That’s Not Rain … That’s Liquid Sunshine: Luca “Il Tempo Che Fa” Zaia & the Veneto’s Pirate Weather Forecasters
So the President of Italy’s Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, is waging a war against Italian hotels that show local weather reports on their websites – because a lot of times the weather along the Adriatic Coast near Rimini (in the Emilia-Romagna Region) is better than the weather inland and more to the northwest – that is, in the Veneto, which Zaia represents.
And bad weather is bad news for the Veneto’s tourist industry. After all, Italy’s in full economic crisis. We can’t have people deciding not to vacation in the Veneto just because you need an anorak and fleece-lined gloves to go outside, can we?
“The sites that provide this service in the Veneto Region must block their weather forecasts or we will seek legal damages,” Zaia told the Corriere del Veneto (apparently with a straight face). “We’re launching this appeal to force [hoteliers] to shut down weather forecasts…. We need to go back to the days of [Edmondo] Bernacca (Italy’s first widely popular TV weatherman beginning in the late 1960s) and his macro-area forecasts.”
Now, Zaia has a small point: Italian hotel-owners will always tell you that the weather is fine, that the restaurant downstairs is excellent, and that the nearest bus stop is “cento metri” (100 meters) from their doorstep. None of that’s true, of course, just like the food isn’t really “organic” and that expensive olive-wood sculpture wasn’t really “Made in Italy.” The point is, no one with any sense believes it anyway.
But threatening to sue hotel owners for telling the public that the sun is shining on their hotels, even at a difficult moment in which it doesn’t happen to be shining on yours … well, that takes a special kind of crazy.
You may understand a bit better if you know that Zaia has been a member of the ultra-right-wing Lega Nord since at least 1993. Zaia also threatens to sue people when they call the Lega Nord racist, so you can just imagine how he feels about foggy days in Treviso. Reality is kind of a minor issue.
Speaking of which, and just for the record: At this very moment, it is raining and overcast in Zaia’s hometown of Godega di Sant’Urbano, and it’s going to stay that way for the next several days. The projected high is 11°C/52°F; the low, 6°C/43°F.
This information, by the way, comes from http://www.arpa.veneto.it/previsioni/it/html/mtg_05.html, the site of ARPA Veneto (the Regional Environmental Protection Agency for the Veneto). Zaia insists that ARPA is the only resource that provides “serious, efficient” weather forecasts and the only one people ought to consider reputable.
In other words, don’t forget to pack your sun screen, possums.