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Italy

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*[[Padova]]
 
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*[[Torino]] The first capital of modern Italy. Host of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
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==Know==
 
==Know==

Revision as of 14:16, 28 January 2004

Flag
It-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalRome
Governmentrepublic
Currencyeuro (EUR)
Areatotal: 301,230 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
water: 7,210 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
Population57,715,625 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageItalian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)
Religionpredominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community


This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

Destinations

  • Rome (Roma): The capital, both of Italy and the historical Roman empire.
  • Florence - (Firenze) : History, art, architecture. Uffizzi's gallery, David of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Rinascimental city.
  • Venice - (Venezia) : History, art. S. Marc plaza. The city is built on a laguna, filled with canals, no roads for cars. Very poetic and romantic.
  • Milan - (Milano) : Shares with Paris the title of fashion capital of the world.
  • Verona
  • Naples
  • Cinque Terre
  • Padova
  • Trento
  • Torino The first capital of modern Italy. Host of the 2006 Winter Olympics.


Know

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the European Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.


Geography

It-map.png
Map of Italy
Location 
Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Map references 
Europe
Area 
total: 301,230 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
water: 7,210 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries 
total: 1,932.2 km
border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Coastline 
7,600 km
Climate 
predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Terrain 
mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)

People

Population 
57,715,625 (July 2002 est.)
Nationality 
noun: Italian(s)
adjective: Italian
Ethnic groups 
Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Religions 
predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Languages 
Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
former: Kingdom of Italy
local short form: Italia
Government type 
republic
Capital 
Rome
Independence 
17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)
National holiday 
Republic Day, 2 June (1946)
Constitution 
1 January 1948

Economy

Economy - overview 
Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less developed agricultural south, with 20% unemployment. Most raw materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported. Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Unions and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. The current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. Rome has moved slowly, however, on implementing needed structural reforms, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italy's rigid labor market and over-generous pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labor unions.
Currency 
euro (EUR)
Currency code 
EUR
Exchange rates 
euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); Italian lire per US dollar - 1,688.7 (January 1999), 1,736.2 (1998), 1,703.1 (1997)

Communications

Internet country code 
.it

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Croatia and Italy are still trying to resolve bilateral property and ethnic minority rights dating from World War II
Illicit drugs 
important gateway for and consumer of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin entering the European market; money laundering by organized crime and from smuggling

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  • Italian


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