Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja]) is a country in Southern Europe. It is a member of the European Union. Its official name is the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana). The Italian flag is green, white and red. Italy is a democratic republic.
Repubblica Italiana (Italian)
|Anthem: Il Canto degli Italiani (Italian)|
"The Song of the Italians"
and largest city
|Ignazio La Russa|
|Senate of the Republic|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|17 March 1861|
|2 June 1946|
|1 January 1958|
|301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) (71st)|
• Water (%)
• 31.12.2016 estimate
|201.3/km2 (521.4/sq mi) (63rd)|
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
|$2.234 trillion (12th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2016 estimate|
|$1.850 trillion (8th)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2015)|| 0.887|
very high · 26th
|Currency||Euro (€)b (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
• Summer (DST)
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
|ISO 3166 code||IT|
Italy is a founding member of the European Union. In 2022, Italy's president is Sergio Mattarella. Its prime minister is Giorgia Meloni. Italy is also a member of the G7, as it has the eighth largest gross domestic product in the world.
Before 1861, Italy was made up of smaller kingdoms and city-states.
The country's capital, Rome, is one of the most famous cities in the world. It was the capital of the Roman Empire. Other famous cities in Italy include Venice, Naples, Turin, Genoa, Florence, Palermo, and Milan.
Italy is a peninsula. It is surrounded by the sea on all of its sides except its north side. Northern Italy is separated from France, Switzerland, and Austria by the Alps, a chain of mountains. Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian or white mountain in English), the highest mountain in Western Europe, is in this chain. The second important chain of mountains in Italy is the Apennines (Italian: Appennini), which are in central and southern Italy.
Northern Italy has some of the biggest lakes in the country, such as Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Iseo. Because it is surrounded by the sea, Italy has a very long coast, which brings tourists from all over the world. Tourists also come to see Italy's historical places.
People and cultureEdit
People from Italy are called Italians. Even if an Italian were to leave Italy, it is possible that their descendants could also claim Italian citizenship. This is because of Italian nationality law relying mostly on ius sanguinis, or "right of blood" in Latin. Almost all Italians are Christians. Most of these are Roman Catholics. Roman Catholicism
The population of Italy is about 60 million people. Almost 3 million of them live in Rome, and 1.5 million in Milan. As of December 2015, over 5 million foreigners were living in Italy, which is 8.3% of the total population.
The official language of Italy is Italian. German, Slovenian, French, and a few others are also recognized. People also speak dialects of Italian such as Sicilian and Sardinian. There are many different dialects spoken in Italy. They vary between regions and sometimes between provinces.
Italy is home to more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. These sites are culturally important and valued according to UNESCO. About 60% of the works of art of the world are in Italy. Italy is also a big wine producer. In 2005, it made over 5 million tonnes of wine.
Famous Italian foods include pasta and pizza.
Many notable artists were from Italy. They include:
Most people in Italy are Roman Catholics, but the Catholic Church is no longer officially the state religion. 87.8% of the people said they were Roman Catholic. Only about a third said they were active members (36.8%). There are also other Christian groups in Italy, with more than 700,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians. 180,000 of them belong to the Greek Orthodox Church.
550,000 are Pentecostals and Evangelicals (0.8%). 235,685 Jehovah's Witnesses (0.4%), 30,000 Waldensians, 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists, 22,000 Mormons, 20,000 Baptists, 7,000 Lutherans, 4,000 Methodists. The country's oldest religious minority is the Jewish community. It has about 45,000 people. It is no longer the largest non-Christian group.
About 825,000 Muslims live in Italy. Most of them immigrated. (1.41% of the total population) Only 50,000 are Italian citizens. In addition, there are 50,000 Buddhists 70,000 Sikh and 70,000 Hindus in Italy.
There are 20 regions. Five of them have a special status, called autonomous. This means that they can make certain local laws more easily. These regions are marked with an asterisk (*) below.
The head of government is Giorgia Meloni. She became Prime Minister on October 22, 2022, the first woman in that role. She succeeded Mario Draghi. Draghi's cabinet, fell after support for his coalition fell.
Italy was one of the first members of the European Union. In 2002 along with 11 other European countries, it changed to using the euro as its official currency. Before this, the Italian lira had been used since 1861.
Anyone who wants to be President of Italy must have Italian citizenship, be at least 50 years old, and must be able to uphold political and civil rights.
The capital of Italy is Rome. Rome was founded in 753 BC. It was a separate state well known as Roman Kingdom firstly, Roman Republic and Roman Empire later. It conquered various neighbors including the Etruscan civilization in the north and the states in the south known as Magna Graecia.
Before 1861, Italy was not a state. The area included a group of separate states that were ruled by other countries (such as Austria, France, and Spain). In the 1850s, the Earl of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour was the head of government of the "State of Sardinia". He talked to the Austrians in Lombardy and Veneto and said they should create a Northern Italian state. This happened, but other Central and Southern Italian states also joined Piedmont to create a bigger state.
Kingdom of ItalyEdit
In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi took control of Sicily, creating the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Victor Emmanuel II was made the king. In 1861, Latium and Veneto were still not part of Italy, because they were ruled by the Pope and Austrian Empire.
Veneto was made part of Italy in 1866 after a war with Austria. Italian soldiers won Latium in 1870. That was when they took away the Pope's power. The Pope, who was angry, said that he was a prisoner to keep Catholic people from being active in politics. That was the year of Italian unification.
Italy participated in World War I. It was an ally of Great Britain, France, and Russia against the Central Powers. Almost all of Italy's fighting was on the Eastern border, near Austria. After the "Caporetto defeat", Italy thought they would lose the war. But, in 1918, the Central Powers surrendered. Italy gained the Trentino-South Tyrol, which once was owned by Austria.
In 1922, a new Italian government started. It was ruled by Benito Mussolini, the leader of Fascism in Italy. He became head of government and dictator, calling himself "Il Duce" (which means "leader" in Italian). He became friends with German dictator Adolf Hitler. Germany, Japan, and Italy became the Axis Powers. In 1940, they entered World War II together against France, Great Britain, and later the Soviet Union. During the war, Italy controlled most of the Mediterranean Sea.
On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was removed by the Great Council of Fascism. On September 8, 1943, Badoglio said that the war as an ally of Germany was ended. Italy started fighting as an ally of France and the UK, but Italian soldiers did not know whom to shoot. In Northern Italy, a movement called Resistenza started to fight against the German invaders. On April 25, 1945, much of Italy became free, while Mussolini tried to make a small Northern Italian fascist state called the Republic of Salò. The fascist state failed and Mussolini tried to flee to Switzerland and escape to Francoist Spain, but he was captured by Italian partisans. On 28 April 1945 Mussolini was executed by a partisan.
After World War TwoEdit
Since then Italy has joined NATO and the European Community (as a founding member). It is one of the seven biggest industrial economies in the world.
The railway network in Italy totals 16,627 kilometres (10,332 miles). It is the 17th longest in the world. High speed trains include ETR-class trains which travel at speeds of up to 300 km/h (190 mph).
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