Allegra Gucci, daughter of Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani, is arguing—in a new book and through animated NFTs produced under the pseudonym “Grosky”—that Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci got it all wrong. Gucci, according to The Times of London, claims that the Guccis were “fascinating, elegant and charming people,” and that Al Pacino’s version of Maurizio’s uncle, Aldo Gucci, “was false,” before adding, “‘Aldo was a very intelligent man and a real gentleman’. Her grandfather, Ferdinando Reggiani, was ‘an elegant man who only wore silk shirts.’… The film erroneously depicts her father as a ‘fool’ and a ‘slave’ to Patrizia Reggiani’s charms.”
The Times added that Gucci “makes no attempt to defend her mother, who was jailed for paying a pizzeria owner to kill Maurizio after he sold his share in the fashion empire and left her for another woman.” However accurate or inaccurate House of Gucci—which also starred Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, and grossed $156 million—may be, her central criticism of the film (“terrible”) has the ring of truth.
Before you nix the idea of a visit to the local penis museum next time you’re in town, hear Sigurður Hjartarson out. “One night in 1974, I was having a drink with my fellow teachers after school and playing bridge. The conversation turned to farming in Iceland — we were discussing how the industry finds a use for every part of the animal,” he wrote in The Guardian. “As a child, I had been given a dried bull’s penis as a whip, to drive the animals out to pasture every day.... [I] said that I would be interested in finding a whip like that again. ‘Well,’ said one of my friends, ‘you might be lucky.’” Before you can say, Stop, I’ve heard enough, Hjartarson was given four bulls’ penises, which he then had preserved at a tannery. “I gave three away as Christmas presents and kept the fourth. That was the start of my collection.”
The collection grew (sorry) into the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which his son now runs. “People have sent in specimens,” Hjartarson wrote. “The largest, from a sperm whale, is about 6ft long, while the smallest, from a European mouse, is less than a millimetre and must be looked at through a magnifying glass. We have one human penis on display, from a 95-year-old man who left it to us in his will in 2011.... At first people thought there was something wrong with me, but over time they saw I was a serious collector … and that there was nothing pornographic about the collection.”
A statue of Lenin has reappeared in the main square of this town in southern Ukraine, eight years after it was removed. It’s just the cosmetic manifestation of a deeper upheaval. “Despite the wishes of its residents, Henichesk may soon become part of a so-called ‘People’s Republic of Kherson’,” reported The Guardian, following an expected sham referendum in which “grateful local voters will express their desire to ‘break away’ from Ukraine.” The newspaper noted that Moscow has done this before, instigating a pro-Russia separatist rebellion in the eastern Donbas region in 2014 and “stag[ing] pseudo-votes in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, both of which became ‘people’s republics’.”
Super-yachts seem so earthbound, or, anyway, waterbound, and they’re so easily seized or frozen by ungrateful governments. No surprise they’re taking to the skies. “Two separate projects for ‘Air Yachts’ are looking for customers for futuristic concepts that involve harnessing high-tech luxury vessels to lighter-than air dirigible craft that will waft their luxury habitats for up to two days at a time over land and sea,” reported The Times of London. “The Air Yacht, from the Rome-based firm Lazzarini Design Studio, consists of two 150 metre helium-filled gas envelopes that are connected via four bridges to a central 80 metre-long hull. The trimaran-style contraption is to be driven by eight counter-rotating electric air propellers powered by lightweight batteries and solar panels.”
That all sounds fine, not to mention smart, but what about the stuff that really matters? O.K.: 22 guests, dining room, swimming pool, and—essential—helicopter pad. No arrival date for the Air Yacht, but AirYacht—which is either a typo or Air Yacht’s Swiss-based competitor—hopes to be in the air, and on the water, in 2026.
Meanwhile, a kind of tiny air yacht continues to infest this city. An Argentinian visitor just crashed his drone into the roof of the 15th-century Palazzo Venezia, from whose balcony Mussolini liked to give speeches. “Piloting a drone in central Rome and the Vatican is completely out-of-bounds,” reported The Guardian. “However, tourists appear to be oblivious to the rules. Last week, two Mexican tourists crashed their drone into the Leaning Tower of Pisa,” and two years ago a tourist from Poland crashed one inside the Colosseum. The selfies plague is starting to feel relatively benign. Relatively.
George Kalogerakis, one of the original editor-writers at Spy, later worked for Vanity Fair, New York, and The New York Times, where he was deputy op-ed editor. A co-author of Spy: The Funny Years and co-editor of Disunion: A History of the Civil War, he is a Writer at Large for AIR MAIL