Italy to Give Kids Free ‘Culture’ Money on Their 18th Birthdays to Better Enrich Lives


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While most kids in the U.S. only receive birthday gifts from friends or family, Italian kids will begin receiving some from their federal government. Yes, that’s right. On their 18th birthday, Italian citizen’s will receive €500, or $563, from the government as part of a new initiative to help teens become more cultured.

It begins September 15, and according to Business Insider, kids who turned 18 before the beginning of this year will still get the “culture bonus.”


Teens can spend the money on anything that might enrich their lives, such as concerts, books, museum or park visits, or theater tickets.

But how will the government know what the kids use the money for, you ask? Well, an app called 18app will be streamlining the process. Kids will use the app when they want to buy tickets to a show or event. The app creates a voucher that is sent to the government so they can approve the purchase.

Tommaso Nannicini, who is overseeing the program, said, according to Business Insider, “The initiative sends a clear message to youngsters, reminding them that they belong to a community which welcomes them once they come of age.”

The program doesn’t come cheap though. It will cost the government €290 million ($328 million), but Nannicini believes it is worth it.

“It also reminds them how important cultural consumption is, both for enriching yourself as a person and strengthening the fabric of our society,” he said.

About 575,000 teens will be affected by the initiative, which will last until the end of 2017.


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