Economist Professor Gustavo Piga is the first contributor in a series of Five letters from leading Italians from the fields of politics, economics, television, art and journalism.
Professor Piga of Rome University is interested, not only in the broad economic issues which find Italy struggling near the bottom of the European heap, but also in the prevailing attitudes of his fellow countrymen and in particular the young people he teaches.
He talks about Italy's migration story and how the recent troubles have re-ignited a process which sees the best of young Italian graduates looking for a future overseas. He also tackles the notion that the young are defeated and defeatist about the crisis.
At a time when Italy is in the spotlight, both for the changing of the Pope but more especially for the recent election results and the economic fragility that has brought austerity and anger, each of the letter writers talks about their sense of Italy today, it's challenges, the dangers it faces and the possibilities for the future.
Still to come in the series:
Lucia Annunziata is editor of the Huffington Post, Italy but spent many years in Italian television including a period as head of RIA, the Italian equivalent of the BBC.
Carlo Sibilia is a member of the new Five Stars Movement lead by Beppe Grillo, the new and surprising force in Italian politics.
Dacia Maraini is a novelist and playwright and an established figure in the Italian literary landscape.
Annalisa Piras is an Italian Journalist based in London.
Producer: Tom Alban.