ITALY: The Battle of the Brothels

For more than a month the Italian senate had sought refuge in such nice-nellyisms as "case di tolleranza" (houses of tolerance), "case da te" (tea houses) or "persiane chiuse" (closed shutters). Last week, white-maned, octogenarian Gaetano Pieraccini lost his patience. "I am a plain doctor and a Florentine," he cried. "I call bread bread, wine wine and a brothel a brothel." No matter what they called it, Italian senators could no longer evade the issue: whether or not to close Italy's bordellos.

Demi-Rome. It was not an easy matter to decide. The world's oldest...

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