The Italian media is reporting that ex-Prime Minister and current head of the People of Freedom party (PdL) Silvio Berlusconi, 74, fell and hurt his shoulder and wrist on Wednesday. The incident occurred while Berlusconi was jogging in a park at his vacation home, Villa Certosa, in Sardinia -- one of the several villas the billionarie media tycoon owns on the Mediterranean island.
Berlusconi's youthful enthusiasm for lewd parties -- the infamous "bunga bunga" gatherings with naked dancers and prostitutes he is accused of paying for, including an underage one -- and well-documented plastic surgery make it easy to forget that the former prime minister is going to turn 75 in September, and is subject to the same frailties of age as other septuagenarians.
The Italian dailies -- admittedly not a paragon of fact-based reporting -- first called the accident a "devastating fall" and said that Berlusconi had dislocated both his shoulder and wrist and hurt a few other areas, but now are saying that he either fractured, or merely bruised, his shoulder.
Berlusconi's guest in Sardinia and member of the PdL party, Maria Rosaria Rossi, said Il Cavaliere, as Berlusconi is known, was doing fine and confirmed it was just a bruise. "The President was doing his usual routine in the park by his villa, when he missed a step and slipped," Rossi said. "He just got a bruise on his left hand and on his shoulder. It wasn't dislocated, it wasn't sprained.
"This morning he already began his regular daily training," Rossi added. "He's so healthy, nothing can slow him down!"
Berlusconi was treated by his usual doctor from Milan, Giorgio Puricelli, who also treated him when he hurt his head and jaw when he last fell in his residence in Rome, and when he had two teeth knocked out and a fractured mandible when a man threw a small statuette at him during a public appearance.
Both Doctor Puricelli and Doctor Alberto Zangrillo, director of the Intensive Care Center at the San Raffaele Medical School in Milan, confirmed to the Italian paper Il Giornale (owned, as it happens, by Berlusconi's brother Paolo) that the accident was "nothing serious," and that Il Cavaliere will be able to finish out his vacation in Sardinia as planned.
"The President is fine," Puricelli told Il Giornale. "This morning he started running again as usual, at 8:45 am, and after that he took a swim. His shoulder is in place."