Italy has never had a woman president, but women here are taking giant political steps. Among the most visible are Laura Boldrini, president of the Chamber of Deputies; Federica Mogherini, foreign affairs minister for the European Union (EU), Emma Bonino, former Italian foreign affairs minister; and two big-city mayors, Virginia Raggi of Rome and Chiara Appendino of Turin.
With the Ferragosto holiday just two weeks away, Italians are relaxing into vacation mode on beaches and in the mountains, but also at home -- and indeed especially at home. As the research institute Dempolis statistics show, one out of five Italians is vacating, so to speak, at home, while at least half are going no farther afield than their own region. Resorts and even big city parks are jam packed, and not only with the multitude of foreign tourists who prefer holidaying in Italy to some of its more turbulent neighbors.
More than ever before, Italy is a summer festival, with programs on offer from Sicily to the Val d'Aosta, from the Maremma to the Alta Irpinia. Topics range from communications to creativity, to how humanism can confront the terrible wave of terrorism.
Summer is the perfect time to explore Italy's outlying small towns, those magical ancient "borghi" on hilltops out of reach of cruise ships and big tour operators. Keeping these towns alive is a challenge being met by Italians as well as by foreigners. For the independent traveler, they are a treasurehouse.
The first installment of a series about a new breed of Italians. Technically they are neither emigrants nor expats, for—as Ambassador Varricchio remarks in this issue—“they carry a return ticket.” you might half-jokingly call them frequent flyers, defined as they are by easy mobility. Indeed they are the new Italian citizens of the world. Artists, professionals, students and entrepreneurs who straddle two worlds.
Before his Wednesday audience Pope Francis received the grieving parents of Beau Solomon, 19-year-old U.S. college student who was pick pocketed and then drowned in the Tiber River July 1. Not only Italian crime is to blame, however.
After days of being rocked by post-Brexit shock waves, the Italian stock market rebounded a percentage point more or less across the board. But the fact remains that the "Brexit" referendum vote has fallout effects that could become devastating for Italy.
Run-off elections for mayor take place in six of Italy's most important cities Sunday, June 19, two weeks after administrative elections involving 12 million voters. To judge by previous such ballots, a few surprises can be expected.
Elections for city mayors are never pure reflections of national trends, but are warning shots across the bow, in this case, of Premier Matteo Renzi's ship of state. As Renzi puzzles over the results, Beppe Grillo, leader of the Movimento Cinque Stelle, exults.
Italy's newest hero is Capt. Francesco Iavazzo, whose quick thinking and efficient crewmen saved the lives of literally hundreds of migrants whose shabby boat with 600 aboard capsized off the Libyan coast. "At sea, safeguarding human life is a sacred task," said Capt. Iavazzo.