The Pope may still be Catholic, but expect Italians to start deserting the faith in droves now that pasta has been declared an official religion.

Nothing as impious as that could really happen in a country run by Silvio Berlusconi, of course, but in Austria a campaigner has won his lengthy struggle to get 'pastafarianism' officially recognised. Niko Alm is not a spokesman for Sacla' or Dolmio, however, but a committed atheist who wears a colander on his head in a bid to make some point or other.