Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi

Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi

There's controversy brewing in Italy these days, and it has nothing to do with Berlusconi or teenage mistresses. No, the cause of the consternation is the return of the Italians' long-lost cousins: the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore. Things didn't get any calmer on Monday, when one of the gang -- former Bumpit aficionado Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi -- had a run-in with the law. By which we mean she plowed a police car.

According to news reports, Snooki and her buddy Deena Nicole Cortese were driving behind a police vehicle, which was their escort for the day. For reasons yet to be explained, Snooks managed to ram the police car, subsequently wedging her vehicle between it and the retaining wall. Apparently, the situation (NB: not The Situation) was so bad that Deena had to climb out through a window. Tragic.

Shortly thereafter, the two were taken down to the stazione di polizia -- though MTV insists that it was just to fill out paperwork, not because they'd been put in the pokey. The police officers were treated for whiplash and minor injuries. Snooki and Deena were offered medical treatment but declined. Apparently, their necks are built to withstand that kind of trauma.

If you've been following the story of Jersey Shore's visit to Italy, you know that it's been a contentious one, with officials flip-flopping several times on whether or not the cast would be allowed to film in Florence. Not surprisingly, the public is divided, mostly along generational lines: younger people like the show and want to emulate the cast's hard-partying ways, while older people would prefer to see them go someplace else, like the interior of Mount Vesuvius.

No matter how you feel about Snooki & Co. is beside the point, because like Tabatha Coffey, they're taking over: the British version of the show, Geordie Shore, recently announced its cast lineup, and other countries will fall victim shortly. You've been warned.

[Eonline via Marty]