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The Italian Government is Giving Every Eighteen-Year-Old a €500 ‘Culture Bonus’

It’s to spend on books, movie tickets, museums, and national parks.

A couple of teens enjoying some culture.

A couple of teens enjoying some culture. (Photo: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget/CC BY 2.0)

It’s a great time to turn 18 in Italy. Thanks to a government initiative, all teen residents who reach that milestone this year will be given a “Cultural Bonus”—a cool €500 to spend on movies, books, theater and concert tickets, museums, and national parks, reports The Local.

“The initiative sends a clear message to youngsters, reminding them that they belong to a community that welcomes them once they come of age,” said Tommaso Nannicini, the parliamentary undersecretary who is overseeing the fund. “It also reminds them how important cultural consumption is.”

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi first hinted at the program nine months ago, in the wake of the Paris attacks, when he told reporters that Italy would be earmarking €2 billion to make Italy both safer and more enriching. “The Italian way is to spend a euro [on] culture for every euro spent on security,” Renzi said.

Five hundred euros is about $565 US dollars—enough for about a movie a week, unless you’re an IMAX fan. Teens will get the money via an app called, fittingly, “18app,” and they’ll be able to use it until the very last day of 2017. Be safe and have fun, everybody.

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