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"Italy" (; ), officially the "Italian Republic" (), a country located in south-central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia along the Alps. To the south it consts of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia — the two largt lands in the Mediterranean Sea — and many other smaller lands. The independent stat of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, whilst Campione d"Italia an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers some and influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.4 million inhabitants, it the sixth most populous country in Europe, and the twenty-third most populous in the world.

Italy"s capital, Rome, was for centuri the political centre of Wtern civilation as the capital of the Roman Empire. After its decline, Italy would endure numerous invasions by foreign peopl, from Germanic trib such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths, to the Byzantin and later, the Normans, among others. Centuri later, Italy would become the birthplace of the Renasance,
. an immensely fruitful intellectual movement that would prove to be integral in shaping the subsequent course of European thought.

Through much of its post-Roman htory, Italy was fragmented into numerous kingdoms and city-stat (such as the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicili and the Duchy of Milan), but was unified in 1861, following a tumultuous period in htory known as "Il Rorgimento" ("The Rurgence"). In the late 19th century, through World War I, and to World War II, Italy posssed a colonial empire, which extended its rule to Libya, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Albania, Rhod, the Dodecane and a concsion in Tianjin, China.

Modern Italy a democratic republic. It has been ranked the world"s twenty-third most-developed country. The United Nations. Retrieved 5 October 2009. and its Quality-of-Life Index has been ranked in the top ten in the world., Economt, 2005 Italy enjoys a very high standard of living, and has a high nominal GDP per capita. It a founding member of what now the European Union and part of the Eurozone. Italy also a member of the G8, and NATO. It has the world"s seventh-largt nominal GDP, tenth hight GDP (PPP) and the sixth hight government budget in the world. It also a member state of the , the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, the Wtern European Union and the United Nations. Italy has the world"s ninth-largt defence budget and shar NATO"s nuclear weapons.

Italy plays a prominent role in European and global military, cultural and diplomatic affairs. The country"s European political, social and economic influence make it a major regional power, alongside the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Russia.| Ben W. Heineman, Jr., and Fritz Heimann speak of Italy as a major country or "player" along with Germany, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom, in "The Long War Against Corruption".M. De Leonard, "Il Mediterraneo nella politica tera italiana del secondo dopoguerra", Bologna, Il Mulino, 2003, p. 17 The country has a high public education level, high labour force, and a highly globaled nation.

Etymology ===The assumptions on the etymology of the name "Italia" are very numerous and the corpus of the solutions proposed by htorians and linguts very wideAlberto Manco, "Italia. Degno storico-lingutico", 2009, Napoli, L"Orientale, ISBN 978-88-95044-62-0. According to one of the more common explanations, the term "Italia", from ,OLD, p. 974: "first syll. naturally short (cf. Quint."Inst."1.5.18), and so scanned in Lucil.825, but in dactylic verse lengthened "metri gratia"." was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan "Víteliú", meaning "land of young cattle" ("cf." Lat "vitulus" "calf", Umb "vitlo" "calf").J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, "Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture" (London: Fitzroy and Dearborn, 1997), 24. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italian trib and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Samnite Wars. Greek htorian Dionysius of Halicarnassus stat th account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus,Dionysius of Halicarnass
"Roman Antiquiti", , on LacusCurtius mentioned also by ArtotleArtotle, "Politics", , on Perseus and Thucydid.Thucydid, "The Peloponnian War", , on Perseus

The name "Italia" originally applied only to a part of what now Southern Italy—according to Antiochus of Syracuse, the southern portion of the Bruttium peninsula (modern Calabria). But by h time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name "Italia" to a larger region, but it was not until the time of the Roman conquts that the term was expanded to cover the entire peninsula.Pallottino, M., Htory of Earlit Italy, trans. Ryle, M & Soper, K. in Jerome Lectur, Seventeenth Seri, p.50
Prehtory and Roman Empire

The Colosseum in Rome, ca. 70 – 80 CE.

Excavations throughout Italy reveal a modern human prence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago.Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publhers 2001, ch. 2. ISBN 0-306-46463-2. Between the 17th to the 11th century BC Mycenaean Greeks tablhed contacts with Italy, University of Glasgow, Department of ArchaeologyEmilio Peruzzi, "Mycenaeans in early Latium", (Incunabula Graeca 75), Edizioni dell"Ateneo & Bizzarri, Roma, 1980Lord William Taylour, Mycenaean Pottery in Italy and Adjacent Areas (Cambridge 1958)Gert Jan van Wijngaarden, "Use and Appreciation of Mycenaean Pottery in the Levant, Cyprus and Italy (1600-1200 B.C.): The Significance of Context", Amsterdam Archaeological Studi, Amsterdam University Prs, 2001Andrea Vianello, "Late Bronze Age Mycenaean and Italic Products in the Wt Mediterranean: A Social and Economic Analys", (Brith Archaeological Reports International Seri), Brith Archaeological ReportsMiriam S. Balmuth, Robert J. Rowland, "Studi in Sardinian archaeology", University of Michigan Prs, 1984Bryan Feuer, "Mycenaean civilization: an annotated bibliography through 2002", McFarland & Company; Rev Sub edition (March 2, 2004) and in the 8th and 7th centuri BC Greek coloni were tablhed all along the coast of Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula became known as Magna Graecia. Ancient Rome was at first a small agricultural community founded c. the 8th century BC that grew over the course of the centuri into a colossal empire encompassing the whole Mediterranean Sea, in which Ancient Greek and Roman cultur merged into one civilization. Th civilization was so influential that parts of it survive in modern law, admintration, philosophy and arts, forming the ground that Wtern civilization based upon. In a slow decline since the late 4th century AD, the empire finally broke into two parts in 395 AD: the Wtern Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The wtern part under the prsure of Goths finally dsolved, leaving the Italian peninsula divided into small independent kingdoms and feuding city states for the next 1,300 years, and leaving the eastern part sole heir to the Roman legacy.
Middle Ag

Coats of arms of the four Maritime Republics. Clockwe, starting from the upper left: Venice, Genoa, Pa, Amalfi.

In the 6th century the Byzantine Emperor Justinian reconquered Italy from the Ostrogoths. The invasion of a new wave of Germanic trib, the Lombards, doomed h attempt to rurrect the Wtern Roman Empire but the repercussions of Justinian"s failure rounded further still. For the next 13th centuri, whilst new nation-states arose in the lands north of the Alps, the Italian political landscape was a patchwork of feuding city states, petty tyranni, and foreign invaders.

It was during th vacuum of authority that the region saw the re of the Signoria and the Comune. In the anarchic conditions that often prevailed in medieval Italian city-stat, people looked to strong men to rtore order and darm the feuding elit. Italy during th period was also characterized by its merchant Republics. The city-stat, oligarchical in reality, had a dominant merchant class which under relative freedom nurtured academic and arttic advancement. The four classic Maritime Republics in Italy were Venice, Genoa, Pa and Amalfi. Venice and Genoa were Europe"s gateways to trade with the East, with the former producer of the renowned venetian glass. Florence was the capital of silk, wool, banks and jewelry. The Maritime Republics were heavily involved in the Crusad, taking advantage of the new political and trading opportuniti, most evidently in the conqut of Zara and Constantinople funded by Venice.
Renasance (15–16th century)

Creation of Adam" by Michelangelo.

The Black Death pandemic in 1348 left its mark on Italy by killing one third of the population.Stéphane Barry and Norbert Gualde, "The Biggt Epidemics of Htory" (La plus grande épidémie de l"htoire, in L"Htoire n°310, June 2006, pp.45–46". However, the recovery from the daster of the Black Death led to a rurgence of citi, trade and economy which greatly stimulated the succsive phase of the Humanm and Renasance, that bt known for its cultural achievements. Accounts of Renasance literature usually begin with Petrarch (bt known for the elegantly polhed vernacular sonnet sequence of the "Canzoniere" and for the craze for book collecting that he initiated) and h friend and contemporary Boccaccio (author of the Decameron). Famous vernacular poets of the 15th century include the renasance epic authors Luigi Pulci (Morgante), Matteo Maria Boiardo (Orlando Innamorato), and Ludovico Ariosto (Orlando Furioso). 15th century writers such as the poet Poliziano and the Platont philosopher Marsilio Ficino made extensive translations from both Latin and Greek. In the early 16th century, Castiglione ("The Book of the Courtier") laid out h vion of the ideal gentleman and lady, while Machiavelli cast a jaundiced eye on "la verita effetuale delle cose"the actual truth of thingsin "The Prince", composed, humant style, chiefly of parallel ancient and modern exampl of Virtù. Italian Renasance painting exerced a dominant influence on subsequent European painting (see Wtern painting) for centuri afterwards, with artts such as Giotto di Bondone, Masaccio, Piero della Francca, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Titian. The same true for architecture, as practiced by Brunellchi, Leone Alberti, Andrea Palladio, and Bramante. Their works include Florence Cathedral, St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, and the Tempio Malattiano in Rimini (to name a only a few, not to mention many splended private ridenc: see Renasance architecture). Finally, the Aldine Prs, founded by the printer Aldo Manuzio, active in Venice, developed Italic type and the small, relatively portable and inexpensive printed book that could be carried in one"s pocket, as well as being the first to publh editions of books in Ancient Greek.
Foreign domination and Napoleonic Wars (17th–19th centuri)

Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.

The htory of Italy in the Early Modern period was characterized by foreign domination: following the Italian Wars (1494 to 1559), Italy saw a long period of relative peace, first under Habsburg Spain (1559 to 1713) and then under Habsburg Austria (1713 to 1796).

The Black Death repeatedly returned to haunt Italy throughout the 14th to 17th centuri. The plague of 1575–77 claimed some 50,000 victims in Venice., Texas Department of State Health Servic In the first half of the 17th century a plague claimed some 1,730,000 victims, or about 14% of Italy’s population.Karl Julius Beloch, "Bevölkerungsgchichte Italiens", volume 3, pp. 359–360. The Great Plague of Milan occurred from 1629 through 1631 in northern Italy, with the citi of Lombardy and Venice experiencing particularly high death rat. In 1656 the plague killed about half of Napl" 300,000 inhabitants.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the northern part of the country was invaded and reorganized as a new kingdom of Italy, that was a client state of the French Empire from 1796 to 1814, while the southern half of the peninsula was admintered by Joachim Murat, Napoleon"s brother in law, that was crowned as King of Napl. The Congrs of Vienna (1814) rtored the situation of the late 18th century, which was however quickly overturned by the incipient movement of Italian unification.
Italian unification and Liberal Italy (1861–1922)

Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel II.

The creation of the Kingdom of Italy was the rult of efforts by Italian nationalts and monarchts loyal to the House of Savoy to tablh a united kingdom encompassing the entire Italian Peninsula. In the context of the 1848 liberal revolutions that swept through Europe, an unsuccsful war was declared on Austria. Giuseppe Garibaldi led the Italian republican drive for unification in southern Italy,(Mack Smith, Den (1997). "Modern Italy; A Political Htory". Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Prs. ISBN 0-472-10895-6, p. 15. while the northern Italian monarchy of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia whose government was led by Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour, had the ambition of tablhing a united Italian state under its rule. The kingdom succsfully challenged the Austrian Empire in the Second Italian War of Independence with the help of Napoleon III, liberating the Lombardy-Venetia. It tablhed Turin as capital of the newly formed state. In 1865 the capital was moved to Florence.

In 1866, Victor Emmanuel II aligned the kingdom with Prussia during the Austro-Prussian War, waging the Third Italian War of Independence which allowed Italy to annex Venice. In 1870, as France during the dastrous Franco-Prussian War abandoned its positions in Rome, Italy rushed to fill the power gap by taking over the Papal State from French sovereignty. Italian infantrymen in 1916. More than 650,000 Italian soldiers lost their liv on the battlefields of World War I. Italian unification finally was achieved, and shortly afterwards Italy"s capital was moved from Florence to Rome. Whilst keeping the monarchy, the government became a parliamentary system, dominated by the liberals.

As Northern Italy became industrialized and modernized, Southern Italy and rural areas of the north remained under-developed and stagnant, forcing millions of people to migrate to the emerging Industrial Triangle or abroad. The Sardinian Albertine Statute of 1848, extended to the whole Kingdom of Italy in 1861, provided for basic freedoms, but the electoral laws excluded the non-propertied and uneducated class from voting. In 1913, male universal suffrage was adopted. The Italian Socialt Party increased in strength, challenging the traditional liberal and conservative organations. The hight point of Italian emigration was reached in 1913, when 872,598 persons left Italy.

Starting from the last two decad of the 19th century, Italy developed into a colonial power by forcing Somalia, Eritrea and later Libya and the Dodecane under its rule.(Bosworth (2005), pp. 49.) During World War I, Italy at first stayed neutral but in 1915 signed the Treaty of London, entering Entente on the prome of receiving Trento, Trite, Gorizia and Gradca, Istria and northern Dalmatia from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as parts of Ottoman Empire. During the war, more than 650,000 Italian soldiers died, and the economy collapsed. Under the Peace Treati of Saint-Germain, Rapallo and Rome, Italy obtained most of the promed territori, including the town of Fiume. Neverthels, the victory was dcribed as "mutilated" by the nationalts, since most of Dalmatia was assigned to Yugoslavia.
Fasct Italy (1922–1945)

Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in 1940.

The turbulence that followed the devastation of World War I, inspired by the Russian Revolution, led to turmoil and anarchy. The liberal tablhment, fearing a socialt revolution, started to endorse the small National Fasct Party, led by Benito Mussolini. In October 1922 the fascts attempted a coup (the "Marcia su Roma", "March on Rome"), supported by king Victor Emmanuel III. Over the next few years, Mussolini banned all political parti and curtailed personal liberti, thus forming a dictatorship. In 1935, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, rulting in an international alienation and leading to Italy"s withdrawal from the League of Nations. Consequently, Italy allied with Nazi Germany and Empire of Japan and strongly supported Franco in the Spanh civil war. In 1939, Italy occupied Albania, a "de facto" protectorate for decad, and entered World War II in 1940 on the side of the Ax powers. Mussolini, wanting a quick victory like Hitler"s Blitzkriegs in Poland and France, invaded Greece in October 1940 but was forced to accept a humiliating stalemate after a few months. At the same time, Italy, after initially conquering Brith Somalia and parts of Egypt, saw an allied counter-attack lead to the loss of all posssions in the Horn of Africa and in North Africa.

Italy was then invaded by the Alli in July 1943, leading to the collapse of the Fasct regime and the fall of Mussolini. In September 1943, Italy surrendered. The country remained a battlefield for the rt of the war, as the alli were moving up from the south as the north was the base for loyalt Italian fasct and German Nazi forc, fought also by the Italian rtance movement. The Naz left the country on 25 April 1945 and the remaining Italian fasct forc eventually dbanded. Nearly half a million Italians (including civilians) died in the conflict,". Encyclopædia Britannica. and the Italian economy had been all but dtroyed; per capita income in 1944 was at its lowt point since the beginning of the 20th century.Adrian Lyttelton (editor), "Liberal and fasct Italy, 1900–1945", Oxford University Prs, 2002. pp. 13
Italian Republic (1946–prent)
Partans parading in Milan after the liberation of the city in 1945.

In 1946, Victor Emmanuel III"s son, Umberto II, was forced to abdicate. Italy became a republic after a referendum held on 2 June 1946, a day celebrated since as Republic Day. Th was also the first time that Italian women were entitled to vote. The Republican Constitution was approved and came into force on 1 January 1948. Under the Par Peace Treati of 1947, the eastern border area was lost to Yugoslavia, and, later, the free territory of Trite was divided between the two stat.

Fears in the Italian electorate of a possible Communt takeover proved crucial for the first universal suffrage electoral outcome on the 18th of April 1948 when the Chrtian Democrats, under the leadership of Alcide De Gasperi, won the election with 48 percent of the vote.
In the 1950s Italy became a member of NATO and allied itself with the United Stat. The Marshall Plan helped revive the Italian economy which, until the 1960s, enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth commonly called the "Economic Miracle". In 1957, Italy was a founder member of the European Economic Community (EEC), which became the European Union (EU) in 1993.

From the late 1960s till late 1980s the country experienced a hard economic cr and the Years of Lead, a period characterized by widpread social conflicts and terrort acts carried out by extra-parliamentary movements. The Years of Lead culminated in the assassination of the Chrtian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978, bringing to an end the "Htoric Comprome" between the DC and the Communt Party. In the 1980s, for the first time since 1945, two governments were led by non-Chrtian-Democrat premiers: a republican (Giovanni Spadolini) and a socialt (Bettino Craxi); the Chrtian Democrats remained, however, the main force supporting the government. The Socialt Party (PSI), led by Bettino Craxi, became more and more critical of the Communts and of the Soviet Union; Craxi himself pushed in favour of US prident Ronald Reagan"s positioning of Pershing msil in Italy, a move the Communts hotly contted.

The 1957 Treati of Rome signing ceremony.

From 1992 to 1994, Italy faced significant challeng, as voters, denchanted with past political paralys, massive government debt and an extensive corruption system (collectively called Tangentopoli after being uncovered by the "Clean Hands" invtigation ), demanded political, economic, and ethical reforms. The scandals involved all major parti, but pecially those in the government coalition: between 1992 and 1994 the Chrtian Democrats underwent a severe cr and was dsolved, splitting up into several piec, while also the Socialts and the other governing minor parti also dsolved. The Communts reorganized as a social-democratic force.

The 1994 elections put media magnate Silvio Berlusconi into the Prime Minter"s seat. However, he was forced to step down in December of that year when the "Lega Nord" Party withdrew its support. In April 1996, national elections led to the victory of a centre-left coalition under the leadership of Romano Prodi. Prodi"s first government became the third-longt to stay in power before he narrowly lost a vote of confidence, by three vot, in October 1998. A new government was formed by Massimo D"Alema, but in April 2000 he rigned.

In 2001, national elections led to the victory of a centre-right coalition under the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi, who became prime minter once again. Berlusconi was able to remain in power for a complete five-year mandate, but with two different governments. The first one (2001–2005) became the longt-lived government in post-war Italy. Under that government, Italy joined the US-led military coalition in Iraq. The elections in 2006 were won by the centre-left, allowing Prodi to form h second government, but in early 2008 he rigned after losing a confidence vote in Parliament. Mr. Berlusconi won the ensuing elections in April 2008 to form a government for a third time.
Topographic map of Italy

Italy located in Southern Europe and compr the boot-shaped Italian Peninsula and a number of lands including the two largt, Sicily and Sardinia.
Although the country occupi the Italian peninsula and most of the southern Alpine basin, some of Italy"s territory extends beyond the Alpine basin and some lands are located outside the Eurasian continental shelf. The territori are the "comuni" of: Livigno, Sexten, Innichen, Toblach (in part), Chiusaforte, Tarvio, Graun im Vinschgau (in part), which are all part of the Danube"s drainage basin, while the Val di Lei constitut part of the Rhine"s basin and the land "comune" of Lampedusa e Linosa on the African continental shelf.

The country"s total area 301,230 km², of which 294,020 km² land and 7,210 km² water. Including the lands, Italy has a coastline and border of 7,600 km on the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenian seas (740 km), and borders shared with France (488 km), Austria (430 km), Slovenia (232 km) and Switzerland; San Marino (39 km) and Vatican City (3.2 km), both enclav, account for the remainder.

The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula"s backbone and the Alps form its northern boundary, where Italy"s hight point located on Mont Blanc (4,810 m/15,782 ft). The Po, Italy"s longt river (652 km/405 mi), flows from the Alps on the wtern border with France and cross the Padan plain on its way to the Adriatic Sea.
The five largt lak are, in order of diminhing size: Garda (), Maggiore (), Como (), Trasimeno () and Bolsena ().

The country situated at the meeting point of the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, leading to considerable semic and volcanic activity. There are 14 volcano in Italy, three of which are active: Etna (the traditional site of Vulcan’s smithy), Stromboli and Vuvius. Vuvius the only active volcano in mainland Europe and most famous for the dtruction of Pompeii and Herculanum. Several lands and hills have been created by volcanic activity, and there still a large active caldera, the Campi Flegrei north-wt of Napl.
Admintrative divions

Italy subdivided into 20 regions ("regioni", singular "regione"). Five of the regions have a special autonomous status that enabl them to enact leglation on some of their local matters; the are marked by an asterk () in the table below. The country further divided into 110 provinc ("province") and 8,100 municipaliti ("comuni").

The climate of Italy highly diverse and can be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate, depending on location. Most of the inland northern regions of Italy, for example Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, have a climate variously dcribed as humid continental or temperate. Adriana Rigutti (in Meteorologia, Giunti 2005) stat that the climte of the “Po valley region continental ... with harsh winters and hot summers”.Thomas A. Blair, Climatology: General and Regional, Prentice Hall pag 131–132; Adriana Rigutti, Meteorologia, Giunti, p, 95, 2009. The coastal areas of Liguria and most of the peninsula south of Florence generally fit the Mediterranean stereotype (Köppen climate classification Csa). 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 altitud tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions have mild winters and warm and generally dry summers, although lowland valleys can be quite hot in summer.
Cape Palinuro, in the Cilento National Park.
After its quick industrial growth, Italy took a long time to confront its environmental problems. After several improvements, it now ranks 84th in the world for ecological sustainability. National parks cover about five percent of the country. In the last decade, Italy has became one of the world"s largt producers of renewable energy, ranking as the world’s fifth largt solar energy producer in 2009 and the sixth largt producer of wind power in 2008. Global Wind Energy Council 6.2.2008

However, air pollution remains a severe problem, pecially in the industrialed north, reaching the tenth hight level worldwide of industrial carbon dioxide emsions in the 1990s. Italy the twelfth largt carbon dioxide producer.United Nations Stattics Divion, Millennium Development Goals indicators: (collected by CDIAC)Human-produced, direct emsions of carbon dioxide only. Exclud other greenhouse gas; land-use, land-use-change and fortry (LULUCF); and natural background flows of (See also: Carbon cycle)
Extensive traffic and congtion in the largt metropolitan areas continue to cause severe environmental and health su, even if smog levels have d dramatically since the 1970s and 80s, and the prence of smog becoming an increasingly rarer phenomenon and levels of sulphur dioxide are decreasing.

Many watercours and coastal stretch have also been contaminated by industrial and agricultural activity, while due to ring water levels Venice has been regularly flooded throughout recent years. Waste from industrial activity not always dposed of by legal means and has led to permanent health effects on inhabitants of affected areas, as in the case of the Sevo daster. The country has also operated several nuclear reactors between 1963 and 1990 but, after the Chernobyl daster and a referendum on the sue the nuclear program was terminated, a decion that was overturned by the government in 2008. A deal was signed with France in 2009 for the construction of up to four new nuclear plants. Defortation, illegal building developments and poor land management polici have led to significant erosion all over Italy"s mountainous regions, leading to major ecological dasters like the 1963 Vajont Dam flood, the 1998 Sarno and 2009 Msina mudslides.

Giorgio Napolitano, 11th Prident of the Italian Republic.

The politics of Italy take place in a framework of a parliamentary, democratic republic, and of a multi-party system. Executive power exerced collectively by the Council of Minters, which led by a Prident ("Pridente del Consiglio dei Mintri"), informally referred to as "premier" or "primo mintro" (that , "prime minter"). Leglative power vted in the two hous of Parliament primarily, and secondarily in the Council of Minters. The judiciary independent of the executive and the leglative. Italy has been a democratic republic since 2 June 1946, when the monarchy was abolhed by popular referendum (see "birth of the Italian Republic"). The constitution was promulgated on 1 January 1948.

Giorgio Napolitano the Prident of the Italian Republic, whilst Silvio Berlusconi the nation"s Prime Minter (Prident of the Council of Minters).

The Prident of the Italian Republic ("Pridente della Repubblica") elected for seven years by the parliament sitting jointly with a small number of regional delegat. As the head of state, the Prident of the Republic reprents the unity of the nation and has many of the duti previously given to the King of Italy. The prident serv as a point of connection between the three branch of power: he elected by the lawmakers, he appoints the executive, he the prident of the judiciary and he also the commander-in-chief of the armed forc.

Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputi.

The prident nominat the Prime Minter, who propos the other minters (formally named by the prident). The Council of Minters must obtain a confidence vote from both hous of Parliament. Leglative bills may originate in either house and must be passed by a majority in both.

Italy elects a parliament consting of two hous, the Chamber of Deputi ("Camera dei Deputati"), which has 630 members and the Senate of the Republic ("Senato della Repubblica"), compring 315 elected members and a small number of senators for life). Leglation may originate in either house and must be passed in identical form by a majority in each. The hous of parliament are popularly and directly elected through a complex electoral system (latt amendment in 2005) which combin proportional reprentation with a majority prize for the largt coalition. All Italian citizens 18 years of age and older can vote. However, to vote for the Senate, the voter must be 25 or older.

The electoral system for the Senate based upon regional reprentation. As of 17 August 2010 there are six senator for life (of which two are former Pridents). Both hous are elected for a maximum of five years, but both may be dsolved by the Prident before the expiration of their normal term if the Parliament unable to elect a stable government. In post-war htory, th has happened in 1972, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1994, 1996, and 2008.

A peculiarity of the Italian Parliament the reprentation given to Italian citizens permanently living abroad (about 2.7 million people). Among the 630 Deputi and the 315 Senators there are rpectively 12 and 6 elected in four dtinct overseas constituenci. The members of Parliament were elected for the first time in April 2006, and they have the same powers as those of members elected in Italy.
The Italian judicial system based on Roman law modified by the Napoleonic code and later statut. The Supreme Court of Cassation the court of last rort for most dput. The Constitutional Court of Italy ("Corte Costituzionale") rul on the conformity of laws with the Constitution and a post-World War II innovation.
Foreign relations
Italy a founding member of the European Union. It signed the Lbon Treaty in 2007.

Italy was a founding member of the European Community—now the European Union (EU). Italy was admitted to the United Nations in 1955 and a member and strong supporter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the (OECD), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (), the Council of Europe, and the Central European Initiative. Its recent turns in the rotating pridency of international organations include the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), the forerunner of the , in 1994; G8; and the EU in 2009 and from July to December 2003.

Italy supports the United Nations and its international security activiti. Italy deployed troops in support of UN peacekeeping msions in Somalia, Mozambique, and East Timor and provid support for NATO and UN operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Italy deployed over 2,000 troops to Afghantan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in February 2003. Italy still supports international efforts to reconstruct and stabilize Iraq, but it has withdrawn its military contingent of some 3,200 troops as of November 2006, maintaining only humanitarian workers and other civilian personnel.
In August 2006 Italy sent about 2,450 soldiers to Lebanon for the United Nations" peacekeeping msion UNIFIL." Corriere della Sera, 30 August 2006
The Italian Army, Navy, Air Force and Gendarmerie collectively form the Italian armed forc, under the command of the Supreme Defence Council, prided over by the Prident of the Italian Republic. From 1999, military service voluntary. In 2010, the Italian military had 293,202 personnel on active duty,"The Military Balance 2010", pp. 141–145. International Institute for Strategic Studi, 3 February 2010. of which 114,778 in the national gendarmerie. Total Italian military spending in 2010 ranked tenth in the world, standing at $35.8 billion, equal to 1.7% of national GDP. As part of NATO"s nuclear sharing strategy Italy also hosts 90 United Stat nuclear bombs, located in the Ghedi and Aviano air bas..

The Italian Army the national ground defense force, numbering 109,703 in 2008. Its bt-known combat vehicl are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank dtroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft the Mangusta attack helicopter, recently deployed in UN msions. It also has at its dposal a large number of Leopard 1 and M113 armored vehicl.

The Italian Navy in 2008 had 35,200 active personnel with 85 commsioned ships and 123 aircraft. It now equipping itself with a bigger aircraft carrier, (the "Cavour"), new dtroyers, submarin and multipurpose frigates. In modern tim the Italian Navy, being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has taken part in many coalition peacekeeping operations around the world.

The Italian Air Force in 2008 had a strength of 43,882 and operated 585 aircraft, including 219 combat jets and 114 helicopters. As a stopgap and as replacement for leased Tornado ADV interceptors, the AMI has leased 30 F-16A Block 15 ADF and four F-16B Block 10 Fighting Falcons, with an option for more. The coming years also will see the introduction of 121 EF2000 Eurofighter Typhoons, replacing the leased F-16 Fighting Falcons. Further updat are foreen in the Tornado IDS/IDT and AMX fleets. A transport capability guaranteed by a fleet of 22 C-130Js and Aeritalia G.222s of which 12 are being replaced with the newly developed G.222 variant called the C-27J Spartan.

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 forc. While the different branch of the Carabinieri report to separate mintri for each of their individual functions, the corps reports to the Mintry of Internal Affairs when maintaining public order and security.
Milan Stock Exchange.

Italy has a capitalt economy with high gross domtic product (GDP) per capita and developed infrastructure. According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2008 Italy was the seventh-largt economy in the world and the fourth-largt in Europe. Italy member of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations, the European Union and the OECD.

In the post-war period, Italy was transformed from a weak, agricultural based economy which had been severely affected by the consequenc of World War II, into one of the world"s most industrialized nations, and a leading country in world trade and exports. In 1987, the Italian economy temporarily overtook the Brith economy, by GDP (nominal), an event known as "il sorpasso", Graduate School of Busins Admintration, University of Virginia and in 1991 Italy became for a while the world"s fourth-largt economic power. It may have briefly overtaken France as well. Th was due to a rapid increase in public expenditure in order to boost economic growth, which eventually rulted in unsustainable levels of public debt. In 1980 the public debt amounted to only 56.9 per cent of the GDP. By 1994 it had reached the record level of 121.8% per cent of GDP. Th was over twice the ceiling fixed by the Maastricht agreement and the hight level of indebtedns of any member country of the European Union. The rult since then has been very low levels of growth, even compared to other European countri. Between 2000 and 2007 it averaged 1.5%, against the 2.4% of the European Union as a whole. At 15 November 2010, the EU"s stattics body Eurostat publhed that Italy (in 2009) has debt ratio 116% or second biggt debt ratio after Greece with 126.8%. Italy has now slipped to tenth (as ranked by the IMF and World Bank) in the lt of countri by GDP on the bas of purchasing power parity.

EU single market.

According to the World Bank, Italy has high levels of freedom for invtments, busins and trade. Italy a developed country, and, according to The Economt, has the world"s 8th hight quality of life. The country enjoys a very high standard of living. According to the last Eurostat data, Italian per capita GDP at purchasing power parity remains approximately equal to the EU average, while the unemployment rate (8.5%) stands as one of the EU"s lowt. Ocse, tasso di doccupazione stabile nell"eurozona

Italy has the world"s 4th largt gold rerve. The country also well-known for its influential and innovative busins economic sector, an industrious and competitive agricultural sector (Italy the world"s largt wine producer), and for its creative and high-quality automobile, industrial, appliance and fashion dign.

Dpite th, the country"s economy suffers from many problems. After a strong GDP growth of +8% from 1964 onwards, the last decade"s average annual growth rate lagged with 1.23% in comparon to an average EU annual growth rate of 2.28%. In addition, Italian living standards have a considerable north-south divide. The average GDP per capita in Northern Italy exceeds by far the EU average, whilst some regions and provinc in Southern Italy are dramatically below. Italy has often been referred the "sick man of Europe", charactered by economic stagnation, political instability and problems in pursuing reform programs.

A vineyard in Trentino Alto-Adige. Italy the world"s top wine producer.

More specifically, Italy suffers from structural weakns due to its geographical conformation and the lack of raw materials and energy rourc: in 2006 the country imported more than 86% of its total energy consumption (99.7% of the solid fuels, 92.5% of oil, 91.2% of natural gas and 15% of electricity). The Italian economy weakened by the lack of infrastructure development, market reforms and rearch invtment, and also high public deficit. In the Index of Economic Freedom 2008, the country ranked 64th in the world and 29th in Europe, the lowt rating in the Eurozone. Italy still receiv development asstance from the European Union every year. Between 2000 and 2006, Italy received €27.4 billion from the EU. The country has an inefficient state bureaucracy, low property rights protection and high levels of corruption, heavy taxation and public spending that accounts for about half of the national GDP. In addition, the most recent data show that Italy"s spending in R&D in 2006 was equal to 1.14% of GDP, below the EU average of 1.84% and the Lbon Strategy target of devoting 3% of GDP to rearch and development activiti.

Organized crime a contributing factor in Italy"s economic weakns. The Mafia directly controls 14.6% of Italy"s GDP, and exerts influence over 13 million Italians. However, at 0.013 per 1,000 people, Italy has only the 47th hight murder rate and only the 43th hight number of rap per 1,000 people in the world.

In the latt Corruption Perception Index 2010, Italy ranked the most corrupt among Wtern European countri.. Retrieved 2 November 2010.

Finally, Italy has a smaller number of world-class multinational corporations than other economi of comparable size, but there a large number of small and medium-sized enterpr, and in the Northern "industrial triangle" (Milan-Turin-Genoa) or the Tuscan industrial triangle (Florence-Prato-Ptoia), where there an area of intense industrial and machinery production, notably in their several industrial dtricts, which were for long the backbone of the Italian industry. Th has produced a manufacturing sector often focused on the export of niche market and luxury products, that if on one side ls capable to compete on the quantity, on the other side more capable of facing the competition from China and other emerging Asian economi based on lower labour costs with higher quality products.

The new Ferrari 458 Italia. Italy the world"s 7th largt exporter of goods.

Notwithstanding its many problems and challeng, as of the 2000s recsion and more notably the 2008 recsion and the 2009 recsion, Italy was one of the few countri whose economy did not contract dramatically, and kept a relatively stable economic growth, yet figur for economic growth in 2009 and 2010 have showed a negative average, ranging from around −1% to −5%.

The country was the world"s 7th largt exporter in 2009.26 March 2010 INTERNATIONAL TRADE STATISTICS Italy"s major exports and compani by sector are motor vehicl (Fiat, Aprilia, Ducati, Piaggio); chemicals and petrochemicals (Eni); energy and electrical engineering (Enel, Edon); home applianc (Candy, Indit), aerospace and defense technologi (Alenia Aeronautica, Agusta, Finmeccanica), firearms (Beretta), fashion (Armani, Valentino, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Benetton, Prada, Luxottica); food procsing (Ferrero, Barilla Group, Martini & Rossi, Campari, Parmalat); sport and luxury vehicl (Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani); yachts (Ferretti, Azimut). Italy"s clost trade ti are with the other countri of the European Union, with whom it conducts about 59% of its total trade. Its largt EU trade partners, in order of market share, are Germany (12.9%), France (11.4%), and Spain (7.4%).

Tourm one of the fastt growing and profitable sectors of the national economy: with 43.7 million international tourt arrivals and total receipts timated at $42.7 billion, Italy the fourth hight tourm earner and the fifth most vited country in the world. Dpite a slump in the late-1980s and during the Gulf War, Italy has, since the mid-1990s, rebuilt a strong tourm industry. Italy"s most popular tourt attractions are the Colosseum (4 million tourts per year, and the world"s 39th most vited sight) and the ruins at Pompeii (48th in the world, with 2.5 million vitors).
"Frecciarossa" high speed trains, capable of .
In 2004 the transport sector in Italy generated a turnover of about 119.4 billion euros, employing 935,700 persons in 153,700 enterpr. Regarding the national road network, in 2002 there were 668,721 km (415,612 mi) of serviceable roads in Italy, including 6,487 km (4,031 mi) of motorways, state-owned but privately operated by Atlantia. In 2005, about 34,667,000 passenger cars (590 cars per 1,000 people) and 4,015,000 goods vehicl circulated on the national road network.

The national railway network, state-owned and operated by Ferrovie dello Stato, in 2003 totalled 16,287 km (10,122 mi) of which 69% electrified, and on which 4,937 locomotiv and railcars circulated. The national inland waterways network compred 1,477 km (918 mi) of navigable rivers and channels in 2002. In 2004 there were approximately 30 main airports (including the two hubs of Malpensa International in Milan and Leonardo Da Vinci International in Rome) and 43 major seaports (including the seaport of Genoa, the country"s largt and second largt in the Mediterranean Sea). In 2005 Italy maintained a civilian air fleet of about 389,000 units and a merchant fleet of 581 ships.
Population 1960–2006. Number of inhabitants in thousands.

With a population timated in 60.4 million, Italy has the fourth-largt population in the European Union and the 23rd-largt population worldwide. The population density, at over 200 persons per square kilometer (over 500/sq mi), the fifth hight in the European Union. The hight density in Northern Italy, as that one-third of the country contains almost half of the total population.

After World War II, Italy enjoyed a prolonged economic boom which caused a major rural exodus to the citi, and at the same time transformed the nation from a massive emigration country to a net immigrant-receiving country. High fertility persted until the 1970s, when it plunged below the replacement rat, so that as of 2008, one in five Italians was over 65 years old. Dpite th, thanks mainly to the massive immigration of the last two decad, in the first decade of the 21st century, Italy experienced a growth in the crude birth rate (pecially in the northern regions) for the first time in many years. The total fertility rate has also significantly grown in the past few years, thanks to ring births among both in foreign-born and Italian women, as it climbed from an all-time minimum of 1.18 children per woman in 1995 to 1.41 in 2008.

According to OECD, The largt conurbations are:
Milan – 7.4 million
Rome – 3.7 million
Napl – 3.1 million
Turin – 2.2 million
Little Italy in New York, ca.1900.

Italy became a country of mass emigration soon after national reunification in the late 19th century. Between 1898 and 1914, the peak years of Italian diaspora, approximately 750,000 Italians emigrated each year. Italian communiti once thrived in the former African coloni of Eritrea (nearly 100,000 at the beginning of World War II), Somalia and Libya (150,000 Italians settled in Libya, constituting about 18% of the total population).. Britannica Online Encyclopedia. All of Libya"s Italians were expelled from the North African country in 1970.. BBC News. 27 October 2005.

In the decade after World War II, up to 350,000 ethnic Italians left Yugoslavia (see Istrian exodus).. The New York Tim. 6 June 1987. Large numbers of people with full or significant Italian anctry are found in
Brazil (25 million), . Retrieved 10 September 2008. Argentina (20 million), United Stat (17.8 million), France (5 million),"". Robin Cohen (1995). Cambridge University Prs. p.143. ISBN 0-521-44405-5 Uruguay (1.5 million), Canada (1.4 million), Venezuela (900,000)Santander Laya-Garrido, Alfonso. "Los Italianos forjador de la nacionalidad y del darrollo economico en Venezuela". Editorial Vadell. Valencia, 1978 and Australia (800,000).

At the start of 2010 there were 4,279,000 foreign nationals rident in Italy and regtered with the authoriti.". Africa News. 5 March 2010. Th amounted to 7.1% of the country’s population and reprented a year-on-year increase of 388,000.". The Guardian. 21 February 2010. The figur include more than half a million children born in Italy to foreign nationals—second generation immigrants are becoming an important element in the demographic picture—but exclude foreign nationals who have subsequently acquired Italian nationality; th applied to 53,696 people in 2008. They also exclude illegal immigrants, the so-called "clandtini" whose numbers are difficult to determine. In May 2008 "The Boston Globe" quoted an timate of 670,000 for th group.Elabeth Rosenthal, ". The Boston Globe. 16 May 2008.

Since the expansion of the European Union, the most recent wave of migration has been from surrounding European nations, particularly Eastern Europe, and increasingly Asia,". BBC News. 13 April 2007. replacing North Africa as the major immigration area. Some 950,000 Romanians, around 10 percent of them being Roman,". IPS are officially regtered as living in Italy, replacing Albanians and Moroccans as the largt ethnic minority group. The number unregtered Romanians difficult to timate, but the Balkan Invtigative Reporting Network suggted that in 2007 that there might half been half a million or more.

As of 2009, the foreign born population origin of Italy was subdivided as follows: Europe (53.5%), Africa (22.3%), Asia (15.8%), the Americas (8.1%) and Oceania (0.06%). The dtribution of foreign born population largely uneven in Italy: 87.3% of immigrants live in the northern and central parts of the country (the most economically developed areas), while only 12.8% live in the southern half of the peninsula.

Estimated foreign-born population by country of birth, 2006 figur.


"Italophone" world. Dark blue:official language; green: secondary, widely spoken or understood; light blue: understood by some due to former colonation.

Italy"s official language Italian. Ethnologue has timated that there are about 55 million speakers of the language in Italy and a further 6.7 million outside of the country. – Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languag of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version However, between 120 and 150 million people use Italian as a second or cultural language, worldwide. "Dcovery Media"." Retrieved 2010-05-16.

Italian, adopted by the state after the unification of Italy, based on the Florentine variety of Tuscan and somewhat intermediate between the Italo-Dalmatian languag of the South and the Gallo-Romance Northern Italian languag. Its development was also influenced by the Germanic languag of the post-Roman invaders.

Italy has numerous dialects spoken all over the country and some Italians cannot speak Italian language at all. However, the tablhment of a national education system has led to in variation in the languag spoken across the country. Standardation was further expanded in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to economic growth and the re of mass media and televion (the state broadcaster RAI helped set a standard Italian).

Several ethnic groups are legally recognized, and a number of minority languag have co-official status alongside Italian in various parts of the country. French co-official in the Valle d’Aosta—although in fact Franco-Provencal more commonly spoken there. German has the same status in the Province of Bolzano-Bozen as, in some parts of that province and in parts of the neighbouring Trentino, do Ladin. Slovene officially recogned in the provinc of Trite, Gorizia and Udine in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

In the regions official documents are bilingual (trilingual in Ladin communiti), or available upon requt in either Italian or the co-official language. Traffic signs are also multilingual, except in the Valle d’Aosta where — with the exception of Aosta itself which has retained its Latin form in Italian (as in Englh) — French toponyms are generally used, attempts to Italiane them during the Fasct period having been abandoned. Education possible in minority languag where such schools are operating.


Roman Catholicm by far the largt religion in the country, although the Catholic Church no longer officially the state religion. The proportion of Italians that identify themselv as Roman Catholic 87.8%, although only about one-third of the dcribed themselv as active members (36.8%).

Most Italians believe in God, or a form of a spiritual life force. According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005: 74% of Italian citizens rponded that "they believe there a God", 16% answered that "they believe there some sort of spirit or life force" and 6% answered that "they do not believe there any sort of spirit, God, or life force".


The Italian Catholic Church part of the global Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, curia in Rome, and the Conference of Italian Bhops. In addition to Italy, two other sovereign nations are included in Italian-based dioc, San Marino and Vatican City. There are 225 dioc in the Italian Catholic Church, see further in th article and in the article Lt of the Roman Catholic dioc in Italy. Even though by law Vatican City not part of Italy, it in Rome, and along with Latin, Italian the most spoken and second language of the Roman Curia.

The Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, which has the biggt brick dome in the world, and considered a masterpiece of Italian architecture.

Italy has a rich Catholic culture, pecially as numerous Catholic saints, martyrs and pop were Italian themselv. Roman Catholic art in Italy pecially flourhed during the Middle-Ag, Renasance and Baroque periods, with numerous Italian artts, such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Sandro Botticelli, Tintoretto, Titian, Raphael and Giotto. Roman Catholic architecture in Italy equally as rich and imprsive, with church, basilicas and cathedrals such as St Peter"s Basilica, Florence Cathedral and St Mark"s Basilica. Roman Catholicm the largt religion and denomination in Italy, with around 87.8% of Italians considering themselv Catholic. Italy also home to the greatt number of cardinals in the world, and the country with the greatt number of Roman Catholic church per capita.

Even though the main Chrtian denomination in Italy Roman Catholicm, there are some minoriti of Prottant, Waldensian, Eastern Orthodox and other Chrtian church.

In the 20th century, Jehovah"s Witns, Pentecostalm, non-denominational Evangelicalm, and Mormonm were the fastt-growing Prottant church. Immigration from Wtern, Central, and Eastern Africa at the beginning of the 21st century has increased the size of Baptt, Anglican, Pentecostal and Evangelical communiti in Italy, while immigration from Eastern Europe has produced large Eastern Orthodox communiti.

In 2006, Prottants made up 2.1% of Italy"s population, and members of Eastern Orthodox church compred 1.2%. Other Chrtian groups in Italy include more than 700,000 Eastern Orthodox Chrtians including 180,000 Greek Orthodox, 550,000 Pentecostals and Evangelts (0.8%), of whom 400,000 are members of the Assembli of God, 235,685 Jehovah"s Witns (0.4%), 30,000 Waldensians, 25,000 Seventh-day Adventts, 22,000 Mormons, 15,000 Baptts (plus some 5,000 Free Baptts), 7,000 Lutherans, 4,000 Methodts (affiliated with the Waldensian Church).

;Other religions
The longt-tablhed religious faith in Italy Judam, Jews having been prent in Ancient Rome before the birth of Chrt. Italy has seen many influential Italian-Jews, such as Luigi Luzzatti, who took office in 1910, Ernto Nathan served as mayor of Rome from 1907 to 1913 and Shabbethai Donnolo (died 982). During the Holocaust, Italy took in many Jewh refuge from Nazi Germany. However, with the creation of the Nazi-backed puppet Italian Social Republic, about 15% of Italy"s Jews were killed, dpite the Fasct government"s refusal to deport Jews to Nazi death camps. Th, together with the emigration that preceded and followed the Second World War, has left only a small community of around 45,000 Jews in Italy today.

Due to immigration from around the world, there has been an increase in non-Chrtian faiths. In 2009, there were 1.0 million Muslims in Italy forming 1.6 percent of population although, only 50,000 hold Italian citizenship. Independent timat put the Islamic population in Italy anywhere from 0.8 million to 1.5 million.

There are more than 200,000 followers of faith originating in the Indian subcontinent woth some 70,000 Sikhs with 22 gurdwaras across the country, 70,000 Hindus, and 50,000 Buddhts. There are an timated some 4,900 Bahá"ís in Italy in 2005.

La Sapienza University in Rome Europe"s largt, with 140,000 students.

Italy"s public education free and compulsory from 6 to 15 years of age, and has a five-year primary stage and an eight-year secondary stage, divided into first-grade secondary school (middle school) and second-grade secondary school (or high school). Italy has a high public education standard, surpassing that of other comparable developed countri, such as the UK and Germany. The country has both public and private education systems.

According to National Science Indicators (1981–2002), a database produced by Rearch Servic Group containing ltings of output and citation stattics for more than 90 countri, Italy has an above-average output of scientific papers (in terms of number of papers written with at least one author being from Italy) in space science (9.75% of papers in the world being from Italy), mathematics (5.51% of papers in the world), computer science, neuroscienc, and physics; the lowt, but still slightly above world-average, output in terms of number of papers produced recorded in the social scienc, psychology and psychiatry, and economics and busins.

University of Bologna Europe"s oldt, founded in 1088.

Italy hosts a broad variety of universiti, colleg and academi. Milan"s Bocconi University, has been ranked among the top 20 bt busins schools in the world by The Wall Street Journal international rankings, pecially thanks to its M.B.A. program, which in 2007 placed it no. 17 in the world in terms of graduate recruitment preference by major multinational compani. Also, Forb has ranked Bocconi no.1 worldwide in the specific category Value for Money. In May 2008, Bocconi overtook several traditionally top global busins schools in the Financial Tim Executive education ranking, reaching no. 5 in Europe and no. 15 in the world.

Other top universiti and polytechnics include the Polytechnic University of Turin, the Politecnico di Milano (which in 2009 was ranked as the 57th technical university in the world by Top Universiti, in a rearch conducted on behalf of Tim Higher Education. Th was a 6-positions growth from the 63rd position in 2008. In 2009 an Italian rearch ranked it as the bt in Italy over indicators such as scientific production, attraction of foreign students, and others ), the University of Rome La Sapienza (which in 2005 was Europe"s 33rd bt university, and ranks amongst Europe"s 50 and the world"s 150 bt colleg) and the University of Milan (whose rearch and teaching activiti have developed over the years and have received important international recognitions. The University the only Italian member of the League of European Rearch Universiti (LERU), a prtigious group of twenty rearch-intensive European Universiti. It also been awarded ranking positions as such: -1st in Italy and 7th in Europe (The Leiden Ranking – Universiteit Leiden).

Italy and the Wtern world"s oldt college the University of Bologna. In 2009, the University of Bologna , according to The Tim, the only Italian college in the top 200 World Universiti. The University of Padua, also remains one of Europe"s oldt.
Health ===Italian public health insurance c

Italy has had a public healthcare system since 1978. Healthcare spending in Italy accounted for more than 9.0% of the national GDP in 2008, slightly above the OECD countri" average of 8.9%. However, Italy ranks as having the world"s 2nd bt healthcare system, and the world"s 3rd bt healthcare performance.

Italy had the 12th hight worldwide life expectancy in 2010, – Table A.17 for 2005–2010 while, as in many others wtern countri, seeing an increase in the proportion of overweight and obe people, with 34.2% of Italians self reporting as overweight and 9.8% self reporting as obe. The proportion of daily smokers was 22% in 2008. Smoking in public plac including bars, rtaurants, night clubs and offic has been rtricted to specially ventilated rooms since 2005.
The city of Venice, built on 117 lands.

Italy did not ext as a state until the country"s unification in 1861. Due to th comparatively late unification, and the htorical autonomy of the regions that compre the Italian Peninsula, many traditions and customs that are now recognized as dtinctly Italian can be identified by their regions of origin. Dpite the political and social dtinction of the regions, Italy"s contributions to the cultural and htorical heritage of Europe and the world remain immense. Italy home to the greatt number of UNESCO World Heritage Sit (45) to date, and has rich collections of world art, culture and literature from many different periods. Italy has had a broad cultural influence worldwide, also because numerous Italians emigrated to other countri during the Italian diaspora. Italy has, overall, an timated 100,000 monuments of any sort (museums, palac, buildings, statu, church, art galleri, villas, fountains, htoric hous and archaeological remains).Eyewitns Travel (2005), pg. 19
The Leaning Tower of Pa.

Italy has a very broad and diverse architectural style, which cannot be simply classified by period, but also by region, due to Italy"s divion into several city-stat until 1861. However, th has created a highly diverse and eclectic range in architectural digns. Italy known for its considerable architectural achievements,, such as the construction of arch, dom and similar structure during ancient Rome, the founding of the Renasance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th century, and being the homeland of Palladianm, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the digns which noblemen built their country hous all over the world, notably in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United Stat of America during the late-17th to early 20th centuri. Several of the fint works in Wtern architecture, such as the Colosseum, the Milan Cathedral and Florence cathedral, the Leaning Tower of Pa and the building digns of Venice are found in Italy. Italy has an timated total of 100,000 monuments of all varieti (museums, palac, buildings, statu, church, art galleri, villas, fountains, htoric hous and archaeological remains).

Italian architecture has also widely influenced the architecture of the world. Italianate architecture, popular abroad from the 16th to mid-20th century, was used to dcribe foreign architecture which was built in an Italian style. Brith architect Inigo Jon, inspired by the avant-garde digns of Italian buildings and citi, in the early-17th century, brought back the ideas with him to London, and ever since, th Italianate architecture has been popular in construction digns all over the world.
The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci: equally to "Mona La", it the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time.Vitruvian Man referred to as "iconic" at the following websit and many others:, , ; ;

Over the centuri, Italian art has gone through many styltic chang. Italian painting traditionally characterized by a warmth of colour and light, as exemplified in the works of Caravaggio and Titian, and a preoccupation with religious figur and motifs. Italian painting enjoyed preeminence in Europe for hundreds of years, from the Romanque and Gothic periods, and through the Renasance and Baroque periods, the latter two of which saw fruition in Italy. Notable artts who fall within the periods include Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian and Raphael.

Thereafter, Italy was to experience a continual subjection to foreign powers which caused a shift of focus to political matters, leading to its decline as the arttic authority in Europe. Not until 20th century Futurm, primarily through the works of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla, would Italy recapture any of its former prtige as a seminal place of arttic evolution. Futurm was succeeded by the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, who exerted a strong influence on the Surrealts and generations of artts to follow.
Literature and theatre
Dante, poed between the mountain of purgatory and the city of Florence, dplays the famous incipit "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita" in a detail of Domenico di Michelino"s painting, Florence 1465.

The bas of the modern Italian language was tablhed by the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri, whose greatt work, the Divine Comedy, considered amongst the foremost literary statements produced in Europe during the Middle Ag. There no shortage of celebrated literary figur in Italy: Giovanni Boccaccio, Giacomo Leopardi, Alsandro Manzoni, Torquato Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, and Petrarch, whose bt-known vehicle of exprsion, the sonnet, was invented in Italy.

Prominent philosophers include Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Giambattta Vico. Modern literary figur and Nobel laureat are nationalt poet Giosuè Carducci in 1906, realt writer Grazia Deledda in 1926, modern theatre author Luigi Pirandello in 1936, poets Salvatore Quasimodo in 1959 and Eugenio Montale in 1975, satirt and theatre author Dario Fo in 1997.

Italian theatre can be traced back to the Roman tradition which was heavily influenced by the Greek; as with many other literary genr, Roman dramatts tended to adapt and translate from the Greek. For example, Seneca"s "Phaedra" was based on that of Euripid, and many of the comedi of Plautus were direct translations of works by Menander. During the 16th century and on into the 18th century, Commedia dell"arte was a form of improvational theatre, and it still performed today. Travelling troup 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 tablhed characters with a rough storyline, called "canovaccio".
Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer whose operas, including "La bohème", "Tosca", "Madama Butterfly", and "Turandot", are among the most frequently worldwide performed in the standard repertoire.

From folk music to classical, music has always played an important role in Italian culture. 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"s most famous composers include the Renasance composers Paltrina and Monteverdi, the Baroque composers Alsandro Scarlatti, Corelli and Vivaldi, the Classical composers Paganini and Rossini, and the Romantic composers Verdi and Puccini. Modern Italian composers such as Berio and Nono proved significant in the development of experimental and electronic music. While the classical music tradition still holds strong in Italy, as evidenced by the fame of its innumerable opera hous, such as La Scala of Milan and San Carlo of Napl, and performers such as the piant Maurizio Pollini and the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti, Italians have been no ls appreciative of their thriving contemporary music scene.

Luciano Pavarotti, one of the most famous tenors of all time.

Italy widely known for being the birthplace of opera. Italian opera was believed to have been founded in the early 17th century, in Italian citi such as Mantua and Venice. Later, works and piec composed by native Italian composers of the 19th century and early 20th century, such as Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, are amongst the most famous operas ever written and today are performed in opera hous across the world. La Scala operahouse in Milan also renowned as one of the bt in the world. Famous Italian opera singers include Enrico Caruso, Alsandro Bonci, the late Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli, to name a few.

Introduced in the early 1920s, jazz took a particularly strong foothold in Italy, and remained popular dpite the xenophobic cultural polici of the Fasct regime. Today, the most notable centers of jazz music in Italy include Milan, Rome, and Sicily. Later, Italy was at the forefront of the progrsive rock movement of the 1970s, with bands like PFM and Goblin. Today, Italian pop music reprented annually with the Sanremo Music Ftival, which served as inspiration for the Eurovion song contt, and the Ftival of Two Worlds in Spoleto. Singers such as pop diva Mina, classical crossover artt Andrea Bocelli, Grammy winner Laura Pausini, and European chart-topper Eros Ramazzotti have attained international acclaim.
Federico Fellini, considered one of the most influential and widely revered filmmakers of the 20th century.Burke and Waller, 12

The htory of Italian cinema began a few months after the Lumière brothers began motion picture exhibitions. The first Italian film was a few seconds long, showing Pope Leo XIII giving a blsing to the camera. The Italian film industry was born between 1903 and 1908 with three compani: the Società Italiana Cin, the Ambrosio Film and the Itala Film. Other compani soon followed in Milan and in Napl. In a short time the first compani reached a fair producing quality, and films were soon sold outside Italy. Cinema was later used by Benito Mussolini, who founded Rome"s renowned Cinecittà studio for the production of Fasct propaganda until the World War II.

After the war, Italian film was widely recogned and exported until an arttic decline around the 1980s. Notable Italian film directors from th period include Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Dario Argento. Movi include world cinema treasur such as "La dolce vita", "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" and "Ladri di biciclette".
In recent years, the Italian scene has received only occasional international attention, with movi like "La vita è bella" directed by Roberto Benigni and "Il postino" with Massimo Troi.
Finocchiaro (2007)"Galileo and the Birth of Modern Science, by Stephen Hawking, American Heritage"s Invention & Technology, Spring 2009, Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 36
Through the centuri, Italy has given birth to some notable scientific minds. Amongst them, and perhaps the most famous polymath in htory, Leonardo da Vinci made several contributions to a variety of fields including art, biology, and technology. Galileo Galilei was a physict, mathematician, and astronomer who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. H achievements include improvements to the telcope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanm. The physict Enrico Fermi, a Nobel prize laureate, was the leader of the team that built the first nuclear reactor and also noted for h many other contributions to physics, including the co-development of the quantum theory.

A brief overview of some other notable figur includ the astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, who made many important dcoveri about the Solar System; the physict Alsandro Volta, inventor of the electric battery; the mathematicians Lagrange, Fibonacci, and Gerolamo Cardano, whose Ars Magna generally recognized as the first modern treatment on mathematics, made fundamental advanc to the field; Marcello Malpighi, a doctor and founder of microscopic anatomy; the biologt Lazzaro Spallanzani, who conducted important rearch in bodily functions, animal reproduction, and cellular theory; the physician, pathologt, scientt, and Nobel laureate Camillo Golgi, whose many achievements include the dcovery of the Golgi complex, and h role in paving the way to the acceptance of the Neuron doctrine; and Guglielmo Marconi, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of radio.

Felipe Massa driving a Ferrari at the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Italy has a long sporting tradition. In numerous sports, both individual and team, Italy has good reprentation and many succs. The most popular sport by far football. Basketball and volleyball are the next most popular/played, with Italy having a rich tradition in both. Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and currently the second most succsful football team in the world, after Brazil, having won four FIFA World Cups. Italy has also got strong traditions in cycling, tenn, athletics, fencing, winter sports and rugby. Italian Scuderia Ferrari the oldt surviving team in Grand Prix racing, having competed since 1948, and stattically the most succsful Formula One team in htory with a record of 15 drivers" championships. As a constructor, Ferrari has 16 constructors" championships.
Fashion and dign

Italian fashion has a a long tradition, and regarded as one of the most important in the world, along with French fashion, American fashion, Brith fashion and Japane fashion. Milan, Florence and Rome are Italy"s main fashion capitals, however Napl, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Genoa and Vicenza are other major centr. According to the 2009 Global Language Monitor, Milan was nominated the true fashion capital of the world, even surpassing other international citi, such as New York, Par, London and Tokyo, and Rome came 4th. Major Italian fashion labels, such as Gucci, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Msoni, Fendi, Moschino, Max Mara and Ferragamo, to name a few, are regarded as amongst the fint fashion hous in the world. Also, the fashion magazine Vogue Italia, considered the most important and prtigious fashion magazine in the world.

Italy also prominent in the field of dign, notably interior dign, architectural dign, industrial dign and urban dign. Italy has produced some well-known furniture digners, such as Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass, and Italian phras such as "Bel Degno" and "Linea Italiana" have entered the vocabulary of furniture dign.Miller (2005) p.486 Exampl of classic piec of Italian white goods and piec of furniture include Zanussi"s washing machines and fridges,Insight Guid (2004) p.220 the "New Tone" sofas by Atrium, and the post-modern bookcase by Ettore Sottsass, inspired by Bob Dylan"s song "Memph Blu". Today, Milan and Turin are the nation"s leaders in architectural dign and industrial dign. The city of Milan hosts the FieraMilano, Europe"s biggt dign fair. Milan also hosts major dign and architecture-related events and venu, such as the "Fuori Salone" and the "Salone del Mobile", and has been home to the digners Bruno Munari, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni

Authentic Neapolitan pizza.
Modern Italian cuine has evolved through centuri of social and political chang, with its roots reaching back to the 4th century BC. Significant change occurred with the dcovery of the New World, when vegetabl such as potato, tomato, bell peppers, and maize became available. However, the central ingredients of modern Italian cuine were not introduced in scale before the 18th century.Del Conte, 11–21.

Ingredients and dh vary by region. However, many dh that were once regional have proliferated in different variations across the country. Chee and wine are major parts of the cuine, playing different rol both regionally and nationally with their many variations and "Denominazione di origine controllata" (regulated appellation) laws. Coffee, and more specifically prso, has become highly important to the cultural cuine of Italy. Some famous dh and items include pasta, pizza, "lasagna", "focaccia", and "gelato".
See also
Outline of Italy
Index of Italy-related articl
Italian diaspora

|4=United Stat

Geographic locale
|lt =
"Lat. and Long. (Rome)"




Referenc ===

# According to Mitrica, an October 2005 Romanian report timat that 1,061,400 Romanians are living in Italy, constituting 37.2% of 2.8 million immigrants in that countryMitrica, Mihai ("One million Romanians have moved to Italy"). "Evenimentul Zilei", 31 October 2005. Vited 11 April 2006. but it unclear how the timate was made, and therefore whether it should be taken seriously.
#See also (in Italian): "L. Lepschy e G. Lepschy, La lingua italiana: storia, varietà d"uso, grammatica, Milano, Bompiani"
#Official French maps show the border detouring south of the main summit, and claim the hight point in Italy Mont Blanc de Courmayeur (4,748 m), but the are inconstent with an 1861 convention and topographic watershed analys.



External links
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"ROM", "Rom", or "rom" is an abbreviation and name that may refer to:n computers and mathematic* Read-only memory, a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. This tells the computer how to load the operating system.**
"ROM", "Rom", or "rom" is an abbreviation and name that may refer to:n computers and mathematic* Read-only memory, a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. This tells the computer how to load the operating system.**
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
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