So what exactly are Italians good at? Well, okay they make good pizza, quite nice shoes, passable red wine, have quite good looking chics and are pretty good at playing gangster roles in Hollywood films. One thing they are not very good at is listening to their own home grown experts.
Yesterday, more than 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. A Civil Protection Agency spokesman said 50,000 people may have been left homeless by the quake which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale. "Some towns in the area have been virtually destroyed in their entirety," speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament, Gianfranco Fini, said.
How can one predict such a harsh force of nature. Wouldn't it have been nice if someone could have said, say a month ago that this quake was coming so people could have been prepared for it?
Well actually, it was predicted and not by some toothless old hag claiming to be able to see the future and read people's minds but by an Italian seismologist Giacchino Giuliani from the National Institute of Astrophysics. He warned everyone that there was going to be a massive quake in L'Aquila and that the area should be evacuated.
What did the Italians do with this knowledge? The mayor of L'Aquila was infuriated with the claims and reported the scientist to the police for spreading panic, forcing him to remove his findings from the internet.
Mr Mayor, who feels stupid now then?