying to extract the grain from her ear, but all efforts were useless. The young bride concluded the ceremony at the Department of otolaryngology.

Chiara

“Smiling Lessons” for Milanese traders

 People who live in Milan are usually regarded as sulky.

Confcommercio, an Italian organization which represents firms engaged in trades (or commerce?) – “Business” – Editor! , tourism and services, has organized “smiling-lessons”: as from 2013 Milanese traders will learn to smile all the time with customers and to keep their problems out the door . They will improve their ability to welcome people.

The courses will follow the “Can I help you” English style and teach tradespeople not only  always to be cheerful, smiling and positive but they will also teach how to treat many kind of international people well. In addition to language courses, already active, there will be courses in customs and traditions.

So customers will no longer be able to complain about the bad temper of the cashier, the shop-assistant or the chemist!

Livia

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