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For other uses, see Italy (disambiguation) or Italia (disambiguation). Italy_sentence_0


Italian Republic

Repubblica Italiana  (Italian)Italy_header_cell_0_0_0


and largest cityItaly_header_cell_0_1_0

Official languagesItaly_header_cell_0_2_0 ItalianItaly_cell_0_2_1
Native languagesItaly_header_cell_0_3_0 See full listItaly_cell_0_3_1
Ethnic groups (2017)Italy_header_cell_0_4_0 Italy_cell_0_4_1
Religion (2012)Italy_header_cell_0_5_0 Italy_cell_0_5_1
Demonym(s)Italy_header_cell_0_6_0 ItalianItaly_cell_0_6_1
GovernmentItaly_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary parliamentary

constitutional republicItaly_cell_0_7_1

PresidentItaly_header_cell_0_8_0 Sergio MattarellaItaly_cell_0_8_1
Prime MinisterItaly_header_cell_0_9_0 Giuseppe ConteItaly_cell_0_9_1
President of the SenateItaly_header_cell_0_10_0 Elisabetta CasellatiItaly_cell_0_10_1
President of the

Chamber of DeputiesItaly_header_cell_0_11_0

Roberto FicoItaly_cell_0_11_1
LegislatureItaly_header_cell_0_12_0 ParliamentItaly_cell_0_12_1
Upper houseItaly_header_cell_0_13_0 Senate of the RepublicItaly_cell_0_13_1
Lower houseItaly_header_cell_0_14_0 Chamber of DeputiesItaly_cell_0_14_1
UnificationItaly_header_cell_0_16_0 17 March 1861Italy_cell_0_16_1
RepublicItaly_header_cell_0_17_0 2 June 1946Italy_cell_0_17_1
Current constitutionItaly_header_cell_0_18_0 1 January 1948Italy_cell_0_18_1
Founded the EEC (now EU)Italy_header_cell_0_19_0 1 January 1958Italy_cell_0_19_1
Area Italy_header_cell_0_20_0
TotalItaly_header_cell_0_21_0 301,340 km (116,350 sq mi) (71st)Italy_cell_0_21_1
Water (%)Italy_header_cell_0_22_0 1.24 (as of 2015)Italy_cell_0_22_1
2020 estimateItaly_header_cell_0_24_0 60,317,116 (23rd)Italy_cell_0_24_1
2011 censusItaly_header_cell_0_25_0 59,433,744Italy_cell_0_25_1
DensityItaly_header_cell_0_26_0 201.3/km (521.4/sq mi) (63rd)Italy_cell_0_26_1
GDP (PPP)Italy_header_cell_0_27_0 2019 estimateItaly_cell_0_27_1
TotalItaly_header_cell_0_28_0 $2.443 trillion (12th)Italy_cell_0_28_1
Per capitaItaly_header_cell_0_29_0 $40,470 (33rd)Italy_cell_0_29_1
GDP (nominal)Italy_header_cell_0_30_0 2019 estimateItaly_cell_0_30_1
TotalItaly_header_cell_0_31_0 $1.989 trillion (8th)Italy_cell_0_31_1
Per capitaItaly_header_cell_0_32_0 $32,947 (25th)Italy_cell_0_32_1
Gini (2018)Italy_header_cell_0_33_0 33.4


HDI (2018)Italy_header_cell_0_34_0 0.883

very high · 29thItaly_cell_0_34_1

CurrencyItaly_header_cell_0_35_0 Euro () (EUR)Italy_cell_0_35_1
Time zoneItaly_header_cell_0_36_0 UTC+1 (CET)Italy_cell_0_36_1
Summer (DST)Italy_header_cell_0_37_0 UTC+2 (CEST)Italy_cell_0_37_1
Date formatItaly_header_cell_0_38_0 dd/mm/yyyy

yyyy-mm-dd (AD)Italy_cell_0_38_1

Driving sideItaly_header_cell_0_39_0 rightItaly_cell_0_39_1
Calling codeItaly_header_cell_0_40_0 +39Italy_cell_0_40_1
ISO 3166 codeItaly_header_cell_0_41_0 ITItaly_cell_0_41_1
Internet TLDItaly_header_cell_0_42_0 .itItaly_cell_0_42_1

Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja (listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubːlika itaˈljaːna), is a country consisting of a continental part, delimited by the Alps and a peninsula surrounded by several islands. Italy_sentence_1

Italy is located in south-central Europe, and is considered part of western Europe. Italy_sentence_2

A unitary parliamentary republic with Rome as its capital, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy_sentence_3

Italy has a territorial enclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). Italy_sentence_4

With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union. Italy_sentence_5

Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. Italy_sentence_6

In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. Italy_sentence_7

An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. Italy_sentence_8

The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. Italy_sentence_9

By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy_sentence_10

Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the empire, whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script. Italy_sentence_11

During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured the fall of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through trade, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. Italy_sentence_12

These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and other foreign conquests of the region. Italy_sentence_13

The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italy_sentence_14

Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths. Italy_sentence_15

During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy_sentence_16

Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Italy_sentence_17

Centuries of foreign meddling and conquest and the rivalry and infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left Italy politically fragmented, and it was further conquered and divided among multiple foreign European powers over the centuries. Italy_sentence_18

By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. Italy_sentence_19

After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. Italy_sentence_20

From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, mainly in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Italy_sentence_21

Despite being one of the four main allied powers in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of the Italian fascist dictatorship in 1922. Italy_sentence_22

Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Italy_sentence_23

Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the Italian Resistance, the country abolished their monarchy, established a democratic Republic, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, and became a highly developed country. Italy_sentence_24

Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the world's eighth-largest economy by nominal GDP (third in the European Union), sixth-largest national wealth and third-largest central bank gold reserve. Italy_sentence_25

It ranks very highly in life expectancy, quality of life, healthcare, and education. Italy_sentence_26

The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs; it is both a regional power and a great power, and is ranked the world's eighth most-powerful military. Italy_sentence_27

Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, the Group of Seven, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more. Italy_sentence_28

The country has long been a global centre of art, music, literature, philosophy, science and technology, and fashion, and has greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields including cinema, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business. Italy_sentence_29

As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites (55), and is the fifth-most visited country. Italy_sentence_30

Name Italy_section_0

Main article: Name of Italy Italy_sentence_31

Hypotheses for the etymology of the name "Italia" are numerous. Italy_sentence_32

One is that it was borrowed via Greek from the Oscan Víteliú 'land of calves' (cf. Italy_sentence_33

Lat vitulus "calf", Umb vitlo "calf"). Italy_sentence_34

Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. Italy_sentence_35

According to Antiochus of Syracuse, the term Italy was used by the Greeks to initially refer only to the southern portion of the Bruttium peninsula corresponding to the modern province of Reggio and part of the provinces of Catanzaro and Vibo Valentia in southern Italy. Italy_sentence_36

Nevertheless, by his time the larger concept of Oenotria and "Italy" had become synonymous and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. Italy_sentence_37

According to Strabo's Geographica, before the expansion of the Roman Republic, the name was used by Greeks to indicate the land between the strait of Messina and the line connecting the gulf of Salerno and gulf of Taranto, corresponding roughly to the current region of Calabria. Italy_sentence_38

The Greeks gradually came to apply the name "Italia" to a larger region In addition to the "Greek Italy" in the south, historians have suggested the existence of an "Etruscan Italy" covering variable areas of central Italy. Italy_sentence_39

The borders of Roman Italy, Italia, are better established. Italy_sentence_40

Cato's Origines, the first work of history composed in Latin, described Italy as the entire peninsula south of the Alps. Italy_sentence_41

According to Cato and several Roman authors, the Alps formed the "walls of Italy". Italy_sentence_42

In 264 BC, Roman Italy extended from the Arno and Rubicon rivers of the centre-north to the entire south. Italy_sentence_43

The northern area of Cisalpine Gaul was occupied by Rome in the 220s BC and became considered geographically and de facto part of Italy, but remained politically and de jure separated. Italy_sentence_44

It was legally merged into the administrative unit of Italy in 42 BC by the triumvir Octavian as a ratification of Caesar's unpublished acts (Acta Caesaris). Italy_sentence_45

The islands of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily and Malta were added to Italy by Diocletian in 292 AD. Italy_sentence_46

History Italy_section_1

Main article: History of Italy Italy_sentence_47

Prehistory and antiquity Italy_section_2

Main articles: Prehistoric Italy, Italic peoples, Etruscan civilisation, Magna Graecia, and Nuragic civilisation Italy_sentence_48

Thousands of Paleolithic-era artifacts have been recovered from Monte Poggiolo and dated to around 850,000 years before the present, making them the oldest evidence of first hominins habitation in the peninsula. Italy_sentence_49

Excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period some 200,000 years ago, while modern Humans appeared about 40,000 years ago at Riparo Mochi. Italy_sentence_50

Archaeological sites from this period include Addaura cave, Altamura, Ceprano, and Gravina in Puglia. Italy_sentence_51

The Ancient peoples of pre-Roman Italy – such as the Umbrians, the Latins (from which the Romans emerged), Volsci, Oscans, Samnites, Sabines, the Celts, the Ligures, the Veneti, the Iapygians and many others – were Indo-European peoples, most of them specifically of the Italic group. Italy_sentence_52

The main historic peoples of possible non-Indo-European or pre-Indo-European heritage include the Etruscans of central and northern Italy, the Elymians and the Sicani in Sicily, and the prehistoric Sardinians, who gave birth to the Nuragic civilisation. Italy_sentence_53

Other ancient populations being of undetermined language families and of possible non-Indo-European origin include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni, known for their rock carvings in Valcamonica, the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world. Italy_sentence_54

A well-preserved natural mummy known as Ötzi the Iceman, determined to be 5,000 years old (between 3400 and 3100 BCE, Copper Age), was discovered in the Similaun glacier of South Tyrol in 1991. Italy_sentence_55

The first foreign colonizers were the Phoenicians, who initially established colonies and founded various emporiums on the coasts of Sicily and Sardinia. Italy_sentence_56

Some of these soon became small urban centres and were developed parallel to the Greek colonies; among the main centres there were the cities of Motya, Zyz (modern Palermo), Soluntum in Sicily and Nora, Sulci, and Tharros in Sardinia. Italy_sentence_57

Between the 17th and the 11th centuries BC Mycenaean Greeks established contacts with Italy and in the 8th and 7th centuries BC a number of Greek colonies were established all along the coast of Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula, that became known as Magna Graecia. Italy_sentence_58

The Greek colonization placed the Italic peoples in contact with democratic government forms and with elevated artistic and cultural expressions. Italy_sentence_59

Ancient Rome Italy_section_3

Main article: Ancient Rome Italy_sentence_60

Further information: Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire Italy_sentence_61

Rome, a settlement around a ford on the river Tiber in central Italy conventionally founded in 753 BC, was ruled for a period of 244 years by a monarchical system, initially with sovereigns of Latin and Sabine origin, later by Etruscan kings. Italy_sentence_62

The tradition handed down seven kings: Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus. Italy_sentence_63

In 509 BC, the Romans expelled the last king from their city, favouring a government of the Senate and the People (SPQR) and establishing an oligarchic republic. Italy_sentence_64

The Italian Peninsula, named Italia, was consolidated into a single entity during the Roman expansion and conquest of new lands at the expense of the other Italic tribes, Etruscans, Celts, and Greeks. Italy_sentence_65

A permanent association with most of the local tribes and cities was formed, and Rome began the conquest of Western Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Italy_sentence_66

In the wake of Julius Caesar's rise and death in the first century BC, Rome grew over the course of centuries into a massive empire stretching from Britain to the borders of Persia, and engulfing the whole Mediterranean basin, in which Greek and Roman and many other cultures merged into a unique civilisation. Italy_sentence_67

The long and triumphant reign of the first emperor, Augustus, began a golden age of peace and prosperity. Italy_sentence_68

Italy remained the metropole of the empire, and as the homeland of the Romans and the territory of the capital, maintained a special status which made it "not a province, but the Domina (ruler) of the provinces". Italy_sentence_69

More than two centuries of stability followed, during which Italy was referred to as the rectrix mundi (queen of the world) and omnium terrarum parens (motherland of all lands). Italy_sentence_70

The Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world of its time, and it was one of the largest empires in world history. Italy_sentence_71

At its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. Italy_sentence_72

The Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world; among the many legacies of Roman dominance are the widespread use of the Romance languages derived from Latin, the numerical system, the modern Western alphabet and calendar, and the emergence of Christianity as a major world religion. Italy_sentence_73

The Indo-Roman trade relations, beginning around the 1st century BCE, testifies to extensive Roman trade in far away regions; many reminders of the commercial trade between the Indian subcontinent and Italy have been found, such as the ivory statuette Pompeii Lakshmi from the ruins of Pompeii. Italy_sentence_74

In a slow decline since the third century AD, the Empire split in two in 395 AD. Italy_sentence_75

The Western Empire, under the pressure of the barbarian invasions, eventually dissolved in 476 AD when its last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the Germanic chief Odoacer. Italy_sentence_76

The Eastern half of the Empire survived for another thousand years. Italy_sentence_77

Middle Ages Italy_section_4

Main article: Italy in the Middle Ages Italy_sentence_78

See also: Barbarian kingdoms Italy_sentence_79

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Italy fell under the power of Odoacer's kingdom, and, later, was seized by the Ostrogoths, followed in the 6th century by a brief reconquest under Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Italy_sentence_80

The invasion of another Germanic tribe, the Lombards, late in the same century, reduced the Byzantine presence to the rump realm of the Exarchate of Ravenna and started the end of political unity of the peninsula for the next 1,300 years. Italy_sentence_81

Invasions of the peninsula caused a chaotic succession of barbarian kingdoms and the so-called "dark ages". Italy_sentence_82

The Lombard kingdom was subsequently absorbed into the Frankish Empire by Charlemagne in the late 8th century. Italy_sentence_83

The Franks also helped the formation of the Papal States in central Italy. Italy_sentence_84

Until the 13th century, Italian politics was dominated by the relations between the Holy Roman Emperors and the Papacy, with most of the Italian city-states siding with the former (Ghibellines) or with the latter (Guelphs) from momentary convenience. Italy_sentence_85

The Germanic Emperor and the Roman Pontiff became the universal powers of medieval Europe. Italy_sentence_86

However, the conflict for the investiture controversy (a conflict over two radically different views of whether secular authorities such as kings, counts, or dukes, had any legitimate role in appointments to ecclesiastical offices) and the clash between Guelphs and Ghibellines led to the end of the Imperial-feudal system in the north of Italy where city-states gained independence. Italy_sentence_87

It was during this chaotic era that Italian towns saw the rise of a peculiar institution, the medieval commune. Italy_sentence_88

Given the power vacuum caused by extreme territorial fragmentation and the struggle between the Empire and the Holy See, local communities sought autonomous ways to maintain law and order. Italy_sentence_89

The investiture controversy was finally resolved by the Concordat of Worms. Italy_sentence_90

In 1176 a league of city-states, the Lombard League, defeated the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano, thus ensuring effective independence for most of northern and central Italian cities. Italy_sentence_91

Italian city-states such as Milan, Florence and Venice played a crucial innovative role in financial development, devising the main instruments and practices of banking and the emergence of new forms of social and economic organization. Italy_sentence_92

In coastal and southern areas, the maritime republics grew to eventually dominate the Mediterranean and monopolise trade routes to the Orient. Italy_sentence_93

They were independent thalassocratic city-states, though most of them originated from territories once belonging to the Byzantine Empire. Italy_sentence_94

All these cities during the time of their independence had similar systems of government in which the merchant class had considerable power. Italy_sentence_95

Although in practice these were oligarchical, and bore little resemblance to a modern democracy, the relative political freedom they afforded was conducive to academic and artistic advancement. Italy_sentence_96

The four best known maritime republics were Venice, Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi; the others were Ancona, Gaeta, Noli, and Ragusa. Italy_sentence_97

Each of the maritime republics had dominion over different overseas lands, including many Mediterranean islands (especially Sardinia and Corsica), lands on the Adriatic, Aegean, and Black Sea (Crimea), and commercial colonies in the Near East and in North Africa. Italy_sentence_98

Venice maintained enormous tracts of land in Greece, Cyprus, Istria and Dalmatia until as late as the mid-17th century. Italy_sentence_99

Venice and Genoa were Europe's main gateway to trade with the East, and a producer of fine glass, while Florence was a capital of silk, wool, banks and jewellery. Italy_sentence_100

The wealth such business brought to Italy meant that large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned. Italy_sentence_101

The republics were heavily involved in the Crusades, providing support and transport, but most especially taking advantage of the political and trading opportunities resulting from these wars. Italy_sentence_102

Italy first felt huge economic changes in Europe which led to the commercial revolution: the Republic of Venice was able to defeat the Byzantine Empire and finance the voyages of Marco Polo to Asia; the first universities were formed in Italian cities, and scholars such as Thomas Aquinas obtained international fame; Frederick of Sicily made Italy the political-cultural centre of a reign that temporarily included the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Jerusalem; capitalism and banking families emerged in Florence, where Dante and Giotto were active around 1300. Italy_sentence_103

In the south, Sicily had become an Islamic emirate in the 9th century, thriving until the Italo-Normans conquered it in the late 11th century together with most of the Lombard and Byzantine principalities of southern Italy. Italy_sentence_104

Through a complex series of events, southern Italy developed as a unified kingdom, first under the House of Hohenstaufen, then under the Capetian House of Anjou and, from the 15th century, the House of Aragon. Italy_sentence_105

In Sardinia, the former Byzantine provinces became independent states known in Italian as Judicates, although some parts of the island fell under Genoese or Pisan rule until the eventual Aragonese annexation in the 15th century. Italy_sentence_106

The Black Death pandemic of 1348 left its mark on Italy by killing perhaps one third of the population. Italy_sentence_107

However, the recovery from the plague led to a resurgence of cities, trade and economy which allowed the bloom of Humanism and Renaissance, that later spread to Europe. Italy_sentence_108

Early Modern Italy_section_5

Main articles: Italian Renaissance, Italian Wars, and History of Italy (1559–1814) Italy_sentence_109

Italy was the birthplace and heart of the Renaissance during the 1400s and 1500s. Italy_sentence_110

The Italian Renaissance marked the transition from the medieval period to the modern age as Europe recovered, economically and culturally, from the crises of the Late Middle Ages and entered the Early Modern Period. Italy_sentence_111

The Italian polities were now regional states effectively ruled by Princes, de facto monarchs in control of trade and administration, and their courts became major centres of Arts and Sciences. Italy_sentence_112

The Italian princedoms represented a first form of modern states as opposed to feudal monarchies and multinational empires. Italy_sentence_113

The princedoms were led by political dynasties and merchant families such as the Medici in Florence, the Visconti and Sforza in the Duchy of Milan, the Doria in the Republic of Genoa, the Mocenigo and Barbarigo in the Republic of Venice, the Este in Ferrara, and the Gonzaga in Mantua. Italy_sentence_114

The Renaissance was therefore a result of the great wealth accumulated by Italian merchant cities combined with the patronage of its dominant families. Italy_sentence_115

Italian Renaissance exercised a dominant influence on subsequent European painting and sculpture for centuries afterwards, with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto, Donatello, and Titian, and architects such as Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Palladio, and Donato Bramante. Italy_sentence_116

Following the conclusion of the western schism in favour of Rome at the Council of Constance (1415–1417), the new Pope Martin V returned to the Papal States after a three years-long journey that touched many Italian cities and restored Italy as the sole centre of Western Christianity. Italy_sentence_117

During the course of this voyage, the Medici Bank was made the official credit institution of the Papacy and several significant ties were established between the Church and the new political dynasties of the peninsula. Italy_sentence_118

The Popes' status as elective monarchs turned the conclaves and consistories of the Renaissance into political battles between the courts of Italy for primacy in the peninsula and access to the immense resources of the Catholic Church. Italy_sentence_119

In 1439, Pope Eugenius IV and the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaiologos signed a reconciliation agreement between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church at the Council of Florence hosted by Cosimo the old de Medici. Italy_sentence_120

In 1453, Italian forces under Giovanni Giustiniani were sent by Pope Nicholas V to defend the Walls of Constantinople but the decisive battle was lost to the more advanced Turkish army equipped with cannons, and Byzantium fell to Sultan Mehmed II. Italy_sentence_121

The fall of Constantinople led to the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy, fueling the rediscovery of Greco-Roman Humanism. Italy_sentence_122

Humanist rulers such as Federico da Montefeltro and Pope Pius II worked to establish ideal cities where man is the measure of all things, and therefore founded Urbino and Pienza respectively. Italy_sentence_123

Pico della Mirandola wrote the Oration on the Dignity of Man, considered the manifesto of Renaissance Humanism, in which he stressed the importance of free will in human beings. Italy_sentence_124

The humanist historian Leonardo Bruni was the first to divide human history in three periods: Antiquity, Middle Ages and Modernity. Italy_sentence_125

The second consequence of the Fall of Constantinople was the beginning of the Age of Discovery. Italy_sentence_126

Italian explorers and navigators from the dominant maritime republics, eager to find an alternative route to the Indies in order to bypass the Ottoman Empire, offered their services to monarchs of Atlantic countries and played a key role in ushering the Age of Discovery and the European colonization of the Americas. Italy_sentence_127

The most notable among them were: Christopher Columbus, colonizer in the name of Spain, who is credited with discovering the New World and the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans; John Cabot, sailing for England, who was the first European to set foot in "New Found Land" and explore parts of the North American continent in 1497; Amerigo Vespucci, sailing for Portugal, who first demonstrated in about 1501 that the New World (in particular Brazil) was not Asia as initially conjectured, but a fourth continent previously unknown to people of the Old World (America is named after him); and Giovanni da Verrazzano, at the service of France, renowned as the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between Florida and New Brunswick in 1524; Italy_sentence_128

Following the fall of Constantinople, the wars in Lombardy came to an end and a defensive alliance known as Italic League was formed between Venice, Naples, Florence, Milan, and the Papacy. Italy_sentence_129

Lorenzo the Magnificent de Medici was the greatest Florentine patron of the Renaissance and supporter of the Italic League. Italy_sentence_130

He notably avoided the collapse of the League in the aftermath of the Pazzi Conspiracy and during the aborted invasion of Italy by the Turks. Italy_sentence_131

However, the military campaign of Charles VIII of France in Italy caused the end of the Italic League and initiated the Italian Wars between the Valois and the Habsburgs. Italy_sentence_132

During the High Renaissance of the 1500s, Italy was therefore both the main European battleground and the cultural-economic centre of the continent. Italy_sentence_133

Popes such as Julius II (1503–1513) fought for the control of Italy against foreign monarchs, others such as Paul III (1534–1549) preferred to mediate between the European powers in order to secure peace in Italy. Italy_sentence_134

In the middle of this conflict, the Medici popes Leo X (1513–1521) and Clement VII (1523–1534) opposed the Protestant reformation and advanced the interests of their family. Italy_sentence_135

The end of the wars ultimately left northern Italy indirectly subject to the Austrian Habsburgs and Southern Italy under direct Spanish Habsburg rule. Italy_sentence_136

The Papacy remained independent and launched the Counter-reformation. Italy_sentence_137

Key events of the period include: the Council of Trent (1545–1563); the excommunication of Elizabeth I (1570) and the Battle of Lepanto (1571), both occurring during the pontificate of Pius V; the construction of the Gregorian observatory, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, and the Jesuit China mission of Matteo Ricci under Pope Gregory XIII; the French Wars of Religion; the Long Turkish War and the execution of Giordano Bruno in 1600, under Pope Clement VIII; the birth of the Lyncean Academy of the Papal States, of which the main figure was Galileo Galilei (later put on trial); the final phases of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) during the pontificates of Urban VIII and Innocent X; and the formation of the last Holy League by Innocent XI during the Great Turkish War Italy_sentence_138

The Italian economy declined during the 1600s and 1700s, as the peninsula was excluded from the rising Atlantic slave trade. Italy_sentence_139

Following the European wars of succession of the 18th century, the south passed to a cadet branch of the Spanish Bourbons and the North fell under the influence of the Habsburg-Lorraine of Austria. Italy_sentence_140

During the Coalition Wars, northern-central Italy was reorganised by Napoleon in a number of Sister Republics of France and later as a Kingdom of Italy in personal union with the French Empire. Italy_sentence_141

The southern half of the peninsula was administered by Joachim Murat, Napoleon's brother-in-law, who was crowned as King of Naples. Italy_sentence_142

The 1814 Congress of Vienna restored the situation of the late 18th century, but the ideals of the French Revolution could not be eradicated, and soon re-surfaced during the political upheavals that characterised the first part of the 19th century. Italy_sentence_143

Italian unification Italy_section_6

Main article: Italian unification Italy_sentence_144

The birth of the Kingdom of Italy was the result of efforts by Italian nationalists and monarchists loyal to the House of Savoy to establish a united kingdom encompassing the entire Italian Peninsula. Italy_sentence_145

Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the political and social Italian unification movement, or Risorgimento, emerged to unite Italy consolidating the different states of the peninsula and liberate it from foreign control. Italy_sentence_146

A prominent radical figure was the patriotic journalist Giuseppe Mazzini, member of the secret revolutionary society Carbonari and founder of the influential political movement Young Italy in the early 1830s, who favoured a unitary republic and advocated a broad nationalist movement. Italy_sentence_147

His prolific output of propaganda helped the unification movement stay active. Italy_sentence_148

The most famous member of Young Italy was the revolutionary and general Giuseppe Garibaldi, renowned for his extremely loyal followers, who led the Italian republican drive for unification in Southern Italy. Italy_sentence_149

However, the Northern Italy monarchy of the House of Savoy in the Kingdom of Sardinia, whose government was led by Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, also had ambitions of establishing a united Italian state. Italy_sentence_150

In the context of the 1848 liberal revolutions that swept through Europe, an unsuccessful first war of independence was declared on Austria. Italy_sentence_151

In 1855, the Kingdom of Sardinia became an ally of Britain and France in the Crimean War, giving Cavour's diplomacy legitimacy in the eyes of the great powers. Italy_sentence_152

The Kingdom of Sardinia again attacked the Austrian Empire in the Second Italian War of Independence of 1859, with the aid of France, resulting in liberating Lombardy. Italy_sentence_153

In 1860–1861, Garibaldi led the drive for unification in Naples and Sicily (the Expedition of the Thousand), while the House of Savoy troops occupied the central territories of the Italian peninsula, except Rome and part of Papal States. Italy_sentence_154

Teano was the site of the famous meeting of 26 October 1860 between Giuseppe Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel II, last King of Sardinia, in which Garibaldi shook Victor Emanuel's hand and hailed him as King of Italy; thus, Garibaldi sacrificed republican hopes for the sake of Italian unity under a monarchy. Italy_sentence_155

Cavour agreed to include Garibaldi's Southern Italy allowing it to join the union with the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860. Italy_sentence_156

This allowed the Sardinian government to declare a united Italian kingdom on 17 March 1861. Italy_sentence_157

Victor Emmanuel II then became the first king of a united Italy, and the capital was moved from Turin to Florence. Italy_sentence_158

In 1866, Victor Emmanuel II allied with Prussia during the Austro-Prussian War, waging the Third Italian War of Independence which allowed Italy to annexe Venetia. Italy_sentence_159

Finally, in 1870, as France abandoned its garrisons in Rome during the disastrous Franco-Prussian War to keep the large Prussian Army at bay, the Italians rushed to fill the power gap by taking over the Papal States. Italy_sentence_160

Italian unification was completed and shortly afterwards Italy's capital was moved to Rome. Italy_sentence_161

Victor Emmanuel, Garibaldi, Cavour and Mazzini have been referred as Italy's Four Fathers of the Fatherland. Italy_sentence_162

Monarchical period Italy_section_7

Main articles: Kingdom of Italy, Italian Empire, and Military history of Italy during World War I Italy_sentence_163

The new Kingdom of Italy obtained Great Power status. Italy_sentence_164

The Constitutional Law of the Kingdom of Sardinia the Albertine Statute of 1848, was extended to the whole Kingdom of Italy in 1861, and provided for basic freedoms of the new State, but electoral laws excluded the non-propertied and uneducated classes from voting. Italy_sentence_165

The government of the new kingdom took place in a framework of parliamentary constitutional monarchy dominated by liberal forces. Italy_sentence_166

As Northern Italy quickly industrialised, the South and rural areas of the North remained underdeveloped and overpopulated, forcing millions of people to migrate abroad and fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Italy_sentence_167

The Italian Socialist Party constantly increased in strength, challenging the traditional liberal and conservative establishment. Italy_sentence_168

Starting from the last two decades of the 19th century, Italy developed into a colonial power by forcing under its rule Eritrea and Somalia in East Africa, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in North Africa (later unified in the colony of Libya) and the Dodecanese islands. Italy_sentence_169

From 2 November 1899 to 7 September 1901, Italy also participated as part of the Eight-Nation Alliance forces during the Boxer Rebellion in China; on 7 September 1901, a concession in Tientsin was ceded to the country, and on 7 June 1902, the concession was taken into Italian possession and administered by a consul. Italy_sentence_170

In 1913, male universal suffrage was adopted. Italy_sentence_171

The pre-war period dominated by Giovanni Giolitti, Prime Minister five times between 1892 and 1921, was characterized by the economic, industrial and political-cultural modernization of Italian society. Italy_sentence_172

Italy, nominally allied with the German Empire and the Empire of Austria-Hungary in the Triple Alliance, in 1915 joined the Allies into World War I with a promise of substantial territorial gains, that included western Inner Carniola, former Austrian Littoral, Dalmatia as well as parts of the Ottoman Empire. Italy_sentence_173

The country gave a fundamental contribution to the victory of the conflict as one of the "Big Four" top Allied powers. Italy_sentence_174

The war was initially inconclusive, as the Italian army got stuck in a long attrition war in the Alps, making little progress and suffering very heavy losses. Italy_sentence_175

However, the reorganization of the army and the conscription of the so-called '99 Boys (Ragazzi del '99, all males born in 1899 who were turning 18) led to more effective Italian victories in major battles, such as on Monte Grappa and in a series of battles on the Piave river. Italy_sentence_176

Eventually, in October 1918, the Italians launched a massive offensive, culminating in the victory of Vittorio Veneto. Italy_sentence_177

The Italian victory marked the end of the war on the Italian Front, secured the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was chiefly instrumental in ending the First World War less than two weeks later. Italy_sentence_178

During the war, more than 650,000 Italian soldiers and as many civilians died and the kingdom went to the brink of bankruptcy. Italy_sentence_179

Under the Peace Treaties of Saint-Germain, Rapallo and Rome, Italy gained a permanent seat in the League of Nations's executive council and obtained most of the promised territories, but not Dalmatia (except Zara), allowing nationalists to define the victory as "mutilated". Italy_sentence_180

Moreover, Italy annexed the Hungarian harbour of Fiume, that was not part of territories promised at London but had been occupied after the end of the war by Gabriele D'Annunzio. Italy_sentence_181

Fascist regime Italy_section_8

Main articles: Italian Fascism, Fascist Italy (1922–1943), and Military history of Italy during World War II Italy_sentence_182

The socialist agitations that followed the devastation of the Great War, inspired by the Russian Revolution, led to counter-revolution and repression throughout Italy. Italy_sentence_183

The liberal establishment, fearing a Soviet-style revolution, started to endorse the small National Fascist Party, led by Benito Mussolini. Italy_sentence_184

In October 1922 the Blackshirts of the National Fascist Party attempted a coup named the "March on Rome" which failed but at the last minute, King Victor Emmanuel III refused to proclaim a state of siege and appointed Mussolini prime minister. Italy_sentence_185

Over the next few years, Mussolini banned all political parties and curtailed personal liberties, thus forming a dictatorship. Italy_sentence_186

These actions attracted international attention and eventually inspired similar dictatorships such as Nazi Germany and Francoist Spain. Italy_sentence_187

In 1935, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and founded the Italian East Africa, resulting in an international alienation and leading to Italy's withdrawal from the League of Nations; Italy allied with Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan and strongly supported Francisco Franco in the Spanish civil war. Italy_sentence_188

In 1939, Italy annexed Albania, a de facto protectorate for decades. Italy_sentence_189

Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940. Italy_sentence_190

After initially advancing in British Somaliland, Egypt, the Balkans and eastern fronts, the Italians were defeated in East Africa, Soviet Union and North Africa. Italy_sentence_191

The Armistice of Villa Giusti, which ended fighting between Italy and Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I, resulted in Italian annexation of neighbouring parts of Yugoslavia. Italy_sentence_192

During the interwar period, the fascist Italian government undertook a campaign of Italianisation in the areas it annexed, which suppressed Slavic language, schools, political parties, and cultural institutions. Italy_sentence_193

During World War II, Italian war crimes included extrajudicial killings and ethnic cleansing by deportation of about 25,000 people, mainly Jews, Croats, and Slovenians, to the Italian concentration camps, such as Rab, Gonars, Monigo, Renicci di Anghiari and elsewhere. Italy_sentence_194

In Italy and Yugoslavia, unlike in Germany, few war crimes were prosecuted. Italy_sentence_195

Yugoslav Partisans perpetrated their own crimes during and after the war, including the foibe killings. Italy_sentence_196

Meanwhile, about 250,000 Italians and anti-communist Slavs fled to Italy in the Istrian exodus. Italy_sentence_197

An Allied invasion of Sicily began in July 1943, leading to the collapse of the Fascist regime and the fall of Mussolini on 25 July. Italy_sentence_198

Mussolini was deposed and arrested by order of King Victor Emmanuel III in co-operation with the majority of the members of the Grand Council of Fascism, which passed a motion of no confidence. Italy_sentence_199

On 8 September, Italy signed the Armistice of Cassibile, ending its war with the Allies. Italy_sentence_200

The Germans helped by the Italian fascists shortly succeeded in taking control of northern and central Italy. Italy_sentence_201

The country remained a battlefield for the rest of the war, as the Allies were slowly moving up from the south. Italy_sentence_202

In the north, the Germans set up the Italian Social Republic (RSI), a Nazi puppet state with Mussolini installed as leader after he was rescued by German paratroopers. Italy_sentence_203

Some Italian troops in the south were organized into the Italian Co-belligerent Army, which fought alongside the Allies for the rest of the war, while other Italian troops, loyal to Mussolini and his RSI, continued to fight alongside the Germans in the National Republican Army. Italy_sentence_204

As result, the country descended into civil war. Italy_sentence_205

Also, the post-armistice period saw the rise of a large anti-fascist resistance movement, the Resistenza, which fought a guerilla war against the German and RSI forces. Italy_sentence_206

In late April 1945, with total defeat looming, Mussolini attempted to escape north, but was captured and summarily executed near Lake Como by Italian partisans. Italy_sentence_207

His body was then taken to Milan, where it was hung upside down at a service station for public viewing and to provide confirmation of his demise. Italy_sentence_208

Hostilities ended on 29 April 1945, when the German forces in Italy surrendered. Italy_sentence_209

Nearly half a million Italians (including civilians) died in the conflict, and the Italian economy had been all but destroyed; per capita income in 1944 was at its lowest point since the beginning of the 20th century. Italy_sentence_210

Republican Italy Italy_section_9

Main article: History of the Italian Republic Italy_sentence_211

Italy became a republic after a referendum held on 2 June 1946, a day celebrated since as Republic Day. Italy_sentence_212

This was also the first time that Italian women were entitled to vote. Italy_sentence_213

Victor Emmanuel III's son, Umberto II, was forced to abdicate and exiled. Italy_sentence_214

The Republican Constitution was approved on 1 January 1948. Italy_sentence_215

Under the Treaty of Peace with Italy of 1947, most of the Julian March was lost to Yugoslavia and, later, the Free Territory of Trieste was divided between the two states. Italy_sentence_216

Italy also lost all of its colonial possessions, formally ending the Italian Empire. Italy_sentence_217

In 1950, Italian Somaliland was made a United Nations Trust Territory under Italian administration until 1 July 1960. Italy_sentence_218

Fears of a possible Communist takeover (especially in the United States) proved crucial for the first universal suffrage electoral outcome on 18 April 1948, when the Christian Democrats, under the leadership of Alcide De Gasperi, obtained a landslide victory. Italy_sentence_219

Consequently, in 1949 Italy became a member of NATO. Italy_sentence_220

The Marshall Plan helped to revive the Italian economy which, until the late 1960s, enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth commonly called the "Economic Miracle". Italy_sentence_221

In 1957, Italy was a founding member of the European Economic Community (EEC), which became the European Union (EU) in 1993. Italy_sentence_222

From the late 1960s until the early 1980s, the country experienced the Years of Lead, a period characterised by economic crisis (especially after the 1973 oil crisis), widespread social conflicts and terrorist massacres carried out by opposing extremist groups, with the alleged involvement of US and Soviet intelligence. Italy_sentence_223

The Years of Lead culminated in the assassination of the Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978 and the Bologna railway station massacre in 1980, where 85 people died. Italy_sentence_224

In the 1980s, for the first time since 1945, two governments were led by non-Christian-Democrat premiers: one republican (Giovanni Spadolini) and one socialist (Bettino Craxi); the Christian Democrats remained, however, the main government party. Italy_sentence_225

During Craxi's government, the economy recovered and Italy became the world's fifth-largest industrial nation after it gained the entry into the Group of Seven in the 1970s. Italy_sentence_226

However, as a result of his spending policies, the Italian national debt skyrocketed during the Craxi era, soon passing 100% of the country's GDP. Italy_sentence_227

Italy faced several terror attacks between 1992 and 1993 perpetrated by the Sicilian Mafia as a consequence of several life sentences pronounced during the "Maxi Trial", and of the new anti-mafia measures launched by the government. Italy_sentence_228

In 1992, two major dynamite attacks killed the judges Giovanni Falcone (23 May in the Capaci bombing) and Paolo Borsellino (19 July in the Via D'Amelio bombing). Italy_sentence_229

One year later (May–July 1993), tourist spots were attacked, such as the Via dei Georgofili in Florence, Via Palestro in Milan, and the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano and Via San Teodoro in Rome, leaving 10 dead and 93 injured and causing severe damage to cultural heritage such as the Uffizi Gallery. Italy_sentence_230

The Catholic Church openly condemned the Mafia, and two churches were bombed and an anti-Mafia priest shot dead in Rome. Italy_sentence_231

Also in the early 1990s, Italy faced significant challenges, as voters – disenchanted with political paralysis, massive public debt and the extensive corruption system (known as Tangentopoli) uncovered by the Clean Hands (Mani Pulite) investigation – demanded radical reforms. Italy_sentence_232

The scandals involved all major parties, but especially those in the government coalition: the Christian Democrats, who ruled for almost 50 years, underwent a severe crisis and eventually disbanded, splitting up into several factions. Italy_sentence_233

The Communists reorganised as a social-democratic force. Italy_sentence_234

During the 1990s and the 2000s, centre-right (dominated by media magnate Silvio Berlusconi) and centre-left coalitions (led by university professor Romano Prodi) alternately governed the country. Italy_sentence_235

Amidst the Great Recession, Berlusconi resigned in 2011, and his conservative government was replaced by the technocratic cabinet of Mario Monti. Italy_sentence_236

Following the 2013 general election, the Vice-Secretary of the Democratic Party Enrico Letta formed a new government at the head of a right-left Grand coalition. Italy_sentence_237

In 2014, challenged by the new Secretary of the PD Matteo Renzi, Letta resigned and was replaced by Renzi. Italy_sentence_238

The new government started important constitutional reforms such as the abolition of the Senate and a new electoral law. Italy_sentence_239

On 4 December the constitutional reform was rejected in a referendum and Renzi resigned; the Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni was appointed new Prime Minister. Italy_sentence_240

In the European migrant crisis of the 2010s, Italy was the entry point and leading destination for most asylum seekers entering the EU. Italy_sentence_241

From 2013 to 2018, the country took in over 700,000 migrants and refugees, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, which caused great strain on the public purse and a surge in the support for far-right or eurosceptic political parties. Italy_sentence_242

The 2018 general election was characterized by a strong showing of the Five Star Movement and the League and the university professor Giuseppe Conte became the Prime Minister at the head of a populist coalition between these two parties. Italy_sentence_243

However, after only fourteen months the League withdrew its support to Conte, who formed a new unprecedented government coalition between the Five Star Movement and the centre-left. Italy_sentence_244

In 2020, Italy was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy_sentence_245

From March to May, Conte's government imposed a national quarantine as a measure to limit the spread of the disease. Italy_sentence_246

The measures, despite being widely approved by the public opinion, were also described as the largest suppression of constitutional rights in the history of the republic. Italy_sentence_247

With more than 64,000 confirmed victims, Italy was one of the countries with the highest total number of deaths in the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Italy_sentence_248

The pandemic caused also a severe economic disruption, in which Italy resulted as one of the most affected countries. Italy_sentence_249

Geography Italy_section_10

Main article: Geography of Italy Italy_sentence_250

Italy is located in Southern Europe (it is also considered a part of western Europe) between latitudes 35° and 47° N, and longitudes and 19° E. Italy_sentence_251

To the north, Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia and is roughly delimited by the Alpine watershed, enclosing the Po Valley and the Venetian Plain. Italy_sentence_252

To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula and the two Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia (the two biggest islands of the Mediterranean), in addition to many smaller islands. Italy_sentence_253

The sovereign states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. Italy_sentence_254

The country's total area is 301,230 square kilometres (116,306 sq mi), of which 294,020 km (113,522 sq mi) is land and 7,210 km (2,784 sq mi) is water. Italy_sentence_255

Including the islands, Italy has a coastline and border of 7,600 kilometres (4,722 miles) on the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenian seas (740 km (460 mi)), and borders shared with France (488 km (303 mi)), Austria (430 km (267 mi)), Slovenia (232 km (144 mi)) and Switzerland (740 km (460 mi)). Italy_sentence_256

San Marino (39 km (24 mi)) and Vatican City (3.2 km (2.0 mi)), both enclaves, account for the remainder. Italy_sentence_257

Over 35% of the Italian territory is mountainous. Italy_sentence_258

The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula's backbone, and the Alps form most of its northern boundary, where Italy's highest point is located on Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) (4,810 m or 15,780 ft). Italy_sentence_259

Other worldwide-known mountains in Italy include the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino), Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso in the West Alps, and Bernina, Stelvio and Dolomites along the eastern side. Italy_sentence_260

The Po, Italy's longest river (652 kilometres or 405 miles), flows from the Alps on the western border with France and crosses the Padan plain on its way to the Adriatic Sea. Italy_sentence_261

The Po Valley is the largest plain in Italy, with 46,000 km (18,000 sq mi), and it represents over 70% of the total plain area in the country. Italy_sentence_262

Many elements of the Italian territory are of volcanic origin. Italy_sentence_263

Most of the small islands and archipelagos in the south, like Capraia, Ponza, Ischia, Eolie, Ustica and Pantelleria are volcanic islands. Italy_sentence_264

There are also active volcanoes: Mount Etna in Sicily (the largest active volcano in Europe), Vulcano, Stromboli, and Vesuvius (the only active volcano on mainland Europe). Italy_sentence_265

The five largest lakes are, in order of diminishing size: Garda (367.94 km or 142 sq mi), Maggiore (212.51 km or 82 sq mi, whose minor northern part is Switzerland), Como (145.9 km or 56 sq mi), Trasimeno (124.29 km or 48 sq mi) and Bolsena (113.55 km or 44 sq mi). Italy_sentence_266

Although the country includes the Italian peninsula, adjacent islands, and most of the southern Alpine basin, some of Italy's territory extends beyond the Alpine basin and some islands are located outside the Eurasian continental shelf. Italy_sentence_267

These territories are the comuni of: Livigno, Sexten, Innichen, Toblach (in part), Chiusaforte, Tarvisio, Graun im Vinschgau (in part), which are all part of the Danube's drainage basin, while the Val di Lei constitutes part of the Rhine's basin and the islands of Lampedusa and Lampione are on the African continental shelf. Italy_sentence_268

Waters Italy_section_11

See also: List of rivers of Italy and List of lakes of Italy Italy_sentence_269

Four different seas surround the Italian Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea from three sides: the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea in the south, and the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west. Italy_sentence_270

Including islands, Italy has a coastline of 7,900 km. Italy_sentence_271

Italian coasts include the Amalfi Coast, Cilentan Coast, Coast of the Gods, Costa Verde, Riviera delle Palme, Riviera del Brenta, Costa Smeralda and Trabocchi Coast. Italy_sentence_272

The Italian Riviera includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria, extending from the border with France near Ventimiglia eastwards to Capo Corvo, which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia. Italy_sentence_273

The Apennines run along the entire length of the peninsula, dividing the waters into two opposite sides. Italy_sentence_274

On the other hand, the rivers are numerous due to the relative abundance of rains and to the presence of the Alpine chain in northern Italy with snowfields and glaciers. Italy_sentence_275

The fundamental watershed follows the ridge of the Alps and the Apennines and delimits five main slopes, corresponding to the seas into which the rivers flow: the Adriatic, Ionic, Tyrrhenian, Ligurian and Mediterranean sides. Italy_sentence_276

Taking into consideration their origin, the Italian rivers can be divided into two main groups: the Alpine-Po rivers and the Apennine-island rivers. Italy_sentence_277

Most of the rivers of Italy drain either into the Adriatic Sea, such as the Po, Piave, Adige, Brenta, Tagliamento, and Reno, or into the Tyrrhenian, like the Arno, Tiber and Volturno. Italy_sentence_278

The waters from some border municipalities (Livigno in Lombardy, Innichen and Sexten in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol) drain into the Black Sea through the basin of the Drava, a tributary of the Danube, and the waters from the Lago di Lei in Lombardy drain into the North Sea through the basin of the Rhine. Italy_sentence_279

The longest Italian river is Po, which flows either 652 km (405 mi) or 682 km (424 mi) (considering the length of the right bank tributary Maira) and whose headwaters are a spring seeping from a stony hillside at Pian del Re, a flat place at the head of the Val Po under the northwest face of Monviso. Italy_sentence_280

The vast valley around the Po is called Po Valley (Italian: Pianura Padana or Val Padana) the main industrial area of the country; in 2002, more than 16 million people lived there, at the time nearly ⅓ of the population of Italy. Italy_sentence_281

The second longest Italian river is Adige, which originates near Lake Resia and flows into the Adriatic Sea, after having made a north-south route, near Chioggia. Italy_sentence_282

In the north of the country are a number of large subalpine moraine-dammed lakes, commonly referred to as the Italian Lakes. Italy_sentence_283

There are more than 1000 lakes in Italy, the largest of which is Garda (370 km or 143 sq mi). Italy_sentence_284

Other well-known subalpine lakes are Lake Maggiore (212.5 km or 82 sq mi), whose most northerly section is part of Switzerland, Como (146 km or 56 sq mi), one of the deepest lakes in Europe, Orta, Lugano, Iseo, and Idro. Italy_sentence_285

Other notable lakes in the Italian peninsula are Trasimeno, Bolsena, Bracciano, Vico, Varano and Lesina in Gargano and Omodeo in Sardinia. Italy_sentence_286

Along the Italian coasts there are lagoons, including the Venice, Grado Lagoon and Marano lagoons in northern Adriatic, and the Orbetello lagoon on the Tuscan coast. Italy_sentence_287

The swamps and ponds that in the past covered vast flat areas of Italy, have largely been dried up in recent centuries; the few remaining wetlands, such as the Comacchio Valleys in Emilia-Romagna or the Stagno di Cagliari in Sardinia, are protected natural environments. Italy_sentence_288

Volcanology Italy_section_12

See also: Volcanology of Italy Italy_sentence_289

The country is situated at the meeting point of the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, leading to considerable seismic and volcanic activity. Italy_sentence_290

There are 14 volcanoes in Italy, four of which are active: Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano and Vesuvius. Italy_sentence_291

The last is the only active volcano in mainland Europe and is most famous for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculanum in the eruption in 79 AD. Italy_sentence_292

Several islands and hills have been created by volcanic activity, and there is still a large active caldera, the Campi Flegrei north-west of Naples. Italy_sentence_293

The high volcanic and magmatic neogenic activity is subdivided into provinces: Italy_sentence_294


Italy was the first country to exploit geothermal energy to produce electricity. Italy_sentence_295

The high geothermal gradient that forms part of the peninsula makes potentially exploitable also other provinces: research carried out in the 1960s and 1970s identifies potential geothermal fields in Lazio and Tuscany, as well as in most volcanic islands. Italy_sentence_296

Environment Italy_section_13

See also: List of national parks of Italy and List of regional parks of Italy Italy_sentence_297

After its quick industrial growth, Italy took a long time to confront its environmental problems. Italy_sentence_298

After several improvements, it now ranks 84th in the world for ecological sustainability. Italy_sentence_299

National parks cover about 5% of the country. Italy_sentence_300

In the last decade, Italy has become one of the world's leading producers of renewable energy, ranking as the world's fourth largest holder of installed solar energy capacity and the sixth largest holder of wind power capacity in 2010. Italy_sentence_301

Renewable energies now make up about 12% of the total primary and final energy consumption in Italy, with a future target share set at 17% for the year 2020. Italy_sentence_302

However, air pollution remains a severe problem, especially in the industrialised north, reaching the tenth highest level worldwide of industrial carbon dioxide emissions in the 1990s. Italy_sentence_303

Italy is the twelfth largest carbon dioxide producer. Italy_sentence_304

Extensive traffic and congestion in the largest metropolitan areas continue to cause severe environmental and health issues, even if smog levels have decreased dramatically since the 1970s and 1980s, and the presence of smog is becoming an increasingly rarer phenomenon and levels of sulphur dioxide are decreasing. Italy_sentence_305

Many watercourses and coastal stretches have also been contaminated by industrial and agricultural activity, while because of rising water levels, Venice has been regularly flooded throughout recent years. Italy_sentence_306

Waste from industrial activity is not always disposed of by legal means and has led to permanent health effects on inhabitants of affected areas, as in the case of the Seveso disaster. Italy_sentence_307

The country has also operated several nuclear reactors between 1963 and 1990 but, after the Chernobyl disaster and a referendum on the issue the nuclear programme was terminated, a decision that was overturned by the government in 2008, planning to build up to four nuclear power plants with French technology. Italy_sentence_308

This was in turn struck down by a referendum following the Fukushima nuclear accident. Italy_sentence_309

Deforestation, illegal building developments and poor land-management policies have led to significant erosion all over Italy's mountainous regions, leading to major ecological disasters like the 1963 Vajont Dam flood, the 1998 Sarno and 2009 Messina mudslides. Italy_sentence_310

Biodiversity Italy_section_14

Main articles: Fauna of Italy and Flora of Italy Italy_sentence_311

Italy has the highest level of faunal biodiversity in Europe, with over 57,000 species recorded, representing more than a third of all European fauna. Italy_sentence_312

Italy's varied geological structure contributes to its high climate and habitat diversity. Italy_sentence_313

The Italian peninsula is in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, forming a corridor between central Europe and North Africa, and has 8,000 km (5,000 mi) of coastline. Italy_sentence_314

Italy also receives species from the Balkans, Eurasia, the Middle East. Italy_sentence_315

Italy's varied geological structure, including the Alps and the Apennines, Central Italian woodlands, and Southern Italian Garigue and Maquis shrubland, also contributes to high climate and habitat diversity. Italy_sentence_316

Italian fauna includes 4,777 endemic animal species, which include the Sardinian long-eared bat, Sardinian red deer, spectacled salamander, brown cave salamander, Italian newt, Italian frog, Apennine yellow-bellied toad, Aeolian wall lizard, Sicilian wall lizard, Italian Aesculapian snake, and Sicilian pond turtle. Italy_sentence_317

There are 102 mammals species (most notably the Italian wolf, Marsican brown bear, Pyrenean chamois, Alpine ibex, crested porcupine, Mediterranean monk seal, Alpine marmot, Etruscan shrew, and European snow vole), 516 bird species and 56,213 invertebrate species. Italy_sentence_318

The flora of Italy was traditionally estimated to comprise about 5,500 vascular plant species. Italy_sentence_319

However, as of 2005, 6,759 species are recorded in the Data bank of Italian vascular flora. Italy_sentence_320

Italy is a signatory to the Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats and the Habitats Directive both affording protection to Italian fauna and flora. Italy_sentence_321

Climate Italy_section_15

Main article: Climate of Italy Italy_sentence_322

See also: List of rivers of Italy and List of lakes of Italy Italy_sentence_323

Because of the great longitudinal extension of the peninsula and the mostly mountainous internal conformation, the climate of Italy is highly diverse. Italy_sentence_324

In most of the inland northern and central regions, the climate ranges from humid subtropical to humid continental and oceanic. Italy_sentence_325

In particular, the climate of the Po valley geographical region is mostly continental, with harsh winters and hot summers. Italy_sentence_326

The coastal areas of Liguria, Tuscany and most of the South generally fit the Mediterranean climate stereotype (Köppen climate classification Csa). Italy_sentence_327

Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. Italy_sentence_328

The coastal regions have mild winters and warm and generally dry summers, although lowland valleys can be quite hot in summer. Italy_sentence_329

Average winter temperatures vary from 0 °C (32 °F) on the Alps to 12 °C (54 °F) in Sicily, so average summer temperatures range from 20 °C (68 °F) to over 25 °C (77 °F). Italy_sentence_330

Winters can vary widely across the country with lingering cold, foggy and snowy periods in the north and milder, sunnier conditions in the south. Italy_sentence_331

Summers can be hot and humid across the country, particularly in the south while northern and central areas can experience occasional strong thunderstorms from spring to autumn. Italy_sentence_332

Politics Italy_section_16

Main article: Politics of Italy Italy_sentence_333

Italy has been a unitary parliamentary republic since 2 June 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by a constitutional referendum. Italy_sentence_334

The President of Italy (Presidente della Repubblica), currently Sergio Mattarella since 2015, is Italy's head of state. Italy_sentence_335

The President is elected for a single seven years mandate by the Parliament of Italy and some regional voters in joint session. Italy_sentence_336

Italy has a written democratic constitution, resulting from the work of a Constituent Assembly formed by the representatives of all the anti-fascist forces that contributed to the defeat of Nazi and Fascist forces during the Civil War. Italy_sentence_337

Government Italy_section_17

Italy has a parliamentary government based on a mixed proportional and majoritarian voting system. Italy_sentence_338

The parliament is perfectly bicameral: the two houses, the Chamber of Deputies that meets in Palazzo Montecitorio, and the Senate of the Republic that meets in Palazzo Madama, have the same powers. Italy_sentence_339

The Prime Minister, officially President of the Council of Ministers (Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri), is Italy's head of government. Italy_sentence_340

The Prime Minister and the cabinet are appointed by the President of the Republic of Italy and must pass a vote of confidence in Parliament to come into office. Italy_sentence_341

To remain the Prime Minister has to pass also eventual further votes of confidence or no confidence in Parliament. Italy_sentence_342

The prime minister is the President of the Council of Ministers – which holds effective executive power – and he must receive a vote of approval from it to execute most political activities. Italy_sentence_343

The office is similar to those in most other parliamentary systems, but the leader of the Italian government is not authorised to request the dissolution of the Parliament of Italy. Italy_sentence_344

Another difference with similar offices is that the overall political responsibility for intelligence is vested in the President of the Council of Ministers. Italy_sentence_345

By virtue of that, the Prime Minister has exclusive power to: co-ordinate intelligence policies, determining the financial resources and strengthening national cyber security; apply and protect State secrets; authorise agents to carry out operations, in Italy or abroad, in violation of the law. Italy_sentence_346

A peculiarity of the Italian Parliament is the representation given to Italian citizens permanently living abroad: 12 Deputies and 6 Senators elected in four distinct overseas constituencies. Italy_sentence_347

In addition, the Italian Senate is characterised also by a small number of senators for life, appointed by the President "for outstanding patriotic merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field". Italy_sentence_348

Former Presidents of the Republic are ex officio life senators. Italy_sentence_349

Italy's three major political parties are the Five Star Movement, the Democratic Party and the Lega. Italy_sentence_350

During the 2018 general election these three parties won 614 out of 630 seats available in the Chamber of Deputies and 309 out of 315 in the Senate. Italy_sentence_351

Berlusconi's Forza Italia which formed a centre-right coalition with Matteo Salvini's Northern League and Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy won most of the seats without getting the majority in parliament. Italy_sentence_352

The rest of the seats were taken by Five Star Movement, Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party along with Achammer and Panizza's South Tyrolean People's Party & Trentino Tyrolean Autonomist Party in a centre-left coalition and the independent Free and Equal party. Italy_sentence_353

Law and criminal justice Italy_section_18

Main articles: Law of Italy and Judiciary of Italy Italy_sentence_354

The Italian judicial system is based on Roman law modified by the Napoleonic code and later statutes. Italy_sentence_355

The Supreme Court of Cassation is the highest court in Italy for both criminal and civil appeal cases. Italy_sentence_356

The Constitutional Court of Italy (Corte Costituzionale) rules on the conformity of laws with the constitution and is a post–World War II innovation. Italy_sentence_357

Since their appearance in the middle of the 19th century, Italian organised crime and criminal organisations have infiltrated the social and economic life of many regions in Southern Italy, the most notorious of which being the Sicilian Mafia, which would later expand into some foreign countries including the United States. Italy_sentence_358

Mafia receipts may reach 9% of Italy's GDP. Italy_sentence_359

A 2009 report identified 610 comuni which have a strong Mafia presence, where 13 million Italians live and 14.6% of the Italian GDP is produced. Italy_sentence_360

The Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, nowadays probably the most powerful crime syndicate of Italy, accounts alone for 3% of the country's GDP. Italy_sentence_361

However, at 0.013 per 1,000 people, Italy has only the 47th highest murder rate compared to 61 countries and the 43rd highest number of rapes per 1,000 people compared to 64 countries in the world. Italy_sentence_362

These are relatively low figures among developed countries. Italy_sentence_363

Law enforcement Italy_section_19

Main article: Law enforcement in Italy Italy_sentence_364

The Italian law enforcement system is complex, with multiple police forces. Italy_sentence_365

The national policing agencies are the Polizia di Stato (State Police), the Arma dei Carabinieri, the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Guard), and the Polizia Penitenziaria (Prison Police), as well as the Guardia Costiera (coast guard police). Italy_sentence_366

The Polizia di Stato are a civil police supervised by the Interior Ministry, while the Carabinieri is a gendarmerie supervised by the Defense Ministry; both share duties in law enforcement and the maintenance of public order. Italy_sentence_367

Within the Carabinieri is a unit devoted to combating environmental crime. Italy_sentence_368

The Guardia di Finanza is responsible for combating financial crime and white-collar crime, as well as customs. Italy_sentence_369

The Polizia Penitenziaria are responsible for guarding the prison system. Italy_sentence_370

The Corpo Forestale dello Stato (State Forestry Corps) formerly existed as a separate national park ranger agency, but was merged into the Carabinieri in 2016. Italy_sentence_371

Although policing in Italy is primarily provided on a national basis, there also exists Polizia Provinciale (provincial police) and Polizia Municipale (municipal police). Italy_sentence_372

Foreign relations Italy_section_20

Main article: Foreign relations of Italy Italy_sentence_373

Italy is a founding member of the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union (EU), and of NATO. Italy_sentence_374

Italy was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, and it is a member and a strong supporter of a wide number of international organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe, and the Central European Initiative. Italy_sentence_375

Its recent or upcoming turns in the rotating presidency of international organisations include the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2018, the G7 in 2017 and the EU Council from July to December 2014. Italy_sentence_376

Italy is also a recurrent non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the most recently in 2017. Italy_sentence_377

Italy strongly supports multilateral international politics, endorsing the United Nations and its international security activities. Italy_sentence_378

As of 2013, Italy was deploying 5,296 troops abroad, engaged in 33 UN and NATO missions in 25 countries of the world. Italy_sentence_379

Italy deployed troops in support of UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Mozambique, and East Timor and provides support for NATO and UN operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Italy_sentence_380

Italy deployed over 2,000 troops in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from February 2003. Italy_sentence_381

Italy supported international efforts to reconstruct and stabilise Iraq, but it had withdrawn its military contingent of some 3,200 troops by 2006, maintaining only humanitarian operators and other civilian personnel. Italy_sentence_382

In August 2006 Italy deployed about 2,450 troops in Lebanon for the United Nations' peacekeeping mission UNIFIL. Italy_sentence_383

Italy is one of the largest financiers of the Palestinian National Authority, contributing €60 million in 2013 alone. Italy_sentence_384

Military Italy_section_21

Main article: Italian Armed Forces Italy_sentence_385

The Italian Army, Navy, Air Force and Carabinieri collectively form the Italian Armed Forces, under the command of the Supreme Defence Council, presided over by the President of Italy. Italy_sentence_386

Since 2005, military service is voluntary. Italy_sentence_387

In 2010, the Italian military had 293,202 personnel on active duty, of which 114,778 are Carabinieri. Italy_sentence_388

Total Italian military spending in 2010 ranked tenth in the world, standing at $35.8 billion, equal to 1.7% of national GDP. Italy_sentence_389

As part of NATO's nuclear sharing strategy Italy also hosts 90 United States B61 nuclear bombs, located in the Ghedi and Aviano air bases. Italy_sentence_390

The Italian Army is the national ground defence force, numbering 109,703 in 2008. Italy_sentence_391

Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft the Mangusta attack helicopter, in the last years deployed in EU, NATO and UN missions. Italy_sentence_392

It also has at its disposal many Leopard 1 and M113 armoured vehicles. Italy_sentence_393

The Italian Navy in 2008 had 35,200 active personnel with 85 commissioned ships and 123 aircraft. Italy_sentence_394

It is a blue-water navy. Italy_sentence_395

In modern times the Italian Navy, being a member of the EU and NATO, has taken part in many coalition peacekeeping operations around the world. Italy_sentence_396

The Italian Air Force in 2008 had a strength of 43,882 and operated 585 aircraft, including 219 combat jets and 114 helicopters. Italy_sentence_397

A transport capability is guaranteed by a fleet of 27 C-130Js and C-27J Spartan. Italy_sentence_398

An autonomous corps of the military, the Carabinieri are the gendarmerie and military police of Italy, policing the military and civilian population alongside Italy's other police forces. Italy_sentence_399

While the different branches of the Carabinieri report to separate ministries for each of their individual functions, the corps reports to the Ministry of Internal Affairs when maintaining public order and security. Italy_sentence_400

Constituent entities Italy_section_22

Main articles: Regions of Italy, Provinces of Italy, Metropolitan cities of Italy, and Municipalities of Italy Italy_sentence_401

Italy is constituted by 20 regions (regioni)—five of these regions having a special autonomous status that enables them to enact legislation on additional matters, 107 provinces (province) or metropolitan cities (città metropolitane), and 7,960 municipalities (comuni). Italy_sentence_402


RegionItaly_header_cell_1_0_0 CapitalItaly_header_cell_1_0_1 Area (km)Italy_header_cell_1_0_2 Area (sq mi)Italy_header_cell_1_0_3 Population (January 2019)Italy_header_cell_1_0_4 Nominal GDP EURO billions (2016)Italy_header_cell_1_0_5 Nominal GDP EURO per capita(2016)Italy_header_cell_1_0_6
AbruzzoItaly_cell_1_1_0 L'AquilaItaly_cell_1_1_1 10,763Italy_cell_1_1_2 4,156Italy_cell_1_1_3 1,311,580Italy_cell_1_1_4 32Italy_cell_1_1_5 24,100Italy_cell_1_1_6
Aosta ValleyItaly_cell_1_2_0 AostaItaly_cell_1_2_1 3,263Italy_cell_1_2_2 1,260Italy_cell_1_2_3 125,666Italy_cell_1_2_4 4Italy_cell_1_2_5 34,900Italy_cell_1_2_6
ApuliaItaly_cell_1_3_0 BariItaly_cell_1_3_1 19,358Italy_cell_1_3_2 7,474Italy_cell_1_3_3 4,029,053Italy_cell_1_3_4 72Italy_cell_1_3_5 17,800Italy_cell_1_3_6
BasilicataItaly_cell_1_4_0 PotenzaItaly_cell_1_4_1 9,995Italy_cell_1_4_2 3,859Italy_cell_1_4_3 562,869Italy_cell_1_4_4 12Italy_cell_1_4_5 20,600Italy_cell_1_4_6
CalabriaItaly_cell_1_5_0 CatanzaroItaly_cell_1_5_1 15,080Italy_cell_1_5_2 5,822Italy_cell_1_5_3 1,947,131Italy_cell_1_5_4 33Italy_cell_1_5_5 16,800Italy_cell_1_5_6
CampaniaItaly_cell_1_6_0 NaplesItaly_cell_1_6_1 13,590Italy_cell_1_6_2 5,247Italy_cell_1_6_3 5,801,692Italy_cell_1_6_4 107Italy_cell_1_6_5 18,300Italy_cell_1_6_6
Emilia-RomagnaItaly_cell_1_7_0 BolognaItaly_cell_1_7_1 22,446Italy_cell_1_7_2 8,666Italy_cell_1_7_3 4,459,477Italy_cell_1_7_4 154Italy_cell_1_7_5 34,600Italy_cell_1_7_6
Friuli-Venezia GiuliaItaly_cell_1_8_0 TriesteItaly_cell_1_8_1 7,858Italy_cell_1_8_2 3,034Italy_cell_1_8_3 1,215,220Italy_cell_1_8_4 37Italy_cell_1_8_5 30,300Italy_cell_1_8_6
LazioItaly_cell_1_9_0 RomeItaly_cell_1_9_1 17,236Italy_cell_1_9_2 6,655Italy_cell_1_9_3 5,879,082Italy_cell_1_9_4 186Italy_cell_1_9_5 31,600Italy_cell_1_9_6
LiguriaItaly_cell_1_10_0 GenoaItaly_cell_1_10_1 5,422Italy_cell_1_10_2 2,093Italy_cell_1_10_3 1,550,640Italy_cell_1_10_4 48Italy_cell_1_10_5 30,800Italy_cell_1_10_6
LombardyItaly_cell_1_11_0 MilanItaly_cell_1_11_1 23,844Italy_cell_1_11_2 9,206Italy_cell_1_11_3 10,060,574Italy_cell_1_11_4 367Italy_cell_1_11_5 36,600Italy_cell_1_11_6
MarcheItaly_cell_1_12_0 AnconaItaly_cell_1_12_1 9,366Italy_cell_1_12_2 3,616Italy_cell_1_12_3 1,525,271Italy_cell_1_12_4 41Italy_cell_1_12_5 26,600Italy_cell_1_12_6
MoliseItaly_cell_1_13_0 CampobassoItaly_cell_1_13_1 4,438Italy_cell_1_13_2 1,713Italy_cell_1_13_3 305,617Italy_cell_1_13_4 6Italy_cell_1_13_5 20,000Italy_cell_1_13_6
PiedmontItaly_cell_1_14_0 TurinItaly_cell_1_14_1 25,402Italy_cell_1_14_2 9,808Italy_cell_1_14_3 4,356,406Italy_cell_1_14_4 129Italy_cell_1_14_5 29,400Italy_cell_1_14_6
SardiniaItaly_cell_1_15_0 CagliariItaly_cell_1_15_1 24,090Italy_cell_1_15_2 9,301Italy_cell_1_15_3 1,639,591Italy_cell_1_15_4 34Italy_cell_1_15_5 20,300Italy_cell_1_15_6
SicilyItaly_cell_1_16_0 PalermoItaly_cell_1_16_1 25,711Italy_cell_1_16_2 9,927Italy_cell_1_16_3 4,999,891Italy_cell_1_16_4 87Italy_cell_1_16_5 17,200Italy_cell_1_16_6
TuscanyItaly_cell_1_17_0 FlorenceItaly_cell_1_17_1 22,993Italy_cell_1_17_2 8,878Italy_cell_1_17_3 3,729,641Italy_cell_1_17_4 112Italy_cell_1_17_5 30,000Italy_cell_1_17_6
Trentino-Alto Adige/SüdtirolItaly_cell_1_18_0 TrentoItaly_cell_1_18_1 13,607Italy_cell_1_18_2 5,254Italy_cell_1_18_3 1,072,276Italy_cell_1_18_4 42Italy_cell_1_18_5 39,755Italy_cell_1_18_6
UmbriaItaly_cell_1_19_0 PerugiaItaly_cell_1_19_1 8,456Italy_cell_1_19_2 3,265Italy_cell_1_19_3 882,015Italy_cell_1_19_4 21Italy_cell_1_19_5 24,000Italy_cell_1_19_6
VenetoItaly_cell_1_20_0 VeniceItaly_cell_1_20_1 18,399Italy_cell_1_20_2 7,104Italy_cell_1_20_3 4,905,854Italy_cell_1_20_4 156Italy_cell_1_20_5 31,700Italy_cell_1_20_6

Economy Italy_section_23

Main article: Economy of Italy Italy_sentence_403

See also: List of largest Italian companies Italy_sentence_404

Italy has a major advanced capitalist mixed economy, ranking as the third-largest in the Eurozone and the eighth-largest in the world. Italy_sentence_405

A founding member of the G7, the Eurozone and the OECD, it is regarded as one of the world's most industrialised nations and a leading country in world trade and exports. Italy_sentence_406

It is a highly developed country, with the world's 8th highest quality of life in 2005 and the 26th Human Development Index. Italy_sentence_407

The country is well known for its creative and innovative business, a large and competitive agricultural sector (with the world's largest wine production), and for its influential and high-quality automobile, machinery, food, design and fashion industry. Italy_sentence_408

Italy is the world's sixth largest manufacturing country, characterised by a smaller number of global multinational corporations than other economies of comparable size and many dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises, notoriously clustered in several industrial districts, which are the backbone of the Italian industry. Italy_sentence_409

This has produced a manufacturing sector often focused on the export of niche market and luxury products, that if on one side is less capable to compete on the quantity, on the other side is more capable of facing the competition from China and other emerging Asian economies based on lower labour costs, with higher quality products. Italy_sentence_410

Italy was the world's 7th largest exporter in 2016. Italy_sentence_411

Its closest trade ties are with the other countries of the European Union, with whom it conducts about 59% of its total trade. Italy_sentence_412

Its largest EU trade partners, in order of market share, are Germany (12.9%), France (11.4%), and Spain (7.4%). Italy_sentence_413

The automotive industry is a significant part of the Italian manufacturing sector, with over 144,000 firms and almost 485,000 employed people in 2015, and a contribution of 8.5% to Italian GDP. Italy_sentence_414

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA is currently the world's seventh-largest auto maker. Italy_sentence_415

The country boasts a wide range of acclaimed products, from very compact city cars to luxury supercars such as Maserati, Lamborghini, and Ferrari, which was rated the world's most powerful brand by Brand Finance. Italy_sentence_416

Italy is part of the European single market which represents more than 500 million consumers. Italy_sentence_417

Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Italy_sentence_418

Italy introduced the common European currency, the Euro in 2002. Italy_sentence_419

It is a member of the Eurozone which represents around 330 million citizens. Italy_sentence_420

Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank. Italy_sentence_421

Italy has been hit hard by the Financial crisis of 2007–08, that exacerbated the country's structural problems. Italy_sentence_422

Effectively, after a strong GDP growth of 5–6% per year from the 1950s to the early 1970s, and a progressive slowdown in the 1980-90s, the country virtually stagnated in the 2000s. Italy_sentence_423

The political efforts to revive growth with massive government spending eventually produced a severe rise in public debt, that stood at over 131.8% of GDP in 2017, ranking second in the EU only after the Greek one. Italy_sentence_424

For all that, the largest chunk of Italian public debt is owned by national subjects, a major difference between Italy and Greece, and the level of household debt is much lower than the OECD average. Italy_sentence_425

A gaping North–South divide is a major factor of socio-economic weakness. Italy_sentence_426

It can be noted by the huge difference in statistical income between the northern and southern regions and municipalities. Italy_sentence_427

The richest province, Alto Adige-South Tyrol, earns 152% of the national GDP per capita, while the poorest region, Calabria, 61%. Italy_sentence_428

The unemployment rate (11.1%) stands slightly above the Eurozone average, but the disaggregated figure is 6.6% in the North and 19.2% in the South. Italy_sentence_429

The youth unemployment rate (31.7% in March 2018) is extremely high compared to EU standards. Italy_sentence_430

Italy has a strong cooperative sector, with the largest share of the population (4.5%) employed by a cooperative in the EU. Italy_sentence_431

Agriculture Italy_section_24

According to the last national agricultural census, there were 1.6 million farms in 2010 (−32.4% since 2000) covering 12.7 million hectares (63% of which are located in Southern Italy). Italy_sentence_432

The vast majority (99%) are family-operated and small, averaging only 8 hectares in size. Italy_sentence_433

Of the total surface area in agricultural use (forestry excluded), grain fields take up 31%, olive tree orchards 8.2%, vineyards 5.4%, citrus orchards 3.8%, sugar beets 1.7%, and horticulture 2.4%. Italy_sentence_434

The remainder is primarily dedicated to pastures (25.9%) and feed grains (11.6%). Italy_sentence_435

Italy is the world's largest wine producer, and one of the leading in olive oil, fruits (apples, olives, grapes, oranges, lemons, pears, apricots, hazelnuts, peaches, cherries, plums, strawberries and kiwifruits), and vegetables (especially artichokes and tomatoes). Italy_sentence_436

The most famous Italian wines are probably the Tuscan Chianti and the Piedmontese Barolo. Italy_sentence_437

Other famous wines are Barbaresco, Barbera d'Asti, Brunello di Montalcino, Frascati, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Morellino di Scansano, and the sparkling wines Franciacorta and Prosecco. Italy_sentence_438

Quality goods in which Italy specialises, particularly the already mentioned wines and regional cheeses, are often protected under the quality assurance labels DOC/DOP. Italy_sentence_439

This geographical indication certificate, which is attributed by the European Union, is considered important in order to avoid confusion with low-quality mass-produced ersatz products. Italy_sentence_440

Infrastructure Italy_section_25

Main article: Transport in Italy Italy_sentence_441

In 2004 the transport sector in Italy generated a turnover of about 119.4 billion euros, employing 935,700 persons in 153,700 enterprises. Italy_sentence_442

Regarding the national road network, in 2002 there were 668,721 km (415,524 mi) of serviceable roads in Italy, including 6,487 km (4,031 mi) of motorways, state-owned but privately operated by Atlantia. Italy_sentence_443

In 2005, about 34,667,000 passenger cars (590 cars per 1,000 people) and 4,015,000 goods vehicles circulated on the national road network. Italy_sentence_444

The national railway network, state-owned and operated by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FSI), in 2008 totalled 16,529 km (10,271 mi) of which 11,727 km (7,287 mi) is electrified, and on which 4,802 locomotives and railcars run. Italy_sentence_445

The main public operator of high-speed trains is Trenitalia, part of FSI. Italy_sentence_446

Higher-speed trains are divided into three categories: Frecciarossa (English: red arrow) trains operate at a maximum speed of 300 km/h on dedicated high-speed tracks; Frecciargento (English: silver arrow) trains operate at a maximum speed of 250 km/h on both high-speed and mainline tracks; and Frecciabianca (English: white arrow) trains operate on high-speed regional lines at a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Italy_sentence_447

Italy has 11 rail border crossings over the Alpine mountains with its neighbouring countries. Italy_sentence_448

Italy is one of the countries with the most vehicles per capita, with 690 per 1000 people in 2010. Italy_sentence_449

The national inland waterways network comprised 2,400 km (1,491 mi) of navigable rivers and channels for various types of commercial traffic in 2012. Italy_sentence_450

Italy's largest airline is Alitalia, which serves 97 destinations (as of October 2019) and also operates a regional subsidiary under the Alitalia CityLiner brand. Italy_sentence_451

The country also has regional airlines (such as Air Dolomiti), low-cost carriers, and Charter and leisure carriers (including Neos, Blue Panorama Airlines and Poste Air Cargo. Italy_sentence_452

Major Italian cargo operators are Alitalia Cargo and Cargolux Italia. Italy_sentence_453

Italy is the fifth in Europe by number of passengers by air transport, with about 148 million passengers or about 10% of the European total in 2011. Italy_sentence_454

In 2012 there were 130 airports in Italy, including the two hubs of Malpensa International in Milan and Leonardo da Vinci International in Rome. Italy_sentence_455

In 2004 there were 43 major seaports, including the seaport of Genoa, the country's largest and second largest in the Mediterranean Sea. Italy_sentence_456

In 2005 Italy maintained a civilian air fleet of about 389,000 units and a merchant fleet of 581 ships. Italy_sentence_457

Italy does not invest enough to maintain its drinking water supply. Italy_sentence_458

The Galli Law, passed in 1993, aimed at raising the level of investment and to improve service quality by consolidating service providers, making them more efficient and increasing the level of cost recovery through tariff revenues. Italy_sentence_459

Despite these reforms, investment levels have declined and remain far from sufficient. Italy_sentence_460

Energy Italy_section_26

Main article: Energy in Italy Italy_sentence_461

Eni, with operations in 79 countries, is one of the seven "Supermajor" oil companies in the world, and one of the world's largest industrial companies. Italy_sentence_462

Moderate natural gas reserves, mainly in the Po Valley and offshore Adriatic Sea, have been discovered in recent years and constitute the country's most important mineral resource. Italy_sentence_463

Italy is one of the world's leading producers of pumice, pozzolana, and feldspar. Italy_sentence_464

Another notable mineral resource is marble, especially the world-famous white Carrara marble from the Massa and Carrara quarries in Tuscany. Italy_sentence_465

Italy needs to import about 80% of its energy requirements. Italy_sentence_466

In the last decade, Italy has become one of the world's largest producers of renewable energy, ranking as the second largest producer in the European Union and the ninth in the world. Italy_sentence_467

Wind power, hydroelectricity, and geothermal power are also important sources of electricity in the country. Italy_sentence_468

Renewable sources account for the 27.5% of all electricity produced in Italy, with hydro alone reaching 12.6%, followed by solar at 5.7%, wind at 4.1%, bioenergy at 3.5%, and geothermal at 1.6%. Italy_sentence_469

The rest of the national demand is covered by fossil fuels (38.2% natural gas, 13% coal, 8.4% oil) and by imports. Italy_sentence_470

Solar energy production alone accounted for almost 9% of the total electric production in the country in 2014, making Italy the country with the highest contribution from solar energy in the world. Italy_sentence_471

The Montalto di Castro Photovoltaic Power Station, completed in 2010, is the largest photovoltaic power station in Italy with 85 MW. Italy_sentence_472

Other examples of large PV plants in Italy are San Bellino (70.6 MW), Cellino san Marco (42.7 MW) and Sant’ Alberto (34.6 MW). Italy_sentence_473

Italy was also the first country to exploit geothermal energy to produce electricity. Italy_sentence_474

Italy has managed four nuclear reactors until the 1980s. Italy_sentence_475

However, nuclear power in Italy has been abandoned following a 1987 referendum (in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Soviet Ukraine). Italy_sentence_476

The national power company Enel operates several nuclear reactors in Spain, Slovakia and France, managing it to access nuclear power and direct involvement in design, construction, and operation of the plants without placing reactors on Italian territory. Italy_sentence_477

Science and technology Italy_section_27

Tourism Italy_section_28

Main article: Tourism in Italy Italy_sentence_478

Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world, with a total of 52.3 million international arrivals in 2016. Italy_sentence_479

The total contribution of travel & tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was EUR162.7bn in 2014 (10.1% of GDP) and generated 1,082,000 jobs directly in 2014 (4.8% of total employment). Italy_sentence_480

Italy is well known for its cultural and environmental tourist routes and is home to 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most in the world. Italy_sentence_481

Rome is the 3rd most visited city in Europe and the 12th in the world, with 9.4 million arrivals in 2017 while Milan is the 27th worldwide with 6.8 million tourists. Italy_sentence_482

In addition, Venice and Florence are also among the world's top 100 destinations. Italy_sentence_483

Demographics Italy_section_29

Main article: Demographics of Italy Italy_sentence_484

At the beginning of 2020, Italy had 60,317,116 inhabitants. Italy_sentence_485

The resulting population density, at 202 inhabitants per square kilometre (520/sq mi), is higher than that of most Western European countries. Italy_sentence_486

However, the distribution of the population is widely uneven. Italy_sentence_487

The most densely populated areas are the Po Valley (that accounts for almost a half of the national population) and the metropolitan areas of Rome and Naples, while vast regions such as the Alps and Apennines highlands, the plateaus of Basilicata and the island of Sardinia are very sparsely populated. Italy_sentence_488

The population of Italy almost doubled during the 20th century, but the pattern of growth was extremely uneven because of large-scale internal migration from the rural South to the industrial cities of the North, a phenomenon which happened as a consequence of the Italian economic miracle of the 1950–1960s. Italy_sentence_489

High fertility and birth rates persisted until the 1970s, after which they started to decline. Italy_sentence_490

The population rapidly aged; by 2010, one in five Italians was over 65 years old, and the country currently has the fifth oldest population in the world, with a median age of 45.8 years. Italy_sentence_491

However, in recent years Italy has experienced significant growth in birth rates. Italy_sentence_492

The total fertility rate has also climbed from an all-time low of 1.18 children per woman in 1995 to 1.41 in 2008, albeit still below the replacement rate of 2.1 and considerably below the high of 5.06 children born per woman in 1883. Italy_sentence_493

Nevertheless, the total fertility rate is expected to reach 1.6–1.8 in 2030. Italy_sentence_494

From the late 19th century until the 1960s Italy was a country of mass emigration. Italy_sentence_495

Between 1898 and 1914, the peak years of Italian diaspora, approximately 750,000 Italians emigrated each year. Italy_sentence_496

The diaspora concerned more than 25 million Italians and it is considered the biggest mass migration of contemporary times. Italy_sentence_497

As a result, today more than 4.1 million Italian citizens are living abroad, while at least 60 million people of full or part Italian ancestry live outside of Italy, most notably in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, the United States, Canada, Australia and France. Italy_sentence_498

Metropolitan cities and larger urban zone Italy_section_30

Source: Italy_sentence_499


Metropolitan cityItaly_header_cell_2_0_0 RegionItaly_header_cell_2_0_1 Area (km)Italy_header_cell_2_0_2 Population (1 January 2019)Italy_header_cell_2_0_3 Functional Urban Areas
(FUA) Population (2016)Italy_header_cell_2_0_4
RomeItaly_cell_2_1_0 LazioItaly_cell_2_1_1 5,352Italy_cell_2_1_2 4,342,212Italy_cell_2_1_3 4,414,288Italy_cell_2_1_4
MilanItaly_cell_2_2_0 LombardyItaly_cell_2_2_1 1,575Italy_cell_2_2_2 3,250,315Italy_cell_2_2_3 5,111,481Italy_cell_2_2_4
NaplesItaly_cell_2_3_0 CampaniaItaly_cell_2_3_1 1,171Italy_cell_2_3_2 3,084,890Italy_cell_2_3_3 3,418,061Italy_cell_2_3_4
TurinItaly_cell_2_4_0 PiedmontItaly_cell_2_4_1 6,829Italy_cell_2_4_2 2,259,523Italy_cell_2_4_3 1,769,475Italy_cell_2_4_4
PalermoItaly_cell_2_5_0 SicilyItaly_cell_2_5_1 5,009Italy_cell_2_5_2 1,252,588Italy_cell_2_5_3 1,033,226Italy_cell_2_5_4
BariItaly_cell_2_6_0 ApuliaItaly_cell_2_6_1 3,821Italy_cell_2_6_2 1,251,994Italy_cell_2_6_3 749,723Italy_cell_2_6_4
CataniaItaly_cell_2_7_0 SicilyItaly_cell_2_7_1 3,574Italy_cell_2_7_2 1,107,702Italy_cell_2_7_3 658,805Italy_cell_2_7_4
FlorenceItaly_cell_2_8_0 TuscanyItaly_cell_2_8_1 3,514Italy_cell_2_8_2 1,011,349Italy_cell_2_8_3 807,896Italy_cell_2_8_4
BolognaItaly_cell_2_9_0 Emilia-RomagnaItaly_cell_2_9_1 3,702Italy_cell_2_9_2 1,014,619Italy_cell_2_9_3 775,247Italy_cell_2_9_4
GenoaItaly_cell_2_10_0 LiguriaItaly_cell_2_10_1 1,839Italy_cell_2_10_2 841,180Italy_cell_2_10_3 713,243Italy_cell_2_10_4
VeniceItaly_cell_2_11_0 VenetoItaly_cell_2_11_1 2,462Italy_cell_2_11_2 853,338Italy_cell_2_11_3 561,697Italy_cell_2_11_4
MessinaItaly_cell_2_12_0 SicilyItaly_cell_2_12_1 3,266Italy_cell_2_12_2 626,876Italy_cell_2_12_3 273,680Italy_cell_2_12_4
Reggio CalabriaItaly_cell_2_13_0 CalabriaItaly_cell_2_13_1 3,183Italy_cell_2_13_2 548,009Italy_cell_2_13_3 221,139Italy_cell_2_13_4
CagliariItaly_cell_2_14_0 SardiniaItaly_cell_2_14_1 1,248Italy_cell_2_14_2 431,038Italy_cell_2_14_3 488,954Italy_cell_2_14_4

Immigration Italy_section_31

Main article: Immigration to Italy Italy_sentence_500

In 2016, Italy had about 5.05 million foreign residents, making up 8.3% of the total population. Italy_sentence_501

The figures include more than half a million children born in Italy to foreign nationals (second generation immigrants) but exclude foreign nationals who have subsequently acquired Italian citizenship; in 2016, about 201,000 people became Italian citizens, compared to 130,000 in 2014. Italy_sentence_502

The official figures also exclude illegal immigrants, who estimated to number at least 670,000 as of 2008. Italy_sentence_503

Starting from the early 1980s, until then a linguistically and culturally homogeneous society, Italy begun to attract substantial flows of foreign immigrants. Italy_sentence_504

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and, more recently, the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union, large waves of migration originated from the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe (especially Romania, Albania, Ukraine and Poland). Italy_sentence_505

An equally important source of immigration is neighbouring North Africa (in particular, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia), with soaring arrivals as a consequence of the Arab Spring. Italy_sentence_506

Furthermore, in recent years, growing migration fluxes from Asia-Pacific (notably China and the Philippines) and Latin America have been recorded. Italy_sentence_507

Currently, about one million Romanian citizens (around 10% of them being ethnic Romani people) are officially registered as living in Italy, representing thus the most important individual country of origin, followed by Albanians and Moroccans with about 500,000 people each. Italy_sentence_508

The number of unregistered Romanians is difficult to estimate, but the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network suggested in 2007 that there might have been half a million or more. Italy_sentence_509

As of 2010, the foreign born population of Italy was from the following regions: Europe (54%), Africa (22%), Asia (16%), the Americas (8%) and Oceania (0.06%). Italy_sentence_510

The distribution of immigrants is largely uneven in Italy: 87% live in the northern and central parts of the country (the most economically developed areas), while only 13% live in the southern half. Italy_sentence_511

Languages Italy_section_32

Main articles: Languages of Italy, Italy's recognised minority languages, Italian language, and Regional Italian Italy_sentence_512

Italy's official language is Italian, as stated by the framework law no. Italy_sentence_513

482/1999 and Trentino Alto-Adige's special Statute, which is adopted with a constitutional law. Italy_sentence_514

Around the world there are an estimated 64 million native Italian speakers and another 21 million who use it as a second language. Italy_sentence_515

Italian is often natively spoken in a regional variety, not to be confused with Italy's regional and minority languages; however, the establishment of a national education system led to a decrease in variation in the languages spoken across the country during the 20th century. Italy_sentence_516

Standardisation was further expanded in the 1950s and 1960s due to economic growth and the rise of mass media and television (the state broadcaster RAI helped set a standard Italian). Italy_sentence_517

Twelve "historical minority languages" (minoranze linguistiche storiche) are formally recognised: Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovene, Croatian, French, Franco-Provençal, Friulian, Ladin, Occitan and Sardinian. Italy_sentence_518

Four of these also enjoy a co-official status in their respective region: French in the Aosta Valley; German in South Tyrol, and Ladin as well in some parts of the same province and in parts of the neighbouring Trentino; and Slovene in the provinces of Trieste, Gorizia and Udine. Italy_sentence_519

A number of other Ethnologue, ISO and UNESCO languages are not recognised by Italian law. Italy_sentence_520

Like France, Italy has signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, but has not ratified it. Italy_sentence_521

Because of recent immigration, Italy has sizeable populations whose native language is not Italian, nor a regional language. Italy_sentence_522

According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, Romanian is the most common mother tongue among foreign residents in Italy: almost 800,000 people speak Romanian as their first language (21.9% of the foreign residents aged 6 and over). Italy_sentence_523

Other prevalent mother tongues are Arabic (spoken by over 475,000 people; 13.1% of foreign residents), Albanian (380,000 people) and Spanish (255,000 people). Italy_sentence_524

Religion Italy_section_33

Main article: Religion in Italy Italy_sentence_525

In 2017, the proportion of Italians who identified themselves as Roman Catholic Christians was 74.4%. Italy_sentence_526

Since 1985, Roman Catholicism is no longer officially the state religion. Italy_sentence_527

Italy has the fifth world's largest Roman Catholic population, and the largest Catholic nation in Europe. Italy_sentence_528

The Holy See, the episcopal jurisdiction of Rome, contains the central government of the Roman Catholic Church. Italy_sentence_529

It is recognised by other subjects of international law as a sovereign entity, headed by the Pope, who is also the Bishop of Rome, with which diplomatic relations can be maintained. Italy_sentence_530

Often incorrectly referred to as "the Vatican", the Holy See is not the same entity as the Vatican City State, which came into existence only in 1929. Italy_sentence_531

In 2011, minority Christian faiths in Italy included an estimated 1.5 million Orthodox Christians, or 2.5% of the population; 500,000 Pentecostals and Evangelicals (of whom 400,000 are members of the Assemblies of God), 251,192 Jehovah's Witnesses, 30,000 Waldensians, 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists, 26,925 Latter-day Saints, 15,000 Baptists (plus some 5,000 Free Baptists), 7,000 Lutherans, 4,000 Methodists (affiliated with the Waldensian Church). Italy_sentence_532

One of the longest-established minority religious faiths in Italy is Judaism, Jews having been present in Ancient Rome since before the birth of Christ. Italy_sentence_533

Italy has for centuries welcomed Jews expelled from other countries, notably Spain. Italy_sentence_534

However, about 20% of Italian Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Italy_sentence_535

This, together with the emigration which preceded and followed World War II, has left only around 28,400 Jews in Italy. Italy_sentence_536

Soaring immigration in the last two decades has been accompanied by an increase in non-Christian faiths. Italy_sentence_537

There are more than 800,000 followers of faiths originating in the Indian subcontinent with some 70,000 Sikhs with 22 gurdwaras across the country. Italy_sentence_538

The Italian state, as a measure to protect religious freedom, devolves shares of income tax to recognised religious communities, under a regime known as Eight per thousand. Italy_sentence_539

Donations are allowed to Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu communities; however, Islam remains excluded, since no Muslim communities have yet signed a concordat with the Italian state. Italy_sentence_540

Taxpayers who do not wish to fund a religion contribute their share to the state welfare system. Italy_sentence_541

Education Italy_section_34

Main article: Education in Italy Italy_sentence_542

Education in Italy is free and mandatory from ages six to sixteen, and consists of five stages: kindergarten (scuola dell'infanzia), primary school (scuola primaria), lower secondary school (scuola secondaria di primo grado, upper secondary school (scuola secondaria di secondo grado) and university (università). Italy_sentence_543

Primary education lasts eight years. Italy_sentence_544

Students are given a basic education in Italian, English, mathematics, natural sciences, history, geography, social studies, physical education and visual and musical arts. Italy_sentence_545

Secondary education lasts for five years and includes three traditional types of schools focused on different academic levels: the liceo prepares students for university studies with a classical or scientific curriculum, while the istituto tecnico and the Istituto professionale prepare pupils for vocational education. Italy_sentence_546

In 2012, the Italian secondary education was evaluated as slightly below the OECD average, with a strong and steady improvement in science and mathematics results since 2003; however, a wide gap exists between northern schools, which performed significantly better than the national average (among the best in the world in some subjects), and schools in the South, that had much poorer results. Italy_sentence_547

Tertiary education in Italy is divided between public universities, private universities and the prestigious and selective superior graduate schools, such as the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Italy_sentence_548

33 Italian universities were ranked among the world's top 500 in 2019, the third-largest number in Europe after the United Kingdom and Germany. Italy_sentence_549

Bologna University, founded in 1088, is the oldest university in continuous operation, as well as one of the leading academic institutions in Italy and Europe. Italy_sentence_550

The Bocconi University, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, LUISS, Polytechnic University of Turin, Polytechnic University of Milan, Sapienza University of Rome, and University of Milan are also ranked among the best in the world. Italy_sentence_551

Health Italy_section_35

Main article: Healthcare in Italy Italy_sentence_552

The Italian state runs a universal public healthcare system since 1978. Italy_sentence_553

However, healthcare is provided to all citizens and residents by a mixed public-private system. Italy_sentence_554

The public part is the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, which is organised under the Ministry of Health and administered on a devolved regional basis. Italy_sentence_555

Healthcare spending in Italy accounted for 9.2% of the national GDP in 2012, very close the OECD countries' average of 9.3%. Italy_sentence_556

Italy in 2000 ranked as having the world's 2nd best healthcare system, and the world's 2nd best healthcare performance. Italy_sentence_557

Life expectancy in Italy is 80 for males and 85 for females, placing the country 5th in the world for life expectancy. Italy_sentence_558

In comparison to other Western countries, Italy has a relatively low rate of adult obesity (below 10%), as there are several health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Italy_sentence_559

The proportion of daily smokers was 22% in 2012, down from 24.4% in 2000 but still slightly above the OECD average. Italy_sentence_560

Smoking in public places including bars, restaurants, night clubs and offices has been restricted to specially ventilated rooms since 2005. Italy_sentence_561

In 2013, UNESCO added the Mediterranean diet to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Italy (promoter), Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia. Italy_sentence_562

Culture Italy_section_36

Main article: Culture of Italy Italy_sentence_563

Divided by politics and geography for centuries until its eventual unification in 1861, Italy's culture has been shaped by a multitude of regional customs and local centres of power and patronage. Italy_sentence_564

Italy has had a central role in Western culture for centuries and is still recognised for its cultural traditions and artists. Italy_sentence_565

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a number of magnificent courts competed for attracting the best architects, artists and scholars, thus producing a great legacy of monuments, paintings, music and literature. Italy_sentence_566

Despite the political and social isolation of these courts, Italy's contribution to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe and the world remain immense. Italy_sentence_567

Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (55) than any other country in the world, and has rich collections of art, culture and literature from many periods. Italy_sentence_568

The country has had a broad cultural influence worldwide, also because numerous Italians emigrated to other places during the Italian diaspora. Italy_sentence_569

Furthermore, Italy has, overall, an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (museums, palaces, buildings, statues, churches, art galleries, villas, fountains, historic houses and archaeological remains), and according to some estimates the nation is home to half the world's great art treasures. Italy_sentence_570

Architecture Italy_section_37

Main article: Architecture of Italy Italy_sentence_571

Italy is known for its considerable architectural achievements, such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structures during ancient Rome, the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th centuries, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the UK, Australia and the US during the late 17th to early 20th centuries. Italy_sentence_572

Along with pre-historic architecture, the first people in Italy to truly begin a sequence of designs were the Greeks and the Etruscans, progressing to classical Roman, then to the revival of the classical Roman era during the Renaissance and evolving into the Baroque era. Italy_sentence_573

The Christian concept of a Basilica, a style of church architecture that came to dominate the early Middle Ages, was invented in Rome. Italy_sentence_574

They were known for being long, rectangular buildings, which were built in an almost ancient Roman style, often rich in mosaics and decorations. Italy_sentence_575

The early Christians' art and architecture was also widely inspired by that of the pagan Romans; statues, mosaics and paintings decorated all their churches. Italy_sentence_576

The first significant buildings in the medieval Romanesque style were churches built in Italy during the 800's. Italy_sentence_577

Byzantine architecture was also widely diffused in Italy. Italy_sentence_578

The Byzantines kept Roman principles of architecture and art alive, and the most famous structure from this period is the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. Italy_sentence_579

The Romanesque movement, which went from approximately 800 AD to 1100 AD, was one of the most fruitful and creative periods in Italian architecture, when several masterpieces, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the Piazza dei Miracoli, and the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan were built. Italy_sentence_580

It was known for its usage of the Roman arches, stained glass windows, and also its curved columns which commonly featured in cloisters. Italy_sentence_581

The main innovation of Italian Romanesque architecture was the vault, which had never been seen before in the history of Western architecture. Italy_sentence_582

The greatest flowering of Italian architecture took place during the Renaissance. Italy_sentence_583

Filippo Brunelleschi made great contributions to architectural design with his dome for the Cathedral of Florence, a feat of engineering that had not been accomplished since antiquity. Italy_sentence_584

A popular achievement of Italian Renaissance architecture was St. Peter's Basilica, originally designed by Donato Bramante in the early 16th century. Italy_sentence_585

Also, Andrea Palladio influenced architects throughout western Europe with the villas and palaces he designed in the middle and late 16th century; the city of Vicenza, with its twenty-three buildings designed by Palladio, and twenty-four Palladian Villas of the Veneto are listed by UNESCO as part of a World Heritage Site named City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. Italy_sentence_586

The Baroque period produced several outstanding Italian architects in the 17th century, especially known for their churches. Italy_sentence_587

The most original work of all late Baroque and Rococo architecture is the Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, dating back to the 18th century. Italy_sentence_588

Luigi Vanvitelli began in 1752 the construction of the Royal Palace of Caserta. Italy_sentence_589

In this large complex, the grandiose Baroque style interiors and gardens are opposed to a more sober building envelope. Italy_sentence_590

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Italy was affected by the Neoclassical architectural movement. Italy_sentence_591

Everything from villas, palaces, gardens, interiors and art began to be based on Roman and Greek themes. Italy_sentence_592

During the Fascist period, the so-called "Novecento movement" flourished, based on the rediscovery of imperial Rome, with figures such as Gio Ponti and Giovanni Muzio. Italy_sentence_593

Marcello Piacentini, responsible for the urban transformations of several cities in Italy and remembered for the disputed Via della Conciliazione in Rome, devised a form of simplified Neoclassicism. Italy_sentence_594

Visual art Italy_section_38

Main article: Art of Italy Italy_sentence_595

The history of Italian visual arts is significant to the history of Western painting. Italy_sentence_596

Roman art was influenced by Greece and can in part be taken as a descendant of ancient Greek painting. Italy_sentence_597

Roman painting does have its own unique characteristics. Italy_sentence_598

The only surviving Roman paintings are wall paintings, many from villas in Campania, in Southern Italy. Italy_sentence_599

Such paintingS can be grouped into four main "styles" or periods and may contain the first examples of trompe-l'œil, pseudo-perspective, and pure landscape. Italy_sentence_600

Panel painting becomes more common during the Romanesque period, under the heavy influence of Byzantine icons. Italy_sentence_601

Towards the middle of the 13th century, Medieval art and Gothic painting became more realistic, with the beginnings of interest in the depiction of volume and perspective in Italy with Cimabue and then his pupil Giotto. Italy_sentence_602

From Giotto onwards, the treatment of composition by the best painters also became much more free and innovative. Italy_sentence_603

The two are considered to be the two great medieval masters of painting in western culture. Italy_sentence_604

The Italian Renaissance is said by many to be the golden age of painting; roughly spanning the 14th through the mid-17th centuries with a significant influence also out of the borders of modern Italy. Italy_sentence_605

In Italy artists like Paolo Uccello, Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna, Filippo Lippi, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael, Giovanni Bellini, and Titian took painting to a higher level through the use of perspective, the study of human anatomy and proportion, and through their development of an unprecedented refinement in drawing and painting techniques. Italy_sentence_606

Michelangelo was an active sculptor from about 1500 to 1520, and his great masterpieces including his David, Pietà, Moses. Italy_sentence_607

Other prominent Renaissance sculptors include Lorenzo Ghiberti, Luca Della Robbia, Donatello, Filippo Brunelleschi and Andrea del Verrocchio. Italy_sentence_608

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the High Renaissance gave rise to a stylised art known as Mannerism. Italy_sentence_609

In place of the balanced compositions and rational approach to perspective that characterised art at the dawn of the 16th century, the Mannerists sought instability, artifice, and doubt. Italy_sentence_610

The unperturbed faces and gestures of Piero della Francesca and the calm Virgins of Raphael are replaced by the troubled expressions of Pontormo and the emotional intensity of El Greco. Italy_sentence_611

In the 17th century, among the greatest painters of Italian Baroque are Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Artemisia Gentileschi, Mattia Preti, Carlo Saraceni and Bartolomeo Manfredi. Italy_sentence_612

Subsequently, in the 18th century, Italian Rococo was mainly inspired by French Rococo, since France was the founding nation of that particular style, with artists such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Canaletto. Italy_sentence_613

Italian Neoclassical sculpture focused, with Antonio Canova's nudes, on the idealist aspect of the movement. Italy_sentence_614

In the 19th century, major Italian Romantic painters were Francesco Hayez, Giuseppe Bezzuoli and Francesco Podesti. Italy_sentence_615

Impressionism was brought from France to Italy by the Macchiaioli, led by Giovanni Fattori, and Giovanni Boldini; Realism by Gioacchino Toma and Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo. Italy_sentence_616

In the 20th century, with Futurism, primarily through the works of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla, Italy rose again as a seminal country for artistic evolution in painting and sculpture. Italy_sentence_617

Futurism was succeeded by the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, who exerted a strong influence on the Surrealists and generations of artists to follow like Bruno Caruso and Renato Guttuso. Italy_sentence_618

Literature Italy_section_39

Main article: Literature of Italy Italy_sentence_619

Formal Latin literature began in 240 BC, when the first stage play was performed in Rome. Italy_sentence_620

Latin literature was, and still is, highly influential in the world, with numerous writers, poets, philosophers, and historians, such as Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Virgil, Horace, Propertius, Ovid and Livy. Italy_sentence_621

The Romans were also famous for their oral tradition, poetry, drama and epigrams. Italy_sentence_622

In early years of the 13th century, St. Francis of Assisi was considered the first Italian poet by literary critics, with his religious song Canticle of the Sun. Italy_sentence_623

Another Italian voice originated in Sicily. Italy_sentence_624

At the court of Emperor Frederick II, who ruled the Sicilian kingdom during the first half of the 13th century, lyrics modelled on Provençal forms and themes were written in a refined version of the local vernacular. Italy_sentence_625

The most important of these poets was the notary Giacomo da Lentini, inventor of the sonnet form, though the most famous early sonneteer was Petrarch. Italy_sentence_626

Guido Guinizelli is considered the founder of the Dolce Stil Novo, a school that added a philosophical dimension to traditional love poetry. Italy_sentence_627

This new understanding of love, expressed in a smooth, pure style, influenced Guido Cavalcanti and the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri, who established the basis of the modern Italian language; his greatest work, the Divine Comedy, is considered among the foremost literary statements produced in Europe during the Middle Ages; furthermore, the poet invented the difficult terza rima. Italy_sentence_628

The two great writers of the 14th century, Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio, sought out and imitated the works of antiquity and cultivated their own artistic personalities. Italy_sentence_629

Petrarch achieved fame through his collection of poems, Il Canzoniere. Italy_sentence_630

Petrarch's love poetry served as a model for centuries. Italy_sentence_631

Equally influential was Boccaccio's The Decameron, one of the most popular collections of short stories ever written. Italy_sentence_632

Italian Renaissance authors produced a number of important works. Italy_sentence_633

Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince is one of the world's most famous essays on political science and modern philosophy, in which the "effectual truth" is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. Italy_sentence_634

Another important work of the period, Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato, is perhaps the greatest chivalry poem ever written. Italy_sentence_635

Baldassare Castiglione's dialogue The Book of the Courtier describes the ideal of the perfect court gentleman and of spiritual beauty. Italy_sentence_636

The lyric poet Torquato Tasso in Jerusalem Delivered wrote a Christian epic, making use of the ottava rima, with attention to the Aristotelian canons of unity. Italy_sentence_637

Giovanni Francesco Straparola and Giambattista Basile, which have written The Facetious Nights of Straparola (1550–1555) and the Pentamerone (1634) respectively, printed some of the first known versions of fairy tales in Europe. Italy_sentence_638

In the early 17th century, some literary masterpieces were created, such as Giambattista Marino's long mythological poem, L'Adone. Italy_sentence_639

The Baroque period also produced the clear scientific prose of Galileo as well as Tommaso Campanella's The City of the Sun, a description of a perfect society ruled by a philosopher-priest. Italy_sentence_640

At the end of the 17th century, the Arcadians began a movement to restore simplicity and classical restraint to poetry, as in Metastasio's heroic melodramas. Italy_sentence_641

In the 18th century, playwright Carlo Goldoni created full written plays, many portraying the middle class of his day. Italy_sentence_642

The Romanticism coincided with some ideas of the Risorgimento, the patriotic movement that brought Italy political unity and freedom from foreign domination. Italy_sentence_643

Italian writers embraced Romanticism in the early 19th century. Italy_sentence_644

The time of Italy's rebirth was heralded by the poets Vittorio Alfieri, Ugo Foscolo, and Giacomo Leopardi. Italy_sentence_645

The works by Alessandro Manzoni, the leading Italian Romantic, are a symbol of the Italian unification for their patriotic message and because of his efforts in the development of the modern, unified Italian language; his novel The Betrothed was the first Italian historical novel to glorify Christian values of justice and Providence, and it has been called the most famous and widely read novel in the Italian language. Italy_sentence_646

In the late 19th century, a realistic literary movement called Verismo played a major role in Italian literature; Giovanni Verga and Luigi Capuana were its main exponents. Italy_sentence_647

In the same period, Emilio Salgari, writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction, published his Sandokan series. Italy_sentence_648

In 1883, Carlo Collodi also published the novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, the most celebrated children's classic by an Italian author and the most translated non-religious book in the world. Italy_sentence_649

A movement called Futurism influenced Italian literature in the early 20th century. Italy_sentence_650

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti wrote Manifesto of Futurism, called for the use of language and metaphors that glorified the speed, dynamism, and violence of the machine age. Italy_sentence_651

Modern literary figures and Nobel laureates are Gabriele D'Annunzio from 1889 to 1910, nationalist poet Giosuè Carducci in 1906, realist writer Grazia Deledda in 1926, modern theatre author Luigi Pirandello in 1936, short stories writer Italo Calvino in 1960, poets Salvatore Quasimodo in 1959 and Eugenio Montale in 1975, Umberto Eco in 1980, and satirist and theatre author Dario Fo in 1997. Italy_sentence_652

Philosophy Italy_section_40

Main article: Italian philosophy Italy_sentence_653

Over the ages, Italian philosophy and literature had a vast influence on Western philosophy, beginning with the Greeks and Romans, and going onto Renaissance humanism, the Age of Enlightenment and modern philosophy. Italy_sentence_654

Philosophy was brought to Italy by Pythagoras, founder of the Italian school of philosophy in Crotone. Italy_sentence_655

Major Italian philosophers of the Greek period include Xenophanes, Parmenides, Zeno, Empedocles and Gorgias. Italy_sentence_656

Roman philosophers include Cicero, Lucretius, Seneca the Younger, Musonius Rufus, Plutarch, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Clement of Alexandria, Sextus Empiricus, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Augustine of Hippo, Philoponus of Alexandria and Boethius. Italy_sentence_657

Italian Medieval philosophy was mainly Christian, and included several important philosophers and theologians such as St Thomas Aquinas, the foremost classical proponent of natural theology and the father of Thomism, who reintroduced Aristotelian philosophy to Christianity. Italy_sentence_658

Notable Renaissance philosophers include: Giordano Bruno, one of the major scientific figures of the western world; Marsilio Ficino, one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the period; and Niccolò Machiavelli, one of the main founders of modern political science. Italy_sentence_659

Machiavelli's most famous work was The Prince, whose contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political realism and political idealism. Italy_sentence_660

Italy was also affected by the Enlightenment, a movement which was a consequence of the Renaissance. Italy_sentence_661

Cities with important universities such as Padua, Bologna and Naples remained great centres of scholarship and the intellect, with several philosophers such as Giambattista Vico (who is widely regarded as being the founder of modern Italian philosophy) and Antonio Genovesi. Italy_sentence_662

Cesare Beccaria was also one of the greatest Italian Enlightenment writers and is now considered one of the fathers of classical criminal theory as well as modern penology. Italy_sentence_663

Beccaria is famous for his On Crimes and Punishments (1764), a treatise that served as one of the earliest prominent condemnations of torture and the death penalty and thus a landmark work in anti-death penalty philosophy. Italy_sentence_664

Italy also had a renowned philosophical movement in the 1800s, with Idealism, Sensism and Empiricism. Italy_sentence_665

The main Sensist Italian philosophers were Melchiorre Gioja and Gian Domenico Romagnosi. Italy_sentence_666

Criticism of the Sensist movement came from other philosophers such as Pasquale Galluppi (1770–1846), who affirmed that a priori relationships were synthetic. Italy_sentence_667

Antonio Rosmini, instead, was the founder of Italian Idealism. Italy_sentence_668

During the late 19th and 20th centuries, there were also several other movements which gained some form of popularity in Italy, such as Ontologism (whose main philosopher was Vincenzo Gioberti), anarchism, communism, socialism, futurism, fascism and Christian democracy. Italy_sentence_669

Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce were two of the most significant 20th-century Idealist philosophers. Italy_sentence_670

Anarcho-communism first fully formed into its modern strain within the Italian section of the First International. Italy_sentence_671

Antonio Gramsci remains an important philosopher within Marxist and communist theory, credited with creating the theory of cultural hegemony. Italy_sentence_672

Italian philosophers were also influential in the development of the non-Marxist liberal socialism philosophy, including Carlo Rosselli, Norberto Bobbio, Piero Gobetti and Aldo Capitini. Italy_sentence_673

In the 1960s, many Italian left-wing activists adopted the anti-authoritarian pro-working class leftist theories that would become known as autonomism and operaismo. Italy_sentence_674

Early and important Italian feminists include Sibilla Aleramo, Alaide Gualberta Beccari, and Anna Maria Mozzoni, though proto-feminist philosophies had previously been touched upon by earlier Italian writers such as Christine de Pizan, Moderata Fonte, and Lucrezia Marinella. Italy_sentence_675

Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori is credited with the creation of the philosophy of education that bears her name, an educational philosophy now practiced throughout the world. Italy_sentence_676

Giuseppe Peano was one of the founders of analytic philosophy and contemporary philosophy of mathematics. Italy_sentence_677

Recent analytic philosophers include Carlo Penco, Gloria Origgi, Pieranna Garavaso and Luciano Floridi. Italy_sentence_678

Theatre Italy_section_41

Main article: Commedia dell'arte Italy_sentence_679

See also: Theatre of ancient Rome Italy_sentence_680

Italian theatre can be traced back to the Roman tradition. Italy_sentence_681

The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca. Italy_sentence_682

Although Rome had a native tradition of performance, the Hellenization of Roman culture in the 3rd century BCE had a profound and energising effect on Roman theatre and encouraged the development of Latin literature of the highest quality for the stage. Italy_sentence_683

As with many other literary genres, Roman dramatists was heavily influenced or tended to adapt from the Greek. Italy_sentence_684

For example, Seneca's Phaedra was based on that of Euripides, and many of the comedies of Plautus were direct translations of works by Menander. Italy_sentence_685

During the 16th century and on into the 18th century, Commedia dell'arte was a form of improvisational theatre, and it is still performed today. Italy_sentence_686

Travelling troupes of players would set up an outdoor stage and provide amusement in the form of juggling, acrobatics and, more typically, humorous plays based on a repertoire of established characters with a rough storyline, called canovaccio. Italy_sentence_687

Plays did not originate from written drama but from scenarios called lazzi, which were loose frameworks that provided the situations, complications, and outcome of the action, around which the actors would improvise. Italy_sentence_688

The characters of the commedia usually represent fixed social types and stock characters, each of which has a distinct costume, such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado. Italy_sentence_689

The main categories of these characters include servants, old men, lovers, and captains. Italy_sentence_690

Carlo Goldoni, who wrote a few scenarios starting in 1734, superseded the comedy of masks and the comedy of intrigue by representations of actual life and manners through the characters and their behaviours. Italy_sentence_691

He rightly maintained that Italian life and manners were susceptible of artistic treatment such as had not been given them before. Italy_sentence_692

The Teatro di San Carlo in Naples is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in the world, opening in 1737, decades before both the Milan's La Scala and Venice's La Fenice theatres. Italy_sentence_693

Music Italy_section_42

Main article: Music of Italy Italy_sentence_694

From folk music to classical, music has always played an important role in Italian culture. Italy_sentence_695

Instruments associated with classical music, including the piano and violin, were invented in Italy, and many of the prevailing classical music forms, such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata, can trace their roots back to innovations of 16th- and 17th-century Italian music. Italy_sentence_696

Italy's most famous composers include the Renaissance composers Palestrina, Monteverdi and Gesualdo, the Baroque composers Scarlatti, Corelli and Vivaldi, the Classical composers Paisiello, Paganini and Rossini, and the Romantic composers Verdi and Puccini. Italy_sentence_697

Modern Italian composers such as Berio and Nono proved significant in the development of experimental and electronic music. Italy_sentence_698

While the classical music tradition still holds strong in Italy, as evidenced by the fame of its innumerable opera houses, such as La Scala of Milan and San Carlo of Naples (the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in the world), and performers such as the pianist Maurizio Pollini and tenor Luciano Pavarotti, Italians have been no less appreciative of their thriving contemporary music scene. Italy_sentence_699

Italy is widely known for being the birthplace of opera. Italy_sentence_700

Italian opera was believed to have been founded in the early 17th century, in cities such as Mantua and Venice. Italy_sentence_701

Later, works and pieces composed by native Italian composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, are among the most famous operas ever written and today are performed in opera houses across the world. Italy_sentence_702

La Scala operahouse in Milan is also renowned as one of the best in the world. Italy_sentence_703

Famous Italian opera singers include Enrico Caruso and Alessandro Bonci. Italy_sentence_704

Introduced in the early 1920s, jazz took a particularly strong foothold in Italy, and remained popular despite the xenophobic cultural policies of the Fascist regime. Italy_sentence_705

Today, the most notable centres of jazz music in Italy include Milan, Rome, and Sicily. Italy_sentence_706

Later, Italy was at the forefront of the progressive rock and pop movement of the 1970s, with bands like PFM, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme, Goblin, and Pooh. Italy_sentence_707

The same period saw diversification in the cinema of Italy, and Cinecittà films included complex scores by composers including Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovaioli, Piero Piccioni and Piero Umiliani. Italy_sentence_708

In the early 1980s, the first star to emerge from the Italian hip hop scene was singer Jovanotti. Italy_sentence_709

Popular Italian metal bands such as Rhapsody of Fire, Lacuna Coil, Elvenking, Forgotten Tomb, and Fleshgod Apocalypse are also seen as pioneers of various heavy metal subgenres. Italy_sentence_710

Italy was also an important country in the development of disco and electronic music, with Italo disco, known for its futuristic sound and prominent use of synthesisers and drum machines, being one of the earliest electronic dance genres, as well as European forms of disco aside from Euro disco (which later went on to influence several genres such as Eurodance and Nu-disco). Italy_sentence_711

By circa 1988, the genre had merged into other forms of European dance and electronic music, such as Italo house, which blended elements of Italo disco with traditional house music; its sound was generally uplifting, and made strong usage of piano melodies. Italy_sentence_712

Some bands of this genre are Black Box, East Side Beat, and 49ers. Italy_sentence_713

By the latter half of the 1990s, a subgenre of Eurodance known as Italo dance emerged. Italy_sentence_714

Taking influences from Italo disco and Italo house, Italo dance generally included synthesizer riffs, a melodic sound, and the usage of vocoders. Italy_sentence_715

Notable Italian DJs and remixers include Gabry Ponte (member of the group Eiffel 65), Benny Benassi, Gigi D'Agostino, and the trio Tacabro. Italy_sentence_716

Producers such as Giorgio Moroder, who won three Academy Awards and four Golden Globes for his music, were highly influential in the development of electronic dance music. Italy_sentence_717

Today, Italian pop music is represented annually with the Sanremo Music Festival, which served as inspiration for the Eurovision song contest, and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto. Italy_sentence_718

Singers such as Mina, Andrea Bocelli, Grammy winner Laura Pausini, Zucchero, Eros Ramazzotti and Tiziano Ferro have attained international acclaim. Italy_sentence_719

Cinema Italy_section_43

Main article: Cinema of Italy Italy_sentence_720

The history of Italian cinema began a few months after the Lumière brothers began motion picture exhibitions. Italy_sentence_721

The first Italian film was a few seconds, showing Pope Leo XIII giving a blessing to the camera. Italy_sentence_722

The Italian film industry was born between 1903 and 1908 with three companies: the Società Italiana Cines, the Ambrosio Film and the Itala Film. Italy_sentence_723

Other companies soon followed in Milan and in Naples. Italy_sentence_724

In a short time these first companies reached a fair producing quality, and films were soon sold outside Italy. Italy_sentence_725

Cinema was later used by Benito Mussolini, who founded Rome's renowned Cinecittà studio for the production of Fascist propaganda until World War II. Italy_sentence_726

After the war, Italian film was widely recognised and exported until an artistic decline around the 1980s. Italy_sentence_727

Notable Italian film directors from this period include Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni and Roberto Rossellini; some of these are recognised among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. Italy_sentence_728

Movies include world cinema treasures such as Bicycle Thieves, La dolce vita, , The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West. Italy_sentence_729

The mid-1940s to the early 1950s was the heyday of neorealist films, reflecting the poor condition of post-war Italy. Italy_sentence_730

As the country grew wealthier in the 1950s, a form of neorealism known as pink neorealism succeeded, and other film genres, such as sword-and-sandal followed as spaghetti westerns, were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Italy_sentence_731

Actresses such as Sophia Loren, Giulietta Masina and Gina Lollobrigida achieved international stardom during this period. Italy_sentence_732

Erotic Italian thrillers, or giallos, produced by directors such as Mario Bava and Dario Argento in the 1970s, also influenced the horror genre worldwide. Italy_sentence_733

In recent years, the Italian scene has received only occasional international attention, with movies like Life Is Beautiful directed by Roberto Benigni, Il Postino: The Postman with Massimo Troisi and The Great Beauty directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Italy_sentence_734

The aforementioned Cinecittà studio is today the largest film and television production facility in continental Europe and the centre of the Italian cinema, where many of the biggest box office hits are filmed, and one of the biggest production communities in the world. Italy_sentence_735

In the 1950s, the number of international productions being made there led to Rome's being dubbed "Hollywood on the Tiber". Italy_sentence_736

More than 3,000 productions have been made on its lot, of which 90 received an Academy Award nomination and 47 of these won it, from some cinema classics to recent rewarded features (such as Roman Holiday, Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, The English Patient, The Passion of the Christ, and Gangs of New York). Italy_sentence_737

Italy is the most awarded country at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, with 14 awards won, 3 Special Awards and 31 nominations. Italy_sentence_738

As of 2016, Italian films have also won 12 Palmes d'Or (the second-most of any country), 11 Golden Lions and 7 Golden Bears. Italy_sentence_739

Sport Italy_section_44

Main article: Sport in Italy Italy_sentence_740

The most popular sport in Italy is football. Italy_sentence_741

Italy's national football team is one of the world's most successful teams with four FIFA World Cup victories (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006). Italy_sentence_742

Italian clubs have won 48 major European trophies, making Italy the second most successful country in European football. Italy_sentence_743

Italy's top-flight club football league is named Serie A and is followed by millions of fans around the world. Italy_sentence_744

Other popular team sports in Italy include basketball, volleyball and rugby. Italy_sentence_745

Italy's male and female national volleyball teams are often featured among the world's best. Italy_sentence_746

The Italian national basketball team's best results were gold at Eurobasket 1983 and EuroBasket 1999, as well as silver at the Olympics in 2004. Italy_sentence_747

Lega Basket Serie A is widely considered one of the most competitive in Europe. Italy_sentence_748

Rugby union enjoys a good level of popularity, especially in the north of the country. Italy_sentence_749

Italy's national team competes in the Six Nations Championship, and is a regular at the Rugby World Cup. Italy_sentence_750

Italy ranks as a tier-one nation by World Rugby. Italy_sentence_751

The men's volleyball team won three consecutive World Championships (in 1990, 1994, and 1998) and earned the Olympic silver medal in 1996, 2004, and 2016. Italy_sentence_752

Italy has a long and successful tradition in individual sports as well. Italy_sentence_753

Bicycle racing is a very familiar sport in the country. Italy_sentence_754

Italians have won the UCI World Championships more than any other country, except Belgium. Italy_sentence_755

The Giro d'Italia is a cycling race held every May, and constitutes one of the three Grand Tours, along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, each of which last approximately three weeks. Italy_sentence_756

Alpine skiing is also a very widespread sport in Italy, and the country is a popular international skiing destination, known for its ski resorts. Italy_sentence_757

Italian skiers achieved good results in Winter Olympic Games, Alpine Ski World Cup, and World Championship. Italy_sentence_758

Tennis has a significant following in Italy, ranking as the fourth most practised sport in the country. Italy_sentence_759

The Rome Masters, founded in 1930, is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. Italy_sentence_760

Italian professional tennis players won the Davis Cup in 1976 and the Fed Cup in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013. Italy_sentence_761

Motorsports are also extremely popular in Italy. Italy_sentence_762

Italy has won, by far, the most MotoGP World Championships. Italy_sentence_763

Italian Scuderia Ferrari is the oldest surviving team in Grand Prix racing, having competed since 1948, and statistically the most successful Formula One team in history with a record of 232 wins. Italy_sentence_764

Historically, Italy has been successful in the Olympic Games, taking part from the first Olympiad and in 47 Games out of 48. Italy_sentence_765

Italian sportsmen have won 522 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, and another 106 at the Winter Olympic Games, for a combined total of 628 medals with 235 golds, which makes them the fifth most successful nation in Olympic history for total medals. Italy_sentence_766

The country hosted two Winter Olympics and will host a third (in 1956, 2006, and 2026), and one Summer games (in 1960). Italy_sentence_767

Fashion and design Italy_section_45

Main articles: Italian fashion and Italian design Italy_sentence_768

Italian fashion has a long tradition, and is regarded as one most important in the world. Italy_sentence_769

Milan, Florence and Rome are Italy's main fashion capitals. Italy_sentence_770

According to Top Global Fashion Capital Rankings 2013 by Global Language Monitor, Rome ranked sixth worldwide when Milan was twelfth. Italy_sentence_771

Major Italian fashion labels, such as Gucci, Armani, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Fendi, Moschino, Max Mara, Trussardi, and Ferragamo, to name a few, are regarded as among the finest fashion houses in the world. Italy_sentence_772

Jewellers like Bvlgari, Damiani and Buccellati have been founded in Italy. Italy_sentence_773

Also, the fashion magazine Vogue Italia, is considered one of the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world. Italy_sentence_774

Italy is also prominent in the field of design, notably interior design, architectural design, industrial design and urban design. Italy_sentence_775

The country has produced some well-known furniture designers, such as Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass, and Italian phrases such as "Bel Disegno" and "Linea Italiana" have entered the vocabulary of furniture design. Italy_sentence_776

Examples of classic pieces of Italian white goods and pieces of furniture include Zanussi's washing machines and fridges, the "New Tone" sofas by Atrium, and the post-modern bookcase by Ettore Sottsass, inspired by Bob Dylan's song "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again". Italy_sentence_777

Today, Milan and Turin are the nation's leaders in architectural design and industrial design. Italy_sentence_778

The city of Milan hosts Fiera Milano, Europe's largest design fair. Italy_sentence_779

Milan also hosts major design and architecture-related events and venues, such as the "Fuori Salone" and the Salone del Mobile, and has been home to the designers Bruno Munari, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni. Italy_sentence_780

Cuisine Italy_section_46

Main article: Italian cuisine Italy_sentence_781

The Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BC. Italy_sentence_782

Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, and Jewish. Italy_sentence_783

Significant changes occurred with the discovery of the New World with the introduction of items such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and maize, now central to the cuisine but not introduced in quantity until the 18th century. Italy_sentence_784

Italian cuisine is noted for its regional diversity, abundance of difference in taste, and is known to be one of the most popular in the world, wielding strong influence abroad. Italy_sentence_785

The Mediterranean diet forms the basis of Italian cuisine, rich in pasta, fish, fruits and vegetables and characterised by its extreme simplicity and variety, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Italy_sentence_786

Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation. Italy_sentence_787

Dishes and recipes are often derivatives from local and familial tradition rather than created by chefs, so many recipes are ideally suited for home cooking, this being one of the main reasons behind the ever-increasing worldwide popularity of Italian cuisine, from America to Asia. Italy_sentence_788

Ingredients and dishes vary widely by region. Italy_sentence_789

A key factor in the success of Italian cuisine is its heavy reliance on traditional products; Italy has the most traditional specialities protected under EU law. Italy_sentence_790

Cheese, cold cuts and wine are a major part of Italian cuisine, with many regional declinations and Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication labels, and along with coffee (especially espresso) make up a very important part of the Italian gastronomic culture. Italy_sentence_791

Desserts have a long tradition of merging local flavours such as citrus fruits, pistachio and almonds with sweet cheeses like mascarpone and ricotta or exotic tastes as cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon. Italy_sentence_792

Gelato, tiramisù and cassata are among the most famous examples of Italian desserts, cakes and patisserie. Italy_sentence_793

Public holidays and festivals Italy_section_47

See also: Public holidays in Italy Italy_sentence_794

Public holidays celebrated in Italy include religious, national and regional observances. Italy_sentence_795

Italy's National Day, the Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day) is celebrated on 2 June each year, and commemorates the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946. Italy_sentence_796

The Saint Lucy's Day, which take place on 13 December, is very popular among children in some Italian regions, where she plays a role similar to Santa Claus. Italy_sentence_797

In addition, the Epiphany in Italy is associated with the folkloristic figure of the Befana, a broomstick-riding old woman who, in the night between 5 and 6 January, bringing good children gifts and sweets, and bad ones charcoal or bags of ashes. Italy_sentence_798

The Assumption of Mary coincides with Ferragosto on 15 August, the summer vacation period which may be a long weekend or most of the month. Italy_sentence_799

Each city or town also celebrates a public holiday on the occasion of the festival of the local patron saint, for example: Rome on 29 June (Saints Peter and Paul) and Milan on 7 December (Saint Ambrose). Italy_sentence_800

There are many festivals and festivities in Italy. Italy_sentence_801

Some of them include the Palio di Siena horse race, Holy Week rites, Saracen Joust of Arezzo, Saint Ubaldo Day in Gubbio, Giostra della Quintana in Foligno, and the Calcio Fiorentino. Italy_sentence_802

In 2013, UNESCO has included among the intangible cultural heritage some Italian festivals and pasos (in Italian "macchine a spalla"), such as the Varia di Palmi, the Macchina di Santa Rosa in Viterbo, the Festa dei Gigli in Nola, and faradda di li candareri in Sassari. Italy_sentence_803

Other festivals include the carnivals in Venice, Viareggio, Satriano di Lucania, Mamoiada, and Ivrea, mostly known for its Battle of the Oranges. Italy_sentence_804

The prestigious Venice International Film Festival, awarding the "Golden Lion" and held annually since 1932, is the oldest film festival in the world. Italy_sentence_805

See also Italy_section_48


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