Italy's new Prime Minister Enrico Letta won his first vote of confidence in parliament on April 29 after promising to press for a change to the European Union's focus on austerity and pursue economic growth and jobs.
Italy condemned a gun attack on one of its diplomats in the Libyan city of Benghazi, describing it as an attempt to destabilize the country.
Italy's center-left coalition, led by Pier Luigi Bersani, has a comfortable lead less than two months before the election, and outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti's bloc may win up to 15 percent, a poll said.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced that he would resign once the 2013 budget is approved, potentially bringing forward an election due early next year and fuelling speculation
that he might run.
Pier Luigi Bersani, head of Italy's Democratic Party, will face his main rival Matteo Renzi in a runoff next week to pick the center-left candidate to fight to succeed Mario Monti as prime minister following the first round of a primary vote.
At dawn before lessons could start last week, high school pupils at the Nomentano Science School in a northern suburb of Rome slipped chains around the gates and blocked the doors with chairs taken from classrooms.
A challenging economic outlook in Italy has led to a more cautionary attitude amongst property buyers but the world's wealthy still consider it to be one of the most desirable second home hotspots.
The number of guests in hotels in recession-hit Italy fell during the first eight months of this year, according to a study.
Italian unemployment in February rose to 9.3 percent, the highest level since 2003 as the eurozone's third richest country struggles to pull itself out of recession.