Europe decides to take a cue from the United States by Italy having a massive even-bigger-than-our-August-14-blackout power outage that affected about 57 million this past weekend. In another delicious parallel, the AP reports, "As in the North American blackout, the early hours of Italy's power outage were filled with confusion as to the cause and finger-pointing among neighboring countries. Italy blamed France; France denied responsibility. Eventually, it emerged that a chain reaction that started in Switzerland and moved through France caused the blackout in Italy, which imports most of its electrical power."
Apparently a fallen tree in Switzerland hit one power line, causing another to overload at the same time two French high voltage lines failed. Additionally, the pope's weekly address was broadcast via back-up generators; Gothamist thinks this must have reminded him of his youth.
Gothamist's NYC Blackout coverage