How barmaid split an Italian town
An Italian town has been split by a barmaid's risque outfits.
While the men of Bagnolo Mella in the northern region of Lombardy eagerly cram into the bar where Laura Maggi works, their angry wives and girlfriends have called for her to cover up.
The female mayor of the town has called the 34-year-old a threat to public order, because her miniskirts, high heels and skimpy tops are drawing male customers from up to 70 miles (100km) away, who clog up the nearby streets with their cars and park illegally.
Cristina Almici, the mayor, lamented the fact that the town had become known only for Miss Maggi and the bar she has owned for eight years, Le Cafe.
"I wouldn't let my husband go there," she said. "It's not a crime for a girl to take advantage of her looks."
But she added that men should not be so easily beguiled by the spectacle. A Facebook page set up in support of the barmaid, called Friends of Laura Maggi, has attracted more than 5,000 supporters. It shows her in outfits including a Playboy bunny outfit, a see-through mesh top, black PVC boots and a fur-trimmed Father Christmas costume leaving little to the imagination.
Ms Maggi, an aspiring model, has even decorated the walls of the bar with a calendar of glamour shots for sale for €12.
She said she had been left "open-mouthed" by the extensive coverage in the Italian press, who have called her a "sex bomb".
"What am I doing wrong?" she told an Italian news agency. "It's not like I'm nude. Sure, I wear short skirts and bra-tops but nothing worse than that. The police asked me to manage the situation better so as not to create too much hassle."
With all the publicity, the town is bracing for a fresh influx of admirers tonight, when the bar stays open until 1am and Ms Maggi dresses most provocatively. (© Daily Telegraph, London)