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Michael San Filippo

Scandalo Italiano

By October 5, 2008

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Given the plethora of Italian scandals both recent and current (Tangentopoli, Calciopoli, the garbage crisis in Napoli, and the mozzarella dioxin scare, to name just a few) you might think Scandalo Italiano was a rap sheet listing disgraceful misconduct and moral outrage in Italian politics, sports, and public health. In fact, it's dedicated to just one current scandal: The inability of the Italian government to successfully launch a Italian tourist Web site after spending five years, and with a budget of more than €45 million, to create the portal.

There's nothing yet to show for all that time and money—the Web site www.italia.it is currently non-functioning. And given that over the past several years the country has lost ground as a tourist destination to France, Spain, the U.S., and China, it has to be frustrating to those in the Italian tourism industry to witness a missed business opportunity—think of such branding successes as I Love New York, 100% Pure New Zealand, and España. The litany of ineptitude, incompetence, and idiocy, as chronicled by Scandalo Italiano, should make Italian tourism professionals, government watchdog groups, and Internet Web site developers alike all cringe.

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