Barbie Nadeau

Italy's Cement Stimulus

in what has to be Europe's most ill-considered stimulus plan yet, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi recently proposed allowing owners to expand single-family homes by 30 percent, or 35 percent including "green" additions, with no need for approvals.

Italy's New Immigration Crisis

Since the economic crisis hit, most illegal immigration has slowed—in the U.S. it fell 21 percent last year. Why head north if there's no work? Yet in Italy, arrivals from North Africa doubled in the last year (from 13,000 to 33,000, according to the U.N.).

Travel: Italy By Vintage Car

Zipping around the Tuscan hills in a Maserati is fun, but those who really want to take their time and enjoy the view should grab the keys to a vintage Fiat 1300.

Gomorrah Author Saviano Runs From the Mob

Most nights, 28-year-old Roberto Saviano sleeps in safe houses. His only public appearances are on TV. He answers text messages from different numbers and can talk only briefly on his cell phone.

Take a Spooky Halloween Tour

Forget cute orange pumpkins and pop-culture costumes. A truly eerie Halloween begins in a medieval crypt. Siena, along with 32 other spooky Italian cities, is introducing Halloween itineraries called "Trekking and Mysteries" ( that take urban adventurers through graveyards, catacombs, crypts and medieval fortresses.

A Volcanic Venue

To reduce overcrowding at Pompeii, officials propose limiting visitors and renting out the ruins.

Italy: Berlusconi, Take Three

When Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called for new elections on April 13, he set the stage for another episode of the Silvio Berlusconi show. If the 71-year-old former prime minister wins again—he's the front runner—he faces a new world, in which his reputation for sexist (he once invited foreign investors to consider Italy because of the beautiful secretaries) and racist (he called a German European Parliament member "kapo," slang for concentration-camp prisoner) comments could play...