Mid-summer Italy is sagra time, when even the smallest town celebrates itself and its identity, especially but not only through its culinary specialties, from wine to chestnuts, cheese, honey and even pumpkins. Visitors are welcome.
At historic Amelia in Umbria, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) held its 8th annual international conference June 23-25. One focus this year was the endangered archeological and art heritage in the war-torn Middle East.
For the first time since its founding in October 2009 the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) was trounced in an election held in 1,021 townships throughout Italy. The shock waves also rippled onto the Partito Democratico (PD). The result: probable postponement of early national general elections.
Three powerful forces are lobbying for national general elections to be held this autumn, 6 months before the slated end of the legislature: Matteo Renzi's PD, Beppe Grillo's M5S and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia. But if so, they will leave serious unfinished business and may bring a possibly chaotic future.
Thanks to Culture Minister Dario Franceschini's museum reform, management of 32 top Italian museums was opened to international competition in 2015. But today an administrative tribunal is kicking out the non-Italians - and kicking off a huge ruckus.
What is romance worth? A new study of spending on love (clothes, food, beauty products and such) found that when they say, "I love you," Italians splash out just $112. Other current statistics show marriages are on the rise -- but so are divorces.
The 57th Venice Biennale, the world's oldest international exhibition of contemporary visual art, opens May 13 under the theme "Viva arte viva," or "Long Live Living Art." Founded in 1895, this prestigious art show-of-shows is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors before closing Nov. 26.
Legend has it that Romulus founded Rome 2,770 years ago on April 21. Among the birthday celebrations was an outdoor concert on the Tiber River to honor artist William Kentridge, whose 1,804-feet long frieze decorates the embankment. Other handsome murals are now also appearing in Rome.