Yes, it’s true, these are top jobs that only exist in Italy…
Cheese Whisperer: Testing the quality of Italy’s Parmigiano-Reggiano takes more than just taste buds. In order to ensure the cheese has the correct form and structure, people have been trained to tap each wheel and know just by the sound whether it is up to standard.
Gondolier: It takes years of training to gain the prestigious title of Gondolier and for many it is a family tradition. When not guiding tourists through the waterways, an essential part of the job appears to be posing for photographs in a stripy shirt and straw hat
Swiss Guard Dressed like court jesters, but the Swiss Guards are actually the Vatican’s “warriors” and “defenders of the Church’s freedom”. They arrived in Rome in the 16<sup>th</sup> century to protect the Catholic Church and have been there ever since.
Modena Balsamic Vinegar Taster: Balsamic vinegar with the official Modena seal can cost hundreds of euros, so the approval process is considered to be a fine art. A panel of 5 tasters goes through rigorous training so they can judge each bottle against strict criteria, before a producer can join the prestigious club.
Olive Oil Police: As part of the Italian government’s efforts to combat counterfeit olive oil, a police force has been trained up to sniff out low-quality foreign oil that has been branded Italian extra-virgin. With just a taste these police officers can tell whether the olives have come from abroad, or if other types of oil have been blended into the mix.
Roman Soldiers: Today’s Centurions need little more than the outfit, a ready smile and a charming way with tourists.
DOCG Recipe Writer Italy’s quality-assurance label, DOCG, is stamped on wines and foods which adhere to stringent specifications. For each product an official must draw up a recipe – a list of ingredients or a particular production process – which must be followed to the letter.
Latin Translator There are Latin scholars all over the world, but there is nowhere where the job is more important than in the Vatican. Although a dead language, it is an essential skill for studying the many records in the Vatican’s archive. In modern times the role of a Latin Translator came into its own when Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013; as the news was announced in Latin and only journalists who were fluent in Latin got the scoop.
Anti-mafia Prosecutor Being an organized crime prosecutor is one thing and being an anti-mafia prosecutor in Italy is quite another. They are greatly respected by the public and they face serious personal risk and often live with police protection.
Renaissance Flag Thrower In 21st-century Florence, a troupe of flag-throwers frequently march through the city and dazzle locals and visitors alike with their skills. An ability to chuck a flag in windy weather – emblazoned with the Florentine fleur-de-lis – is essential for the job, while looking good in tights is an added bonus.