Government Type: REPUBBLICA DEMOCRATICA PARLAMENTARE
- Presidente: Sergio Mattarella in carica dal 3 Marzo 2020,
- Primo Ministro: Giuseppe Conte dal 1 giugno 2018
- Portavoce della Presidenza della Repubblica: Giovanni Grasso dal 13 Febbraio 2015
- Giudice Capo: Marta Cartabia dall’11 Dicembre 2019
Area Total: 302 073 km2
Population: 60 359 546
Ethnic Groups: Ethnic groups More than one million and 100 thousand Romanians, 450 thousand Albanians and 420 thousand Moroccans: these are the main communities of foreigners residing in Italy in 2016 according to Istat surveys.
Some of these have a strong female prevalence: in particular those from Eastern Europe (almost 80% of the 230,000 citizens of Ukraine are women, but similar percentages are also recorded from Russia, Poland and Moldova). Conversely, from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Senegal, just to remain among the largest groups, those who reside in our country are mainly men.
A more curious reading of this numerical value can be obtained by crossing with the total population of the country of origin (in this case the data have a different source, collected on Wikipedia).
Thus, if the large Chinese community in Italy (280 thousand people in 2016) almost disappears when compared with the one billion inhabitants of the People’s Republic, on the contrary the Albanians in Italy represent almost 8% of those at home, followed by 3% of Romanians and 2% of Moldovans and, less surprisingly, Sammarinese.
Climate Italy’s climate and weather are typical of Mediterranean climate regimes. The range of temperatures throughout the year is 43 degrees F (24 degrees C) in the north and only 26 degrees F (14 degrees C) in the south. Winter temperatures in the north can average below freezing, while southern low temperatures can be substantially above that mark.
Main cities Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin.
Official and National Language Italian
Other languages Regional dialects, Neapolitan language
Main religion Roman Catholicism.
Other religions 12.4% are irreligious, atheist or agnostic, 3.7% are Muslims and 0.6% adhere to other religions.
Education literacy rate It has, according to UNESCO, an adult literacy rate of 99.16%. While the male literacy rate is 99.35%, for females is 98.97%.
In contrast with other neighbouring states has a relatively high literacy rate.
The literacy rate, has increased in recent years.
Child mortality: The statistic shows the infant mortality rate in Italy from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, the infant mortality rate in Italy was at about 2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.
International telephone area code 0039
HDI 0.883 (2019)
Driving side Right
ISO 086 code
History: Pre-History Evidence of civilization has been found on the Italian peninsula dating far into pre-history. Thousands of rock drawings discovered in the Alpine regions of Lombardy date from around 8,000 BC. There were sizable settlements throughout the Copper Age (37th to 15th century BC), the Bronze Age (15th to 8th century BC) and the Iron Age (8th to 5th century BC). In the north of Italy, the Etruscan culture took hold around 800BC, while Greeks settled in southern Italy from 700 to 600BC, namely in Apulia, Calabria and Sicily (then known as Magna Graecia).
The Roman Empire (5th Century BC to 5th Century AD)
According to legend, Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus in the heart of Etruscan Italy in 735BC. Over the next several centuries, Rome expanded its territories into what became known as the Roman Empire. The Romans named the Italian peninsular “Italia”. The Italian states north of Emilia-Romagna were considered part of the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul. Italia flourished under the Roman Empire, which ended in 476AD with the death of the emperor Augustus. The Italian peninsular was later divided into separate kingdoms, with reunification only achieved in 1861.
The Middle Ages (6th to 14th Century)
A brief history of Italy in the Middle Ages begins with a series of invasions. In 493, the Ostrogoths, an eastern Germanic tribe, conquered the Italian peninsula. The resulting Gothic War led to the Lombards, another Germanic tribe, establishing a kingdom in northern Italy and three regions in the South in 568. Subsequently, the popes began building an independent state. In 756, when the Franks (French) defeated the Lombards, they granted the popes authority over central Italy, and the Papal States were created. The northern states of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany were ruled by the Germanic Holy Roman Empire from 962. By the end of the 11th century, the worst of the invasions was over and trade began to flourish once again. Four Italian cities – Genoa, Pisa, Amalfi and Venice – became major commercial and political powers. In the twelfth century the Italian cities ruled by Holy Roman Empire campaigned for autonomy. The result was that northern Italy became a group of independent kingdoms, republics and city-states. The Renaissance (14th to 16th Century). The Italian Renaissance was a cultural movement that began in Tuscany in the 14th century, spreading from Florence to Siena. A number of factors contributed to its emergence, including the influx of Greek scholars following the second invasion of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The patronage of the arts afforded by the Medici family was another contributing factor. The era gave rise to a number of artistic giants – Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarotti, Sandro Botticelli, Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarch, to name a few. The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1440s also contributed to a freer flow of information. Reaching southwards to Rome, the Renaissance inspired the Italian popes to rebuild their city and Rome flourished once again. The movement also spread to Milan, Venice, and further north into Europe, influencing art, literature, philosophy, politics, science, religion and other intellectual arenas. Within Italy, the dominance of Tuscan culture led to the Tuscan dialect later becoming the official Italian language. Unification (1814 to 1861). Our brief history of Italy culminates in unification. The Risorgimento was a complex process that eventually unified the different states of the Italian peninsula into the modern nation of Italy. The movement began in 1815 with a growing resentment towards the peninsula’s domination by Austria. Two prominent figures in the unification movement were Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. A native of Genoa, Mazzini was imprisoned in 1830 for his role in the Carbonari secret society. From his exile in France and later England, he mounted a series of unsuccessful uprisings in Italy, but eventually worked with Garibaldi to achieve their dream of unification. Italy was officially unified in 1861, with Rome and Latium annexed in 1870 and the Trieste region after World War 1. Present Day Italy Since unification, Italy has experienced a tumultuous period that saw a mass exodus of her people and the disastrous consequences of two World Wars. Yet over the past 60 years the country has reclaimed its position as a major social and cultural player in world affairs. Italian goods and services have excellent international reputations, and Italy remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Italy was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community, and despite the turbulent nature of Italian politics, enjoys positive economic growth and a high standard of living. The richness of its past and the ‘live-life-to-the-fullest’ attitude of its present combine to make Italy a must-see travel destination.
Italy occupies the entirety of a peninsula extending southward from the European continent into the Mediterranean Sea, in addition to two large—and many small—islands. The Italian (or Apennine) peninsula is bounded by the highest crest of the Alps in the north and northwest. These ranges curve to the south and southeast forming the Apennine ranges which serve as the structural framework of the peninsula. Within the curve created by these mountains is the Po River valley, the largest valley on the Mediterranean. Drainage from the mountains fills several large lakes; among them Lakes Como, Maggiore, and Garda in the north and Lakes Trasimeno, Bracciano, and Bolseno in the central part of the country. Surrounding the peninsula, the Mediterranean Sea is divided into several distinct parts: the Adriatic Sea, with Italy to the west and the former Yugoslavia and Albania to the east; the Ionian Sea, between the southern tip of Italy and Greece; the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west of the peninsula containing the large islands of Sicily and Sardinia; and the Ligurian Sea, between the island of Corsica (French) and the northwestern coastline of Italy.
Politics and Governament
The Government of Italy is in the form of a democratic republic, and was established by a constitution in 1948. It consists of legislative, executive, and judicial subdivisions, as well as a Head of State, or President.
Article 1 of the Italian Constitution states: Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labour. Sovereignty belongs to the people and is exercised by the people in the forms and within the limits of the Constitution.
By stating that Italy is a democratic republic, the article solemnly declares the results of the constitutional referendum which took place on 2 June 1946. The State is not a hereditary property of the ruling monarch, but it is instead a Res Publica, belonging to everyone.
The people who are called to temporarily administer the republic are not owners, but servants; and the governed are not subjects, but citizens. And the sovereignty, that is the power to make choices that involve the entire community, belongs to the people, in accordance with the concept of a democracy, from the Greek demos(people) and kratìa(government). However, this power is not to be exercised arbitrarily, but in the forms and within the limits established by the rule of law.
As the head of state, the President of the Republic (Sergio Mattarella since 3 February 2015) represents the unity of the nation and has many of the duties previously given to the King of Italy. The President serves as a point of connection between the three branches as he is elected by the lawmakers, appoints the executive and is the president of the judiciary. The President is also commander-in-chief in the time of war. The President of the Republic is elected for seven years by Parliament in joint session, together with three representatives of each region, except for the Aosta Valley, which gets only one representative. These delegates are elected by their respective Regional Councils so as to guarantee representation to minorities. The election needs a wide majority that is progressively reduced from two-thirds to one-half plus one of the votes after the third ballot.
The Constitution establishes the Government of Italy as composed of the President of the Council (Prime Minister) (Giuseppe Conte since 1 June 2018) and Ministers. The President of Italy appoints the Prime Minister and, on his proposal, the Ministers that form its cabinet.
The economy of Italy is the third-largest national economy in the European Union, the eighth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and the 12th-largest by GDP (PPP). Italy is a founding member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the OECD, the G7 and the G20; it is the eighth-largest exporter in the world, with $514 billion exported in 2016. Its closest trade ties are with the other countries of the European Union, with whom it conducts about 59% of its total trade. Italy is a large manufacturer (overall the second in EU behind Germany) and exporter of a significant variety of products including machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, furniture, food, clothing, and robots. Italy has therefore a significant trade surplus. The country is also well known for its influential and innovative business economic sector, an industrious and competitive agricultural sector (Italy is the world’s largest wine producer), and manufacturers of creatively designed, high-quality products including automobiles, ships, home appliances, and designer clothing. Italy is the largest hub for luxury goods in Europe and the third luxury hub globally.
Italian culture is today a reflection of the rich history of one of the most fascinating countries in the world. In fact, it is a culture based on a country which, at the height of its power was the centre of an empire that spanned the known world. The Roman Empire exported its culture to countries across Europe and it is no exaggeration to say that the Roman Empire probably did more to influence modern society (at least in the Western World) than any other civilization before or since.
One of the most important foundations of Italian culture is the central role played by family. It is the bonds that extend across the extended family that have for generations allowed the Italian people to maintain a unique culture even when emigrating to other countries.
The relationship with children is also a large part of what makes the Italian culture and its extended family units so strong – in the face of adversity. Whereas in other cultures children are encouraged to make their own way in the world and seek a large measure of independence, in Italian families the reverse is by and large true. Children are encouraged to maintain extremely close ties to the family – including attending frequent family gatherings even once they reach adulthood.
Italian literature is written in the Italian language, particularly within Italy. It may also refer to literature written by Italians or in Italy in other languages spoken in Italy, often languages that are closely related to modern Italian. Italian literature begins in the 12th century when in different regions of the peninsula the Italian vernacular started to be used in a literary manner. Dante Alighieri, one of the greatest of Italian poets, is notable for his Divine Comedy. Petrarch did classical research and wrote lyric poetry. Renaissance humanism developed during the 14th and the beginning of the 15th centuries. Humanists sought to create a citizenry able to speak and write with eloquence and clarity. Early humanists, such as Petrarch, were great collectors of antique manuscripts. Lorenzo de Medici shows the influence of Florence on the Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci wrote a treatise on painting. The development of the drama in the 15th century was very great. The fundamental characteristic of the era following Renaissance is that it perfected the Italian character of its language. Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini were the chief originators of the science of history.
In 1690 the Academy of Arcadia was instituted with the goal of “restoring” literature by imitating the simplicity of the ancient shepherds with sonnets, madrigals, canzonette and blank verse. In the 17th century, some strong and independent thinkers, such as Bernardino Telesio, Bruno and Campanella turned philosophical inquiry into fresh channels, and opened the way for the scientific conquests of Galileo Galilei, who is notable both for his scientific discoveries and his writing. In the 18th century, the political condition of Italy began to improve, and philosophers throughout Europe in the period known as The Enlightenment. Carlo Goldoni, a Venetian, created the comedy of character. The leading figure of the literary revival of the 18th century was Giuseppe Parini.
The ideas behind the French Revolution of 1789 gave a special direction to Italian literature in the second half of the 18th century. Love of liberty and desire for equality created a literature aimed at national object. Patriotism and classicism were the two principles that inspired the literature that began with Vittorio Alfieri. Other patriots included Vincenzo Monti and Ugo Foscolo. The main instigator of the reform was Alessandro Manzoni. The great poet of the age was Giacomo Leopardi. History returned to its spirit of learned research. After the Risorgimento, political literature becomes less important. The first part of this period is characterized by two divergent trends of literature that both opposed Romanticism, the Scapigliatura and Verismo. Important early-20th-century writers include Italo Svevo and Luigi Pirandello (winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature). Neorealism was developed by Alberto Moravia. Umberto Eco became internationally successful with the Medieval detective story: Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose, 1980). The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Italian language authors six times (as of 2019) with winners including Giosuè Carducci, Grazia Deledda, Luigi Pirandello, Salvatore Quasimodo, Eugenio Montale and Dario Fo.
Italian music has been one of the supreme expressions of that art in Europe: the Gregorian chant, the innovation of modern musical notation in the 11th century, the troubadour song, the madrigal, and the work of Palestrina and Monteverdi all form part of Italy’s proud musical heritage, as do such composers as:
Vivaldi, Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, and Bellini. Music in contemporary Italy, though less illustrious than in the past, continues to be important. Italy hosts many music festivals of all types—classical, jazz, and pop—throughout the year. In particular, Italian pop music is represented annually at the Festival of San Remo.
Media Radio, Tv, Press, Web
April 25 is the Liberation Day, marking the 1945 liberation ending World War II in Italy in 1945.
MAY DAY The first of May is celebrated in most of the world as Labor Day. In Italy, it is not just a workers’ holiday, but a day for left political parties to hit the streets and protest their cause. The atmosphere is usually festive, like one, friendly street fair. However, protesters sometimes get carried away and become a little too rowdy. The climax of every First of May celebration is the free music concert of Piazza San Giovanni, in Rome, where the most important Italian singers and performers, as well as many foreign stars perform before a festive audience.
FESTIVAL OF THE REPUBLIC The second of June marks the day in 1946 when Italy voted in a referendum to abolish the monarchy and become a republic. Support for the monarchy had plunged because the king of Italy had supported Mussolini. So hostile was the public, that the royal family was exiled from Italy as punishment, an exile that only ended recently. The high moment of the festival is the parade of the Armed Forces in Rome.
Italians celebrate most Christian holidays. The celebration of the Epiphany, celebrated on January 6, is much like Christmas. Befana, an old lady who flies on her broomstick, delivers presents and goodies to good children, according to legend.
Pasquetta, on the Monday after Easter, typically involves family picnics to mark the beginning of springtime.
FERRAGOSTO Along with Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s Eve, Ferragosto is probably the best loved holiday in Italy. Celebrated on the fifteenth of August, it honors Mary’s Assumption to Heaven, where Catholic belief says She sits beside her Son, Jesus. It is a day of great festivities with celebrations in the streets and prayers to the Virgin Mary for thanks and support. All of Italy shuts down to celebrate Ferragosto. During the years, just like Christmas, the religious connotation of the holiday has been overtaken by its mundane side. In most of Italy, especially in touristic areas and locations, Ferragosto is a sort of second New Year’s Eve, with parties and celebrations.
November 1 commemorates Saints Day, a religious holiday during which Italians typically decorate the graves of deceased relatives with flowers.
Many Italian towns and villages celebrate the feast day of their patron saint.
Over the years, of course, the evolution of the Italian language and culture develops further through new means of expression such as cinema, whose evolution in Italy begins a few months after the first public screening of the Lumière brothers in Paris, which took place on December 28, 1895. Italy, thanks to Futurism, was the first country to bring an avant-garde movement to cinema. In the last postwar period, Italian cinema becomes one of the most influential and award-winning in the world.
Italy has been and remains a land of exchanges and encounters between different peoples, a feature that has formed its linguistic and cultural richness. Its identity reflects the values handed down over the centuries by these different cultures that preceded national unity by centuries. And this has made it one of the main cultural centers of Europe and a country of great cultural influence in the world.
Italian cuisine has influenced food culture around the world and is viewed as a form of art by many. Wine, cheese and pasta are important part of Italian meals. Pasta comes in a wide range of shapes, widths and lengths, including penne, spaghetti, linguine, fusilli and lasagna.
In the North of Italy, fish, potatoes, rice, sausages, pork and different types of cheeses are the most common ingredients. Pasta dishes with tomatoes are popular, as are many kinds of stuffed pasta, polenta and risotto. In the South, tomatoes dominate dishes, and they are either served fresh or cooked into sauce. Southern cuisine also includes capers, peppers, olives and olive oil, garlic, artichokes, eggplant and ricotta cheese. Wine is also a big part of Italian culture, and the country is home to some of the world’s most famous vineyards.
Structure of Italian school system
Children attending the Italian education system can start with the Scuola dell’Infanzia also known as Scuola Materna (nursery school), which is non-compulsory, from the age of three. Every child is entitled to a place. Scuola Primaria (Primary School)
At age six, children start their formal, compulsory education with the Scuola Primaria also known as Scuola Elementare (Primary School). In order to comply with a European standard for school leaving age, it is possible to enter the Scuola Primaria at any time after the age of five and a half. At Scuola Primaria children learn to read and write and study a wide range of subjects including maths, geography, Italian, English and science. They also have music lessons, computer studies and social studies. Religious instruction is optional. Scuola Primaria lasts for five years. Classes are small with between 10 and 25 pupils. Pupils no longer take a leaving exam at the Scuola Primaria. At the age of eleven they begin their Secondary education.
Scuola Media (Middle School)
Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado (First Grade Secondary School) All children aged between eleven and fourteen must attend the Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado (First Grade Secondary School). Students must attend at least thirty hours of formal lessons per week, although many schools provide additional activities in the afternoons such as computer studies, music lessons and sports activities. Formal lessons cover a broad range of subjects following a National Curriculum set by the Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, MPI (Ministry of Public Education). At the end of each term, students receive a school report. At the end of the third year, students sit a written exam in the subjects of Italian, mathematics, science and a foreign language. There is an oral examination of the other subjects. Successful students are awarded the Licenza di Scuola Media (Licenza Media). They then move onto the Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado (Second Grade Secondary School)
Scuola Superiore (High School)
There are two types of Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado in Italy: the Liceo (like a British grammar school), which is more academic in nature, and an Istituto, which is essentially a vocational school. For the first two years all students use the same state-mandated curriculum of Italian language and literature, science, mathematics, foreign language, religion, geography, history, social studies and physical education. Specialised courses, called ‘Indirizzi’ begin in the third year. University is available to all students if they have completed five years of secondary school and received an upper secondary school diploma. It is possible for students who have attended vocational schools to attend university. If a student attended a four-year secondary school program, an additional year of schooling is necessary to qualify for university. Those attending university after completing their Diploma di Scuola Superiore go for three years (four years for teaching qualifications) to achieve their Laurea (Bachelor’sDegree).