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Mario Caciagli and Alan S. Zuckerman

The Jubilee of the Catholic Church is the most frequently mentioned

event in the chronology that precedes this introduction to

the sixteenth edition of Politics in Italy. It could not have been otherwise,

in light of its impact on Italian public life and visibility in

the mass media throughout the year 2000. The “first planetary and

media jubilee,” as Gianfranco Brunelli terms it in his contribution

to this volume, stands at the center of this book’s section on Italian

society. Consider only some of the salient events that marked

this celebration: May Day, which the trade unions left nearly

entirely for the Pope to celebrate; the Gay Pride demonstration and

the attendant protests from the Vatican; Haider’s visit; the arrival of

tens of millions of pilgrims to the Eternal City, the impressive

amount of public works brought to completion in Rome, and the

added visibility of Rome’s mayor Francesco Rutelli. In the imagination

of most Italians, the year 2000 will remain the Jubilee year.