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  • As if inevitably the political fallout from the hideous murders and ongoing terror stalemate in France is as great or greater than anywhere else in Europe, save for France itself. Security measures have been tightened throughout Italy, but such concerns are in the forefront, beginning with the safety of Pope Francis and of the faithful who flock into St. Peter’s Square daily in Rome. But repercussions on an already uneasy political situation appear no less inevitable.
  • Its culture czars hope that in 2015 Italy will finally cash in on its museums, historic archives, Renaissance and Baroque palazzi and archaeological sites. Until now, income from what is the richest single heritage in Europe yields a measly annual net profit of under $37 million. Needless to say, most of the income the heritage generates goes to paying the wages of personnel. Finally, after months of debate, on Dec. 19 Culture Minister Dario Franceschini signed into law a decree to relaunch the heritage sites with more help from private sources.
  • In his customary cordial way, President Giorgio Napolitano read the political elite of Italy the polite equivalent of the riot act. On Tuesday the president made his traditional end-of-year address to the ranking elders of the Italian state, and it obviously represented a carefully considered sermon. He also insinuated that he will end his term of office Jan. 14, after which a new president must be chosen.
  • Courageous police and magistrates are battling valiantly against a wave of high-level political corruption linked to organized crime in Rome that has just brought 37 indictments. The dozens more under formal investigation include a cabinet minister and a former mayor of Rome. The media have christened this latest Italian scandal “The Sack of Rome.” This month Transparency International ranked Italy 69th down its list of corrupt nations
  • Life & People
    Stanislao Pugliese(November 10, 2014)
    Based on his novel Il trono vuoto (The Vacant Throne), Roberto Andò’s film Viva la libertà appeared last year in Italy at a propitious moment, just as Florence mayor Matteo Renzi stormed to national political prominence and assumed the office of prime minister (the youngest in Italian history) in early 2014. Both the film and the reality deal with a moment of crisis of the left; but perhaps that is where the similarities end.
  • The government headed by Premier Matteo Renzi is promoting its school reform plan, which would give jobs to 148,000 new teachers while introducing merit promotions. However, the Renzi project has come under harsh criticism because the bill – one of the major projects his government proposes – is limited to job creation at the expense of a fragile, dated infrastructure. But even as students mount protests, Lazio Region schools are becoming innovative.
  • Ferragosto is Italy’s annual summer holiday, celebrated Aug. 15 with a complete shuttering of work places save for coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and beach establishments. This is the one day of the year when the streets of Rome are deliciously empty. This year the holiday is all the more important, for it marks the second millennium since the death of the Emperor Augustus. Italy is commemorating the celebration in museums, conferences, and restorations of places associated with Augustus and his age.
  • Facts & Stories
    Giulia Madron(July 21, 2014)
    First stop - Rome for Mayor Bill De Blasio. In the Eternal City he met his colleague Ignazio Marino, Minister of Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. Now, two days of relaxing with his family in the beautiful island of Capri. “Italy is a wonderful place!,” he said.

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