The five photos show two scantily-clad young women relaxing in the villa's landscaped garden, as well as Mr Berlusconi walking in the garden beside another young woman, who is clothed. Aside from the Italian prime minister, all have their faces obscured by pixels and none is identified. The photographs will intensify a frenzied debate in Italy on the nature of Mr Berlusconi's relationship with a string of attractive young women, some of whom he has propelled into politics. Mr Berlusconi had successfully suppressed the images in his own country, with his lawyers persuading prosecutors to seize the photos and place the photographer who took them under investigation for alleged violation of privacy.
The Atlantic Crossword
Berlusconi fury over naked photos Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has reacted angrily to the publication in Spain of photographs showing topless women and a naked man at his villa. He also faces a probe for using state aircraft to fly guests to Sardinia. The prime minister is said to have used Italian aircraft to ferry guests to and Villa Certosa, "almost every weekend" between the summer of and January of this year, El Pais reports. Mr Berlusconi is being investigated for misuse of public funds, and confirmed on Thursday that he had been formally placed under investigation by prosecutors. But said the probe would be "swiftly shelved", insisting he was allowed to transport "people he needs" for security reasons. Mystery man Under the headline "The pictures vetoed by Berlusconi", El Pais on Friday published five photos shot by photographer Antonello Zappadu from outside the gates of the Berlusconi villa. In the first, the face of the Italian prime minister — recently embroiled in a public row over his friendship with an year-old model — can be clearly seen. He is accompanied by several women, with the face of one of them pixelated by the photographer and the others obscured by an awning. The second photograph shows two topless women, one standing and one lying on a sun lounger in the Sardinian sunshine. The woman standing is wearing nothing except a skimpy set of "thong" bikini briefs.
ROME — A decision to cover up nude statues from Roman antiquity during a visit by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has drawn ridicule and scorn in Italy — much of it directed at the Italian government — and spurred a debate about the national identity. But it also left Italians asking a basic question: Who ordered the cover-up? Some media reports suggested the Iranian delegation had asked Italian officials to hide the statues to avoid Mr. Rouhani any potential embarrassment. Other reports fingered nervous and perhaps overzealous Italian bureaucrats.