Sicily and Sardinia are the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and Italy, which is located in Southern Europe, is comprised of the Italian Peninsula, the Po River valley, and both of these regions. Italy is not only a highly developed nation with the seventh-highest GDP and the seventeenth-highest rating on the Human Development Index in the world, but it is also a member of a large number of important international organizations.
It is a signatory to the Treaty of Rome, which established what is now known as the European Union, and it is also a member of the Council of Europe and the Western European Union. Furthermore, it is one of the eight founding members of the G8. Italy was a founding member of both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Economic Community (EEC). Since it became a member of the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999, it has been at the forefront of efforts to unify the economic and political systems of Europe.
Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Puccini, and Fellini are just a few of the Italians who have made significant contributions to the history, art, and culture of the world. Since ancient times, Italy has been at the forefront of many movements that have shaped and defined the world as we know it today. One of these movements was the Renaissance, which began in Italy.
Rome is one of the world’s oldest and most important cities, and it also happens to be the capital of Italy. The ancient Roman empire is largely credited with laying the groundwork for Western civilization. In addition to this, Rome is the spiritual epicenter of the Roman Catholic Church and is home to Vatican City.
CULTURE AND OLD WAYS OF DOING THINGS
This tiny nation in the shape of a boot has enough cultural and historical attractions to satisfy the desires of the rest of the world. It is therefore not surprising that this is where the idea of ‘living the sweet life’ first emerged. Italy’s contributions are like a rich and multicolored tapestry that only grows in splendor from year to year. These contributions include the architectural wonders of Rome, Florence, and Venice; Milan fashion houses; pasta, and pizza. Renaissance art, magnificent opera, edgy cinema, the architectural wonders of Rome, Florence, and Venice; and pasta and pizza.
Italy’s culture is a reflection of the influences of a diverse range of peoples, thanks to the country’s pivotal role in the development of a number of significant intellectual and artistic movements that went on to influence the rest of Europe and the world. These movements include the Renaissance and the Baroque. The contributions that Italy has made to art and sculpture are particularly noteworthy. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian, and Raphael are just few of the famous painters and sculptors who worked in this nation and explored the depths of their creative potential. In addition, Italy is home to the highest number of sites that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites (41).
Dante Alighieri, a renowned Florentine poet, is credited with the development of modern Italian. His masterpiece, Divina Commedia, is often regarded as the most important literary production to emerge from the Middle Ages. Other notable authors and poets from Italy include Boccaccio, Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, and Petrarch, who is credited with inventing the sonnet style of verse. Other notable authors and poets from Italy include Dario Fo and Luigi Pirandello. In the field of music, Italy is responsible for the invention of the piano as well as our current system of musical notation. Additionally, Italy is the birthplace of musical greats such as Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, and Rossini.
In addition to their culinary prowess, Italians are renowned for their love of sports, a trait that can be traced back to the ancient gladiator games. The Palio and the Gondola race in Venice are just two examples of the many Italian celebrations that prominently feature sporting events. Football, cycling, and auto racing are three of the most popular sports (Ferrari and Lamborghini both originated in Italy).
DIALECT AND LANGUAGES
Italian, which is a language that evolved from the Tuscan dialect and is a direct descendant of Latin, is the official language of Italy. At the time of Italy’s unification in 1861, the Italian language was used primarily in literature, and nearly every region had its own dialect, known as a dialetto. The standardization of the language was a significant step toward the unification of the Italians, and the language that was standardized was derived from the Florentine dialect, which was spoken throughout most of Tuscany.
Those who speak Sardinian, a Romance language that retains many pre-Latin words, make up the largest group of non-Italian speakers. Sardinian is closely related to Italian. German, French, and Slovene are just a few of the other languages that are spoken in certain areas.
Education in Italy is provided for free and must be completed within eight years (for children between the ages of 6 and 14). The first stage of education, known as scuole primarie, lasts for five years, and the second stage, known as scuole medie, is further subdivided into two stages: medie inferiori and medie superiori. These stages correspond to the middle school grades and the secondary school level, respectively. Middle school lasts 3 years and Scuole Superiori lasts another 5 years. Every tier involves an exam at the end of the final year.
Secondary schools are of different types and allow students to choose alternative career paths depending on their interests and aptitude. There is the Liceo, the Istituto Tecnico (technical institute) and the Istituto Professionale (professional institute) (professional institute). The Liceo includes secondary schools oriented towards the study of the arts and sciences.
The Licei are again divided into four types: Liceo Classico, which offers Latin, Ancient Greek, Italian, History and Philosophy as its most important subjects; Liceo Scientifico, where the emphasis is on scientific and mathematical topics; Liceo Linguistico, which focuses on languages; and Liceo Artistico, which is oriented toward the arts.
Students in Italian universities, like their counterparts in the United Kingdom, are required to specialize on a single field throughout the entirety of their education. The Laurea, which is roughly equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, and the Laurea Specialistica, which is roughly equivalent to a master’s degree, are the two types of courses that are offered. There are 41 state universities and 15 other universities, colleges, and higher learning institutes, including the University of Bologna, which was founded in the 11th century and is the oldest university in Italy; the University of Rome, which is the largest university in the country; and the University of Padua, which is the newest university in Italy.
Italy’s health care system is among the most advanced in all of Europe, and the country also boasts the highest number of physicians per capita. The Italian government provides medical insurance for every citizen of the country. The average life expectancy is a healthy 80 years for women and 74 years for men in this country. In point of fact, according to the World Health Organization, Italy is one of the top 10 countries in terms of the quality of its health care services. A significant portion of the Italian population engages in complementary and alternative medicine practices such as acupuncture, massage, and homeopathy.
There are no major health risks in Italy but beware of car theft, pick-pocketing and being short-changed. Always keep a close eye on your belongings, especially your money, and be wary of any new friends you make.
ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC
In terms of both total output and output per person, Italy’s industrial economy is roughly comparable to that of France and the United Kingdom. The developed industrial belt is located in the northern part of the country, while the agricultural region in the southern part of the country is considered to be less developed. Italy was ranked as the seventh largest economy in the world in 2006 based on calculations of its nominal GDP, placing it behind the United States of America, Japan, Germany, China, the United Kingdom, and France. Within Europe, Italy was ranked as the fourth largest economy.
Food, apparel, and luxury automobiles may be Italy’s most well-known exports, but precision equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, and electric items make up the bulk of the country’s total exports. It is estimated that over 37 million people travel to Italy every year, making it the fourth most popular tourist destination in the whole globe.
The vast majority of the raw materials that industries require, in addition to more than 75 percent of the required energy, are imported. In spite of certain near-term measures that were designed to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth, the economy witnessed sluggish growth in 2006, and unemployment remained at a high level throughout the year.
The Euro is now in use as the currency of Italy.
There are three branches of government in Italy: an independent judiciary, an executive branch made up of a Council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister, and a bicameral parliament (Parlamento) consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate.
The President of the Italian Republic is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and possesses the authority to veto laws, dissolve parliament, and call elections. The parliament, in session together with a select few delegates from the regions, casts votes to choose him as their leader for the next seven years. The prime minister is selected by the president, who then recommends additional ministers to the president. The Council of Ministers must keep the support of both houses in order to function effectively.
The two chambers of parliament are chosen by the general public and in a direct manner through the use of a convoluted electoral system (which underwent its most recent amendment in 2005), which combines proportional representation with a majority prize for the coalition that garners the most support. Voting rights are extended to all citizens of Italy who are at least 18 years old.
Giorgio Napolitano, who was a member of the Communist Party in the past, is presently serving as Italy’s 11th President, while Romano Prodi, who is both an economist and a former professor, is serving as Italy’s current Prime Minister.
Italy, officially known as the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary nation located in Europe. Its official name is “Italy.” It occupies a pivotal position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It has land borders with France, the Vatican City, San Marino, Austria, and Switzerland in addition to Slovenia. In numerous ways, Italy’s history is believed to be the history of not only Europe but also the present day world. The country’s history began roughly 850,000 years ago when the first hominins arrived and settled at Monte Poggiolo. Around 43,000 years ago, archaeological evidence suggests that anatomically modern humans first began to settle in Italy. After that came the Neolithic Period, which lasted from 6000 to 5500 BC and is known for its Impressed pottery and Cardium Pottery. Around 1500 B.C. marked the beginning of Italy’s Bronze Age, which coincided with the migration of Indo-European speakers into the region. These Indo-European speakers eventually gave rise to the Italic people who inhabited Italy during the Iron Age.
The altar of Domitian Ahenobarbus, from the second century A.C.
Latin, the language spoken by the Latin people who were a branch of the Italic peoples and who were originally settled in the territory of Latium, went on to become the dominant language of the Italian peninsula after Italy was conquered by the Roman Empire in the third century. It was the Roman Empire that was responsible for the advancement of Western Europe’s civilization and culture, including the adoption and spread of Christianity as the official religion of the nation towards the end of the fourth century. The decline and fall of the Western Empire towards the end of the 5th century marked the end of the Late Antique period. This event also marked the end of Late Antiquity. Later on, the Lombard Kingdom of Italy was established; but, until the 11th century, the majority of the areas on the Italian peninsula continued to be governed and influenced by the Byzantine empire. After some time, the Kingdom became a part of Francia, and eventually it was absorbed into the Holy Roman Empire. However, the rise of nation-states, and more specifically the powerful maritime nations that existed during the medieval period, led to the disintegration of the political system. After the Italian Wars, the peninsula was ultimately divided between the major powers of Austria, Spain, and Early Modern Europe. After some time, the states were taken over by the French Empire during the reign of Napoleon I, and the Holy See was appointed to serve as their governor.
As a direct consequence of the growing popularity of nationalism and the idea of a nation state in the 19th century, the peninsula was finally united at that time. A new Kingdom of Italy was created in 1861, and it quickly modernized while simultaneously establishing a massive colonial empire and colonizing countries all along the Mediterranean and certain portions of Africa.The Culture, Traditions, and Heritage of Hong Kong