Today is set to be a day of public humiliation for Italy, a country more obsessed than most with outer appearances and making a good impression – or as they say, fare bella figura.

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

When Maurizio Dibitonto went on a work trip to Latin America early this year in search of young sporting talent, he passed through a remote mountain village in Bolivia and explained that he was Italian. The locals grinned, responding with the phrase “Bunga bunga!”

Despite having no phone lines or electricity, the name of the alleged sex parties of Italy’s 74-year-old billionaire prime minister had reached the Andes, and clearly caused great amusement.

BASIC MEMBER CONTENT
This content is available for Basic Members.
Already a member, log in