Luca Bruno / AP
A supporter of Silvio Berlusconi shows women's underwear outside the court in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday.
By Claudio Lavanga, NBC News
ROME -- The "Rubygate" scandal opened Wednesday without a bang, but certainly not without a bunga.
For those not familiar with the neologisms emerging from the land who gave birth to the likes of Dante, "bunga bungas" are the infamous alleged sex-fueled post-dinner parties held at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's residence in Milan.
More than the divine comedy, it read like a hell of a tragedy.
The media scrum outside the high court in Milan this morning was epic:
From across the world, 110 journalists descended to the northern Italian city to witness the beginning of the biggest sex scandal to involve Italian politics since porn star Cicciolina was voted into parliament in the 1980s.
The trial is meant to establish whether the prime minister did have sex with a minor known as Ruby the Heart-stealer, and whether he abused his position as prime minister when he secured her release from police custody by claiming she was the granddaughter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Even Dante couldn't have come up with such a plot.
The three judges, all women, took less than 10 minutes to adjourn the trial. The real show, they established, will start on May 31. That day, the entrance of the high court in Milan might even roll out the red carpet, as the list of 190 witnesses reads like the Oscars line-up. One among many, George Clooney will be summoned to tell the judges whether he ever went to one of Berlusconi's dinners, as ruby claimed.
The prime minister sent a letter to the judges saying he was sorry he couldn't attend. These days he is dealing with a major crisis caused by hundreds of North-African refugees washing ashore off the coast of Sicily after they fled their revolution-torn countries. But in his mind, he must know that the only immigrant who might hold the key to his political career is a young Moroccan teenager called Karima El-Mahroug.