Actors Roberto Benigni and Monica Bellucci, together with architect Renzo Piano are the three most mentioned Italians (in a positive sense) in foreign media. The three artists were found to positively promote Italy in the midst of the country’s recent and widely publicised scandals and strife in the political and financial arenas.
Negative news reports, on the other hand, have included the conflict of interest accusations among Italy’s financial leaders, the high speed train protests, and, of course, the numerous issues related to Prime Minister Berlusconi.
These are the findings of Osservatorio Permanente BitLab, an organisation that monitors Italy’s image in the press and tourism sector abroad. The survey examined over 3,000 articles dealing with the environment, art, design, cities, tourism, culture, food and wine, society and transport published during 2005 in leading daily newspapers in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Britain and the United States. On the tourist front, it seems that Tuscany was mentioned more than any other region, even Sicily.