Italian textbooks are massive tomes designed to cover two or three-year cycles, often weighing more than two kilos. Children may have to carry five or six of these.
The mayor has instructed his local police to weigh children's satchels, after concern that heavy books are causing long-term damage to pupils' spines. At the first spot-check outside a primary and a lower secondary school (scuola media), only two out of 13 children tested were within the limits.
But mayor Armando Selva says: "I don't wish to punish parents - I just want to make them aware of the problem."