The Italian Almanac

Miss Italy 2001

Italian News - September 15

A loosening of government gaming rules means that Italians will be able to bet legally on the Miss Italy contest for the first time, upsetting contestants.

"We're people, not objects or, worse, animals," complained Anna Prete, the "Miss Calabria" from the southern region of the same name and one of the many finalists unhappy with the government-sponsored scheme. "Betting on Miss Italy is really bad," she told ahead of Thursday's final of the beauty pageant.

Miss Italy purists are appalled at what they see is the vulgarization of a 66-year-old national institution and the competition's founder, Enzo Mirigliani wrote to the government to complain. Allowing bets "damages the girls' dignity, bringing them down to the level of champion racehorses", he wrote.

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