The Italian Almanac

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inflatable church

Italian News - January 20

For people who can never find a church when they need one, a company currently displaying its wares in the northern city of Piacenza may have the answer. For only 3,000 euros a day, inflatable churches can be hired and erected practically anywhere. They can seat up to 40 people and come complete with accessories such as crucifixes, an altar and rose windows.

The blow-up churches can be ready for use - on the beach, on a mountain, in a field - in just under three hours, according to the British firm offering the service. A specimen inflatable church was among the products being promoted at the 'Nolexpo' trade fair for firms whose business is hiring out goods and equipment.

Other services being touted included 'alibis on demand', a solution for people who need an impressive justification for not being somewhere at a given moment. For just 50 euros a year, a Belgian business will supply clients with 'evidence' of plausible-sounding business trips - always extremely urgent - whenever necessary.