"Cultural Internet" has been launched by the Italian ministry for fine arts and the national heritage. The website, which will eventually cost 5.6 million, will offer the public online access to libraries, archives and other cultural institutes. There is currently a section of the site dedicated to cultural and scientific itineraries in Tuscany and Piedmont; a section on French and English travellers in Tuscany in the 17th and 18th century; exhibitions, texts and images of important Italian literary and musical figures; and three-dimensional virtual tours of Galileo's Sala della Tribuna and of the opera house at Parma.

Eventually the public will be able to conduct research on books and documents in 2,300 state archives and libraries, and connect to universities, local authorities, public and private institutions. Special catalogues of manuscripts, musical scores and XVII century books will also be made available.

Work on the site is continuing and will include the creation of a digital archive. www.Internetculturale.sbn.it