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  • Some of Italy’s top museums and archaeological sites are showing a decline in popularity, reversing the trend for steady growth for the first time in two decades. Moreover, Italian families are spending almost 7% less per capita on the theater and on movie attendance. Few expect 2009 to be better—on the contrary, as the economic slump hurts tourism, it may be worse.
  • Italian students of all ages and areas of specialization are required to study English as a second language. But are they actually learning to speak and/or write in the language of world commerce and communication? A number of interviews with Italian teachers and students depict a rather grim reality.