Italy: Suspicious package sent to 5-Star's Beppe Grillo was pasta and vegetables

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By Euronews  with ANSA
The package sent to Beppe Grillo turned out to be orecchiette pasta and vegetables.
The package sent to Beppe Grillo turned out to be orecchiette pasta and vegetables.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Larry Crowe, File

A suspicious package sent to a leading Italian politician turned out to be pasta and vegetables, police have said.

Authorities -- including a bomb squad -- were called to a home near Genoa to investigate a mysteriously-wrapped package.

Instead of explosives, harmful substances, or even a threatening message, they found orecchiette pasta, artichokes, and turnips. The food was an apparent gift that had been sent from Puglia, police said.

The package was sent to the home of Beppe Grillo, a comedian and co-founder of the Italian Five Star Movement (M5S) party.

According to an investigation, it was delivered to his home by a courier. Grillo's housekeeper collected the parcel, but then sounded the alarm when the comedian said he was not expecting any delivery.

The M5s co-founder had good reason to be wary, having previously been targeted by threats at his home.

In November, Grillo had been placed under increased police surveillance after he received a threatening letter that read "Condolences, you will have family bereavements over the festive period".

Previously, he had also received a package with a T-shirt with the writing "cirogrillo" -- an apparent reference to the ongoing trial of his son, who is accused of gang-raping a student in Sardinia.

Italian police had decided to increase patrols and security around his home, but the delivery of pasta and vegetables still arrived.