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  • Gearing up for the Jubilee Year called by Pope Francis for Dec. 8, the City of Rome is cleaning up its act (and some of its streets), despite the recent, devastating wave of scandals known as “Mafia Capitale” (Mafia Capital). Predictions are that 33 million pilgrims, or from 50,000 to 100,000 a day, will descend upon the Eternal City before Nov. 7 next year.
  • Two recent, devastating fires had put Rome’s Fiumicino airport, host to some 40 million people every year, on front pages worldwide. But what is even more searing is the report this week from Italy’s Transport Minister Graziano Delrio, that for the past two decades the country’s primary international hub has been seriously neglected. This will be remedied, promises Delrio. No less importantly, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini is scheduling major improvements in Italian cultural sites, beginning with the Colosseum.
  • Art & Culture
    Judith Harris(July 28, 2015)
    Despite the graft and graffiti, and the New York Times dissing Rome, Italy continues to vaunt countless islands of excellence, where the landscape is unspoiled, the finest of foods are offered at fair prices, treasures of art are visible and newly restored, and music fills the air. In short, the best of the Italian cultural riches not only survive, but thrive.
  • Life Gallery opens “Tripping”, an exhibition of Sandro Giordano’s ongoing satirical photograph series. How many times have you clumsily stumbled or fallen in your life? How about while holding on to an object you refuse to let go of? Sandro Giordano, AKA __remmidemmi, an actor and photographer living between Rome and Barcelona, started his debut photographic project ‘__IN EXTREMIS (bodies with no regret)’, just like this.
  • With earnings of over $38 billion, last year’s exports of Italian foods surged upward by 2.7% over 2013. And even as producers are urged to continue to protect the quality of today’s food production, interest in the history of Italian foodstuffs is keen, as is illustrated in a new museum exhibition showing how ancient Rome fed its one million citizens
  • On the eve of the Extraordinary Jubilee called by Pope Francis to begin Dec. 8, the Eternal City administration is plagued by accusations of corruption and Mafia infiltration. Most of the scandals predate the election in 2013 of left-leaning Mayor Ignazio Marino, a medical doctor considered above reproach but now subject to intense pressures to resign. However, corrupt officials are not the only ones to blame for Rome’s problems.
  • Italian economists and business leaders are finally beginning to look on the bright side. During the first quarter this year the GNP surged upward by 0.3%, the same as Germany’s. The news gave the stock market a pleasant jolt. Most importantly, a report May 13 by the national statistics-gathering agency ISTAT, says that Italy has finally emerged from recession.

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