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Italy (Italia, ), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana, ), is a country in and . Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it consists of a peninsula delimited by the and surrounded by several islands. Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of and . It has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and an archipelago in the African Plate (). Italy covers an area of , with a population of nearly 60 million; it is the tenth-largest country by land area in the European continent and the third-most populous member state of the . Its capital and largest city is .

The Italian peninsula was historically the native place and destination of numerous ancient peoples.

(2024). 9781438129181, Infobase Publishing. .
The Latin city of Rome in central Italy, founded as a , became a that conquered the Mediterranean world and ruled it for centuries as an .
(1998). 9780806130040, University of Oklahoma Press. .
With the spread of Christianity, Rome became the seat of the and of the . During the Early Middle Ages, Italy experienced the fall of the Western Roman Empire and inward migration from Germanic tribes. By the 11th century, Italian city-states and maritime republics expanded, bringing renewed prosperity through commerce and laying the groundwork for modern . The Italian Renaissance flourished in during the 15th and 16th centuries and . Italian explorers also discovered new routes to the and the , helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. However, centuries of rivalry and infighting between the Italian city-states among other factors left the peninsula divided into numerous states until the late modern period. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Italian economic and commercial importance significantly waned.
(2024). 9781137343468, Palgrave Macmillan. .

After centuries of political and territorial divisions, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861 following Wars of independence and the Expedition of the Thousand, establishing the Kingdom of Italy. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, mainly in the north, and acquired , while remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling . From 1915 to 1918, Italy took part in World War I on the side of the Entente and against the . In 1922, following a period of crisis and turmoil, the dictatorship was established. During World War II, Italy was first part of the until it surrendered to the Allied powers (1940–1943) and then, as part of its territory was occupied by with fascist collaboration, a co-belligerent of the Allies during the Italian resistance and the liberation of Italy (1943–1945). Following the end of the war, the country replaced the monarchy with a republic via referendum and enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, becoming a major .

Italy has the eighth-largest nominal GDP in the world, the second-largest manufacturing industry in Europe (7th-largest in the world). The country has a significant role in Gabriele Abbondanza, Italy as a Regional Power: the African Context from National Unification to the Present Day (Rome: Aracne, 2016)" may be considered one of the most important instances in which Italy has acted as a regional power, taking the lead in executing a technically and politically coherent and determined strategy." See Federiga Bindi, Italy and the European Union (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2011), p. 171. and global

(2005). 9780773528369, McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. .
(" The United States is the sole world's superpower. France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom are great powers")
(2024). 9780415668187, Routledge. .
(" The great powers are super-sovereign states: an exclusive club of the most powerful states economically, militarily, politically and strategically. These states include veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia), as well as economic powerhouses such as Germany, Italy and Japan.")
economic, military, cultural, and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a and member of the European Union, and it is in numerous international institutions including , the G7, the Mediterranean Union, and the . The source of many inventions and discoveries, the country is considered a cultural superpower and has long been a global centre , music, literature, , science and technology, and . It has the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites (58), and is the world's fifth-most visited country.


Name
during the Social War (91–87 BC), displaying the personification of Italy as a goddess with laurel wreath and the inscription ITALIA. The earliest personification of ITALIA, now lost, was the picta Italia ("painted Italy") depicted inside the Temple of Tellus in the city of Rome, and dated back to 268 BC. The definitive personification of Italy, , first appeared in the Arch of Trajan, built in Benevento from 114 to 117 AD. Rivista storica italiana - Volume 99 Eutopia - Volume 5 Storia della storiografia romana, Giuseppe Zecchini, 2016, Laterza]]

Hypotheses for the etymology of the name "Italia" are numerous.Alberto Manco, Italia. Disegno storico-linguistico, 2009, , L'Orientale, One is that it was an term used to describe the land of the Italói, a tribe living in what is now Calabria, the tip of the Italian peninsula; they were perhaps originally named Vituli, as some scholars have suggested that their was the calf ( vitulus, vitlo, Víteliú).J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (London: Fitzroy and Dearborn, 1997), 24. Several ancient authors (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiochus of Syracuse, ) give instead the account that Italy was named after a local ruler named .Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 1.35 , on LacusCurtiusAristotle, Politics, 7.1329b , on PerseusThucydides, The Peloponnesian War, 6.2.4 , on Perseus

According to Antiochus of Syracuse, the term Italy was used by the ancient Greeks to initially refer only to the southern portion of the peninsula corresponding to the modern province of Reggio and part of the provinces of and in . Nevertheless, by his time the larger concept of and "Italy" had become synonymous, and the name also applied to most of as well. According to 's , before the expansion of the , the name was used by ancient 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 . The ancient Greeks gradually came to apply the name "Italia" to a larger regionPallottino, M., History of Earliest Italy, trans. Ryle, M & Soper, K. in Jerome Lectures, Seventeenth Series, p. 50 In addition to the "" in the south, historians have suggested the existence of an "Etruscan Italy" covering variable areas of central Italy.Giovanni Brizzi, Roma. Potere e identità: dalle origini alla nascita dell'impero cristiano, Bologna, Patron, 2012 p. 94

The borders of , Italia, are better established. Cato's , the first work of history composed in , described Italy as the entire peninsula south of the .

(2017). 9783110544787, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. .
According to Cato and several Roman authors, the Alps formed the "walls of Italy".
(2010). 9780198152958, Oxford University Press. .
In 264 BC, Roman Italy extended from the and rivers of the centre-north to the entire south. The northern area of was occupied by Rome in the 220s BC and became considered geographically and part of Italy,
(2017). 9783110544787, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. .
but remained politically and separated. It was legally merged into the administrative unit of Italy in 42 BC by the triumvir as already planned by Julius Caesar.
(2020). 9780198153009, Oxford University Press. .
The islands of , , , and were added to Italy by in 292 AD, coinciding with the whole Italian geographical region. All its inhabitants were considered Italic and Roman., , V, 1,1.

The Latin term Italicus was used to describe "a man of Italy" as opposed to a provincial, or one from the . For example, Pliny the Elder notably wrote in a letter Italicus es an provincialis? meaning "are you an Italian or a provincial?". Letters 9.23 The adjective italianus, from which are derived the Italian (and also French and English) name of the Italians, is from and was used alternatively with Italicus during the early modern period. ytaliiens (1265) TLFi

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Italy was created. After the invasions, Italia was retained as the name for their kingdom, and for its successor kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire, which nominally lasted until 1806, although it had disintegrated due to factional politics pitting the empire against the ascendant city republics in the 13th century.


History

Prehistory and antiquity
Thousands of Lower Paleolithic artefacts have been recovered from , dating as far back as 850,000 years. Excavations throughout Italy revealed a presence dating back to the Middle Palaeolithic period some 200,000 years ago,Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2001, ch. 2. . while modern humans appeared about 40,000 years ago at .42.7–41.5 ka (1σ CI). Archaeological sites from this period include Addaura cave, , , and Gravina in Puglia.

The Ancient peoples of pre-Roman Italy – such as the , the Latins (from which the emerged), , , , , the , the , the , the , and many others – were Indo-European peoples, most of them specifically of the group. The main historic peoples of possible non-Indo-European or pre-Indo-European heritage include the of central and northern Italy, the and the in Sicily, and the prehistoric , who gave birth to the Nuragic civilisation. Other ancient populations being of undetermined language families and of possible non-Indo-European origin include the and , known for their rock carvings in Valcamonica, the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world. 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 in 1991.

The first foreign colonisers were the , who initially established colonies and founded various emporiums on the coasts of Sicily and Sardinia. Some of these soon became small urban centres and were developed parallel to the ancient Greek colonies; among the main centres there were the cities of , Zyz (modern ), in Sicily, and Nora, , and in Sardinia.

Between the 17th and the 11th centuries BC established contacts with Italy. The Mycenaeans and Italy: the archaeological and archaeometric ceramic evidence, University of Glasgow, Department of ArchaeologyGert 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 Studies, Amsterdam University Press, 2001Bryan Feuer, Mycenaean civilization: an annotated bibliography through 2002, McFarland & Company; Rev Sub edition (2 March 2004) In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, a number of were established starting at and eventually extending all along the southern part of the Italian Peninsula and the coast of Sicily, an area that later became known as .Emilio Peruzzi, Mycenaeans in early Latium, (Incunabula Graeca 75), Edizioni dell'Ateneo & Bizzarri, Roma, 1980

settlers founded , , , , , , and . colonists founded Taras, , , , , and ; the founded Ankón and ; the Megarese founded . The Achaeans founded , , , , and ; and found . The Greek colonization placed the in contact with democratic forms of government and with high artistic and cultural expressions.


Ancient Rome
, a settlement around a ford on the in central Italy and conventionally founded in 753 BC, was ruled for a period of 244 years by a system, initially with sovereigns of Latin and origin, later by Etruscan kings. The tradition handed down seven kings: , , , , Tarquinius Priscus, , and Tarquinius Superbus. In 509 BC, the Romans expelled the last king from their city, favouring a government of the (SPQR) and establishing an .

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 , Etruscans, Celts, and . 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. In the wake of 's rise and assassination in the 1st century BCE, Rome grew over the course of centuries into a massive empire stretching from to the borders of Persia, and engulfing the whole Mediterranean basin, in which Greek, Roman, and many other cultures merged into a unique civilisation. The long and triumphant reign of the first emperor, , began a golden age of peace and prosperity. Roman 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 Domina Provinciarum ("ruler of the ", the latter being all the remaining territories outside Italy).

(1987). 9780709931218, Croom Helm. .
(2024). 9788896543092, Roberto Pesce. .
More than followed, during which Italy was referred to as the Rectrix Mundi ("governor of the world") and Omnium Terrarum Parens ("parent of all lands").
(2010). 9781472519801, A&C Black. .

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. At its height under , it covered 5 million square kilometres. The Roman legacy has deeply influenced 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 , the modern Western alphabet and calendar, and the emergence of Christianity as a major world religion.

(2024). 9780742567795, Rowman & Littlefield.


Middle Ages
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Italy fell under the power of Odoacer's kingdom, and, later, was seized by the ,
(2024). 9780199261260, Oxford UP.
followed in the 6th century by a brief reconquest under Emperor . The invasion of another , the , 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. The peninsula was therefore divided as follows: northern Italy and Tuscany formed the Lombard kingdom, with its capital in , while in central-southern Italy the Lombards controlled the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. The remaining part of the peninsula remained under the Byzantines and was divided between the exarchate of Italy, based in , the Duchy of Rome, the Duchy of Naples, the Duchy of Calabria and Sicily, the latter directly dependent on the Emperor of Constantinople. Invasions of the peninsula caused a chaotic succession of barbarian kingdoms and the so-called "dark ages". The Lombard kingdom was subsequently absorbed into the by in the late 8th century and became the Kingdom of Italy. The Franks also helped the formation of the in central Italy. 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 () or with the latter () for momentary convenience.
(2024). 9780313330452, Greenwood Press.

The Germanic Emperor and the Roman Pontiff became the of medieval Europe. However, the conflict over the investiture controversy 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.

(1997). 9780198225850, Clarendon Press.
The investiture controversy was finally resolved by the Concordat of Worms. In 1176 a league of city-states, the , defeated the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano, thus ensuring effective independence for most of northern and central Italian cities.

Italian city-states such as , , and 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. In coastal and southern areas, the maritime republics grew to eventually dominate the Mediterranean and monopolise trade routes to the . They were independent city-states, though most of them originated from territories once belonging to the Byzantine Empire. All these cities during the time of their independence had similar systems of government in which the merchant class had considerable power. 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.

(1991). 9780801814600, Johns Hopkins University Press.
The four best known maritime republics were Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi; the others were Ancona, Gaeta, Noli, and Ragusa.G. Benvenuti – Le Repubbliche Marinare. Amalfi, Pisa, Genova, Venezia – Newton & Compton editori, Roma 1989; Armando Lodolini, Le repubbliche del mare, Biblioteca di storia patria, 1967, Roma. 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. Venice maintained enormous tracts of land in Greece, Cyprus, Istria, and Dalmatia until as late as the mid-17th century.
(1983). 9780896594067, Abbeville Press. .

Venice and Genoa were Europe's main gateways to trade with the East, and producers of fine glass, while Florence was a capital of silk, wool, banking, and jewellery. The wealth such business brought to Italy meant that large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned. The republics were heavily involved in the , providing support and transport, but most especially taking advantage of the political and trading opportunities resulting from these wars. Italy first felt the 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 to Asia; the first universities were formed in Italian cities, and scholars such as obtained international fame; Frederick I 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 and were active around 1300.

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

(2024). 9781565643505, International Institute of Islamic Thought.
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. In , 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 eventual Aragonese annexation in the 15th century. The of 1348 left its mark on Italy by killing perhaps one third of the population.Stéphane Barry and Norbert Gualde, "The Biggest Epidemics of History" (La plus grande épidémie de l'histoire), in L'Histoire n° 310, June 2006, pp. 45–46" Plague". Brown University.


Early Modern
Italy was the birthplace and heart of the during the 1400s and 1500s. 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. 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 the arts and sciences. The Italian princedoms represented a first form of modern states as opposed to feudal monarchies and multinational empires. The princedoms were led by political dynasties and merchant families such as the in , the Visconti and in the Duchy of Milan, the Doria in the Republic of Genoa, the Loredan, , and in the Republic of Venice, the Este in , and the Gonzaga in . Peter Barenboim, Sergey Shiyan, Michelangelo: Mysteries of Medici Chapel, SLOVO, Moscow, 2006 . The Renaissance was therefore a result of the wealth accumulated by Italian merchant cities combined with the patronage of its dominant families.Strathern, Paul The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (2003) Italian Renaissance exercised a dominant influence on subsequent European painting and sculpture for centuries afterwards, with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, , , , , , , and , and architects such as Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, , and .

Following the conclusion of the in favour of Rome at the Council of Constance (1415–1417), the new Pope Martin V returned to the after a three years-long journey that touched many Italian cities and restored Italy as the sole centre of Western Christianity. During the course of this voyage, the 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. The Popes' status as elective monarchs turned the and 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. 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. 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 .

The fall of Constantinople led to the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy, fuelling the rediscovery of Greco-Roman .Encyclopædia Britannica, Renaissance, 2008, O.Ed.Har, Michael H. History of Libraries in the Western World, Scarecrow Press Incorporate, 1999, Norwich, John Julius, A Short History of Byzantium, 1997, Knopf, Humanist rulers such as Federico da Montefeltro and Pope Pius II worked to establish where man is the measure of all things, and therefore founded and respectively. 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. The humanist historian was the first to divide human history in three periods: Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Modernity. The second consequence of the Fall of Constantinople was the beginning of the Age of Discovery.

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. The most notable among them were: Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo), 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;Encyclopædia Britannica, 1993 ed., Vol. 16, pp. 605ff / Morison, Christopher Columbus, 1955 ed., pp. 14ff (Giovanni Caboto), 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; , 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);

(2024). 9781610699952, ABC-CLIO. .
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.

Following the fall of Constantinople, the wars in Lombardy came to an end and a defensive alliance known as was formed between Venice, Naples, Florence, Milan, and the Papacy. Lorenzo the Magnificent de Medici was the greatest Florentine patron of the Renaissance and supporter of the Italic League. He notably avoided the collapse of the League in the aftermath of the and during the aborted invasion of Italy by the Turks. However, the military campaign of Charles VIII of France in Italy caused the end of the Italic League and initiated the between the Valois and the Habsburgs. During the of the 1500s, Italy was therefore both the main European battleground and the cultural-economic centre of the continent. 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. 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. In 1559, at the end of the French invasions of Italy and of the Italian wars, the many states of northern Italy remained part of the Holy Roman Empire, indirectly subject to the Austrian Habsburgs, while all of (Naples, Sicily, Sardinia) and Milan were under Spanish Habsburg rule.

The Papacy remained a powerful force and launched the Counter-reformation. Key events of the period include: the Council of Trent (1545–1563); the excommunication of (1570) and the Battle of Lepanto (1571), both occurring during the pontificate of Pius V; the construction of the , the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, and the Jesuit China mission of under Pope Gregory XIII; the French Wars of Religion; the Long Turkish War and the execution of in 1600, under Pope Clement VIII; the birth of the of the , of which the main figure was (later put ); 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.

The Italian economy declined during the 1600s and 1700s. Following the European wars of succession of the 18th century, the North fell under the influence of the Habsburg-Lorraine of Austria, while the south passed to a cadet branch of the Spanish Bourbons. During the , northern and central Italy was reorganised by Napoleon in a number of of France and later as a Kingdom of Italy in with the French Empire.Napoleon Bonaparte, "The Economy of the Empire in Italy: Instructions from Napoleon to Eugène, Viceroy of Italy," Exploring the European Past: Texts & Images, Second Edition, ed. Timothy E. Gregory (Mason: Thomson, 2007), 65–66. The southern half of the peninsula was administered by , Napoleon's brother-in-law, who was crowned as King of Naples. 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.

During the Napoleonic era, in 1797, the first official adoption of the Italian tricolour as a national flag by a sovereign Italian state, the Cispadane Republic, a Napoleonic of Revolutionary France, took place, on the basis of the events following the French Revolution (1789–1799) which, among its ideals, advocated the national self-determination.

(2024). 9788804509462, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.
The tri-coloured standard.Getting to Know Italy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (retrieved 5 October 2008) This event is celebrated by the .Article 1 of the law n. 671 of 31 December 1996 ("National celebration of the bicentenary of the first national flag") The Italian national colours appeared for the first time on a tricolour cockade in 1789, anticipating by seven years the first green, white and red Italian military , which was adopted by the in 1796.
(1999). 9788815071637, Il Mulino.


Unification
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. By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism, along with other social, economic, and military events, led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. 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. A prominent radical figure was the patriotic journalist , member of the secret revolutionary society and founder of the influential political movement Young Italy in the early 1830s, who favoured a unitary republic and advocated a broad nationalist movement. His prolific output of propaganda helped the unification movement stay active.

In this context, in 1847, the first public performance of the song "Il Canto degli Italiani", the Italian since 1946, took place.

(2024). 9788804509462, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.
Il Canto degli Italiani, written by set to music by , is also known as the Inno di Mameli, after the author of the lyrics, or Fratelli d'Italia, from its .

The most famous member of Young Italy was the revolutionary and general Giuseppe Garibaldi, renowned for his extremely loyal followers,Denis Mack Smith, Modern Italy: A Political History, (University of Michigan Press, 1997) p. 15. A literary echo may be found in the character of Giorgio Viola in Joseph Conrad's . who led the Italian republican drive for unification in Southern Italy. 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. In the context of the 1848 liberal revolutions that swept through Europe, an unsuccessful first war of independence was declared on . In 1855, the Kingdom of Sardinia became an ally of Britain and France in the , giving Cavour's diplomacy legitimacy in the eyes of the great powers.Enrico Dal Lago, "Lincoln, Cavour, and National Unification: American Republicanism and Italian Liberal Nationalism in Comparative Perspective." The Journal of the Civil War Era 3#1 (2013): 85–113.William L. Langer, ed., An Encyclopedia of World Cup History. 4th ed. 1968. pp 704–7. 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 . On the basis of the Plombières Agreement, the Kingdom of Sardinia ceded and to France, an event that caused the Niçard exodus, that was the emigration of a quarter of the Niçard Italians to Italy, and the Niçard Vespers.

In 1860–1861, Garibaldi led the drive for unification in Naples and Sicily (the Expedition of the Thousand),Mack Smith, Denis (1997). Modern Italy; A Political History. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. while the House of Savoy troops occupied the central territories of the Italian peninsula, except Rome and part of Papal States. 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. Cavour agreed to include Garibaldi's Southern Italy allowing it to join the union with the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860. This allowed the Sardinian government to declare a united Italian kingdom on 17 March 1861. Victor Emmanuel II then became the first king of a united Italy, and the capital was moved from Turin to Florence. The title of "King of Italy" had been out of use since the abdication of Napoleon I of France on 6 April 1814.

In 1866, Victor Emmanuel II allied with during the Austro-Prussian War, waging the Third Italian War of Independence which allowed Italy to annexe . 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. Italian unification was completed and shortly afterwards Italy's capital was moved to Rome. Victor Emmanuel, Garibaldi, Cavour, and Mazzini have been referred as Italy's Four Fathers of the Fatherland.


Liberal period
The new Kingdom of Italy obtained status. 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. The government of the new kingdom took place in a framework of parliamentary constitutional monarchy dominated by liberal forces. As 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. The Italian Socialist Party constantly increased in strength, challenging the traditional liberal and conservative establishment.

Starting in the last two decades of the 19th century, Italy developed into a by forcing under its rule and in East Africa, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in North Africa (later unified in the colony of ) and the Dodecanese islands.(Bosworth (2005), p. 49.) From 2 November 1899 to 7 September 1901, Italy also participated as part of the Eight-Nation Alliance forces during the 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. In 1913, male universal suffrage was adopted. The pre-war period dominated by Giovanni Giolitti, Prime Minister five times between 1892 and 1921, was characterised by the economic, industrial, and political-cultural modernization of Italian society.

Italy entered into the First World War in 1915 with the aim of completing national unity: for this reason, the Italian intervention in the First World War is also considered the Fourth Italian War of Independence, in a historiographical perspective that identifies in the latter the conclusion of the unification of Italy, whose military actions began during the revolutions of 1848 with the First Italian War of Independence.

(2009). 9788856818680, FrancoAngeli. .

Italy, nominally allied with the and the Empire of in the Triple Alliance, in 1915 joined the Allies into World War I with a promise of substantial territorial gains, that included western , former Austrian Littoral, as well as parts of the . The country gave a fundamental contribution to the victory of the conflict as one of the "Big Four" top Allied powers. The war on the Italian Front was initially inconclusive, as the Italian army got stuck in a long in the Alps, making little progress and suffering heavy losses. 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 River Piave. Eventually, in October 1918, the Italians launched a massive offensive, culminating in the victory of Vittorio Veneto. The Italian victory,Burgwyn, H. James: Italian foreign policy in the interwar period, 1918–1940. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997. p. 4. Schindler, John R.: Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001. p. 303. Mack Smith, Denis: Mussolini. Knopf, 1982. p. 31. which was announced by the Bollettino della Vittoria and the Bollettino della Vittoria Navale, 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. Italian armed forces were also involved in the African theatre, the Balkan theatre, the Middle Eastern theatre, and then took part in the Occupation of Constantinople.

During the war, more than 650,000 Italian soldiers and as many civilians died, and the kingdom went to the brink of bankruptcy. The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919) and the Treaty of Rapallo (1920) allowed the annexation of Trentino Alto-Adige, the , and the , as well as the city of . The subsequent Treaty of Rome (1924) led to the annexation of the city of by Italy. Italy did not receive other territories promised by the Treaty of London (1915), so this outcome was denounced as a "mutilated victory". The rhetoric of "mutilated victory" was adopted by and led to the rise of , becoming a key point in the propaganda of Fascist Italy. Historians regard "mutilated victory" as a "political myth", used by fascists to fuel Italian imperialism and obscure the successes of in the aftermath of World War I.G.Sabbatucci, La vittoria mutilata, in AA.VV., Miti e storia dell'Italia unita, Il Mulino, Bologna 1999, pp.101–106 Italy also gained a permanent seat in the League of Nations's executive council.


Fascist regime
The that followed the devastation of the Great War, inspired by the Russian Revolution, led to counter-revolution and repression throughout Italy. The liberal establishment, fearing a Soviet-style revolution, started to endorse the small National Fascist Party, led by Benito Mussolini. In October 1922, the of the National Fascist Party organized a mass demonstration and a coup named the "March on Rome"; the Prime Minister wished to declare a state of siege, but this was overruled by King Victor Emmanuel III, who, on 30 October 1922, appointed Mussolini as Prime Minister, thereby transferring political power to the fascists without armed conflict.
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Over the next few years, Mussolini banned all political parties and curtailed personal liberties, thus forming a dictatorship. These actions attracted international attention and eventually inspired similar dictatorships such as and .

Italian is based upon Italian nationalism and imperialism, and in particular seeks to complete what it considers as the incomplete project of the unification of Italy by incorporating Italia Irredenta (unredeemed Italy) into the state of Italy.Aristotle A. Kallis. Fascist ideology: territory and expansionism in Italy and Germany, 1922–1945. London, England, UK; New York City, USA: Routledge, 2000, pp. 41.Terence Ball, Richard Bellamy. The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought. Pp. 133 To the east of Italy, the Fascists claimed that Dalmatia was a land of Italian culture whose Italians, including those of Italianized descent, had been driven out of Dalmatia and into exile in Italy, and supported the return of Italians of Dalmatian heritage.Jozo Tomasevich. War and Revolution in Yugoslavia 1941–1945: Occupation and Collaboration. Stanford, California, USA: Stanford University Press, 2001. P. 131. Mussolini identified Dalmatia as having strong Italian cultural roots for centuries, similarly to Istria, via the and the Republic of Venice.Larry Wolff. Venice And the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment. Stanford, California, USA: Stanford University Press, P. 355. To the south of Italy, the Fascists claimed Malta, which belonged to the United Kingdom, and Corfu, which instead belonged to Greece; to the north claimed Italian Switzerland, while to the west claimed Corsica, Nice, and Savoy, which belonged to France.Aristotle A. Kallis. Fascist Ideology: Expansionism in Italy and Germany 1922–1945. London, England; UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2000. P. 118. Mussolini Unleashed, 1939–1941: Politics and Strategy in Fascist Italy's Last War. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986, 1999. P. 38. The Fascist regime produced literature on Corsica that presented evidence of the island's italianità.. Fascism's European Empire: Italian Occupation during the Second World War. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006. P. 88. The Fascist regime produced literature on Nice that justified that Nice was an Italian land based on historic, ethnic, and linguistic grounds. during its existence ]] 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. During the interwar period, the fascist Italian government undertook a campaign of in the areas it annexed, which suppressed Slavic language, schools, political parties, and cultural institutions. Between 1922 and the beginning of World War II, the affected people were also the -speaking and -speaking populations of Trentino-Alto Adige, and the - and -speaking regions of the , such as the Aosta valley.

Mussolini promised to bring Italy back as a in Europe, building a "New Roman Empire"

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and holding power over the Mediterranean Sea. In propaganda, Fascists used the ancient Roman motto " " (Latin for "Our Sea") to describe the Mediterranean. For this reason the Fascist regime engaged in interventionist foreign policy. In 1923, the Greek island of Corfu was , after the assassination of in Greek territory. In 1925, Italy forced Albania to become a . In 1935, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and founded 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 , and strongly supported in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, Italy formally annexed Albania. Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940. The Italians initially advanced in British Somaliland, Egypt, the Balkans (establishing the Governorate of Dalmatia and Montenegro, the Province of Ljubljana, and the puppet states Independent State of Croatia and Hellenic State), and eastern fronts. They were, however, subsequently defeated on the Eastern Front as well as in the East African campaign and the North African campaign, losing as a result their territories in Africa and in the Balkans.

During World War II, Italian war crimes included extrajudicial killings and James H. Burgwyn (2004). General Roatta's war against the partisans in Yugoslavia: 1942 , Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Volume 9, Number 3, pp. 314–329(16) by deportation of about 25,000 people, mainly Jews, Croats, and Slovenians, to the Italian concentration camps, such as Rab, Gonars, , Renicci di Anghiari, and elsewhere. Yugoslav Partisans perpetrated their own crimes against the local ethnic ( and Dalmatian Italians) during and after the war, including the . In Italy and Yugoslavia, unlike in Germany, few war crimes were prosecuted. Italy's bloody secret (archived by ), written by , Education, , June 2001 (2004) Britain and the 'Hand-over' of Italian War Criminals to Yugoslavia, 1945–48. Journal of Contemporary History. Vol. 39, No. 4, Special Issue: Collective Memory, pp. 503–529 (2006) «Si ammazza troppo poco». I crimini di guerra italiani. 1940–43 , Mondadori, Baldissara, Luca & Pezzino, Paolo (2004). Crimini e memorie di guerra: violenze contro le popolazioni e politiche del ricordo, L'Ancora del Mediterraneo.

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. 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. On 8 September, Italy signed the Armistice of Cassibile, ending its war with the Allies. Shortly thereafter, the Germans, with the assistance of the Italian fascists, succeeded in taking control of northern and central Italy. The country remained a battlefield for the rest of the war, with the Allies slowly moving up from the south.

In the north, the Germans set up the Italian Social Republic (RSI), a Nazi with Mussolini installed as leader after he was rescued by German paratroopers. Some Italian troops in the south were organised 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. Also, the post-armistice period saw the rise of a large anti-fascist resistance movement, the .G. Bianchi, La Resistenza, in: AA.VV., Storia d'Italia, vol. 8, pp. 368-369. As result, the country descended into civil war;See the books from Italian historian Giorgio Pisanò Storia della guerra civile in Italia, 1943–1945, 3 voll., Milano, FPE, 1965 and the book L'Italia della guerra civile ("Italy of civil war"), published in 1983 by the Italian writer and journalist as the fifteen volume of the Storia d'Italia ("History of Italy") by the same author. the Italian resistance fought a guerrilla war against the and Italian Fascist forces, while clashes between the Fascist RSI Army and the Royalist Italian Co-Belligerent Army were rare.

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

Hostilities ended on 29 April 1945, when the German forces in Italy surrendered. Nearly half a million Italians (including civilians) died in the conflict, society was divided 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.Adrian Lyttelton (editor), "Liberal and fascist Italy, 1900–1945", Oxford University Press, 2002. p. 13 The aftermath of World War II left Italy also with an anger against the monarchy for its endorsement of the Fascist regime for the previous twenty years. These frustrations contributed to a revival of the Italian republican movement.


Republican era
Italy became a republic after the 1946 Italian institutional referendum held on 2 June, a day celebrated since as Festa della Repubblica. This was the first time Italian women voted at the national level. Victor Emmanuel III's son, , was forced to abdicate and exiled. The Republican Constitution was approved in 1948. Under the Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947, areas next to the were annexed by Yugoslavia causing the Istrian-Dalmatian exodus, which led to the emigration of between 230,000 and 350,000 of local ethnic ( and Dalmatian Italians), the others being ethnic Slovenians, ethnic Croatians, and ethnic , choosing to maintain Italian citizenship. Later, the Free Territory of Trieste was divided between the two states. Italy lost all of its colonial possessions, formally ending the . The Italian border today has existed since 1975, when was formally re-annexed to Italy.

Fears of a possible Communist takeover proved crucial for the 18 April 1948, when the Christian Democrats, under Alcide De Gasperi, obtained a landslide victory.

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Consequently, in 1949 Italy became a member of . The revived the Italian economy which, until the late 1960s, enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth commonly called the "Economic Miracle". In the 1950s, Italy became one of the six founding countries of the European Communities, a forerunner of the .

From the late 1960s until the early 80s, 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.

In the 1980s, for the first time since 1945, two governments were led by non-Christian-Democrat premiers: one republican and one socialist; the Christian Democrats remained, however, the main government party. The economy recovered and Italy became the world's fifth-largest industrial nation after it gained entry into the G7 in the 1970s. However, the Italian national debt skyrocketed passing 100% of the country's GDP.

Italy faced terror attacks between 1992 and 1993 perpetrated by the as a consequence of new anti-mafia measures launched by the government. One year later (May–July 1993), tourist spots were attacked, leaving 10 dead and 93 injured and causing severe damage to cultural heritage such as the . The Catholic Church openly condemned the Mafia and an anti-Mafia priest shot dead in Rome.

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In the early 1990s, voters – disenchanted with political paralysis, massive public debt and extensive corruption (known as ) uncovered by the ( Mani Pulite) investigation – demanded radical reforms. 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 into several factions.The so-called "Second Republic" was born by forceps: not with a revolt of Algiers, but formally under the same Constitution, with the mere replacement of one ruling class by another: The Communists reorganised as a social-democratic force. During the 1990s and 2000s, centre-right (dominated by media magnate Silvio Berlusconi) and centre-left coalitions (led by university professor ) alternately governed the country.

Amidst the , Berlusconi resigned in 2011, and was replaced by the technocratic cabinet of . Following the 2013 general election, the Vice-Secretary of the Democratic Party formed a at the head of a right-left Grand coalition. In 2014, challenged by the new Secretary of the PD , Letta resigned and was replaced by Renzi. The new government started constitutional reforms. On 4 December, constitutional reform was rejected in a referendum and Renzi resigned; was appointed Prime Minister.

In the European migrant crisis of the 2010s, Italy was the entry point and leading destination for most asylum seekers entering the EU. Between 2013 and 2018, the country took in over 700,000 migrants and refugees, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, which caused strain on the public purse and a surge in support for far-right or euro-sceptic parties. The 2018 general election was characterised by a strong showing of the Five Star Movement and the . Professor became Prime Minister at the head of a populist coalition between these two parties. After only fourteen months the League withdrew its support from Conte, who formed a new government coalition between the Five Star Movement and the centre-left.

In 2020, Italy was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conte's government imposed a national lockdown. With more than 155,000 confirmed victims, Italy was one of the countries with the highest deaths in the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic caused a severe economic disruption, in which Italy was one of the most affected countries. L'Italia pagherà il conto più salato della crisi post-epidemia , AGI

In February 2021, after a government crisis within his majority, Conte was forced to resign and , former president of the European Central Bank, formed a supported by most of the main parties, pledging to oversee implementation of economic stimulus to face the crisis caused by the pandemic. On 22 October 2022, was sworn in as Italy's first female prime minister. Her Brothers of Italy party formed a right-wing government with the far-right League and Berlusconi's italic=no.


Geography
Italy, whose territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region, is located in and it is also considered a part of , between latitudes 35° and 47° N, and longitudes 6° and 19° E. To the north, Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia and is roughly delimited by the , enclosing the and the . To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula and the two Mediterranean islands of and (the two biggest islands of the Mediterranean), in addition to many smaller islands. The sovereign states of and the are enclaves within Italy, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland.

The country's total area is , of which is land and is water. Including the islands, Italy has a coastline and border of on the , , seas, and borders shared with France (), Austria (), Slovenia () and Switzerland (). San Marino () and Vatican City (), both enclaves, account for the remainder.

Over 35% of the Italian territory is mountainous.

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The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula's backbone, and the form most of its northern boundary, where Italy's highest point is located on summit (Monte Bianco) (). Other worldwide-known mountains in Italy include the (Monte Cervino), , in the West Alps, and , and along the eastern side.

The Po, Italy's longest river (), flows from the Alps on the western border with France and crosses the on its way to the . The Po Valley is the largest plain in Italy, with , and it represents over 70% of the total plain area in the country.

Many elements of the Italian territory are of volcanic origin. Most of the small islands and archipelagos in the south, like , , , , and are . There are also active volcanoes: in Sicily (the largest active volcano in Europe), , , and (the only active volcano on mainland Europe).

The five largest lakes are, in order of diminishing size: (), (, whose minor northern part is part of Switzerland), (), () and (). Four different seas surround the Italian Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea from three sides: the in the east, the in the south, and the and the in the west. The longest Italian river is the Po, which flows for either or . Most of the rivers of Italy drain either into the Adriatic Sea or the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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 continental shelf. These territories are the comuni of: , , , (in part), , , Graun im Vinschgau (in part), which are all part of the Danube's drainage basin, while the Val di Lei constitutes part of the 's basin and the islands of and are on the African continental shelf.


Environment
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 5% of the country, while the total area protected by national parks, regional parks and nature reserves covers about 10.5% of the Italian territory, to which must be added 12% of coasts protected by marine protected areas.

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 capacity and the sixth largest holder of capacity in 2010. Renewable energies provided approximately 37% Italy's energy consumption in 2020. 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 is the twelfth-largest carbon dioxide producer.United Nations Statistics Division, Millennium Development Goals indicators: Carbon dioxide emissions (), thousand metric tons of (collected by CDIAC)Human-produced, direct emissions of carbon dioxide only. Excludes other greenhouse gases; land-use, land-use-change and forestry (LULUCF); and natural background flows of (See also: )

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

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 flood, the 1998 and 2009 Messina . The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 3.65/10, ranking it 142nd globally out of 172 countries.


Biodiversity
Italy has probably the highest level of in , with over 57,000 species recorded, representing more than a third of all European fauna, and the highest level of biodiversity of both animal and plant species within the . Italy's varied geological structure contributes to its high climate and habitat diversity. The Italian peninsula is in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, forming a corridor between central Europe and , and has of coastline. Italy also receives species from the , , and the . Italy's varied geological structure, including the and the , Central Italian woodlands, and Southern Italian and , also contribute to high climate and habitat diversity.

The fauna of Italy includes 4,777 animal species, which include the Sardinian long-eared bat, Sardinian red deer, spectacled salamander, brown cave salamander, , Italian frog, Apennine yellow-bellied toad, Italian wall lizard, Aeolian wall lizard, Sicilian wall lizard, Italian Aesculapian snake, and Sicilian pond turtle. In Italy, there are 119 mammals species, 550 bird species, 69 reptile species, 39 amphibian species, 623 fish species, and 56,213 invertebrate species, of which 37,303 insect species.

The flora of Italy was traditionally estimated to comprise about 5,500 species.Pignatti, S. (1982). Flora d'Italia. Edagricole, Bologna, vol. 1–3, 1982 However, , 6,759 species are recorded in the Data bank of Italian vascular flora. Italy has 1,371 endemic plant species and subspecies, which include Sicilian Fir, Barbaricina columbine, , Lavender cotton, and . 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 has many botanical gardens and historic gardens, some of which are known outside the country. The is stylistically based on symmetry, axial geometry and on the principle of imposing order over nature. It influenced the history of gardening, especially and . The Italian garden was influenced by and Italian Renaissance gardens.

The is the of Italy, while the of the country is the . The reasons for this choice are related to the fact that the Italian wolf, which inhabits the Apennine Mountains and the , features prominently in Latin and Italian cultures, such as in the legend of the founding of Rome, while the green leaves, white flowers and red berries of the strawberry tree, which is native to the Mediterranean region, recall the colours of the flag of Italy.


Climate
The climate of Italy is influenced by the large body of water of the Mediterranean Sea that surrounds Italy on every side except the north. These seas constitute a reservoir of and for Italy. Within the southern temperate zone, they determine a Mediterranean climate with local differences due to the of the territory, which tends to make its mitigating effects felt, especially in conditions.

Because of the length of the peninsula and the mostly mountainous hinterland, the climate of Italy is highly diverse. In most of the inland northern and central regions, the climate ranges from humid subtropical to humid continental and . The climate of the geographical region is mostly humid subtropical, with cool winters and hot summers.Adriana Rigutti, Meteorologia, Giunti, p. 95, 2009.Thomas A. Blair, Climatology: General and Regional, Prentice Hall pp. 131–132 The coastal areas of , and most of the generally fit the Mediterranean climate stereotype (Köppen climate classification).

Conditions on the coast are different from those in the interior, particularly during winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions have mild winters and hot and generally dry summers; lowland valleys are hot in summer. Average winter temperatures vary from around in the Alps to in Sicily, so average summer temperatures range from to over .

Winters can vary widely across the country with lingering cold, foggy and snowy periods in the north and milder, sunnier conditions in the south. Summers are hot across the country, except for at high altitude, particularly in the south. Northern and central areas can experience occasional strong thunderstorms from spring to autumn.


Politics
Italy has been a parliamentary republic since 2 June 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by a constitutional referendum. The President of Italy ( Presidente della Repubblica), currently Sergio Mattarella since 2015, is Italy's head of state. The President is elected for a single seven years mandate by the Parliament of Italy and some regional voters in . Italy has a written democratic constitution, resulting from the work of a Constituent Assembly formed by the representatives of all the forces that contributed to the defeat of Nazi and Fascist forces during the Italian Civil War.Smyth, Howard McGaw Italy: From Fascism to the Republic (1943–1946) The Western Political Quarterly vol. 1 no. 3 (pp. 205–222), September 1948.


Government
Italy has a parliamentary government based on a mixed proportional and majoritarian voting system. The parliament is perfectly : 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. The Prime Minister, officially President of the Council of Ministers ( Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri), is Italy's head of government. 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. To remain the Prime Minister has to pass also eventual further votes of confidence or no confidence in Parliament.

The prime minister is the President of the Council of Ministers – which holds effective executive power – and must receive a vote of approval from it to execute most political activities. The office is similar to those in most other parliamentary systems, but the head of the Italian government is not authorised to request the dissolution of the Parliament of Italy.

Another difference with similar offices is that the overall political responsibility for intelligence is vested in the President of the Council of Ministers. By virtue of that, the Prime Minister has exclusive power to coordinate intelligence policies, determine the financial resources and strengthen national cyber security; apply and protect State secrets; authorise agents to carry out operations, in Italy or abroad, in violation of the law.

A peculiarity of the Italian Parliament is the representation given to Italian citizens permanently living abroad: 8 Deputies and 4 Senators elected in four distinct overseas constituencies. 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". Former Presidents of the Republic are ex officio life senators.

Italy's three major political parties are the Brothers of Italy, the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement. During the 2022 general election, these three parties and their coalitions won 357 out of 400 seats available in the Chamber of Deputies and 187 out of 200 in the Senate. The centre-right coalition, which included Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy, 's , Silvio Berlusconi's italic=no and 's , won a majority of the seats in parliament. The rest of the seats were taken by the centre-left coalition, which included 's Democratic Party, 's Greens and Left Alliance, Aosta Valley, 's & Luigi Di Maio's , as well as by 's Five Star Movement, 's Action - Italia Viva, and 's South Tyrolean People's Party, Cateno De Luca's South Calls North and Ricardo Antonio Merlo's Associative Movement of Italians Abroad.


Law and criminal justice
The law of Italy has a plurality of sources of production. These are arranged in a hierarchical scale, under which the rule of a lower source cannot conflict with the rule of an upper source (hierarchy of sources). The Constitution of 1948 is the main source. The judiciary of Italy is based on modified by the and later statutes. The Supreme Court of Cassation is the highest court in Italy for both criminal and civil appeal cases. The Constitutional Court of Italy ( Corte Costituzionale) rules on the conformity of laws with the constitution and is a post–World War II innovation.

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 , the most notorious of which being the , which would later expand into some foreign countries including the United States. Mafia receipts may reach 9% of Italy's GDP.

A 2009 report identified 610 which have a strong Mafia presence, where 13 million live and 14.6% of the Italian GDP is produced. The 'Ndrangheta, nowadays probably the most powerful crime syndicate of Italy, accounts alone for 3% of the country's GDP. 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. These are relatively low figures among developed countries.

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

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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),
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as well as the (). Although policing in Italy is primarily provided on a national basis, there also exists Polizia Provinciale (Provincial Police) and Polizia Municipale (Municipal Police).

Italy is regarded as being behind other nations with regards to LGBT rights. Additionally, Italy's law prohibiting torture is considered behind international standards.


Foreign relations
Italy is a founding member of the European Economic Community (EEC), now the (EU), and of . 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. 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 is also a recurrent non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the most recently in 2017.

Italy strongly supports multilateral international politics, endorsing the United Nations and its international security activities. In 2013, Italy had 5,296 troops deployed abroad, engaged in 33 UN and NATO missions in 25 countries of the world. Italy deployed troops in support of UN peacekeeping missions in , Mozambique, and East Timor and provides support for NATO and UN operations in , and Albania. Italy deployed over 2,000 troops in in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from February 2003.

Italy supported international efforts to reconstruct and stabilise , but it had withdrawn its military contingent of some 3,200 troops by 2006, maintaining only humanitarian operators and other civilian personnel. In August 2006 Italy deployed about 2,450 troops in Lebanon for the United Nations' mission . "Italian soldiers leave for Lebanon" Corriere della Sera, 30 August 2006 Italy is one of the largest financiers of the Palestinian National Authority, contributing €60 million in 2013 alone.


Military
The , , Air Force and collectively form the Italian Armed Forces, under the command of the High Council of Defence, presided over by the President of Italy, as established by article 87 of the Constitution of Italy. According to article 78, the Parliament has the authority to declare a state of war and vest the necessary powers in the Government.

Despite not being a branch of the armed forces, the Guardia di Finanza ("Financial Guard") has military status and is organized along military lines. Since 2005, military service is voluntary. In 2010, the Italian military had 293,202 personnel on active duty,"The Military Balance 2010", pp. 141–145. International Institute for Strategic Studies, 3 February 2010. of which 114,778 are Carabinieri. As part of Italy also hosts 90 United States B61 nuclear bombs, located in the Ghedi and Aviano air bases.

The Italian Army is the national ground defence force. Its best-known combat vehicles are the infantry fighting vehicle, the and the , and among its aircraft the Mangusta attack helicopter, in the last years deployed in EU, NATO and UN missions. It also has at its disposal many Leopard 1 and M113 armoured vehicles. It was formed in 1946 from what remained of the ("Royal Army", which was established on the occasion of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, 1861) after World War II, when Italy became a republic following a referendum.

The is a . 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. It was formed in 1946 from what remained of the ("Royal Navy", which was established on the occasion of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, 1861) after World War II, when Italy became a republic following a referendum. The Italian Navy in 2014 operates 154 vessels in service, including minor auxiliary vessels.

The Italian Air Force in 2021 operates 219 combat jets. A transport capability is guaranteed by a fleet of 27 C-130Js and C-27J Spartan. The Italian Air Force was founded as an independent service arm on 28 March 1923 by King Victor Emmanuel III as the Regia Aeronautica ("Royal Air Force"). After World War II, when Italy became a republic following a referendum, the Regia Aeronautica was given its current name. The acrobatic display team is the ("Tricolour Arrows").

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


Administrative divisions
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 7,904 municipalities ( ). This is a list of regions in Italy:


Economy
Italy has a major advanced , ranking as the third-largest in the and the eighth-largest in the world by nominal GDP the ninth-largest national wealth and the third-largest central bank . A founding member of the G7, the eurozone and the , it is regarded as one of the world's most industrialised nations and a leading country in world trade and exports. It is a developed country, ranked 30th on the Human Development Index. It also performs well in , healthcare and . 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 is the world's sixth-largest manufacturing country," Manufacturing, value added (current US$) ". accessed on 17 May 2017. 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 . 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 was the world's tenth-largest exporter in 2019. Its closest trade ties are with the other countries of the European Union. Its largest export partners in 2019 were Germany (12%), France (11%), and the United States (10%).

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. is currently the world's fifth-largest auto maker. The country boasts a wide range of acclaimed products, from compact city cars to luxury supercars such as , Pagani, , and .

The Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the world's oldest or second oldest bank in continuous operation, depending on the definition, and the fourth-largest Italian commercial and retail bank. Italy has a strong sector, with the largest share of the population (4.5%) employed by a cooperative in the EU. The Val d'Agri area, , hosts the largest onshore hydrocarbon field in Europe. Moderate natural gas reserves, mainly in the and offshore , have been discovered in recent years and constitute the country's most important mineral resource. Italy is one of the world's leading producers of , , and . Another notable mineral resource is , especially the world-famous white from the Massa and Carrara quarries in .

Italy is part of a monetary union, the eurozone, and of the European single market, which represents more than 500 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Italy introduced the common European currency, the in 2002. It is a member of the eurozone which represents around 330 million citizens. Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank.

Italy was hit hard by the financial crisis of 2007–08, that exacerbated the country's structural problems. Effectively, after a strong GDP growth of 5–6% per year from the 1950s to the early 1970s,

(1996). 9780521496278, Cambridge University Press.
and a progressive slowdown in the 1980–90s, the country virtually stagnated in the 2000s. The political efforts to revive growth with massive government spending eventually produced a severe rise in , that stood at over 131.8% of GDP in 2017, ranking second in the EU only after the Greek one. 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 is much lower than the OECD average.

A gaping North–South divide is a major factor of socio-economic weakness. It can be noted by the huge difference in statistical income between the northern and southern regions and municipalities. The richest province, , earns 152% of the national GDP per capita, while the poorest region, Calabria, 61%. The 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. The youth unemployment rate (31.7% in March 2018) is extremely high compared to EU standards.


Agriculture
According to the last national agricultural census, there were 1.6 million farms in 2010 (−32.4% since 2000) covering (63% of which are located in ). The vast majority (99%) are family-operated and small, averaging only in size. Of the total surface area in agricultural use (forestry excluded), fields take up 31%, orchards 8.2%, 5.4%, orchards 3.8%, 1.7%, and 2.4%. The remainder is primarily dedicated to pastures (25.9%) and feed grains (11.6%).

Italy is the world's largest wine producer, and one of the leading in , fruits (, , , oranges, , , , , , , , and ), and vegetables (especially and ). The most famous are probably the Tuscan and the Piedmontese . Other famous wines are , Barbera d'Asti, Brunello di Montalcino, , Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Morellino di Scansano, and the Franciacorta and .

Quality goods in which Italy specialises, particularly the already mentioned wines and regional cheeses, are often protected under the quality assurance labels DOC/DOP. This geographical indication certificate, which is attributed by the , is considered important in order to avoid confusion with low-quality mass-produced .


Transport
The national railway network, state-owned and operated by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FSI), in 2008 totalled of which is electrified, and on which 4,802 locomotives and railcars run. The main public operator of high-speed trains is , part of FSI. Higher-speed trains are divided into three categories: (red arrow) trains operate at a maximum speed of 300 km/h on dedicated high-speed tracks; (silver arrow) trains operate at a maximum speed of 250 km/h on both high-speed and mainline tracks; and (white arrow) trains operate on high-speed regional lines at a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Italy has 11 rail border crossings over the Alpine mountains with its neighbouring countries.

Italy is the fifth in Europe by the number of passengers by air transport, with about 148 million passengers or about 10% of the European total in 2011. In 2022 there were 45 civil airports in Italy, including the two hubs of Malpensa International Airport in Milan and Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome. Since October 2021, Italy's flag carrier airline is , which took over the brand, the IATA ticketing code, and many assets belonging to the former flag carrier , after its bankruptcy.

In 2004 there were 43 major seaports, including the seaport of , the country's largest and second-largest in the Mediterranean Sea. In 2005 Italy maintained a civilian air fleet of about 389,000 units and a merchant fleet of 581 ships. The national inland waterways network has a length of for commercial traffic in 2012.

Italy has been the final destination of the for many centuries. In particular, the construction of the intensified sea trade with East Africa and Asia from the 19th century. Since the end of the Cold War and increasing European integration, the trade relations, which were often interrupted in the 20th century, have intensified again and the northern Italian ports such as the deep-water port of in the northernmost part of the Mediterranean with its extensive rail connections to Central and Eastern Europe are once again the destination of government subsidies and significant foreign investment.Marcus Hernig: Die Renaissance der Seidenstraße (2018) pp 112.Bernhard Simon: Can The New Silk Road Compete With The Maritime Silk Road? in The Maritime Executive, 1 January 2020.Chazizam, M. (2018). The Chinese Maritime Silk Road Initiative: The Role of the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Quarterly, 29(2), 54–69.Guido Santevecchi: Di Maio e la Via della Seta: «Faremo i conti nel 2020», siglato accordo su Trieste in Corriere della Sera: 5. November 2019.Linda Vierecke, Elisabetta Galla "Triest und die neue Seidenstraße" In: Deutsche Welle, 8 December 2020.


Energy
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. Wind power, hydroelectricity, and geothermal power are also significant sources of electricity in the country. Renewable sources account for 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%. The rest of the national demand is covered by fossil fuels (38.2% natural gas, 13% coal, 8.4% oil) and by imports. , with operations in 79 countries, is considered one of the seven "" oil companies in the world, and one of the world's largest industrial companies.

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. The Montalto di Castro Photovoltaic Power Station, completed in 2010, is the largest photovoltaic power station in Italy with 85 MW. 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 was the first country in the world to exploit geothermal energy to produce electricity. Italy had managed four nuclear reactors until the 1980s. However, nuclear power in Italy has been abandoned following a 1987 referendum (in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Soviet Ukraine), though Italy still imports nuclear energy from Italy-owned reactors in foreign territories.


Science and technology
Through the centuries, Italy has fostered the scientific community that produced many major discoveries in physics and other sciences. During the Italian polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), (1475–1564) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) made contributions in a variety of fields, including biology, architecture, and engineering. (1564–1642), an , , , and , played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. He is considered the "father" of observational astronomy, modern physics,
(2024). 9781402769771, Sterling Publishing. .
(2024). 9780595368778, iUniverse. .
the scientific method, Thomas Hobbes: Critical Assessments, Volume 1. Preston King. 1993. p. 59 and .

Other astronomers such as Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625–1712) and Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835–1910) made discoveries about the . In mathematics, Joseph Louis Lagrange (born Giuseppe Lodovico Lagrangia, 1736–1813) was active before leaving Italy. ( – ), and (1501–1576) made fundamental advances in mathematics. established to the world. Physicist (1901–1954), a Nobel prize laureate, led the team in Chicago that developed the first nuclear reactor. He is considered the "architect of the " and the "architect of the ". He, Emilio G. Segrè (1905–1989) who discovered the elements and , and the ), (1905–1993) a pioneer in Cosmic Rays and X-ray astronomy) and a number of Italian physicists were forced to leave Italy in the 1930s by Fascist laws against Jews.Lucia Orlando, "Physics in the 1930s: Jewish Physicists' Contribution to the Realization of the" New Tasks" of Physics in Italy." Historical studies in the physical and biological sciences (1998): 141–181.

Other prominent physicists include: (most noted for his contributions to , in particular, the Avogadro's law and the Avogadro constant), Evangelista Torricelli (inventor of ), (inventor of ), Guglielmo Marconi (inventor of ), and Antonio Pacinotti, pioneers of the induction motor, , pioneer of light bulb and Innocenzo Manzetti, eclectic pioneer of auto and robotics, (who discovered the ), (1984 Nobel Prize in Physics for work leading to the discovery of the W and Z particles at ). is known for developing a voice-communication device which is often credited as the first .Wheen, Andrew. Dot-Dash to Dot.com: How Modern Telecommunications Evolved from the Telegraph to the Internet. Springer, 2010. p. 45. Web. 23 September 2011.Cleveland, Cutler (Lead Author); Saundry, Peter (Topic Editor). Meucci, Antonio. Encyclopedia of Earth, 2006. Web. 22 July 2012. Pier Giorgio Perotto in 1964 designed one of the first desktop programmable calculators, the Programma 101.

In biology, has been the first to challenge the theory of spontaneous generation by demonstrating that maggots come from eggs of flies and he described 180 parasites in detail and Marcello Malpighi founded microscopic anatomy, Lazzaro Spallanzani conducted research in bodily functions, animal reproduction, and cellular theory, , whose many achievements include the discovery of the , paved the way to the acceptance of the , Rita Levi-Montalcini discovered the nerve growth factor (awarded 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine). In chemistry, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 for his work on high . Giuseppe Occhialini received the Wolf Prize in Physics for the discovery of the or pi- decay in 1947. Ennio de Giorgi, a Wolf Prize in Mathematics recipient in 1990, solved Bernstein's problem about and the 19th Hilbert problem on the regularity of solutions of Elliptic partial differential equations.

Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) is the largest underground research centre in the world. , , ESA Centre for Earth Observation, Institute for Scientific Interchange, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics conduct basic research. has the highest percentage of researchers in Europe in relation to the population.G. Bar "Trieste, è record europeo di ricercatori: 37 ogni mille abitanti. Più della Finlandia", In: il Fatto Quotidiano, 26 April 2018. Italy was ranked 26th in the Global Innovation Index in 2023.

(2024). 9789280534320, World Intellectual Property Organization. .
There are numerous in Italy such as the Science and Technology Parks Kilometro Rosso (Bergamo), the AREA Science Park (Trieste), The VEGA-Venice Gateway for Science and Technology (Venezia), the Toscana Life Sciences (Siena), the Technology Park of Lodi Cluster (Lodi), and the Technology Park of Navacchio (Pisa), as well as such as the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, the Città della Scienza in Naples, and the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence.

Within this great Italian History of Science and Technology, modern times tell a different and more technologically divergent story. The North–South divide is a significant factor that leads to a vast difference in income between the Northern and Southern regions, which brings up the topic of the Digital Divide in Italy. The long history of this divided peninsula, now a unified nation-state, details the complex problems of underdeveloped areas in the South. As expected, these problems of underdevelopment and poverty still linger today, also reflected in the concept of the digital divide between the North and South. The Global digital divide is broadly described as the technological differences between underdeveloped and developed countries. While this does not necessarily mean that people have no access to technology, it is made clear that this equates to differences in technology, such as the Internet and household electronics. Digital inequalities between Northern and Southern Italy exist and are still prevalent, especially when related to education.


Tourism
People have visited Italy for centuries, yet the first to visit the peninsula for touristic reasons were aristocrats during the , beginning in the 17th century, and flourishing in the 18th and the 19th century. This was a period in which European aristocrats, many of whom were British, visited parts of Europe, with Italy as a key destination. For Italy, this was in order to study ancient architecture, local culture and to admire the natural beauties.

Nowadays Italy is the fifth most visited country in international tourism, with a total of 52.3 million international arrivals in 2016. 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).

Factors of tourist interest in Italy are mainly culture, , history, , architecture, , religious sites and routes, wedding tourism, naturalistic beauties, nightlife, underwater sites, and spas. Winter and summer tourism are present in many locations in the and the , while seaside tourism is widespread in coastal locations on the Mediterranean Sea. Italy is the leading cruise tourism destination in the Mediterranean Sea. Small, historical and artistic Italian villages are promoted through the association I Borghi più belli d'Italia ().

The most visited regions of Italy, measured by nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments, are , , , , and . 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. In addition, Venice and Florence are also among the world's top 100 destinations.

Italy is also the country with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world (58). Out of Italy's 58 heritage sites, 53 are cultural and 5 are natural. In Italy there is a broad variety of hotels, going from 1–5 stars. According to ISTAT, in 2017, there were 32,988 hotels with 1,133,452 rooms and 2,239,446 beds. As for non-hotel facilities (campsites, tourist villages, accommodations for rent, agritourism, etc.), in 2017 their number was 171,915 with 2,798,352 beds.


Demographics
At the beginning of 2020, Italy had 60,317,116 inhabitants. The resulting population density, at , is higher than that of most Western European countries. However, the distribution of the population is widely uneven. 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, as well as much of Sicily, are sparsely populated.

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. High fertility and birth rates persisted until the 1970s, after which they started to decline. 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 46.5 years. However, in recent years Italy has experienced significant growth in birth rates. 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. Nevertheless, the total fertility rate is expected to reach 1.6–1.8 in 2030.

From the late 19th century until the 1960s Italy was a country of mass emigration. Between 1898 and 1914, the peak years of , approximately 750,000 Italians emigrated each year. The diaspora concerned more than 25 million Italians and it is considered the biggest mass migration of contemporary times.Favero, Luigi e Tassello, Graziano. Cent'anni di emigrazione italiana (1861–1961) Introduction 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, Consulta Nazionale Emigrazione. Progetto ITENETs – "Gli italiani in Brasile"; pp. 11, 19 . Retrieved 10 September 2008. Uruguay, Venezuela,Santander Laya-Garrido, Alfonso. Los Italianos forjadores de la nacionalidad y del desarrollo economico en Venezuela. Editorial Vadell. Valencia, 1978 the United States, Canada, Australia, and France." The Cambridge survey of world migration ". Robin Cohen (1995). Cambridge University Press. p. 143.


Largest cities

Immigration
In 2021, Italy had about 5.17 million foreign residents, making up 8.7% of the total population. 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. The official figures also exclude illegal immigrants, who estimated to number at least 670,000 as of 2008.Elisabeth Rosenthal, " Italy cracks down on illegal immigration ". The Boston Globe. 16 May 2008.

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

(1997). 9780816627271, University of Minnesota Press. .
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and, more recently, the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the , large waves of migration originated from the former socialist countries of (especially Romania, Albania, Ukraine, and Poland). Another source of immigration is neighbouring North Africa (in particular, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia), with soaring arrivals as a consequence of the . Furthermore, in recent years, growing migration fluxes from Asia-Pacific (notably China" Milan police in Chinatown clash ". BBC News. 13 April 2007. and the Philippines) and Latin America have been recorded.

Currently, about one million Romanian citizens (around 10% of them being ethnic " EUROPE: Home to Roma, And No Place for Them". IPS ipsnews.net. ) are officially registered as living in Italy, representing the largest migrant population, followed by Albanians and Moroccans with about 500,000 people each. 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.

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%). The distribution of foreign population is geographically varied in Italy: in 2020, 61.2% of foreign citizens lived in Northern Italy (in particular 36.1% in the North West and 25.1% in the North East), 24.2% in the centre, 10.8% in the South, and 3.9% in the Islands.


Languages
Italy's official language is , as stated by the framework law no. 482/1999 and Trentino Alto-Adige's special Statute,Statuto Speciale per il Trentino-Alto Adige, Art. 99 which is adopted with a constitutional law. Around the world there are an estimated 64 million native Italian speakers Italian language Ethnologue.comNationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007 and another 21 million who use it as a second language. Italian language University of Leicester Italian is often natively spoken in a , 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. Standardisation was further expanded in the 1950s and 1960s due to economic growth and the rise of mass media and television (the state broadcaster helped set a standard Italian).

Twelve "historical minority languages" ( minoranze linguistiche storiche) are formally recognised: Albanian, , German, Greek, Slovene, Croatian, French, Franco-Provençal, , , , and Sardinian. Four of these also enjoy a co-official status in their respective region: French in the ;L.cost. 26 febbraio 1948, n. 4, Statuto speciale per la Valle d'Aosta German in , and as well in some parts of the same province and in parts of the neighbouring ;L.cost. 26 febbraio 1948, n. 5, Statuto speciale per il Trentino-Alto Adige and in the provinces of Trieste, Gorizia and Udine.L. cost. 31 gennaio 1963, n. 1, Statuto speciale della Regione Friuli-Venezia Giulia A number of other Ethnologue, ISO and UNESCO languages are not recognised by Italian law. Like France, Italy has signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, but has not ratified it.

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


Religion
Religiosity in Italy is , although it has been historically characterized by the dominance of since the Great Schism. According to a 2023 survey, 61% of the country's residents are Catholic, 4% are Protestants, 3% other Christians (68% are Christians overall), 28% are irreligious, 2% prefer not to say, 1% are Muslims, are 1% adhere to other religions. Most Catholics are nominal; the Associated Press describes Italian Catholicism as "a faith that's... nominally embraced but rarely lived." Italy has the world's fifth-largest Catholic population, the largest in Europe.

In 2011, minority Christian faiths in Italy included an estimated 1.5 million Orthodox Christians. has been growing in recent years.

(2024). 9780415684903, Routledge.
One of the longest-established minority religious faiths in Italy is . Italy has for centuries welcomed Jews expelled from other countries, notably Spain. However, about 20% of Italian Jews were killed during the .
(1986). 9780553343021, Bantam Books.
p. 403
This, together with the emigration which preceded and followed World War II, has left only around 28,400 Jews in Italy.

The , the episcopal jurisdiction of Rome, contains the central government of the Catholic Church. It is recognised by other subjects of international law as a entity, headed by the , who is also the Bishop of Rome, with which diplomatic relations can be maintained.Text taken directly from (viewed on 14 December 2011), on the website of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Often incorrectly referred to as "the Vatican", the Holy See is not the same entity as the State because the Holy See is the jurisdiction and administrative entity of the Pope. The Vatican City came into existence only in 1929. There are also 120,000 , 70,000 , and 22 across the country.

Since 1985, Catholicism is no longer officially the state religion. However, the Italian state devolves shares of income tax to recognised religious communities, under a regime known as Eight per thousand. 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. Taxpayers who do not wish to fund a religion contribute their share to the state welfare system. Camera dei deputati Dossier BI0350 . Documenti.camera.it (10 March 1998). Retrieved on 12 July 2013.


Education
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).

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

In 2018, the Italian secondary education was evaluated as below the average. Italy scored below the OECD average in reading and science, and near OECD average in mathematics. Mean performance in Italy declined in reading and science, and remained stable in mathematics. and scored at an above the national average in reading. Compared to school children in other OECD countries, children in Italy missed out on a greater amount of learning due to absences and indiscipline in classrooms. A wide gap exists between northern schools, which perform near average, and schools in the south, that had much poorer results.

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. 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. Bologna University, founded in 1088, is the oldest university in continuous operation,Nuria Sanz, Sjur Bergan: "The heritage of European universities", 2nd edition, Higher Education Series No. 7, Council of Europe, 2006, ISBN 978-92-871-6121-5, p. 136 as well as one of the leading academic institutions in Italy and Europe. 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.


Health
Life expectancy in the country is 80 for males and 85 for females, placing the country 5th in the world. 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. The proportion of daily smokers was 22% in 2012, down from 24.4% in 2000 but still slightly above the OECD average. Smoking in public places including bars, restaurants, night clubs and offices has been restricted to specially ventilated rooms since 2005. In 2013, 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.

The Italian state runs a universal public healthcare system since 1978. However, healthcare is provided to all citizens and residents by a mixed public-private system. The public part is the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, which is organised under the Ministry of Health and administered on a devolved regional basis. Healthcare spending accounted for 9.7% of GDP in 2020. Italy's healthcare system is consistently ranked among the best in the world. In 2018 Italy's healthcare is ranked 20th in Europe in the Euro Health Consumer Index.


Culture
Italy is considered one of the birthplaces of and a cultural superpower.Italy has been described as a "cultural superpower" by Arab news, the Washington Post, The Australian, the Italian consul general in San Francisco , the former Foreign Affairs Minister Giulio Terzi and the U.S. President Barack Obama . 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.
(2024). 9780313324895, Greenwood Press. .
Italy has had a central role in Western culture for centuries and is still recognised for its cultural traditions and artists. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a number of courts competed to attract architects, artists and scholars, thus producing a legacy of monuments, paintings, music and literature. Despite the political and social isolation of these courts, Italy has made a substantial contribution to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe.
(1995). 9780810927339, H.N. Abrams.


Architecture
Italy is known for its considerable architectural achievements, Architecture in Italy , ItalyTravel.com such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structures during , the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th centuries, and being the homeland of , 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.

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,Sear, Frank. Roman architecture. Cornell University Press, 1983. p. 10. Web. 23 September 2011. then to the revival of the classical Roman era during the Renaissance and evolving into the Baroque era. The Christian concept of a Basilica, a style of church architecture that came to dominate the early Middle Ages, was invented in Rome. They were known for being long, rectangular buildings, which were built in an almost ancient Roman style, often rich in mosaics and decorations. The early Christians' art and architecture were also widely inspired by that of the pagan Romans; statues, mosaics and paintings decorated all their churches. Italy Architecture: Early Christian and Byzanthine , ItalyTravel.com

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. It was known for its usage of Roman arches, stained glass windows, and also its curved columns which commonly featured in cloisters. The main innovation of Italian Romanesque architecture was the vault, which had never been seen before in the history of Western architecture. Italy Architecture: Romanesque , ItalyTravel.com

A flowering of Italian architecture took place during the Renaissance. Filippo Brunelleschi contributed to architectural design with his dome for the Cathedral of Florence, a feat of engineering that had not been accomplished since antiquity. A popular achievement of Italian Renaissance architecture was St. Peter's Basilica, originally designed by in the early 16th century. 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 , 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.

The Baroque period produced several outstanding Italian architects in the 17th century, especially those known for their churches. The most original work of all late Baroque and Rococo architecture is the Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi, dating back to the 18th century.R. De Fusco, A thousand years of architecture in Europe, pg. 443. began in 1752 the construction of the Royal Palace of Caserta. In this large complex, the grandiose Baroque-style interiors and gardens are opposed to a more sober building envelope.

(2024). 9780226327846, University of Chicago Press.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Italy was affected by the Neoclassical architectural movement. Villas, palaces, gardens, interiors and art began to be based on Roman and Greek themes. Italy Architecture: Neoclassicism , ItalyTravel.com

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


Visual art
The history of Italian visual arts is significant to the history of . was influenced by Greece and can in part be taken as a descendant of ancient Greek painting. Roman painting does have its own unique characteristics. The only surviving Roman paintings are wall paintings, many from villas in , in Southern Italy. 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.

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. In Italy, artists like , , , Piero della Francesca, , , , , Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, , , and took painting to a higher level through the use of perspective, the study of human anatomy and proportion, and through their development of refined drawing and painting techniques. Michelangelo was active as a sculptor from about 1500 to 1520; his works include his David, Pietà, and Moses. Other Renaissance sculptors include , Luca Della Robbia, , Filippo Brunelleschi, and Andrea del Verrocchio.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the gave rise to a stylised art known as . 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. The unperturbed faces and gestures of Piero della Francesca and the calm Virgins of Raphael are replaced by the troubled expressions of and the emotional intensity of . In the 17th century, among the greatest painters of are , Annibale Carracci, Artemisia Gentileschi, , , and Bartolomeo Manfredi. 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 . Italian Neoclassical sculpture focused, with 's nudes, on the idealist aspect of the movement.

In the 19th century, major Italian Romantic painters were , Giuseppe Bezzuoli and Francesco Podesti. was brought from France to Italy by the , led by , and ; Realism by and Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo. In the 20th century, with , primarily through the works of and , Italy rose again as a seminal country for artistic evolution in painting and sculpture. Futurism was succeeded by the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, who exerted a strong influence on the and generations of artists to follow like and .


Literature
Formal Latin literature began in 240 BC, when the first stage play was performed in Rome.Duckworth, George Eckel. The nature of Roman comedy: a study in popular entertainment. University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. p. 3. Web. 15 October 2011. 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, , , , and . The Romans were also famous for their oral tradition, poetry, drama and epigrams.
(2024). 9781615304905, The Rosen Publishing Group.
In early years of the 13th century, Francis of Assisi was considered the first Italian poet by literary critics, with his religious song Canticle of the Sun.
(1999). 9780521666220, Cambridge University Press.

Another Italian voice originated in Sicily. 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. One of these poets was the notary Giacomo da Lentini, inventor of the form, though the most famous early sonneteer was .Ernest Hatch Wilkins, The invention of the sonnet, and other studies in Italian literature (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 1959), 11–39

is considered the founder of the Dolce Stil Novo, a school that added a philosophical dimension to traditional love poetry. This new understanding of love, expressed in a smooth, pure style, influenced and the poet , who established the basis of the modern ; his greatest work, the , is considered among the finest works of ; furthermore, the poet invented the difficult . Two major writers of the 14th century, Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio, sought out and imitated the works of antiquity and cultivated their own artistic personalities. Petrarch achieved fame through his collection of poems, . Petrarch's love poetry served as a model for centuries. Equally influential was Boccaccio's , one of the most popular collections of short stories ever written.

Italian Renaissance authors produced works including Niccolò Machiavelli's , an essay on political science and modern philosophy in which the "effectual truth" is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal; 's , continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato; and Baldassare Castiglione's dialogue The Book of the Courtier which describes the ideal of the perfect court gentleman and of spiritual beauty. The lyric poet in Jerusalem Delivered wrote a Christian epic in , with attention to the Aristotelian canons of unity.

Giovanni Francesco Straparola and Giambattista Basile, who have written The Facetious Nights of Straparola (1550–1555) and the (1634) respectively, printed some of the first known versions of fairy tales in Europe.Steven Swann Jones, The Fairy Tale: The Magic Mirror of Imagination, Twayne Publishers, New York, 1995, , p. 38Bottigheimer 2012a, 7; Waters 1894, xii; Zipes 2015, 599. See p. 20. The claim for earliest fairy-tale is still debated, see for example Jan M. Ziolkowski, Fairy tales from before fairy tales: the medieval Latin past of wonderful lies, University of Michigan Press, 2007. Ziolkowski examines Egbert of Liège's Latin beast poem Fecunda natis ( The Richly Laden Ship, c. 1022/24), the earliest known version of "Little Red Riding Hood". Further info: Little Red Pentecostal, Peter J. Leithart, 9 July 2007. In the early 17th century, some literary masterpieces were created, such as Giambattista Marino's long mythological poem, L'Adone. The Baroque period also produced the clear scientific prose of as well as Tommaso Campanella's The City of the Sun, a description of a perfect society ruled by a philosopher-priest. At the end of the 17th century, the Arcadians began a movement to restore simplicity and classical restraint to poetry, as in 's heroic melodramas. In the 18th century, playwright created full-written plays, many portraying the middle class of his day. Romanticism coincided with some ideas of the , the patriotic movement that brought Italy political unity and freedom from foreign domination. Italian writers embraced Romanticism in the early 19th century. The time of Italy's rebirth was heralded by the poets , , and . 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 is generally ranked among the masterpieces of .

In the late 19th century, a realistic literary movement called Verismo played a major role in Italian literature; and were its main exponents. In the same period, , writer of action-adventure and a pioneer of science fiction, published his series.

(2024). 9781135455309, Routledge.
In 1883, also published the novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, the most celebrated children's classic by an Italian author and one of the most translated non-religious books in the world.Giovanni Gasparini. La corsa di Pinocchio. Milano, Vita e Pensiero, 1997. p. 117. A movement called influenced Italian literature in the early 20th century. 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.
(2024). 9780714835426, Phaidon Press.

Modern literary figures and Nobel laureates are Gabriele D'Annunzio from 1889 to 1910, nationalist poet Giosuè Carducci in 1906, realist writer in 1926, modern theatre author in 1936, short stories writer in 1960, poets Salvatore Quasimodo in 1959 and in 1975, in 1980, and satirist and theatre author in 1997.


Philosophy
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.
(2024). 9789042023215, VIBS. .
Philosophy was brought to Italy by , founder of the Italian school of philosophy in , . Major Italian philosophers of the Greek period include , , Zeno, and . Roman philosophers include , , Seneca the Younger, , , , , Clement of Alexandria, , Alexander of Aphrodisias, , Porphyry, Iamblichus, Augustine of Hippo, and Boethius. Italian Medieval philosophy was mainly Christian, and included philosophers and theologians such as , the foremost classical proponent of and the father of , who reintroduced to Christianity. Notable Renaissance philosophers include: , one of the major scientific figures of the western world; , one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the period; and Niccolò Machiavelli, one of the main founders of modern political science. Machiavelli's most famous work was , whose contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political realism and political .Moschovitis Group Inc, Christian D. Von Dehsen and Scott L. Harris, Philosophers and religious leaders, (The Oryx Press, 1999), 117. Italy was also affected by the Enlightenment, a movement which was a consequence of the Renaissance. University cities such as Padua, Bologna and Naples remained centres of scholarship and the intellect, with several philosophers such as Giambattista Vico (widely regarded as being the founder of modern Italian philosophy) and . was a significant Enlightenment figure and is now considered one of the fathers of classical criminal theory as well as modern . 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 also had a renowned philosophical movement in the 1800s, with , and . The main Sensist Italian philosophers were and Gian Domenico Romagnosi. Criticism of the Sensist movement came from other philosophers such as Pasquale Galluppi (1770–1846), who affirmed that a priori relationships were synthetic. , instead, was the founder of . During the late 19th and 20th centuries, there were also several other movements which gained some form of popularity in Italy, such as (whose main philosopher was Vincenzo Gioberti), anarchism, communism, socialism, futurism, fascism and Christian democracy. and were two of the most significant 20th-century Idealist philosophers. Anarcho-communism first fully formed into its modern strain within the Italian section of the First International. remains a relevant philosopher within Marxist and communist theory, credited with creating the theory of cultural hegemony. Italian philosophers were also influential in the development of the non-Marxist liberal socialism philosophy, including , , and . In the 1960s, many Italian left-wing activists adopted the anti-authoritarian pro-working class leftist theories that would become known as and .

(1997). 9788807814624, SugarCo.

Early Italian feminists include , 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, , and Lucrezia Marinella. Italian physician and educator is credited with the creation of the philosophy of education that bears her name, an educational philosophy now practised throughout the world. was one of the founders of analytic philosophy and the contemporary philosophy of mathematics. Recent analytic philosophers include , , Pieranna Garavaso, and .


Theatre
originates from the , with its background dating back to the times of the colonies of , in Southern Italy, the theatre of the and the theatre of ancient Rome. It can therefore be assumed that there were two main lines of which the ancient Italian theatre developed in the Middle Ages. The first, consisting of the dramatization of Catholic liturgies and of which more documentation is retained, and the second, formed by pagan forms of spectacle such as the staging for city festivals, the court preparations of the jesters and the songs of the .Of this second root he speaks of a true alternative culture to the official one: although widespread as an idea, some scholars such as do not agree in considering it as such. In this regard, see
(1995). 9788879839747, Newton Compton Editori.
The theatre marked the beginning of the modern theatre due to the rediscovery and study of the classics, the ancient theatrical texts were recovered and translated, which were soon staged at the court and in the curtensi halls, and then moved to real theatre. In this way the idea of theatre came close to that of today: a performance in a designated place in which the public participates. In the late 15th century two cities were important centres for the rediscovery and renewal of theatrical art: and Rome. The first, vital centre of art in the second half of the fifteenth century, saw the staging of some of the most famous Latin works by , rigorously translated into Italian.
(1995). 9788879839747, Newton Compton Editori.

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. Travelling troupes of players would set up an outdoor stage and provide amusement in the form of , and, more typically, humorous plays based on a repertoire of established characters with a rough storyline, called . Plays did not originate from written drama but from scenarios called , which were loose frameworks that provided the situations, complications, and outcome of the action, around which the actors would improvise. The characters of the commedia usually represent fixed social types and , each of which has a distinct costume, such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado. The main categories of these characters include servants, old men, lovers, and captains.

(2024). 9780415745062, Rutledge Taylor and Francis Group.

The first recorded commedia dell'arte performances came from Rome as early as 1551,

(2024). 9789042017986, Editions Rodopi. .
and was performed outdoors in temporary venues by professional actors who were costumed and masked, as opposed to commedia erudita, which were written comedies, presented indoors by untrained and unmasked actors.
(2024). 9780415204088, Routledge. .
By the mid-16th century, specific troupes of commedia performers began to coalesce, and by 1568 the became a distinct company. Commedia often performed inside in court theatres or halls, and also in some fixed theatres such as Teatro Baldrucca in Florence. Flaminio Scala, who had been a minor performer in the Gelosi published the scenarios of the commedia dell'arte around the start of the 17th century, really in an effort to legitimise the form—and ensure its legacy. These scenari are highly structured and built around the symmetry of the various types in duet: two , Vecchio]], Innamorati]] and , among others.

In commedia dell'arte, female roles were played by women, documented as early as the 1560s, making them the first known professional actresses in Europe since antiquity. Lucrezia Di Siena, whose name is on a contract of actors from 10 October 1564, has been referred to as the first Italian actress known by name, with and as the first primadonnas and the first well-documented actresses in Europe.Giacomo Oreglia (2002). Commedia dell'arte. Ordfront.

The dance genre also originated in Italy. It began during the Italian Renaissance court as an outgrowth of court pageantry, where aristocratic weddings were lavish celebrations. Court musicians and dancers collaborated to provide elaborate entertainment for them. At first, ballets were woven into the midst of an opera to allow the audience a moment of relief from the dramatic intensity. By the mid-seventeenth century, Italian ballets in their entirety were performed in between the acts of an opera. Over time, Italian ballets became part of theatrical life: ballet companies in Italy's major opera houses employed an average of four to twelve dancers; in 1815 many companies employed anywhere from eighty to one hundred dancers.

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 Milan's and Venice's theatres.


Music
From folk music to classical, music is an intrinsic part of Italian culture. Instruments associated with classical music, including the piano and violin, were invented in Italy,
(1990). 9780198161714, Oxford University Press, US; Revised edition.
Accessed 5 September 2015. and many of the prevailing classical music forms, such as the , concerto, and , can trace their roots back to innovations of 16th- and 17th-century Italian music.

Italy's most famous composers include the Renaissance composers Palestrina, Monteverdi, and ; the composers Scarlatti, Corelli, and ; the composers Paisiello, Paganini, and Rossini; and the composers and . Modern Italian composers such as and Nono proved significant in the development of experimental and . 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 and tenor Luciano Pavarotti, have been no less appreciative of their thriving contemporary music scene.

Italy is widely known for being the birthplace of opera.

(1994). 9780521466431, Cambridge University Press.
was believed to have been founded in the early 17th century, in cities such as and Venice. Later, works and pieces composed by native Italian composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as , , , , and , are among the most famous operas ever written and today are performed in opera houses across the world. La Scala opera house in Milan is also renowned as one of the best in the world. Famous Italian opera singers include and .

Introduced in the early 1920s, took a particularly strong foothold in Italy, and remained popular despite the xenophobic cultural policies of the Fascist regime. Today, the most notable centres of jazz music in Italy include Milan, Rome, and Sicily. Later, Italy was at the forefront of the and pop movement of the 1970s, with bands like PFM, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, , Goblin, and Pooh.

(2017). 9781351544269, Routledge. .
The same period saw diversification in the cinema of Italy, and Cinecittà films included complex scores by composers including , Armando Trovaioli, , and . In the early 1980s, the first star to emerge from the Italian hip hop scene was singer . Italian metal bands include Rhapsody of Fire, , Elvenking, , and Fleshgod Apocalypse.

Italy contributed to the development of and , with , known for its futuristic sound and prominent use of synthesisers and , being one of the earliest electronic dance genres, as well as European forms of disco aside from (which later went on to influence several genres such as and ).

Producers such as , who won three and four Golden Globes for his music, were highly influential in the development of electronic dance music. Today, Italian pop music is represented annually with the Sanremo Music Festival, which served as inspiration for the song contest, and the Festival of Two Worlds in . Singers such as Mina, , winner , Zucchero, , Elisa, and Mahmood have attained international acclaim.

Gigliola Cinquetti, , and Måneskin won the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1964, 1990, and 2021 respectively.


Cinema
The history of Italian cinema began a few months after the Lumière brothers began motion picture exhibitions. The first Italian director is considered to be , a collaborator of the Lumière Brothers, who filmed Pope Leo XIII in 1896. In the 1910s the Italian film industry developed rapidly. In 1912, the year of the greatest expansion, 569 films were produced in Turin, 420 in Rome and 120 in Milan.
(2024). 9788806145286, Einaudi.
, a 1914 Italian directed by Giovanni Pastrone, is considered the most famous Italian .
(2024). 9788860740663, Morlacchi Editore.
It was also the first film in history to be shown in the .
(1999). 9780786405954, McFarland.
(1991). 9781558592360, Abbeville Press.
(2024). 9781317650287, Routledge.
The oldest European cinema movement, Italian futurism, took place in the late 1910s.

After a period of decline in the 1920s, the Italian film industry was revitalized in the 1930s with the arrival of . A popular Italian genre during this period, the , consisted of comedies with glamorous backgrounds. was instead in a sharp contrast to Telefoni Bianchi-American style comedies and is rather artistic, highly formalistic, in complexity and deals mainly with contemporary literary material.

(2024). 9788806145286, Einaudi.
Cinema was later used by , who founded Rome's renowned Cinecittà studio also for the production of Fascist propaganda until World War II.

After the war, Italian film was widely recognised and exported until an artistic decline around the 1980s. Notable Italian film directors from this period include Vittorio De Sica, , , Pier Paolo Pasolini, , Michelangelo Antonioni, and Roberto Rossellini; some of these are recognised among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. Movies include world cinema treasures such as , La Dolce Vita, , The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Once Upon a Time in the West. The mid-1940s to the early 1950s was the heyday of neorealist films, reflecting the poor condition of post-war Italy.

As the country grew wealthier in the 1950s, a form of neorealism known as pink neorealism succeeded, and starting from the 1950s through the commedia all'italiana genre, and other , such as followed as spaghetti Westerns, were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Actresses such as , and Gina Lollobrigida achieved international stardom during this period. Erotic Italian thrillers, or , produced by directors such as and in the 1970s, also influenced the horror genre worldwide. In recent years, the Italian scene has received only occasional international attention, with movies like written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, directed by Gabriele Salvatores, Life Is Beautiful directed by , with and The Great Beauty directed by .

The aforementioned Cinecittà studio is today the largest film and television production facility in , where many international box office hits were filmed. In the 1950s, the number of international productions being made there led to Rome's being dubbed "Hollywood on the Tiber". More than 3,000 productions have been made on its lot, of which 90 received an nomination and 47 of these won it, from some cinema classics to recent rewarded features (such as , Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, The English Patient, The Passion of the Christ, and Gangs of New York).

(2024). 9780826412478, Continuum. .

Italy is the most awarded country at the for Best Foreign Language Film, with 14 awards won, 3 Special Awards and 28 nominations. , Italian films have also won 12 Palmes d'Or, 11 and 7 . The list of the 100 Italian films to be saved was created with the aim to report "100 films that have changed the collective memory of the country between 1942 and 1978".


Sport
The most popular sport in Italy is football.
(2024). 9781856175449, Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.
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). Italian clubs have won 48 major European trophies, making Italy the second most successful country in European football. Italy's top-flight club football league is named and is followed by millions of fans around the world.

Other popular team sports in Italy include , and . Italy's male and female national volleyball teams are often featured among the world's best. 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. Lega Basket Serie A is widely considered one of the most competitive in Europe. Italy's rugby national team competes in the Six Nations Championship, and is a regular at the Rugby World Cup. The men's volleyball team won three consecutive World Championships (in 1990, 1994, and 1998) and earned the silver medal in 1996, 2004, and 2016. Italy has a long and successful tradition in individual sports as well. is a familiar sport in the country.

(2024). 9781408822197, Bloomsbury.
have won the UCI World Championships more than any other country, except . The Giro d'Italia is a cycling race held every May and constitutes one of the three Grand Tours. is also a widespread sport in Italy, and the country is a popular international skiing destination, known for its ski resorts. Italian skiers achieved good results in Winter Olympic Games, Alpine Ski World Cup, and has a significant following in Italy, ranking as the fourth most practised sport in the country. The Rome Masters, founded in 1930, is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. Italian professional tennis players won the in 1976 and the in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2013.

are also extremely popular in Italy. Italy has won, by far, the most MotoGP World Championships. Italian 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. The Italian Grand Prix of is the fifth oldest surviving Grand Prix, having been held since 1921. It is also one of the two Grand Prix present in every championship since the first one in 1950. Every Formula 1 Grand Prix (except for the 1980) has been held at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Formula 1 was also held at (1980–2006, 2020) and (2020). Other successful Italian car manufacturers in motorsports are , , , and .

Historically, Italy has been successful in the , taking part from the first Olympiad and in 47 Games out of 48, not having officially participated in the 1904 Summer Olympics. 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. The country hosted two Winter Olympics and will host a third (in 1956, 2006, and 2026), and one Summer games (in 1960).


Fashion and design
Italian fashion has a long tradition. Milan, Florence, and Rome are Italy's main fashion capitals. According to Top Global Fashion Capital Rankings 2013 by Global Language Monitor, Rome ranked sixth worldwide while Milan was twelfth. Previously, in 2009, Milan was declared the "fashion capital of the world" by Global Language Monitor itself. Major Italian fashion labels, such as , , , , , Dolce & Gabbana, , , , , , and , to name a few, are regarded as among the finest fashion houses in the world. Jewellers like , , and have been founded in Italy. Also, the fashion magazine , is considered one of the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world.
(2024). 9781581150452, Allworth Press.
The talent of young, creative fashion is also promoted, as in the ITS young fashion designer competition in Trieste.

Italy is also prominent in the field of design, notably interior design, architectural design, industrial design and . The country has produced some well-known furniture designers, such as and , and Italian phrases such as " Bel Disegno" and " Linea Italiana" have entered the vocabulary of furniture design.Miller (2005) p. 486 Examples of classic pieces of Italian and pieces of furniture include 's and ,Insight Guides (2004) p. 220 the "New Tone" sofas by Atrium, and the post-modern bookcase by Ettore Sottsass, inspired by 's song "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again". Today, Milan and Turin are the nation's leaders in architectural design and industrial design. The city of Milan hosts , Europe's largest design fair. 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 , , Enrico Castellani and .


Cuisine
The has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BC. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, and . Significant changes occurred with the discovery of the with the introduction of items such as , , and , now central to the cuisine but not introduced in quantity until the 18th century.Del Conte, 11–21. 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.

The Mediterranean diet forms the basis of Italian cuisine, rich in , fish, fruits and vegetables and characterised by its extreme simplicity and variety, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients.The Silver Spoon , 1997 ed. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages (1998), Dishes and recipes are often derivatives from local and familial tradition rather than created by , so many recipes are ideally suited for , this being one of the main reasons behind the ever-increasing worldwide popularity of Italian cuisine, from America to Asia. Ingredients and dishes vary widely by region.

Italian cuisine relies heavily on traditional products; the country has a large number of traditional specialities protected under EU law. Cheese, and are central to Italian cuisine, with many regional declinations and Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication labels, and along with and (especially ) form part of Italian culture. Desserts have a long tradition of merging local flavours such as , and with sweet cheeses like and or exotic tastes as cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon. , and are among the most famous examples of Italian desserts, cakes and patisserie.

Italian meal structure is typical of the European Mediterranean region and differs from North, Central, and Eastern European meal structure, though it still often consists of ( colazione), ( pranzo), and ( cena). However, much less emphasis is placed on breakfast, and breakfast itself is often skipped or involves lighter meal portions than are seen in non-Mediterranean Western countries. Late-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, called merenda (: merende), are also often included in this meal structure.

The phenomenon consisting of words and images, colour combinations (the Italian tricolour) and geographical references for brands that are evocative of Italy to promote and market agri-food products that have nothing to do with Italian cuisine is known by the name of .


Public holidays, festivals and folklore
Public holidays celebrated in Italy include religious, national and regional observances. Italy's National Day, the Festa della Repubblica ( Republic Day), is celebrated on 2 June each year, with the main celebration taking place in , and commemorates the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946. The ceremony of the event organized in Rome includes the deposition of a as a tribute to the Italian Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria by the President of the Italian Republic and a along Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome.

The Saint Lucy's Day, which takes place on 13 December, is popular among children in some Italian regions, where she plays a role similar to Santa Claus. In addition, the Epiphany in Italy is associated with the figure of the , 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.

(2024). 9781576070895, ABC-CLIO.
The Assumption of Mary coincides with on 15 August, the summer vacation period which may be a long weekend or most of the month.
(2024). 9781902669151, Signal Books.

The Italian national patronal day, on 4 October, celebrates Saints Francis and Catherine. 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), Milan on 7 December (), on 19 September (), Venice on 25 April (Saint Mark the Evangelist), and Florence on 24 June (Saint John the Baptist).

There are many festivals and festivities in Italy. Some of them include the Palio di Siena horse race, Holy Week rites, of Arezzo, Saint Ubaldo Day in Gubbio, Giostra della Quintana in Foligno, and the Calcio Fiorentino. In 2013, 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 , the Festa dei Gigli in , and faradda di li candareri in .

Other festivals include the carnivals in Venice, Viareggio, Satriano di Lucania, , and , mostly known for its Battle of the Oranges. The Venice International Film Festival, awarding the "" and held annually since 1932, is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" alongside Cannes and Berlin.


See also
  • Outline of Italy


Notes

Bibliography
  • (2024). 9781402002250, Springer. .
  • Hibberd, Matthew. The media in Italy (McGraw-Hill International, 2007)
  • Sarti, Roland, ed. Italy: A reference guide from the Renaissance to the present (2004)
  • Sassoon, Donald. Contemporary Italy: politics, economy and society since 1945 (Routledge, 2014)


External links

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