Chinese is booming in Italy where more and more people are learning the language, even some children at junior schools are being given the opportunity of learning the most spoken language in the world. Fifteen Italian universities offer courses in the language and at Romes La Sapienza university the numbers of students studying Chinese in the past four years has risen from 400 to 2,100 students and of those studying, 80 per cent complete the courses in spite of the difficulty of the language. Now the Chinese government is proposing to open 42 new centres worldwide where they will offer courses in the language and the culture of the country. Two of these centres are due to be opened in Italy.