Diary: Inspiring Italian scandals

Was Italian teens' clever scheme inspired by The Stage? Photo: Shutterstock
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Italy. La Dolce Vita. The country that gave us such greats as Michelangelo, Verdi, Pavarotti, Cornetto.

It is arguably the most culturally historic country on earth, and so, naturally, much was made of the Italian government’s recent initiative to give hundreds of thousands of Italian teenagers a free ‘cultural bonus’ of €500.

Intended for enriching themselves through theatre, art, opera or museums, the money came in the form of credit that could be spent in some of the most cultural cities on the planet.

Tabard just can’t help but daydream about what one would do with such a generous gift. At about £425, one might be able to secure precisely half of a Hamilton ticket, on a good day.

But enough daydreaming. To Tabard’s shock, a thriving black market has sprung up in Italy, thanks to its wily teens.

Not content are they with free shows, they would rather have free money, and are swapping their credit for cash.

Tabard must admit, however, that The Stage might just be to blame. A feature published about this very same scheme tentatively pointed out the potential flaw in Italy’s plan.

As a responsible adult, one couldn’t possibly condone such behaviour, but Tabard can’t help but be impressed that so many Italian teens are taking their cues from The Stage. Who knew?

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk