As Italy plunges toward national general elections March 4, the walkup offers plenty of occasions for Italians to see themselves as others see them, with no holds barred. Herewith a sampling of the international press.
Not real candidates: VOTE FOR ME guerrilla posters
This is the last week before polling is prohibited, and in these last days the campaigning for general elections March 4 is both fraught and fragmented, with no fewer than 28 national parties facing off against each other.
Art thefts in Italy are on the way down, and this week Carabinieri in Rome showed their latest recovered objects: 250 valuable antique nativity scene figures. Nevertheless, and despite thefts like the Al Thani jewels in Venice, art crimes in Italy have seriously dropped.
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