On May 2, 1519, Leonardo Da Vinci died in Amboise, France. This year all Italy honors the 500th anniversary of his death with exhibitions and events, down to and including lessons for adults in drawing and fresco painting. Milan's offerings are the most, however.
The latest book by sociologist Pino Arlacchi, Italy's famed Mafia analyst, takes a broader look at crime than do any of his previous works. Born in Calabria in 1951, the former MP and senator was a founder of Italy's Anti-Mafia Investigative Commission and then Undersecretary general of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention.
ROME -- Steve Bannon, mastermind behind the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016, is hunkered down this week in Rome, the city he calls "the center of the political universe." Bannon, who is an avid admirer of Italy's Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini, head of the increasingly dominant right-wing political party the Lega, has scheduled meetings here with as many as ten leaders of other European populist parties, from Western as well as from Eastern Europe.
Seeking romance, millions of tourists converge upon Verona. For the city of Romeo and Juliet, their visits bring income, but also traffic jams and, most recently, the need to remove literally thousands of "love locks," whose weight endangers walls.
Watched by at least 12 million TV viewers, the annual Sanremo Festival was a "magical week." In May the winner, Mahmood, will represent Italy at the the Eurovision Song Festival at Tel Aviv. But a few sour notes from the festival that began Feb. 5 still linger in the air.
The Mormons who first came to Italy from the US in 1850 could never have dreamed that their evangelical heirs would build a huge new temple in Rome itself, with a visitors center and a family history center. Temple inauguration is this March.
In the words of Premier Giuseppe Conte, the latest Fitch Ratings signal the "solidity" of the Italian economy. And to maintain that solidity requires the country's continued support of the European Union, adds Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (BCE).
Sardinia, population 1.6 million, and host to 12,000 sheep farms and nearly three million sheep, is famed for its pecorino cheese. But the shepherds' income from sheeps' milk has fallen so low that by way of protest farmers have dumped thousands of gallons of precious milk into the street. In the background: regional elections Feb. 23.