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.
Extraordinary commemorations for Totò, the actor who died 50 years ago, include the opening of a museum in his honor. For Renzo Arbore, "Totò was my myth, an artist who changed our lives for the better."
As Holy Week begins, the city is sunny, buds are bursting from the trees, bringing pilgrims and tourists to jam the streets and to visit St. Peter's Basilica, plus Rome's museums, monuments and two major new exhibitions.
The spring agenda brings food events all over Italy, from pizza workshops to lectures, food blogging prizes and a novelty, archaeo-gastronomy. Traditional cuisine thrives, along with new culinary trends.