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.
The water level of Lake Bracciano, 20 miles north of Rome, has dropped by almost 6 feet in the past 2 years, bringing the risk that one of Italy's most beautiful and least polluted lakes is at serious risk of drying up.
It's the newest rage -- the all-female rugby teams, down to and including players between six and twelve years of age. Growing up, these girls have fueled the 100 women's rugby teams playing throughout Italy. Captain of the top national team is Sara Barattin, 30. Special attention to Italy's hard-fighting female rugby players is being paid in Italy this March 8, when International Women's Day is being celebrated.
Italy's ruling Partito Democratico (PD), until only recently Italy's largest single party with about 40% of the electorate, has split into two, raising serious problems for future governing. Said one commentator here, "In a situation like this, only Beppe Grillo can smile."
Proposed new stadium, with skyscrapers, culture-commercial center
Whether or not Rome is to have a new soccer stadium is approaching a decsion. The present 54-year-old Olympic Stadium, now home to local rival teams AS Roma and to SS Lazio, comes with serious defects, but construction of the proposed new $1.26 billion stadium faces no less serious obstacles.
In both the good times and the bad, the Sanremo Festival is an institution which Italians love almost as much as spaghetti and Michelangelo. One out of every three Italians watches the grand finale of the Sanremo Song Festival, now in its 67th year.
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.