ROME -- Can Piazza Armerina help save Pompeii? Both are Unesco World Heritage Sites, but in simple archaeological terms the ‘Villa of Mosaics’ (as it is known locally) is more important than the Vesuvian city. The villa is surely the greatest house of the 4th-century world; Pompeii was an important city but never a great one. Of course, archaeological importance pales beside the relative importance of these places today as global and national assets. Six million visitors each year suffer Pompeii; 400,000 trek annually to central Sicily to the villa.

2 Sep 2013

VATICAN CITY– Pope Francis named Veneto archbishop Pietro Parolin Vatican Secretary of State Saturday to replace much criticised Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy See said.

 Bertone, who will be 79 in December, asked to remain in office till Oct. 15 when he will hand over to the 58 year old Vatican diplomat, currently nuncio in Venezuela.

31 Aug 2013

 VENICE—The 55th Venice Biennale's theme of the Encyclopedic Palace, a building containing all the world's knowledge, finds expression in the Luciano Benetton Collection, Imago Mundi, revealed this week for the first time.

 "We want to put people together without causing a clash," Luciano Benetton told the Italian Insider when discussing the ultimate aim of the project. Consisting of over 1000 paintings from five countries, Imago Mundi was commissioned and collected by Signor Benetton on his travels around the world.

29 Aug 2013

ROME– As the West determines how to punish Syria for using chemical weapons, Syria’s Ambassador to Italy is still on Italian soil despite U.S. protests, diplomatic sources say.

29 Aug 2013
Desmond O'Grady

SORRENTO -- Naples has long been a leading tourist destination not only for the city itself but for the choice places nearby such as Capri, the Amalfi coast, Ravello, Paestum and Pompeii. But Naples’ garbage disposal crisis and the widespread petty crime have dissuaded all but the hardiest from visiting it. ‘See Naples and die,’ a tribute to its beauty, has taken on sinister connotations.

27 Aug 2013

ROME–FAO Chief José Graziano da Silva is “forcing staff to starve” through job cuts contravening the hunger-fighting agency's mission, it is claimed.

25 Aug 2013
John Phillips

 ROME --The strength of Amara Lakhous’s second novel, Divorce Islamic Style, is his deep insight into the underworld of Muslim immigrants and their interaction with the dark side of Italy.

22 Aug 2013

 ROME -- The only award I ever won during my whole scholastic career was for ‘Best Turn-Out’- I have a feeling it was a weekly thing and I only won it once, but rather pathetically I still cherish the memory. I was reminded of it again the other day while watching Roman office workers in their lunch-hour (or three). I was thinking that if there was an equivalent award for businessmen, Italians would be permanent, unchallenged, worldwide winners.

22 Aug 2013

ROME – FAO management is reneging on pledges to redeploy staff whose positions are being abolished, telling them are no funds available to keep them in the troubled UN agency, sources say. In another development a new Orwellian circular has cautioned that staff talking to the media about policies at the Rome-based famine fighting agency face being sacked.

21 Aug 2013