Maturità: Italy's high-school final exams begin

Masks are not mandatory as written exams return after two years.

More than half a million final-year students in Italy started the "Maturità" state exams, the Italian public high-school diploma, on Wednesday 22 June.

The Maturità kicked off at 08.30 with a written Italian exam, with students given up to six hours to write an essay providing analysis or critical reflection on one of seven different literary texts given as options.

This year marks the return of written exams, after two years of orals due to the covid pandemic, with students recommended - but not obliged - to wear masks.

Before the exams began, students received a message of encouragement from Italy's education minister Patrizio Bianchi: "We are at your side. Trust in your abilities."