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Letters from Rome

February 10, 2013

Dear Diary, It's Election Time

Judith Harris

Good grief, the Italian national general elections are only two weeks away, and things are happening so thick and fast that the only way to keep up is with a daily diary of the...

February 3, 2013

Misery and the Elections in the Final Stretch

Judith Harris
Pierluigi Bersani e Matteo Renzi. 'Pd-Brothers'

As Leonardo Sciascia once said, it is easy to manage wealth, but hard to manage misery. These are tough times for Italy as elsewhere, and the sight of shops shutting down and...

October 28, 2012

Berlusconi Back Again!

Judith Harris

Berlusconi, who has dominated Italian politics for over seventeen years, is not leaving the political scene just yet. What happened?

September 18, 2012

Italian Politics, from Topless to Toppling

Judith Harris

An Italian magazine called "Chi" buys and prints photos of topless princess Kate Middleton in a 26-page spread. Why should we care? Because the magazine belongs to the...

September 8, 2012

In Venice, the Other Biennale

Judith Harris
Piquadro headquarters, at Silla, by Gaggio Montano

The 13th International Architecture Exhibition was inaugurated August 29 and - happily - continues through November 25 so that autumn visitors can roam its fascinating halls

August 27, 2012

The President vs. the Magistrates

Judith Harris

From Palermo, prosecutor Antonio Ingroia is fighting to have those responsible for a sub rosa negotiation in 1992 between top Mafia bosses and representatives of the Italian state...

August 21, 2012

Honoring the cultural heritage

Judith Harris
Mount Etna just became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Just when UNESCO recognized five more Italian sites as part of the world's cultural heritage, Florentine Mayor Matteo Renzi decided to block engineer Maurizio Seracini's search...

August 13, 2012

The Silly Season Sweeps Italy

Judith Harris

Ferragosto – the name derives from the original Feriae Augusti summer festival proclaimed by the Emperor Augustus – is a major holiday celebrated on August 15 when all of...

August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal's Love Affair with Italy

Judith Harris
Gore Vidal and Federico Fellini

For over three decades Gore Vidal spent six months a year in Italy, living between Rome and the magnificent southern town of Ravello, on the Amalfi coast. He was proud that...

July 30, 2012

Palermo and its Mafia revisited

Judith Harris

To this day the full story of the murders of Falcone and Borsellino twenty years ago, while clearly a direct result of their anti-Mafia prosecutions, remains an enigma shrouded in...

July 27, 2012

Summer spreads out the spread

Judith Harris

The upward surge of the spread to today's 506.48 for 10-year bonds (but 519 at the opening of the markets) has reignited interest in holding elections this November, six months...

July 22, 2012

A New Family Style for Italy

Judith Harris

Gay civil unions? The traditional family has always been the bulwark of Italy, its citadel, saving grace and court of financial last resort. But even within this venerable...

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