The holidays are over but not the outrage in Rome over the huge piles of rubbish, worse than ever after the Christmas season. The streets are littered, including in the historical center. This being the country that gave us Machiavelli, the rubbish also stinks of politics.
In his New Year's speech President Sergio Mattarella praised Italy's politicians for having the legislature last the regulation 5 years. But in national general elections that take place in just 60 days, those with "institutional responsibilities" must each do his share, he said.
Dario Franceschini (blue tie), heads of state museums
As the year winds down, Italy looks ahead nervously to political 2018, when national general elections may take place as early as March. The predicted three-way split is almost certain to make forming a new government a challenge.
Its 7 million visitors this year make the Colosseum Italy's second most important tourist attraction, and the area open to visitors has been drastically expanded. Here we meet its newly appointed director Alfonsina Russo.
The increased longevity of Italians is behind the government's proposal to boost the pensionable age to 67 years. But Premier Gentiloni's cabinet is at loggerheads with the powerful unions over this, even as the labor market is also changing.
New President of Sicily Region, Nello Musumeci. Courtesy of www.nellomusumeci.it/blog
In a regional election Sunday in Sicily, a fledgling center-right coalition trounced the center-left, leaving former Premier Matteo Renzi and his party in deep trouble. The vote is seen as a harbinger of things to come when the nation goes to the polls next March.