Currency: Euro (EUR)
Calling Code: 39
Italy, the official name is the Italian Republic (Italian.
Repubblica Italiana) - a state in southern Europe, in the center of
the Mediterranean. Member of the European Union and NATO since its
inception, is the third largest economy in the eurozone.
It borders with France in the northwest (border length is 488 km), Switzerland (740 km) and Austria (430 km) in the north, Slovenia in the northeast (232 km). It also has internal borders with the Vatican (3.2 km) and San Marino (39 km).
It occupies the Apennine Peninsula, the extreme northwest of the Balkan Peninsula, the Padan Plain, the southern slopes of the Alps, the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and a number of small islands.
In Italy there are 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Italy shares the first place with China in terms of their number.
Gran Paradiso National Park
Castello della Manta
Castle of Racconigi
Santa Margherita Ligure
Castello di Compiano
Cividale del Friuli
Stelvio National Park
Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park
|Fortress of San Leo|
Arcipelago Toscano National Park
Castiglione del Lago
Città di Castello
Città della Pieve
Cascata delle Marmore
Castel del Monte
Reggio di Calabria
The origin of the word Italia is not exactly known. According to the most common point of view, the term came from Greece and means "country of calves". The bull was a symbol of the peoples who inhabited southern Italy, and was often depicted heading the Roman She-Wolf. Initially, the name Italia was applied only to that part of the territory that is now occupied by Southern Italy (the modern province of Calabria).
By the beginning of the I millennium BC. e. the south and center of Italy were inhabited by Italian peoples, one of which was the Latins. The Latins formed the Latin Union, which included 30 civitas, the governing bodies of each of which were a national assembly (comitia or consilia), a council of elders (curiae or senate) and leaders (Rexes). According to Latin legends, initially the strongest civitas was Lavrent, then Lavinia strengthened, then Alba Longa, in the VI century Rome became the most powerful civitas of the union. After the Samnite wars, by 290, Rome had made all the other Italian nations dependent on itself. Part of the lands of the non-Roman provincial population was transferred to the Romans, Roman settlements were founded - colonies - thus the Romanization of Italy took place. Under the Roman emperor Diocletian, a division into provinces was introduced in Italy, headed by presidents and consuls. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the king of Italy was proclaimed commander Odoacer, a rug by birth, but in 493 his possessions were seized by the Ostrogoths, and he himself was killed.
In 555, Italy was conquered by Byzantium. The whole territory of Italy was divided into dukes, led by dukes, who were formally subordinate to the exarch of Ravenna. In 572, part of the duchies of Italy were conquered by the Lombards. Byzantium remained the Roman Duchy, the Duchies of Naples, the Duchy of Amalfi, the Duchy of Calabria, the Duchy of Pentapol, the Exarchate of Ravenna and the Republic of Venice, as well as the Sicily Theme (conquered by the Arabs in 956) and Sardinian judicates. However, the Lombard and Byzantine dukes increasingly turned into virtually independent rulers.
In 752, the secular authority of the popes was established in the Duchy of Rome, the Exarchate of Raven and Pentapolis, which laid the foundation for the Papal region. In 774, Italy was annexed to the Frankish state. Only in the south were several Lombard duchies preserved (Spoletal duchy, Duchy of Benevento, and later the Principality of Salerno and the Principality of Capua stood out from them). In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne proclaimed himself the new Roman emperor. After the death of his great-grandson Charles III Tolstoy, civil strife began in the Italian kingdom.
In 951, the King of Italy proclaimed the German king Otto I the Great. However, the power of the king of Italy became nominal, the entire territory of northern Italy was divided into brands: Tuscan (Tuscany), Friulian (later Verona) (Venice), Hebrew (was soon annexed to the Turin brand), Saluzzo, Monferrat, Turin (all four in Piedmont ), Milan (Lombardy). The stamps were ruled by margraves, each of whom was actually a sovereign ruler.
However, already in the XI-XII centuries, most brands fell into communes, which were aristocratic city-states. The Tuscan brand completely disintegrated, the Verona brand was absorbed by Venice, the Turin brand was annexed to Savoy in 1091, only Saluzzo and Monferrat have survived from the previous brands. In some Tuscan communes, democratic elements were periodically strengthened.
In 1071, the Norman nobleman Robert Guiscard conquered Apulia and Calabria, in 1072 Sicily, in 1073 Amalfi, in 1078 Salerno, forming the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria and the County of Sicily, which united in 1130 into the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1135, the Principality of Capua passed under his authority, in 1140 - the Duchy of Gaet, in 1144 - the Duchy of Naples. At the same time, the Papal Region is also strengthening - in 1081 the Duchy of Benevento joins it, and in 1201 - the Duchy of Spoleto.
The beginning of the Renaissance in Italy is considered to be the year 1401, when a competition was held for the relief of the doors of the Florentine Baptistery. Among the participants of the competition were the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who became the author of the design of the dome of the Florentine cathedral, and the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti. The winner of the competition was the master of the new era of Ghiberti.
By the 15th century, the communes of Tuscany were united around Florence into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Lombardy was united around Milan into the Duchy of Milan, Romagna was united around Ferara into the Duchy of Duchy, all these states were monarchies. Aristocratic republics remained in Venice and Genoa. In the 16th century, the domination of Spain was consolidated in a large part of Italy, and after the war for the Spanish Succession of 1701-1714, the domination of the Austrian Habsburgs.
In 1797, the French Army entered Italy, the Cispadan Republic,
the Transpadan Republic, the Venetian Republic, the Ligurian
Republic, the Piedmont Republic, the Roman Republic, the Neapolitan
Republic were formed, all were oligarchic republics. In the same
1797 they merged into the Cisalpine Republic, renamed in 1802 the
Italian Republic, which in turn was transformed into the Kingdom of
Italy in 1805, the king of which was Emperor of France Napoleon I.
In 1814, the French army left Italy, were the Duchy of Modena was
restored, the Duchy of Parma, the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal
States were restored in 1799, the Kingdom of Sardinia was returned
to Piedmont, Emilia - to the Papal States, Lombardy and Veneto -
The struggle for a united Italy was led by the carbonaries, Young Italy and other organizations, in which Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini were key figures. By the end of 1860, Italy was largely united around the Sardinian kingdom (since 1861 the Italian kingdom). In 1865-1870, the capital was Florence, in 1870 Rome was annexed to the Italian kingdom, which became the new capital.
XX and XXI centuries
In 1914, the Declaration of Italy on neutrality in the outbreak of World War II was signed. In April 1915, Italy signed an agreement with the Entente countries on their participation in the war. In May of that year, Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary, and then Germany. In August 1917, an anti-war uprising of workers in Turin took place in Italy. In January 1919, the formation of the Catholic People's Party (subsequently - the Christian Democratic Party). In March 1919, the fascist movement emerged (the formation of the first “military alliance”). In August 1919, an election reform was carried out in the country (introduction of voting on party lists and a proportional system of representation in the Chamber of Deputies). January 1921 was marked by the formation of the Communist Party of Italy (KPI, since 1944 - IKP). In November of the same year, the fascist “military alliances” were transformed into a party.
In 1922, after the campaign of the black shirts to Rome and the presentation of their demands to the king, the Nazis came to power and established a dictatorship led by Benito Mussolini (1922-1943). February 7, 1924 is the establishment of diplomatic relations between Italy and the USSR. In 1929, according to the Lateran Treaty, Italy guaranteed the sovereignty of the Vatican. In 1935-1936 Italy captured Ethiopia, in 1939 - Albania. Having entered into a military alliance with Nazi Germany and Japan, Italy entered World War II in 1940. In 1940, hostilities began with the participation of Italy in the Balkans (against Greece and Yugoslavia). In 1941-1943, Italy accepted complicity in Nazi aggression against the USSR; Italy soon suffers a military defeat in East Africa.
Despite the fact that historically Italy was not inherent in anti-Semitism, 1937, when the Hitler coalition began to form, is considered to be the starting point of the Holocaust in Italy.
1941 was marked by the declaration by Italy and Germany of the US war.
In July 1943, the United States, Britain and their allies landed in Italy with the aim of defeating the fascist troops and leaving Italy from the war. On September 3, the Italian government signed a ceasefire, on September 8, 1943, Italy surrendered to the United Nations, and a National Liberation Committee was created in Rome with the participation of 6 anti-fascist parties.
In September 1943, there was a Nazi occupation of Northern and Central Italy (the "Republic of Salo").
In June 1944 Rome was liberated; a single partisan party was created. In the same year, full diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union were restored. In December 1944, the Roman Protocols were signed (an agreement between the Anglo-American command and the Resistance forces on cooperation at the final stage of the war and the further fate of partisan formations).
In 1945, the Nazi regime of Mussolini was overthrown by the actions of the Resistance movement (the highest point was the April Uprising of 1945) and the Anglo-American forces in Italy. By the 21st century, Italy is not as strongly condemned as Germany in Germany by the gloomy pages of its history related to fascism, admirers of Mussolini's ideology have survived, some continue to honor the memory of the Duce, and a fascism museum was opened in his homeland in Preappio in 2016, funded, in addition to city authorities and sponsors, also the Italian government. This memorial caused a mixed reaction from society, despite the guarantees that the museum would not be engaged in the propaganda of fascist ideology.
In 1946, following a national referendum, Italy became a parliamentary republic.
In November 1947, the Constitution of the Italian Republic was
adopted, it officially entered into force on January 1, 1948.
According to the current Constitution of Italy, it is the legal
successor of the Kingdom of Italy, a parliamentary board is
established, and at the same time, the previously adopted laws and
property rights to real estate that are not recognized as invalid.
Between 1948 and 2015, constitutional amendments were introduced
more than 15 times.
After the Second World War, the Christian Democratic Party of Italy (CDP) was established in the political arena, which formed the governments in 1945-1981 and in 1987-1992.
In 1948, parliamentary elections were held, which consolidated until 1953 the establishment of the political dominance of the CDA. In June 1948, Prime Minister De Gasperi signed an agreement with the United States to extend the "Marshall Plan" to Italy.
March 1949 - Italy joins NATO. In 1960, neo-fascism intensified and the mass anti-fascist movement rose. 1969 - “Hot Autumn” (the struggle for new conditions of collective labor agreements and the expansion of the rights of workers' organizations).
The late 1960s and early 1970s in Italy marked the onset of an era of organized crime and political extremism. The country was shocked by numerous terrorist attacks, in many cities there were regular bombings, abductions and killings of politicians, businessmen, judges, police and journalists. During 1977, 2128 acts of political violence were committed in Italy. In 1978, a world-wide crime took place in Rome - the abduction and murder by terrorists from the "Red Brigades" of the former prime minister, chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, Aldo Moro. In 1979, 2150 terrorist attacks were carried out in the country. In August 1980, the bloodiest terrorist attack in the entire post-war history of Italy took place - terrorists blew up a station in Bologna, killing 85 people. Italy was threatened by a right-wing dictatorship (similar to the pro-fascist regime of the "black colonels" in Greece), but the country overcame the crisis by constitutional means.
1976-1979 - the policy of "national solidarity."
In 1980, the five-party coalition came to power. In 1988, in terms of purchasing power parity, Italy was slightly ahead of the USSR, entering in the top ten most developed countries in the world in economic indicators.
January 1991 was marked by the 20th Congress of the IKP and the cessation of its existence (the formation of the Democratic Party of the Left Forces and the Party of the Communist Reconstruction). 1991-1993 - transition from a proportional electoral system to a majority; Operation Clean Hands and the crisis of traditional government parties.
In 1993, Italy acceded to the Maastricht Treaty.
The sharp increase in corruption at all levels of government has led to a change in the electoral system. On August 4, 1993, a new law on parliamentary elections was approved.
The post-war history of Italy is characterized by a frequent change of government. Since 1994, Silvio Berlusconi four times became Prime Minister of Italy, held this post intermittently until November 2011.
In 2007, a large-scale reform of special services was carried out in Italy.
The 63rd Government of the Italian Republic began work on February 22, 2014, chaired by Matteo Renzi. Since December 12, 2016, after Renzi’s resignation caused by a failure in the constitutional referendum, the same government was headed by Paolo Gentiloni.
After the parliamentary elections in March 2018, the new government took more than two months to form. The 65th government of the Italian Republic has been in force since June 1, 2018 under the presidency of Giuseppe Conte.
In February 2020, Italy becomes the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.
Fundamentals of the state system
Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic. The basic law of the state is the constitution adopted in 1947.
The head of state is the President of Italy.
The executive branch and the Government are headed by the Prime Minister of Italy. The government structure for February 2013 included the following ministries:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of the Interior
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Economy and Finance
Ministry of Economic Development
Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forest Policy
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Activities
Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Lands and the Sea of Italy
Ministry of Health care.
The legislature is the Bicameral Parliament of Italy, elected for 5 years.
Chamber of Deputies of Italy - 630 members.
Senate of Italy - 315 members.
The leading political parties are the Five Star Movement, the Left Democrats, the Democratic Union, the Italian People's Party, the United Christian Democrats, the "People of Freedom", the League of the North. The parties are united in coalitions - right (People of Freedom, CDA, League of the North) and left (DPLS, SP, People's Party, environmentalists).
The modern party system in Italy developed after the Second World
War. According to Article 49 of the Constitution of the Italian
Republic, a political party is a free association of citizens exercising
their right to “contribute in a democratic way to the determination of
national policy”. According to the results of the 2013 parliamentary
elections, 25 parties are represented in at least one of the chambers of
the Italian parliament, including regional and émigré parties.
Modern Italy is characterized by a developed multi-party system (about 50 active political parties). The activities of the parties participating in the elections are financed by taxes at the choice of the taxpayers themselves. The largest parties in the country, not having an absolute majority in parliament, are forced to form coalition governments with smaller parties. Propaganda of fascism and activities of fascist organizations are prohibited by law.
Democratic Party - centre-left
The Five Star Movement is a populist
Forward Italy - Conservative
Brothers of Italy - centre-right
League of the North - right-wing populist, regionalist
"Popolars for Italy" - popularist
The highest court is the Supreme Court of Cassation (Corte suprema di cassazione), the courts of appeal are the courts of appeal (Corte d'appello) and the courts of appeal of the jury (Corte d'assise d'appello), 26 courts of appeal operate in each of the districts (distretto ), courts of first instance - courts (Tribunale) and jury courts (Corte d'assise), operate in each district (circondario), the lowest link of the judicial system (Giudice di pace), prosecutorial oversight bodies - the Prosecutor General's Office at the Supreme Court of Cassation (Procura Generale presso la Suprema Corte di Cassazione), Attorneys General at the Courts of Appeal (Procure Generali presso le Corti d'Appello), Prosecutors of the Republic at ordinary courts (Procure della Repubblica presso il Tribunale ordinario), the highest judicial instance of administrative justice - the Council of State (Consiglio di Stato), courts of appeal of administrative justice - regional administrative courts (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale ), the supreme control body - the Accounts Chamber (Corte dei conti), the anti-mafia authorities - the National Office for the Fight against Mafia (Direzione nazionale antimafia) under the Prosecutor General's Office of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the district anti-mafia departments (Direzione distrettuale antimafia) under Attorneys General of the Courts of Appeal, the Anti-Mafia Investigation Unit (Direzione Investigativa Antimafia) of the Public Security Division of the Ministry of the Interior (created to replace the High Commissioner for the Coordination of Mafia Crime Control (Alto commissario per il coordinamento della lotta contro la delinquenza mafiosa)) and the National anti-mafia prosecutor (Procuratore nazionale antimafia), the educational training of judges is carried out by the School of Specialization of Legal Professions (Scuola di specializzazione per le professioni legali) and the Graduate School of Magistracy (Scuola superiore della magistratura). The judicial body of constitutional control is the Constitutional Court.
Bodies of constitutional importance
In addition to the constitutional bodies, i.e. the president, parliament, government, judiciary and the Constitutional Court, the Italian Constitution also provides for a system of bodies of constitutional significance:
National Council of Economics and Labor Relations
Council of State of the Italian Republic
Supreme Judicial Council
Italian Supreme Defense Council
State Commissariat of the Sicilian Region
The state symbols of Italy are regulated by the constitution and current legislation.
The flag of Italy is a rectangular panel with a 3:2 ratio, divided into three vertical stripes of equal size - green at the pole edge, white in the middle, and red at the free edge of the panel.
For the first time, the Italian tricolor appeared on January 7, 1797 in Emilia as the flag of the republic proclaimed by Giuseppe Compagnoni. During the reign of Napoleon, the flag was also used as a symbol of the French Revolution. After the Congress of Vienna and the Restoration, the tricolor remained a symbol of freedom and was used in the revolutionary movements of 1831 and 1848.
The coat of arms of Italy is a white five-pointed star with red edges superimposed on a five-spoke cogwheel, standing between an olive branch on the left and an oak branch on the right. The green branches are tied together with a red ribbon with the inscription "Republic of Italy" (Italian: REPUBBLICA ITALIANA) in capital white letters. The official emblem of the Italian Republic was promulgated by the Italian President Enrico de Nicola on May 5, 1948. The emblem was sketched by the artist Paolo Paschetto, who won the right in the 1946 and 1947 competitions among 500 other candidates and nearly 800 sketches.
The Italian national anthem, also known as "Brothers of Italy" and "Song of the Italians", was the unofficial anthem of the Italian Republic from October 12, 1946 to November 15, 2017. On November 17, 2005, the Senate passed the law on the official anthem in the first reading, but the law was finally adopted only 12 years later. The text of the anthem was written in the autumn of 1847 by Goffredo Mameli, and the music, a little later, by the composer Michele Novaro. In the 80s of the XX century, an excerpt from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Nabucco was also widely circulated, which was performed as an anthem.
January 1 - New Year (Il Capodanno);
January 6 - Epiphany (l'Epifania) or Befana (La Befana), Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord;
March 8 - International Women's Day (La Festa della Donna); is not a mandatory holiday and is a working day
April 21 - Founding of Rome (Natale di Roma);
April 25 - Day of Liberation from Nazism and German Occupation (La Liberazione);
May 1 - Labor Day (Labor Day) (La Festa del Lavoro);
June 2 - Proclamation Day of the Republic of Italy (La Festa della Repubblica);
August 15 - Ferragosto (Il Ferragosto) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Assumption of the Virgin Mary (L'Assunzione);
November 1 - All Saints' Day (Il giorno di tutti i Santi or Ognissanti);
November 2 - Day of all the departed faithful (Il giorno della Commemorazione dei Defunti);
December 8 - Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (L'Immacolata Concezione);
December 25 - Christmas (Il Natale);
December 26 - Saint Stephen's Day (Santo Stefano).
Until 1861, Italy was fragmented, so numerous Italian states pursued their own foreign policy, focusing on neighboring powerful states.
Since 1861, the policy of a united Italy was aimed at annexing areas with Italians living there, namely the Papal States, Trentino, Istria, Dalmatia. Italy also sought to create its own colonial empire. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Italy annexed the Papal States. Further, she was guided in foreign policy by Germany, as she wanted to gain a foothold in Tunisia, which France also claimed. However, because of the desire to annex Istria and Trentino, Italy entered into a confrontation with Austria-Hungary in the late XIX - early XX centuries.
Since 1914, Italy has been negotiating with the Entente, being in alliance with Germany. As a result, in 1915, the Entente countries promised Italy the desired territories if it agreed to take the side of the Entente. And in 1915 Italy attacks Austria-Hungary. According to the results of the Paris Peace Conference in 1918, Italy received Istria, Trentino and a number of islands in the Adriatic Sea. After the First World War, Italy had a new rival - the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which became Yugoslavia in 1929.
After the Nazis came to power, Italy's foreign policy became extremely radical. Conflicts with Yugoslavia become relevant until the end of World War II, as a result of which Italy returned Dalmatia, Istria to Yugoslavia, and granted independence to Albania.
One of the most important foreign policy events was the signing in February 1947 in Paris of the Allied peace treaty with Italy. According to the treaty, fascist organizations were disbanded in Italy, occupying troops were withdrawn, borders were defined, and military bases on Italian territory were prohibited. After the Second World War, Italy's policy was passive, the country followed in line with NATO and the United States. The idea of the role of Italy as the role of a "middle power" dominated in the country. On April 4, 1949, the official signing of the North Atlantic Treaty took place in Washington. Together with representatives of the United States, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Portugal and Iceland, the North Atlantic Pact was also signed by the representative of the Italian government, Foreign Minister Carlo Sforza. Foreign Minister Sforza also actively promoted Italy's accession to the European Council (1949) and the European Coal and Steel Community (1951).
At the end of 1955, Italy became a member of the UN.
Since the early 1960s, Italy has gained impressive experience in crisis management and participation in UN peacekeeping operations around the world. Such international activity becomes an integral part of Italian foreign policy and the strengthening of Italy's international prestige. Italy made a significant contribution to the peacekeeping operation in the Congo in 1963. Italy's involvement in conflict resolution became even more significant with the 1980 Libyan Mission. Italian peacekeeping expanded in the 1990s due to numerous UN operations.
Since 1964, the Italian Foreign Ministry (internal Italian term - Farnesina) for the first time began to hire women.
By the end of the 1970s, the passivity of Italy, which was going through one internal political crisis after another, was compensated in Western Europe by rhetorical confessions of loyalty to Europeanism. At the turn of the 1980s, the pendulum of Italian foreign policy, swinging between Western Europe and the United States, froze in the American phase.
In the late 1980s, this ideology began to change in connection with the beginning of the collapse of Yugoslavia. Italy began to pay more attention to the processes in the post-Yugoslav space and in general in the Mediterranean. In the early 1980s, Italy's Mediterranean policy was given a new impetus. The country was able to acquire significant independence from its partners in the NATO bloc and began to pursue its course in this region. Among the specific manifestations of Italian policy at this time are the conclusion of agreements on military and economic cooperation with Malta in 1980, the participation of Italians in the international forces in Lebanon in 1982-1984, and the operations to clear mines from the Suez Canal in 1984.
Starting from the second half of the 1990s, the problem of determining the country in the European Union came to the fore in Italy's foreign policy. First of all, attention was drawn to the issue of introducing a single European currency - the euro.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the country, together with
Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, took part in
the promotion of a new sub-regional project - the Adriatic and Ionian
Initiative (AII). A conference at the level of foreign ministers was
held on May 20, 2000 in the Italian city of Ancona and opened up new
channels of influence for Italy in the Balkans. Also, after the creation
of the AI, Italy practically became one of the main Western European
countries capable of regulating the post-crisis development in the
Balkans, which gave Italy the opportunity to establish itself as one of
the centers of gravity for the countries of South-Eastern Europe.
After the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States, Italy directed its efforts towards restoring contacts between the Western and Islamic worlds.
In 2001-2006, the Italian prime minister and foreign ministers made a number of visits to establish a dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli administrations, through the mediation of Rome, in resolving the regional crisis. The first state visit of an Italian President to Turkey took place on November 22, 2005. Carlo Chapmi expressed support for Turkey's aspiration to become a member of the European Union, and also focused on the fact that the country and its leadership should make efforts to achieve the standards adopted by the EU.
Italy's foreign policy priorities include: the Mediterranean, the Balkan region, the United States of America, the European Union, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia. One of the most important goals of Italy's foreign policy is to obtain a seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
By 2011, the worldwide network of the Italian foreign service consisted of more than 300 embassies, consulates, cultural institutions, local cooperation agencies. In the course of the reform, the number of consulates was reduced to 85. At the same time, only 22 diplomats had the rank of the Ambassador of Italy in connection with the traditions of special strictness in its assignment. In 2016, the most prominent Italian diplomats working at the transnational level are the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the UN Special Representative for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.
As of 2011, the Italian diaspora abroad is one of the largest in the world and amounts to about 5 million people.
Relations with Russia
At the beginning of the 21st century, the 500th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Russia and the states of the Apennine Peninsula was marked, based on the awareness of belonging to one civilization, common ethical principles.
Italy has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation: established with the USSR on February 7, 1924, interrupted by Italy on June 22, 1941, restored on October 25, 1944. All this time, a bilateral visa regime has been operating between Italy and the USSR / Russia.
In April 1966, the first official visit to the Italian Republic of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Andrei Gromyko took place. After decades of cool relations caused by Italy's participation in the Nazi coalition, the visit not only gave concrete results in the field of bilateral relations, but also led to a rapprochement between the positions of the USSR and Italy on international politics and inter-bloc confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Since the 1970s, Soviet-Italian relations have been developing on the whole in an ascending line, they are distinguished by saturation and effectiveness. In 1975, a Soviet-Italian declaration was signed, which reflected the desire to develop friendly relations between Italy and the USSR.
In 1969, the first Soviet-Italian contract for the supply of natural gas to the Apennines was signed; in 2006, the strategic agreement between ENI and Gazprom on gas supplies to Italy was extended until 2035.
The first high-level talks took place during Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Rome on November 29–30, 1989. Italy was one of the first to recognize the new Russia as the legal successor of the USSR. The milestone event was the visit to Rome of Russian President Boris Yeltsin on December 19-20, 1991, which resulted in the adoption of a joint statement on the foundations of bilateral relations, and the signing of a protocol on cultural exchange. On October 14, 1994, the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed. In 1994, at the initiative of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Yeltsin was invited to the summit of the seven leading states of the world in Naples, which marked the beginning of Russia's integration into the G7 and its transformation into the G8, from which Russia dropped out in 2014. In 1998, the Action Plan for Relations between Russia and Italy was introduced. Until 2014, when Italy joined the EU anti-Russian sanctions in connection with the events in Ukraine, official summit meetings were regularly held in Moscow and Rome. There is a direct communication line between the Chigi Palace and the Kremlin. The sanctions have been extended until July 31, 2020. At the same time, the media noted that Italy is one of the three EU countries (along with Hungary and Greece) that least of all support anti-Russian restrictive measures and insist on their weakening.
The current stage of Italian foreign policy, especially under Prime Minister Berlusconi, was characterized by constructive relations with Russia - while maintaining Italy's obligations in NATO and the European Union, admission to which is impossible for Russia. A milestone event was the signing in June 2004 of an intergovernmental agreement on the facilitation of issuing visas to citizens of the Russian Federation and the Italian Republic, which facilitated mutual contacts for young people, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, civil servants. The largest Italian company for receiving tourists from Russia is Italcamel. As of 2014, there were 24 Italian visa centers in Russia, in 2013 the maximum number of visas for Russians was issued - 770 thousand, Italy in 2013 was visited by 1.2 million Russian citizens, the highest number in the history of Russian-Italian relations. After the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions by the European Union, the annual number of tourists from Russia decreased by 50%.
Bilateral trade reached an all-time high of $53.9 billion in 2013, followed by a sharp decline after mutual sanctions, and in 2016 trade totaled only $19.8 billion. According to this indicator, in 2013 Italy was the third largest trade partner of Russia in the European Union, the fourth largest in the world.
In 2015, Italy opposed the construction of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, arguing that the project violates the spirit of anti-Russian sanctions and puts German economic interests above European unity. At the same time, the Italian government criticized the actions of the European Union, which led to the cancellation of the construction of the South Stream, namely, in this direction, Russian gas was supposed to flow to Italy.
In March 2020, during the outbreak of the coronavirus infection COVID-19 in Italy, when the death toll from the pandemic in the country approached 10 thousand people, Russia sent teams of Russian doctors to the Apennines, and with them protective equipment, mobile complexes based on "KAMAZ" for aerosol disinfection of transport and territory, medical equipment, field laboratories for sterilization. Assistance was provided through the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation with the use of aircraft of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation. 14 VKS aircraft with leading military virologists and other specialists were sent to Italy, in total about 100 Russian internationalist soldiers arrived on board the VKS, the largest focus of infection in the city of Bergamo became their main place of activity. At the same time, the La Stampa newspaper, citing sources, called this assistance "useless", noting that a non-core ministry (the Ministry of Defense, not the Ministry of Health) is engaged in the provision of medical care.
United Nations (1955)
Council of Europe (1949)
European Union (1957)
Band of Ten (1964)
As part of NATO
Italy has been a NATO member since the creation of the alliance in April 1949. From the very beginning of being in NATO, Italy was destined for the role of a profitable strategic outpost of the bloc in the Mediterranean, a springboard for expanding the American military presence in southern Europe. Italy's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance is due to the pro-American course of the Italian Christian Democrats (CDA) led by Prime Minister De Gasperi, who considered the United States and its defense potential the main support and protection, and Washington's energetic counter efforts aimed at integrating Italy into the pro-American bloc.
Seeking to deploy its military bases in Italy, the United States
began negotiations on this matter with Italy in 1947, and already in
1948 a secret military protocol was signed between the countries.
According to the document, the use of Italian territory by American
troops was envisaged in the event of hostilities against a third power,
presumably the Soviet Union, which, according to NATO doctrines, was
considered as the main potential adversary of the West. Shortly after
the signing of the Washington Treaty, the Italian government turned to
the United States for military assistance. For this, Italy agreed to
provide territory for the deployment of American military bases. Already
in the summer of 1949, the United States began work on the construction
of new modern military facilities, the restoration and reconstruction of
old dilapidated airfields and ports. According to this plan, strong US
naval bases were established on the Italian islands of Pantelleria and
Lampedusa. In 1954, the government concluded an agreement with the
United States on the deployment of American military bases in Italy,
which was neither published nor ratified by Parliament. In 1956, NATO,
the United States and Great Britain developed the Gladio program, the
purpose of which was to form underground combat cells in Italy to
protect against a possible Soviet invasion. In 1972, the Italian
government entered into an agreement with the United States to provide
American nuclear submarines with a base on Maddalena Island almost
simultaneously with the signing of a protocol on political consultations
with the Soviet Union.
Italy was the main outpost of the United States and NATO in the Mediterranean during the Cold War, as well as after its end. All these decades, Italy has actively supported NATO policy, providing its territory not only for basing, but for military operations, for example, as “jump” airfields during the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, during the operation in Libya (2012) and in other cases.
At the same time, Italy itself (an energy-deficient country where there are neither nuclear power plants, nor industrial reserves of oil, gas, coal), with its rapidly changing governments and an unstable domestic political situation, without significant economic and military resources, has long been aloof from making strategic decisions in NATO. Italy's role in NATO began to grow during the Yugoslav crisis of the 1990s. After the collapse of Yugoslavia, the crisis in Kosovo and the declaration of independence of Kosovo in Italy, the idea of a “middle power” was transformed into the idea of a “world of protagonists”, that is, a world in which Italy was assigned an important place. Italy was one of the first to recognize the sovereignty of the former Serbian province of Kosovo, and then declared the Balkan region a zone of its responsibility within NATO. In 2003, Italy, despite the prevailing anti-war sentiment, fulfilled its allied obligations and supported the participation of coalition forces in Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. In March 2005, the feat of Italian intelligence agent Nicolo Calipari, who sacrificed his life in Iraq while freeing hostages taken by terrorists, received a great response in the world. This tragedy marked a turning point in the public discussion about the meaning of Italy's involvement in the Iraq war, and in 2006, under Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Italian troops were withdrawn from Iraq.
In 2015, Italy is one of the most influential members of NATO. Italian military personnel take an active part in various exercises and operations of the North Atlantic alliance. About 6,500 Italian military and special services personnel participated in NATO missions in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The ships of the Italian Navy participated in the NATO maritime operation "Active Endeavour" in the Mediterranean. During the first stage of the military operation in Libya, Italy seconded the third largest air group to NATO. Italy ranks fifth in terms of investment in the NATO budget.
By 2015, several dozens of US and NATO military bases and training grounds, as well as a number of command bodies of the North Atlantic alliance, are deployed in Italy. These include the headquarters of the Joint Military Command (JMC) and the Command of the Naval Forces under the control of JMC in Naples, in the same city there is a US consulate. Italy hosts a NATO research center and several educational institutions of the alliance. Among them are the military college in Rome, the School of Communications and Information Systems in Latina, the Center for Underwater Studies in La Spesi.
Tactical nuclear weapons (90 warheads), which are part of the
non-strategic nuclear arsenal of the United States and NATO, have been
deployed at American bases in Italy since the Cold War. At the same
time, among the Italians themselves, the deployment of several dozen
nuclear bombs in Italy does not enjoy support, about half of the Italian
population is not at all aware of the presence of such weapons in the
country. While the modernization of nuclear bombs continues in the
United States, aircraft carriers of these weapons are being improved in
Italy and other European NATO members. In 2015, NATO had about 200
nuclear bombs and 310 carrier aircraft in Europe, including Italy. By
2020, NATO bases in Italy are expected to deploy the latest B61-12
guided nuclear bombs developed and tested in the United States.
The concept of Italy's policy towards NATO's prospects is close to the strategic guidelines of other countries of the alliance. Italy is committed to rapprochement with Russia within the framework of the special NATO Partnership for Peace program. Contacts with Russia received the greatest development and intensity during the four-time premiership of Silvio Berlusconi, who, in addition to state interests, was connected by personal friendship with Vladimir Putin. On May 28, 2002, at the initiative of Berlusconi, a military-political rapprochement between Russia and the West took place; war." The next cabinet of Matteo Renzi and Paolo Gentiloni tried to follow the same guidelines in a much more tense international situation. The crisis in Ukraine that began in 2014 and the resulting complication of relations between the West and Russia, which Italy joined in the sanctions against, made adjustments to Italy's position. Nevertheless, the official documents of NATO, with which Italy stands in solidarity, still enshrine the need to transform the alliance and maintain a dialogue with Russia.
The armed forces of Italy include: army, navy, air force,
Since January 1, 2005, military service has been abolished. Prior to this, the draft age in Italy began at 18 years old, the service life was 10 months.
Combat-ready population (men): 15-49 years old - 14,248,674 in 2001;
Combat-ready population (men): correspond to military service 15-49 years - 12,244,166 in 2001;
Military manpower reserves (reach military age annually): 304,369 in 2001;
Military spending: $28.9 billion a year, which is 1.5% of GDP.
Italy passed a law abolishing conscription and creating a professional army. Young people born after December 31, 1985 are no longer subject to military conscription.
Formally, the new law refers only to the suspension of military service, since Article 52 of the Italian Constitution provides that "defence of the Fatherland is the sacred duty of a citizen." Thus, in the event of a war or other emergency situation, the practice of conscription for military service can be resumed. Nevertheless, Rome took a course towards the creation of a professional army, the number of which by the end of 2006 amounted to 190,000, that is, reduced by 80,000 servicemen. The law provides for a five-year service for enlisted personnel with the possibility of renewing the contract twice for two years. It is also possible to conclude a contract for only one year. It is assumed that, having retired from the ranks of the armed forces, the majority of former military personnel will be accepted into the police, fire departments, and the civil defense service. In addition, the reform opens up the possibility for women to hold almost any position in all branches of the armed forces.
Operations outside of Italy involve employees of the Italian military intelligence AISE (until 2007 - SISMI).
Italy is a decentralized unitary state. The capital of the state is Rome. The country is divided into 20 regions - Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, Liguria, Venice, Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo, Lazio, Molise, Basilicata, Campania , Calabria, Apulia, Sardinia and Sicily (of which 5 - Sicily, Sardinia, Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d'Aosta and Friuli Venezia Giulia - have a special status), including 110 provinces as an administrative-territorial unit. The provinces, in turn, are divided into communes, with a total of 8101 communes. Autonomous regions have their own representative bodies - regional councils and executive bodies - juntas, regions and autonomous provinces can adopt regional and provincial laws on those issues that are prescribed in the Constitution.
The territory of Italy is 302,073 km² (72nd in terms of area among the countries of the world).
Italy has land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
Italy is located in the area of contact of lithospheric plates, so earthquakes are not uncommon. The largest earthquakes recorded in the 20th and 21st centuries.
1908: earthquake in Reggio and the city of Messina
1915: Marsik earthquake
1929: Bologna earthquake
1932: Abruzzo earthquake
1972: Ancona earthquake
1976: Friuli earthquake
1990: Santa Lucia earthquake
1997: Umbria and Marche earthquake
2002: Molise earthquake
2009: L'Aquila earthquake
2012: Emilia Romagna earthquake
2016: Abruzzo earthquake, Lazio
Italy has both active and extinct volcanoes. Among them, five of the largest are distinguished:
Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe - 3340 m. It is located in the northeast of the island of Sicily, representing, together with other craters, a landscape of incredible beauty that opens from the coast of the Calabria region.
Vesuvius - (1277 m) rises above Naples and the bay - this landscape is world famous. The most famous eruption of Vesuvius occurred in 79 AD. e., when Pompeii, Stabiae, Herculaneum were almost completely under the lava and ash. Vesuvius last woke up in 1944, but experts say that in the future the volcano will be constantly active and very dangerous.
Stromboli is an active volcano that forms part of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Vulcano is another volcano of the Aeolian Islands, located on the island of the same name.
Marsigli is a potentially dangerous underwater volcano located in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Italy is predominantly a mountainous country.
In the north - the southern slopes of the Alps with the highest point of Western Europe, Mont Blanc (4810 m), to the south - the Padan Plain; on the peninsula - the Apennine mountains (the highest point is Mount Corno Grande, 2914 m). The Apennine mountains are divided into: Ligurian, Tuscany-Emilian, Umbro-Marca, Abruzzo, Campanian, Lucanian, Calabrian Apennines and Monti Sabini. Even in the eastern part of the peninsula is the Gargano peninsula, in the southeast and southwest of the Salentina and Calabria peninsulas, respectively. Active volcanoes - (Vesuvius, Etna); frequent earthquakes.
Washing seas - from the east, the Apennine peninsula is washed by the Adriatic Sea with the Gulf of Venice in its northern part. The Strait of Otranto between Apulia and Albania connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea. Between Puglia and Calabria, the Gulf of Taranto penetrates deeply into the land. The very narrow Strait of Messina separates Calabria from Sicily, and the Sicilian (or Tunisian) Strait, 135 km wide, separates Sicily from North Africa. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a triangular basin framed by Sardinia, Corsica, the Tuscan archipelago, the Apennine Peninsula and Sicily. To the north of Corsica is the Ligurian Sea with the Gulf of Genoa.
In the northeastern part of the island of Sicily are the Nebrodi mountains, and in the southwestern part of the island of Sardinia, the Campidano plain.
Most of the small islands are divided into archipelagos, such as the Tuscan archipelago, which includes the island of Elba, to which Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled.
The longest river in Italy is Po, its length is 682 km. The largest lake is Garda (370 km²).
Italy is located in a zone of subtropical Mediterranean climate, and the influence of the sea is enhanced by the Alps, which are a barrier to northern and western winds.
Italy has a wide variety of minerals. But the deposits of many of them are small in terms of reserves, dispersed throughout the country, often in inconvenient places for their development. So in 1982, iron ore mining was completely stopped in the country, including on the island of Elba (in a number of places, but especially in the Carrara region). In terms of reserves of other types of raw materials, the territory of Italy is poor. Anthracite is found in small quantities in the Valle d'Aosta region, colloidal lignites in Tuscany, peat and peaty lignites. There are small deposits of manganese in Central Italy and Liguria. Bauxites, long mined from the karst depressions of Puglia, are now almost exhausted. On the island of Sicily there are reserves of potash and rock salt, asphalt, bitumen.
Italy's energy resources meet the country's energy needs by only 15%. In Sardinia, Tuscany, Umbria, Calabria there are deposits of brown and low-quality coal. Limited oil reserves in the island of Sicily, the Podana Plain and on the east coast of Central Italy provide less than 2% of Italy's oil needs. The natural gas deposits of the Padana Plain and its underwater extension, the continental shelf of the Adriatic Sea, are very important for the country's economy. Natural gas is found in the Northern, Central and Southern Apennines and in Sicily.
In the post-war years, quite significant (for Italy) oil resources were discovered - in the Padana lowland, in the Alpine foothills, and also on the island of Sicily. These are supplemented by bituminous shales, on the island of Sicily in the Ragusa region, near San Valentino in the Abruzzo e Molise region, and also in the Frosinone region (Lazio).
By the end of 2008, the population of Italy exceeded 60 million people. At the moment, the country is in fourth place in terms of population among the countries of the European Union and in 23rd place among countries around the world. The population density is 199.2 people per sq. km. kilometer - the fifth place in the European Union. The highest density is in Northern Italy, where almost half of the country's total population lives. The most densely populated regions of Italy are the plains of Campania, Lombardy and Liguria, where there are over 300 inhabitants per km². This is due to favorable economic conditions, until the X century. the south of the country was more developed and densely populated. The valley of the Po River is especially crowded. The mountainous areas are much less populated. Here, the population density drops to 35 people per 1 km², in the economically underdeveloped areas of Sardinia and Basilicata, the population density is 60 people per 1 km².
After World War II, Italy experienced a prolonged economic boom that caused rural-to-urban migrations and halted emigration, and made the country attractive to immigrants. Until the 1970s, the birth rate remained high, but soon fell below the replacement level. In 2008, one in five Italians was over 65 years old. Despite this, mainly due to mass immigration in the last two decades, the 2000s saw an increase in the birth rate (especially in the northern regions), for the first time in many years. The fertility rate also increased: in 2008 it was 1.41 against 1.32 in 2005.
1931 - 41.2 million people.
1960 - 51.0 million people.
1977 - 56.3 million people.
2000 - 57.7 million people.
2007 - 60.1 million people.
2008 - 59.9 million people.
2009 - 60.2 million people.
2011 - 59.6 million people.
2017 - 60.5 million inhabitants.
The average life expectancy in Italy as of 2014 is 83 years, which is one of the highest in the world. The retirement age for women is 65 years, for men - 70 years.
Growth rates, age and sex structure of the population
The total fertility rate in Italy peaked in 1881-1890. and was equal to 37.8 per thousand, but dropped to 23.6 in 1932.
The age structure of the Italian population as of 2021: 0-14 years old - 12.8%; 15-64 years old - 63.7%; 65 years and older - 23.5%. The average age of the Italian population according to The World Factbook for 2020 was 46.5 years (5th in the world), including 45.4 years for men and 47.5 years for women. The ratio of the number of men and women: the entire population - 0.93 (2020). Average life expectancy of the population of Italy as of 2021: total - 82.67 years; men — 80.01 years; women - 85.49 years. As of 2021, the birth rate is 8.37 newborns per 1,000 inhabitants (216th in the world). The total fertility rate (TFR) is 1.47 births per woman. Due to the demographic aging of the population, the death rate is steadily increasing; as of 2021, the death rate is 10.7 deaths per 1,000 people (24th in the world). As of 2021, Italy's net migration rate is 3.21 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants (34th in the world). As of 2019, the average age of a woman at first birth in Italy is 31.3 years (for comparison, the Republic of Korea, the country with the lowest TFR in the world, is 0.84 births per woman in 2020, the average age of a woman at first birth in 2019 year was 32.2 years).
In Italy, there were large differences in fertility depending on the region: traditionally the southern regions had higher birth rates, but recently the trend has reversed.
Italy has been a member of the Schengen Agreement since October 26,
1997. Foreign citizens receive a Schengen visa at the consulate of the
country that is the main one for visiting. A tourist visa allows you to
stay in the territory of the Schengen countries (including Italy) for a
maximum of 90 days in each half year. As of 2016, when the European
migration crisis reached its peak, 8% of the Italian population are
foreign nationals and first-generation migrants from other countries.
This indicator increased by 1.5% between 2009 and 2016 and has an upward
According to the Italian government, as of January 2009, there were 3,891,295 foreign citizens registered in Italy, which is about 6.5% of the total population. About half a million immigrant children born in Italy play a significant role in the overall demographic picture. There is also a significant number of illegal immigrants living in the country. In May 2008, The Boston Globe estimated their number at 670,000.
With the expansion of the European Union, the latest wave of immigration has been from nearby countries, especially Eastern Europe and increasingly Asia, replacing North Africa as the main source of migrants. About 800,000 Romanians, of which about 10% are Roma, are officially registered as living in Italy, overtaking other ethnic minorities such as Albanians and Moroccans in this parameter. The number of unregistered Romanians and Moldovans (whose language belongs to the Balkan-Romance group, is close to Italian, which makes it easier for them to adapt in the country) in 2007 was estimated by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network at half a million people or more.
As of 2009, the geography of origin of foreign-born Italians was as follows: Europe (53.5%), Africa (22.3%), Asia (15.8%), Americas (8.1%) and Oceania (0.06%). The distribution of the foreign population of Italy is uneven: 87.3% live in the most economically developed northern and central regions of the country, while only 12.7% live in the agrarian southern part of the peninsula.
As of 2019, the United Nations estimated that 6.3 million immigrants lived in Italy, or 10.4% of the country's population.
According to the National Institute of Statistics in Italy (ISTAT), a significant contribution to the increase in the population of the Italian state was made by foreign citizens permanently residing in Italy. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of foreigners tripled: in 2001, at the census, there were just over 1,300,000 of them, and in 2011 there were already 3,769,518 foreign citizens living in Italy.
The territorial distribution of foreign citizens has not changed much: two-thirds have permanent residence in the north of Italy, in particular in the northwest, where 36% of foreigners live. Slightly less than half of the immigrants live in small communities where the local population does not exceed 20,000 people. Of the large communes, Brescia occupies the top position, on the territory of which 16% of the foreign population lives.
The official language is Italian, which belongs to the Romance group
of languages of the Indo-European family. Also in Italy there are
various dialects of Italian. It is customary to divide all dialects into
dialects of the North, Center and South. Modern Italian can be called a
dialect that has managed to "make a career", it is widely used in social
and political life. At the same time, in the Florentine dialect, they
talk more not about politics, but about culture, like the greatest
artists born in Florence - Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio.
German is officially recognized as an equal language with Italian in Bolzano and South Tyrol, Slovenian has a regional status in Gorizia and Trieste, and French in the Aosta Valley.
LGBT relations and the law
Until 2016, Italy was the last country in Western Europe to not recognize civil unions for gays or same-sex marriage, prompting protests from gay parade participants. On May 11, 2016, the Chamber of Deputies, by a majority of 372 votes to 51, with 99 abstentions, approved the law on civil unions. There is no question of equating civil unions with marriage. Italy has rejected a law criminalizing criticism of homosexuality. The Italian Parliament has not supported a bill that provides for prison penalties for criticizing LGBT people. At a meeting of the Senate (upper house of parliament) on October 27, 2021, the majority of deputies voted against the initiative. Prostitution in Italy is not a legal activity. The current law of 1958 prohibits not only the trafficking in women and the exploitation of prostitution, but also any form of aiding and abetting it, both with and without mercenary goals. There are no brothels in Italy, but tens of thousands of women, mostly immigrants, trade in the ancient craft on the Italian streets. Nudism in Italy was legalized in 2006, about 600 thousand people visit nudist beaches in Italy every year.
Economics and finance
The monetary unit is the euro. As of 2018, the average salary in Italy is 2595 euros (gross) and 1878 euros excluding social and private benefits (net) per month. Italy's contribution to EU GDP in 2019 is 11.3%.
Industry and Finance
Benefits: Strong government budget ($972 billion as of 2012, 7th in the world). competitive middle class. It sets the fashion all over the world in the field of design, production of clothes and household appliances. Leading firms include Fiat (automotive), Montedison (plastics), Olivetti (communications), Benetton (clothing). Highly productive agriculture and production for tourists, famous fashion houses. The great cultural heritage (two thirds of the cultural treasures of Europe are concentrated in Italy) makes the state on the Apennines one of the most attractive countries for tourists in Europe and the world, with an unlimited prospect for the development of the tourism industry of the economy.
Gross national product per capita $30,000 per year. Leading industries: mechanical engineering, metallurgy, chemical and petrochemical, light and food industries. Italy is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers to the world market of cars (famous brands: Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Iveco, Lamborghini, Lancia, Maserati), motorcycles (famous brands: Aprilia, Ducati), mopeds, bicycles, tractors, washing machines and refrigerators, typewriters and calculating machines, electronic products, industrial equipment, steel pipes, plastics and chemical fibers, car tires, as well as ready-made clothes and leather shoes, pasta, cheese, olive oil, wine, fruit and tomato preserves. Large-scale production of cement, natural essences and essential oils from flowers and fruits, art glass and faience products, jewelry. Mining of pyrites, mercury ores, potash salt, dolomites, asbestos.
Weaknesses: Government deficit and public debt growth are still significant. Small growth of the economy, inefficient service sector, which is intensively privatized. Unequal distribution of wealth between the rich North and the poor South, where unemployment is 2 times higher. Insufficient tax discipline, gradually improving. Enterprises that are weakly oriented towards international competition. The influence of organized crime, drug syndicates, mafia structures, especially in the southern regions of Campania, Calabria and Sicily. The level of bureaucratization of government bodies, corruption in the regulation of business in the south of the country is also incomparably higher than in the north, which, in particular, is the reason for the chronic lag in the economic and social development of the southern regions of Italy.
Energy and imports
Italy is poor in energy and hydro resources, the country has no deposits with industrial reserves of oil and gas, not a single nuclear power plant. The first nuclear power plant, according to plans, will be built with the assistance of France by 2020. For the construction of four nuclear power plants, holding companies will be created, in each of which the share of the Italian energy company Enel will be 60%, and the French EDF - 40%. Italy imports oil and gas from Russia, Norway, the countries of the Persian Gulf and Africa, electricity is supplied from France.
Of the total annual demand of 60 billion cubic meters, Italy provides itself with natural gas by less than 10%, the deficit is covered by imports. 40% of the demand, or more than 24 billion cubic meters, is supplied by Gazprom Export. In May 2016, in order to reduce dependence on supplies from Russia, construction began on the 870-kilometer Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (an extension of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline), which by 2020 will make it possible to supply Azerbaijani gas to Italy. Russia is also building a similar gas pipeline to Italy after the cancellation of the South Stream project.
Italy is a highly developed industrial and agricultural country.
Predominantly industrial and highly developed north and underdeveloped,
Agriculture is dominated by crop production. The main crops are wheat, corn, rice (1st place in collection in Europe; over 1 million tons per year), sugar beet. Italy is one of the world's largest and Europe's leading producers of citrus fruits (over 3.3 million tons per year), tomatoes (over 5.5 million tons), grapes (about 10 million tons per year; over 90% is processed into wine) , olives. Floriculture and poultry farming are developed.
Italy is the largest area of international tourism (over 50 million people a year). The country is home to 155 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world. Tourism in Italy is one of the leading sectors of the economy and accounts for 12% of GDP. Italy accounts for 5.6% of the global tourism market. According to this indicator, the country ranks 3rd in the EU after France and Spain.
In 2015, Italy was visited by 40 million foreign tourists, according to this indicator, the country ranked 4th in the world. The largest number of tourists come to Italy from China - about 3 million a year. Due to the large tourist flow from the Celestial Empire, as well as taking into account the large Chinese community permanently residing in Italy, in the spring of 2016, the Italian authorities took an unprecedented step: they attracted Chinese policemen who were trained under the guidance of Italian experts in Beijing to patrol the streets in Rome and Milan. Chinese uniformed patrols made up of compatriots are highly recognizable and help the Chinese in Italy feel safe, and Italian law enforcement agencies benefit from more intelligence.
According to the statistics of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the international tourist flow in 2017, Italy with 58.3 million visitors ranked fifth after China, the USA, Spain and France.
The total economically active population: 24.86 million (2007), of
which 4% are employed in agriculture, 31% in industry, and 65% in the
Currently, the regional disproportions of Italy in the structure of employment are as follows:
Differences between the Northwestern and Northeastern regions remain insignificant. The percentage of employed in the industrial sector in these regions is exactly the same. Differences are observed only in the number of people employed in the tertiary sector and agriculture. The northwestern region is traditionally a more developed region, in which a powerful industry was formed earlier (the main industrial triangle of Italy, Milan-Turin-Genoa, is located here). The Northeast region, however, acquired its industrial structure after the 1970s, when powerful enterprises of the aluminum industry, energy, oil refining and petrochemistry were built in it.
The center has traditionally been characterized by the average indicators for the country, and this region was considered a transitional region between the industrial north and the agrarian south. At present, the Center has also retained these middle positions, but in the 20th century the gap between the Northern regions and the Center was more significant than in the 21st century. Now the distribution of employed by sectors of the economy in the Northern and Central regions is almost the same. Only in terms of those employed in the tertiary sector, the Central District is significantly ahead of its northern neighbors (by 8-11%). This increase in employment in the tertiary sector comes at the expense of the Lazio region, which is a metropolitan area and has the highest share of employment in the service sector in the country. In two areas of the Central Region (Tuscany and Umbria), the figures are still about the same as the national average.
In the southern part of Italy, the southwestern and southeastern regions can be distinguished. Between the western and eastern regions of the south (unlike the northern ones) there is no such uniformity in the distribution of the number of employees by sectors of the economy. Thus, the South-Western region differs from the South-Eastern region by a more pronounced predominance of the tertiary sector of the economy in the employment structure, while the industrial sector is more developed in the South-Eastern region.
Uniting the Southwestern and Southeastern regions is a high rate of employment in the agricultural sector, 7% and 9%, respectively, which is about 2 times higher than the national average. Back in 1995, the employment rate in the agricultural sector was 11% in the Southwestern region, and 12% in the Southeastern region.
Thus, in terms of employment indicators in the sectors of the economy, the Center “pulled itself up” to the northern regions, and the south improved its employment structure by increasing the number of people employed in the tertiary and industrial sectors and, accordingly, reducing those employed in the agricultural sector. In modern Italy, there is a "dual" structure of employment. The first part of the structure includes the regions of the North-West, North-East and Center, and the second - the South. In particular, in the northern regions, the average salary of a teacher in primary school is about 2,000 euros, in the southern regions - about 1,000 euros.
Due to the small territory and high population density, in modern Italy the issue of waste recycling is acute.
Italy, in terms of its economic level, occupies an intermediate position between the most economically developed countries and countries with an average level of development of productive forces. As in other highly developed countries, in Italy industry is the leading sector of the economy, although it employs a smaller part of the economically active population than in the rapidly and disproportionately growing service sector. The value of industrial output exceeds the value of agricultural output, in which less capital is annually invested than in industry. Industrial products also dominate Italian exports. A significant part of the national wealth of Italy is in the hands of monopolies, most of which are among the largest transnational concerns. They dominate the chemical and electrical industries (Montedison), the automotive industry (FIAT), and the rubber industry (Pirelli).
At the same time, there are many medium, small and smallest firms in the country, mainly in the light and food industries, as well as in the production of household electrical appliances, equipment for processing synthetic materials, and in some sub-sectors of machine tool building. About two thirds of small firms are family owned. Since the 1970s, there has been a noticeable trend towards the reduction of large and the increase in the role of small and medium-sized firms and enterprises.
The Italian state actively and in various forms interferes in the
country's economy: its specialized bodies participate in joint-stock
companies as holders of a controlling stake, industrial enterprises are
created in accordance with various state programs. The state became the
largest entrepreneur in the country. Its positions are especially strong
in power engineering, metallurgy, and shipbuilding. He also owns many
light industry enterprises. The largest banks were also nationalized.
The pace of development of the public sector surpasses the development
of the Italian economy as a whole.
The global crisis has exacerbated many economic problems in Italy. In terms of the size of the budget deficit and public debt, Italy is among the top five "leaders" of the euro area. Thus, the ratio of public debt to GDP in Italy is more than 100%. However, in terms of total sovereign debt and private business debt, Italy performs much better than Germany.
The rescue program for the Italian economy, proposed by Prime Minister Berlusconi, included freezing salaries and postponing the retirement of civil servants, cutting funding for regional administrations, and tightening control over tax evasion. The retirement age was raised to 65 for women and 70 for men. Other unpopular measures and the weak reaction of the Italian economy to them led to the resignation of Berlusconi in the fall of 2011.
The number of people living below the poverty line increased in Italy of 60 million in 2016 by 600 every day.
Since May 2016, according to the decision of the Supreme Court of Cassation, theft by “persons driven by need”, a small amount of food or ready-made food to satisfy hunger (“satisfying the vital need for food”) is not a crime in Italy, although it can be stopped by the goods owner . This court verdict was received with sympathy by the Italian public and the press.
Italy has a developed network of railways and roads. More than 90% of
passengers and over 80% of cargo are transported by cars. Maritime
transport dominates in external transportation.
The merchant fleet of Italy has 667 ships - 17th in terms of total tonnage in the world.
In the domestic transportation of goods and passengers, the main role is played by road transport, followed by rail. In terms of railway electrification, the country occupies one of the first places in the world.
A dense network of modern highways and railways links the cities of Northern Italy. Due to the elongation of the country from north to south, its network of railways and roads developed mainly in the meridional direction. Latitudinal communications, with the exception of the Padan Plain, are not enough. Many roads and railways in Italy are laid on the steep slopes of mountains and therefore have many bridges and tunnels, which increases the cost of their operation. In Italy, the role of road transport is exceptionally great: it accounts for 3/4 of all land transport of goods. About half of the roads are in northern Italy, in the south of the country the density of the road network is much less.
The Italian railway network exceeds 16.5 thousand km, including 1 thousand km. high-speed highways connecting 10 major cities - Turin, Milan, Venice, Padua, Verona, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Salerno. In Italy, for the first time in Europe in the 1970s, the Pendolino class of trains was developed, which has a special tilt system that creates comfort for passengers and does not reduce speed in curved sections of the track (then this technology spread to Europe in order to better use the regular track to increase speed ). The first high-speed line in Italy was built in 1984; the train covered the distance of 254 km between Rome and Florence in 90 minutes. Since then, Italian railways have received the strongest technical development and by 2015 are among the most modernized and equipped in Europe. Trenitalia, the main state operator, operates both conventional and high-speed services. Since May 2012, an alternative high-speed rail operator Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV) has been operating in Italy, using the Italo brand.
The network of high-speed trains "Le Frecce" covers all major cities of the Italian mainland. The maximum speed of high-speed trains is 300 km/h with a technical capability of up to 360 km/h. The minimum travel time for high-speed express trains between Rome and Milan is 2 hours 45 minutes, between Rome and Venice 3 hours 30 minutes, between Rome and Turin 4 hours 10 minutes, between Rome and Naples 1 hour 10 minutes. Trains of the Red Arrow (Frecciarossa) category are used only on new high-speed lines from Turin via Milan, Florence, Rome to Salerno. Trains of the Silver Arrow (Frecciargento) category are used on both high-speed and conventional lines (combined system), reaching speeds of 250 km/h. These trains link Rome with Venice, Verona, Bari, Lecce and Reggio Calabria. EuroNight night trains connect Rome with Trieste, Bolzano, Lecce, Reggio di Calabria, Palermo, Syracuse; as well as with foreign countries - Paris, Munich, Vienna. The farthest point of direct rail communication from Italy is Moscow: a train from Nice on its way to the Russian capital (40-45 hours) makes stops in Italy in San Remo, Genoa, Milan, Verona, Bolzano. A railway bridge connecting the mainland with Sicily is under design, with trains to Palermo currently crossing the Strait of Messina by ferry. There are also railways on the island of Sardinia. According to the Institute for Problems of Natural Monopolies of the Russian Federation (2013), Italy annually invests 268 million euros of state investments per 1,000 km of railway infrastructure, ranking first in Europe in this indicator.
Maritime transport plays a very important role both in internal and
external transportation of the country. This is due to the position of
Italy on the Mediterranean waterway, the large length of the coastline,
the presence of islands in the country. There are 144 ports on the coast
of Italy. Port cargo turnover is dominated by oil and other mineral raw
materials. The largest Italian port of Genoa is one of the most
important in the entire Mediterranean. Genoa serves as a gateway to the
outside world for the entire Northwest of Italy, as well as for
Switzerland. The main rival and rival of Genoa in the Adriatic is
Trieste, the second in Italy in terms of cargo turnover and one of the
most important oil ports in Europe. Through Trieste, Northeast Italy is
connected with other countries of the Mediterranean, the Near and Middle
East, East Africa and East Asia. The cargo turnover of the ports of
Southern Italy (Augusta and Taranto) increased significantly, which is
explained by the development of the oil refining and petrochemical
industries. One of the country's largest passenger ports, Naples is the
center of communications between the Apennine Peninsula and Sicily,
Sardinia and other islands.
River transport in Italy is poorly developed due to the lack of large rivers. In the fullest sense, the only river Po is navigable from its mouth to the cities of Piacenza and Pavia. The Tiber River in central Rome is seasonally navigable for tourist trams.
Italy's civil aviation is developing quite rapidly. Air lines support the connection of the largest cities in Italy with many cities in Europe, as well as other continents. The largest airports in the country - Leonardo da Vinci near Rome, Malpensa and Linate near Milan, Federico Fellini in Rimini - serve as important centers of the international airline network. There are approximately 40 domestic airlines in total.
Pipeline length: crude oil - 6503 km, refined petroleum products - 2148 km, natural gas - 19,400 km.
Foreign economic relations
For the economic development of Italy, foreign economic relations are vital. Almost 15% of all imports are oil. Italy also imports raw materials for the metallurgical and other branches of industry—machine tools, industrial equipment, timber, paper, and various types of foodstuffs. The main export items are engineering products, mainly vehicles, various equipment, typewriters and calculating machines, agricultural and food products, especially fruits, vegetables, canned tomatoes, cheeses, ready-made clothes, shoes, chemicals and petrochemicals. Trade is especially active with France and Germany. Italy is visited annually by 50 million foreign tourists, mainly from Germany, France, and the USA. In Italy, the material base for receiving a large number of tourists has long been established. In terms of the number of beds in hotels, it is one of the first places in Europe.
There are three main trade unions: Italian Labor Union[en], Italian
Trade Union Confederation, Italian General Confederation of Labor.
From the age of three, little Italians are sent to kindergartens (scuola materna), where they are prepared for school for three years. Children study in groups of 15-30 people. After kindergarten, children are sent to primary school.
from 6 to 11 years old
Primary school is divided into 2 levels - scuola elementare 1 and scuola elementare 2. Both of these levels are free for everyone. At the end of elementary school, students take written and oral examinations. Based on their results, a certificate of completion of elementary school (diploma di licenza elementare) is issued. At this stage, reading, writing, drawing, arithmetic, music, geography, history, computer science and physical culture are studied - these subjects are mandatory, only religion is studied if desired. Curricula usually also include the study of one foreign language.
Middle junior school (scuola media)
from 11 to 14 years old
At this stage, students study Italian, history, geography, mathematics and science, two foreign languages, art history, technology and music.
middle high school
from 14 to 19 years old
At this stage, students decide whether to study according to the regular program and prepare for admission to the university, or combine their studies with vocational training.
The Italian higher education system is represented by universities, technical universities, university colleges, conservatories and academies.
There are 56 universities in Italy. Of these, 47 are public, 9 are private.
Italy was one of the initiators in the formation of the Bologna Process, named after the world's oldest University of Bologna, where in 1999 the Ministers of Education of 29 European countries signed the Bologna Declaration.
As of 2020, 20.1% of the Italian population aged 25 to 64 have higher education. 62.9% of the population completed upper secondary school
Science in Italy has a long history and tradition dating back to the
Renaissance and the ancient Roman era. During the renaissance in Italy,
a scientific "Golden Age" took place. According to the latest ideas, the
“father of modern science” is Leonardo da Vinci, who deservedly received
this title due to his scientific experiments.
Famous Italian scientists:
Fibonacci (the first major mathematician of medieval Europe)
Leon Battista Alberti (significantly contributed to the development of cryptography)
Luca Pacioli (one of the founders of modern accounting principles)
Gerolamo Cardano (inventor of the cardan shaft)
Andreas Vesalius (founder of scientific anatomy)
Galileo Galilei (founder of experimental physics)
Evangelista Torricelli (author of the concept of atmospheric pressure)
Alessandro Volta (inventor of the battery)
Amedeo Avogadro (discoverer of the fundamental physical and chemical law named after him)
Antonio Meucci (inventor of the telephone)
Ascanio Sobrero (first to receive nitroglycerin)
Antonio Pacinotti (one of the creators of the dynamo)
Guglielmo Marconi (inventor of radio, Nobel Prize in Physics for 1909)
Enrico Fermi (creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, Nobel Prize in Physics for 1938)
Giulio Natta (organic chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963)
Daniele Bove (pharmacologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1957)
Rita Levi-Montalcini (Neuroscientist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1986)
Carlo Rubbia (Physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics for 1984)
Giorgio Parisi (theoretical physicist, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics)
The history of Italian art largely predetermined the history of the art of Western civilization. After the Etruscan and especially the ancient Roman era, which dominated the Apennines for many centuries, Italy occupies a central place in European Renaissance art. Italy also dominated European artistic life in the 16th and 17th centuries, being the cradle of the Baroque style. In the XVIII century, the country experienced a cultural decline, and it began to lose its role as the locomotive of the spiritual life of Europe, giving it to France. However, in the middle of the 19th century, the country returned to the international arena with such artistic movements as macchiaioli, futurism, metaphysical painting, novecento, arte povera, transavant-garde. Italian art has influenced several major cultural movements throughout history and produced a galaxy of great artists, architects and sculptors. The most famous Italian artists are: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian.
Today, Italy has an important place on the international art scene, with several major art galleries, museums and exhibitions. The main artistic centers in the country are its capital, Rome, as well as Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, Turin and other cities.
The most famous Italian writer is Dante Alighieri, creator of the Divine Comedy. Also world famous: Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli, Carlo Collodi, Gianni Rodari, Umberto Eco. Six Italian writers have been Nobel Prize winners: Giosue Carducci (1906), Grazia Deledda (1926), Luigi Pirandello (1934), Salvatore Quasimodo (1959), Eugenio Montale (1975), Dario Fo (1997).
Some of the best works of architecture have been erected in Italy, such as the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Milan Cathedral, St. Mark's Cathedral, the Doge's Palace, Mole Antonelliana, Villa d'Este, Trevi Fountain, etc. Italy has many monuments of architecture in all its directions. These are museums, palaces, buildings, statues, churches, art galleries, villas, fountains, historical buildings and archaeological sites.
The most popular sport in Italy is football.
The highest football division in Italy is Serie A. The Italian national football team is a 4-time football world champion (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) and won the European football championship 2 times (1968, 2020). The Italian national football team holds the world record for matches without defeat (37 games in a row).
Also popular in Italy: cycling, tennis, golf.
The traditional cuisine of Italy is widespread and popular all over
the world, thanks in particular to dishes such as pizza and pasta.
According to the results of the YouGov study, which was attended by 25
thousand people from 24 countries, Italian cuisine was recognized as the
most popular in the world. It is very diverse and specific, each region
has its own traditional dishes.
In Italy, songbird dishes have long been popular delicacies, but now the trade in wild birds is banned in the country thanks to the efforts of conservationists.
Also in Italy, the world's first coffee machine was created and coffee drinks were widely used in the world: espresso, ristretto, americano, latte, cappuccino.
Italian music has been highly regarded throughout history and many
pieces of Italian music are considered high art.
Opera, as a kind of performance that combines music, words and stage action, was born in Italy. The genre began to develop at the end of the 16th century in Florence, and then spread throughout the country and far beyond its borders. Composers worked in Italy - Gioacchino Rossini, who gave the world the opera "The Barber of Seville" and "William Tell", his followers Donizetti and Bellini, opera innovator Giuseppe Verdi, who wrote "La Traviata", "Aida" and "Rigoletto", Giacomo Puccini, who wrote " Manon Lescaut", "Madama Butterfly", "Turandot" and many others. The most famous Italian opera singers are: Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli.
Italy is the birthplace of such famous violinists and composers as Antonio Vivaldi, Niccolo Paganini, Tomaso Albinoni, Pietro Locatelli, Arcangelo Corelli, Giuseppe Torelli, Federico Agostini and such violin makers as Nicolo Amati, Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri.
Famous film composers come from Italy: Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Giorgio Moroder.
The most famous Italian pop artists in the world: Adriano Celentano, Toto Cutugno, Al Bano and Romina Power, Ricardo Foli, Viola Valentino, Raffaella Carra, Robertino Loreti, Gianni Morandi, Roberto Zanetti (Savage), Paul Mazzolini (Gazebo), Robert Miles, Tony Esposito, Umberto Tozzi, Pupo, Eros Ramazzotti, Ricchi e Poveri, Måneskin.
Every year in Italy there is a song contest "Festival in San Remo".
Italy has been involved in cinema since its inception, at the turn of
the 19th and 20th centuries, and has had a great influence on its
Italian cinema appears in 1905. The Capture of Rome by Filoteo Alberini is considered the first film. Following this, the development of cinematography began in Italy.
Famous Italian film directors: Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, Castellano i Pipolo, Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Zeffirelli, Giuseppe Tornatore, Gianni Amelio, Pupi Avati, Pietro Germi, Tonino Guerra, Dino Risi .
Famous Italian film actors and film actresses: Adriano Celentano, Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Bellucci, Ornella Muti, Roberto Benigni, Sophia Loren.
The oldest international film festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival, is held annually in Italy. The main prize is the Golden Lion. Based on the results of the work of all sections of the festival, the Luigi De Laurentiis Prize is also awarded.
ANSA, the Italian news agency, operates in Italy. Among the most famous print media are the newspapers and magazines Corriere Della Sera, Il Giornale, La Repubblica, La Stampa, Espresso, Italia Oggi, La Nazione, etc.
There is a lot of discussion in Italy about a bill that would restrict the media and ban any information about criminal investigations before cases go to court. In response to the protests of journalists and ordinary people, politicians say that the nuances of the law will be discussed again.
According to the International Press Institute, the bill includes "a fine of up to 464,700 euros for publishers and up to 20,000 euros for journalists who violate it." This law will also prohibit taking photos and videos of people without their consent (imprisonment is expected for violation), wiretapping until investigators confirm the commission of a crime. Those who disagree with this bill say that politicians are simply trying to avoid scandals related to their private lives in this way.
The bill is believed to have come about in response to wiretapping of well-known politicians, including Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Industry Minister Claudio Scaiola, who was forced to resign.
Television and radio broadcasting in Italy is divided into public and commercial. Italian Public Broadcasting is represented by the Rai broadcaster, broadcasting on the 1st (Rai 1), 2nd (Rai 2) and 3rd (Rai 3) TV channels, 3 radio stations (Rai Radio 1, Rai Radio 2 and Rai Radio 3). Italian commercial broadcasting is represented by the broadcasters Rete 4 (channel 4), Canale 5 (channel 5) and Italia 1 (channel 6), united in the Mediaset holding.
The asteroid (477) Italy, discovered in 1901, is named after Italy.