Italian tourism minister furious with iPhone app


(eTN) – Italian Tourism Minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla is not very happy with iPhone’s $0.99 travel application “What Country,” developed by Belarusian developer Apalon. In fact, the minister is so livid, that she is threatening a lawsuit against responsible parties. Brambilla requested that Apple remove the app from the AppStore and allegedly instructed state lawyers to take legal action against the developers.

Why? Because she finds the description of Italy, provided by the application “offensive.” So, how does iPhone app “offend” the minister and Italy? It describes the country as the land of “Pizza, Mafia, Pasta and Scooters.” Hmm… Well, perhaps Michelangelo and Cellini should have been mentioned, too, along with pizza and Mafia, but, according to the AppStore, the application is a “light-hearted and funny view of the world.”

Well, this “light-hearted and funny view“ does not sit well with Signora Brambilla, who declared: “Italy is a beacon in the world for its history, culture, and style, and as a citizen and minister, I cannot allow that our country is discredited by the use of a criminal organization as its testimonial.”

By the way, the same app describes Germany as the land of “beer, discipline, and [the] autobahn.” There have been neither complaints nor legal threats from Berlin, so far.

The outcome of this bizarre row remains to be seen, but so far it has been, shall we say, rather amusing.