Italy's cultural heritage outshines that of any other European nation, but this has not prevented the government from slashing its budget for heritage maintenance. Spending on school has also been reduced.
Major elections take place only next May in the 27 EU member states, including Italy. But already political voices are being raised in Italy these days, from the rubbish pile-up to the pile-up of the national debt.
For his 1959 film "La Dolce Vita," Federico Fellini dubbed photographer Rino Barillari "King of the Paparazzi." This month Rome's prestigious Maxxi museum honors Barillari's 60-year career with an exhibition of 100 of his photos.
The clash between Italy's Minister for the economy and finance Giovanni Tria and the top political players overshadows all other arguments within the government. On the agenda are in-house quarrels over dropping the euro and the amount of monthly pensions, and going forward with the gas pipeline from Azerbaijan.
Until now, tourism has been hailed as Italy's magic beam, transporting the country beyond the losses from runaway factories and ever more present robots. Nevertheless a small but serious reaction against the vast influx of tourists is becoming evident.
In an era of political divisiveness, Italian President Sergio Mattarella remains a unifying figure and Italy's most popular single politician, widely praised for his calm and "prudently presidential style.
The battle against the big ships that overwhelm Venice and its canals with tourists is being fought by politicians and groups of irate citizens. But it is also being fought in photographs and books that celebrate the city and its traditions.
Ten vicious shootings of migrants and Roma in Italy have left one man dead and a baby at risk of paralysis. For this "huge increase in cases of violence and racism," Italy is under investigation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of Man.
Schools are about to reopen for Italy's students, although not without problems. Some towns have lost school buildings due to earthquakes while others complain of a shortage of teachers. A bitter controversy is over vaccinating the very youngest.