Italy is usually considered some sort of homeland for the music, and indeed many young Italians study it in local Conservatories, in parallel with their high school curriculum. The problem was the dubious legal value of diplomas issued by Conservatories.
So in 1999 a sweeping reform was enacted in order to redirect young would-be musicians to special-purpose Musical High Schools, issuing diplomas with full legal value, while Conservatories would issue music degrees, becoming something similar to Universities.
However, only a handful of these Musical High School have been established, and therefore young students still attend Conservatories, and are still issued diplomas or certifications with dubious legal value. At the same time Conservatories, being busy with their traditional task of teaching young pupils, have seldom activated the new degree courses.
In conclusion, studying music in Italy is not so easy.