Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced that Palermo was voted Culture Capital of Italy for 2018. For the honor Palermo bested Trento, Aquileia, Montebelluna, Settimo Torinese, Comacchio, Recanati, Ercolano, Alghero and the twin townships of Erice and Elimo in Eastern Sicily.
In the final, clipped sentence of its ruling Jan. 25, the Constitutional Court cleared the way for national general elections to be held, even this spring, one year ahead of the formal end of the legislature. Those jubilant over the decision included Matteo Renzi, Beppe Grillo and Matteo Salvini.
A new ISTAT report shocked many here for its showing that one out of every five Italians never, ever reads a newspaper or a book, or attends a cultural event of any kind. On the other hand, it means that four out of five Italians do participate in the nation's vibrant cultural life, beginning with museums.
For Venetian Prefect Carlo Boffi, "Migration is the problem of problems for Italy and the EU -- an extremely complex problem of Biblical dimensions." Nevertheless it is heartening to see that kind hearts can still prevail.
For better and sometimes for worse, 2016 had its memorable moments. Given the importance of the arts in Italy, among the events of the year listed below are also major art exhibitions and performances of grand opera.
Peek into Santa's personal Italian backpack, and you will find not only a few year-ender gifts, but also a calender sketching out events for the year ahead. The most serious: national general elections.
Within hours of losing the constitutional referendum Dec. 4, Matteo Renzi submitted his resignation as Premier, one of the few in Italian postwar history whose government lasted over 1,000 days. The huge turnout and the massive 60% vote against the referendum caught pundits by surprise.
Movimento Cinque Stelle leader Beppe Grillo during the demonstration in Rome last week
When Beppe Grillo, Movimento Cinque Stelle leader, took a tumble into one of the myriad Roman potholes, the sarcastic chortles of his opponents echoed all over Italy. Why? Because the mayor, who is expected to fix up Rome and its streets, is from his party.