Italy is a European country and most people say that it looks like a boot with a high heel. Seventy-five percent of Italy is surrounded by water; this water is made up of five different seas the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ligurian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline of Italy is four thousand seven hundred miles long. The area of Italy is about one hundred sixteen thousand four hundred square miles. The Peninsula itself is about seven hundred eight miles long and about one hundred seventy miles wide at its widest part. The border countries to Italy are France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. At the farthest point south of Italy close to Africa and Africa’s farthest point north closest to Italy there are only ninety miles between them.
The capital of Italy is Rome, but Italy has another capital, the Fashion Capital, Milan. According to country meter, the current population is fifty-nine million nine hundred sixty thousand five hundred forty-five. This is an increase from my PowerPoint presentation of six hundred ninety-three thousand six hundred fourteen. There are two independent states in Italy, Vatican City, and San Marino. Vatican City has an area of 110 acres and has only 842 people living within its walls. It is known as the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both its area and its population. San Marino is a microstate surrounded by the rest of Italy. It is in the Italian Peninsula to the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. San Marino is just over twenty-four square miles and the population is only 32,000.
There are twenty different regions in Italy. Abruzzo is a rural region located near the middle of Italy. It is often overlooked by travelers, “With beautiful countryside, mountains, and beaches, it’s the perfect place to “get away from it all.” It’s an especially great place to hike, ski, camp, or bike, and while Italians certainly travel here, it’s hardly a touristy region” (Italy 2013). Aosta Valley is in between France, Switzerland, and Piedmont all the way up in the northwest corner of Italy. The Alps run right through this tiny region, including Mont Blanc (here called “Monte Bianco”, and the Matterhorn. It also homes some Ancient Roman Runes along with medieval castles. Basilicata is in the “instep” of Italy’s boot. Basilicata is a large and rural region with a very low population and lots of countrysides, the Apennines run right through here. Calabria is a southern region sitting in the “toe” of Italy’s boot. It is more underdeveloped and has beautiful beaches and lots of mountains.
Italy’s government was once a monarchy. Then on June 2, 1946, Italy changed to a democratic republic with a constitution. Italy has a Parliamentary Republic type of government, complete with the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative divisions. The Constitutional Court monitors the government’s actions to ensure they uphold the Constitution. The president of Italy is Sergio Mattarella. He has been president since February 3rd, 2015. The Prime Minister of Italy is Giuseppe Conte and he has been Prime Minister since June 1st, 2018.
Next, we move on to the Economy of Italy. Italy’s currency is the euro. The exchange rate of the euro is 1 euro to 1.14 USD. The inflation rate is at 1.38%. The GDP of Italy is 1.935 trillion and the unemployment rate it 10.1%. Italy has no set minimum wage, though some sectors put in place by Unions have the minimum wage set at 7 euros an hour. Which would make minimum wage in those sectors at 7.98 USD an hour.
Italy’s top imports are Minerals, Nonferrous minerals, Transport and energy products, Chemicals, Textiles, Clothing, Food, and Beverages. Germany France and China are the top three which Italy gets imports. The United States is ranked sized for Italy’s imports. Next, we move on to Exports. Italy’s main exports are Precision machinery, Metals and metal products, Clothing and footwear, Motor vehicles including luxury vehicles, motorcycles and scooters, Pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, and Food. Germany, France, and the United States are Italy’s top three exports.
Then we come to Religion. The main religion for Italy is Roman Catholic. This isn’t surprising because of Vatican City and the Pope. The next highest point is No religion at 8.8%. With Jehovah’s Witness, Other Christian and Other Buddhists coming in pretty close to each other near or a little above 1%.
History is a very important part of Italy or any country. Italy started with migrants from Asia and Europe more than 30,000 years ago. About 4,000 years ago the land was inhabited by Latin and Italic tribes. The Etruscans showed up at around 1200 BC. The Etruscans civilization was centralized in what is now Tuscany. They are believed to be an indigenous population. They are believed to have come from Lydia an ancient kingdom in Turkey. They were a highly developed culture. They founded many cities including Rome with Rome being an Etruscan word. They treated women as equal members of society by letting them earn to read, retain their names and own their own property. At around 800 BC the Greeks and the Phoenicians were in Italy sticking to the southern regions while the Etruscans kept the central regions. By 272 BC the Romans had defeated the Etruscans.
The Romans took the fight to everyone and by 63 BC just about all the Mediterranean was under their rule. Pompeii was a big event that happened in Italy. Italy was cover by the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 ce. The circumstances of the destruction preserved the remains as a unique document of Greco-Roman life. The rise of Florence and the Medici was in the 15th century and was the century of revolution in art and architecture which became known as the Renaissance all started in Florence. Italy joined in WW1 on April 1915. They spent more money on this war than it had in the previous 50 years. Italy’s part in WW2 was much larger. They allied themselves with Adolf Hitler because of Mussolini.
Now we’ll look at historical figures. Julius Caesar is the most famous Roman military leader and politician. He was born in 100AD and died in 44AD both happening in Rome. He is famous for leading the Roman legions in their conquest of Gaul, which is modern-day France, some parts of Belgium, Germany, and Italy itself. He declared himself a dictator for Life in 48 AD and was then assassinated 4 years later. Marco Polo was an Italian merchant and explorer. He was born in 1254 in Venice and died there in 1324. He is famous for his voyages to China. He was the ambassador of Yuan Dynasty Kublai Khan. Dante Alighieri was a poet, writer, and politician. He’s most famous for his epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Christopher Columbus was an explorer credited for discovering the Americas in 1492. Leonardo da Vinci was the symbol of the Renaissance. He was a jack of all trades, a painter, scientist, architect, mathematician, poet, diplomat, astronomer, and sculptor. The great Oscar Wilde even wrote this about Italy,
“I reached the Alps: the soul within me burned, Italia, my Italia, at thy name: And when from out the mountain's heart I came And saw the land for which my life had yearned, I laughed as one who some great prize had earned: And musing on the marvel of thy fame I watched the day, till marked with wounds of flame The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned. The pine-trees waved as waves a woman's hair, And in the orchards, every twining spray Was breaking into flakes of blossoming foam: But when I knew that far away at Rome In evil bonds a second Peter lay, I wept to see the land so very fair” (Wilde n.d.).
Italy Culture is very interesting. Riposo is the daily time of rest for Italians. It takes place from 1:30 pm to around 4 pm in the day. This is a time for Italians to go home, spend time with their family, and have a meal with them. Most restaurants are closed at this time and won’t open again till 7 pm. Since Italian has put such importance into their family and the group, they are Collectivist. We have taken note of the business so we are not disrespectful of their culture and traditions. Art and Architecture are a major influence in Italy. Everywhere you look, you will find beautiful buildings and works of art. This is highlighted in their Cuisine
They view their temperature in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. They have hot, dry summers with cool wet winters. There are four different types of climate in Italy Mild continental in the Po Valley, Cold in the Alps, the Mediterranean on coasts and islands, and Cool and windy in the Apennines. July and August are the hottest months, except in the Alpine region where thunderstorms in the afternoon are always anticipated.
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