The Italy (in Italian Italia ) is a Pays of southernmost Europe. Peninsula located at the center of the Mediterranean, it is isolated from the remainder of the continent by the solid mass of the the Alps.
The contribution of Italy to Western civilization is immense: it is in particular the cradle of the Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance. Existing as a State since its unification (1861), it is today a parliamentary Démocratie solid, Membre founder of the European Union. Italy remains a major actor of the international scene, strong of its sixty million inhabitants, force of his economy (it is the seventh world economic power) and of its role within many international organizations (NATO, EU, G8, OECD).
The word “ Italy ” in the form ITALIA appears for the first time on a currency dating from I er, found with Corfinio in the deep the Abruzzi, old the Corfinium , capital of the Italic Confédération. It had been struck by the confederation of the Italic people in war against Rome.
The term even of Italia evolves/moves during antiquity. For the Greeks, it was only about the kingdom close to Italos. A popular origin brings the etymology with an episode closer to the Greek Mythologie of the Travaux of Héraclès. Indeed, after having stolen the 115 oxen of Géryon, the hero carried out the herd along the Italian coasts, when a bull escaped until in Sicily. Héraclès there found and called the country Italia (of italos which in local Greek dialect meant “bull”). Another Greek version employs the terms Ouitalia and Ouitalios , by bringing them closer to the Greek standard (in the past Wetalon ) meaning: “calf”.
Another etymology is proposed, on the bringing together of it- and aithô , in Greek: this verb means " brûler" , and one would find it in the radical of the name of the volcano " Etna ". Its presence would be justified owing to the fact that, " Italie" being a name given by the Greeks, coming from the east, they see the setting sun rougeoyer and to burn the horizon at the place of the peninsula. It should be noted that one finds the term aithalia also used at ancient time for the islands of Lemnos (undoubtedly because of its metallurgical activity) and of Elba, for the same reason qu'" Italie". Its use for Etna or Aithna is transparent. The name of aithalia would have been given initially to the southern parts of the Boot, where the Greeks accosted in first, on the continent.
Italy before and during Rome
See also: Italy préromaine
Before the development of Rome, Italy was made up of several cultures and civilizations, for the Indo-European majority ( Italiotes or italics), on a ligure substrate of the Neolithic . On these qualified cultures of autochtones, encroached:
- in the south, flourishing Greek colonies of the Large Greece, starting from the VIII E;
- in the center, of the Italic People, come from Central Europe with the Bronze Age, close to the Celtic : Osques, Sabins, Samnites, etc;
- Etruscan civilization , not-indo-European, perhaps come from Minor Asia
- in north, of the Celtic , arrived more tardily of Bohemia, occupy the plain of the Po, called Gaulle cisalpine.
Under the Roman Republic, the northern limit of Italy stops with the Gaulle cisalpine, on the level of the rivers Aesis - then in -59 the Rubicon - and Macra. In -42, Cisalpine is joined together in Italy which stops from now on with the the Alps. This last limit is fixed at the Trophée of the Alps but is then moved. Rome allots then the Roman citizenship to the whole of the Italians, then extends it to all the Empire (edict of Caracalla, 211 - 212)
Rome and its empire
The Fondation of Rome is due, according to the legend, with Romulus and Remus in the middle of the VIII E the civilization of Rome knew a first phase of expansion under the government of the kings de Rome, which are also the founders symbolic systems of many Roman institutions. The unification of the peninsula is led at the time of the République. After the victory of Rome against Carthage at the time of the First Punic War, principal the island S of the the Western Mediterranean also passed under the control of Rome. The second and third Punic Wars ensured to him the control of all the circumference of the Western basin of the Mediterranean.
With, Rome dominated all the basin the Mediterranean N, but following internal conflicts, the republic was transformed into empire. The government of the territories controlled by Rome was characterized by the respect of the local cultures and the economic development, supported by the realization of great infrastructures.
With the 4th century, the empire was confronted with the beginning of long series of cruel Invasions: the Visigoths, the Huns and the Ostrogoths. Under the blow of these invasions, the empire was divided into Roman Empire of Occident, which crumbled quickly, and into Roman Empire of the East (or Byzantine Empire ), which still resisted a millenium.
Towards the unification, It is the Renaissance in Italy with artists such as Michel Ange or Raphaël, and of the scientists as Galileo which make “  literally; renaître ” art and science, initially in the peninsula then in very whole Europe. At the time of Léonard de Vinci, Italy remains very parcelled out on the political plan. It consists of a mosaic of principalities (duchies, city-States…). The Italian princes organize each one their own court and often devote themselves to bloody wars with multiple external interventions, in particular of the France and Spain (Guerres of Italy). The ceaseless wars of the 16th century as well as the archaism of agriculture partly explain the Net decline of the Italian principalities of. The campaigns Napoleon iennes result in to upset the established order. The wish to unify the peninsula rests then on the Risorgimento, leading to the proclamation of the Royaume of Italy, starting from the Royaume of Sardinia, under the impulse of the king Victor-Emmanuel II, supplemented in 1870 by the annexation of Rome which becomes the capital of the kingdom unified.
At the same time, in the North of the peninsula, develops a powerful industrialization related on the capital of an agriculture modernized in the plain of Po and to the hydroelectric resources of the Alps. This industrialization concentrates primarily on the “Triangle of Gold”, Turin, Milan and Genoa. The South on the contrary remains not only dominated by the agricultural production but also by quasi feudal agrarian structures: it is the system of the “latifundia”, large farms with the owners absentees and creatures of habit, the underpaid farm laborers and of the “microfundia”, tiny properties which do not manage to nourish the many children. Thus is explained contrast between the North and the South of the country, the development of the Mafia S and strong immigration towards industrial Europe and the the United States.
See also: Risorgimento
First at the Second world war
- First World War, 1914 - 1918: Although forming theoretically part of the Triple Alliance, Italy remains neutral at the beginning of the war, and ends even up being combined with the Triple Alliance in 1915. In 1918, the Italian Frontière S were rectified in its favor. However Italy did not obtain all the territories that she asserted (Irrédentisme), and the topic of the “mutilated victory” supported nationalist agitation and the rise of Mussolini.
- Benito Mussolini : Of 1919 with 1922, Italy is shaken by a social, economic and political serious attack. Mussolini exploits it by breaking the Grève S and the trade unions by the Violence: it is thus shown to know and well by the mediums of businesses and employers ( Confindustria and Confagricoltura ). It uses for that of the squadre (sections), kinds of militia, exits mainly of the rows of the arditi (coming from the troops of elite demobilized in 1918) nationalist, whose uniform is the black shirt - which will become one of the symbols of the Fascisme. After the Walk on Rome in October 1922, the king of Italy, Victor-Emmanuel III, entrusts the government to him. Playing skilfully of leniency and threats, Mussolini gradually installs the fascistic apparatus on the country. Its military alliance with the Nazi Germany will cause the entry of Italy in the war at the sides of the forces of the Axe. Wishing to restore the Roman Empire, Mussolini is obliged of quickly déchanter because of a little justified army and connecting the disappointments in France, in Yugoslavia, Libya and Ethiopia.
- on July 10th, 1943, the Allies unloads in Sicily then penetrate in the south of Italy, Mussolini is reversed then imprisoned, on order of the king. The dictator is delivered by a German commando (September 12th). Whereas Germany invades the peninsula, it then installs under the order of Hitler a Italian Social republic. The marshal Badoglio sign the capitulation (September 8th, 1943) and Italy continues the war on the side of the Allies. Trying to flee towards Switzerland, Mussolini is carried out (then hung) by communist partisans on April 28th, 1945.
- In June 1946, a tight referendum puts an end to the royalty and the Italian Republic is proclaimed.
Contemporary timeItaly settles then in a democratic regime, dominated by the Christian Democrat and of the parties Laïque S antifascists, which supports in spite of frequent cabinet crises, at the same time the international recognition, European integration and an economic development without precedents (the miracle ). A Italian Communist party more and more extremely, and relatively moderate, prevents any electoral alternation until in 1976, moment of the historical compromised but also of the years of lead , marked by the Terrorisme of extreme right-hand side and extreme left. Little by little, the Christian Democrat, while remaining impossible to circumvent, leaves part of the capacity to less strong parties like the Italian Republican party or the Italian Socialist party. Major social reforms are adopted after referendum (the Divorce, the Avortement) or after the vote of laws ( Psichiatria democratica ). A climate racketeer, corrupted more and more, settles, which causes legal the operation known as Mani pulite (clean Hands). It follows from there a massive political reorganization which sees the majority of the political parties disappearing or changing orientation, which accentuates the referendum of 1993 and the adoption in 1994 of the Mattarellum a mixed electoral system. These changes cause the political descent of Silvio Berlusconi whose businesses had profited from the government of Bettino Craxi. If it is quickly released by its turbulent allied (like the xenophobe Ligue of North), it does not return from there less to the capacity in 2001 with an electoral victory crushing, after an interlude, dominated by the center-left, incompetent to make succeed a constitutional reform major. This government Silvio Berlusconi II, longest of the republican history, is also marked by a political crisis, economic and moral without precedents.
In 2006, the left, carried out by Romano Prodi, returns to the capacity following a short victory to the legislative elections. In August 2006, Ehud Olmert request in Romano Prodi which Italy takes the direction of the Finul reinforced after the israélo-Lebanese conflict, which will be the case in February 2007.
See also: Geography of Italy
Although carrying a rich person history, Italy is a State unified only since 1860. This explains the force of the regional idiosyncracies and the differences in economic dynamism. But the long and animated history of Italy is also a source of richnesses. The city-museums attract each year of the million tourists. After the defeat of the Italian Fascism in 1945, the Italian Republic had in heart to find its place in the European chess-board. It taken part in the foundation of ECSC in 1951 and in that of the EEC in 1957.
Natural environmentItaly is a Péninsule located at the North-West of the Mediterranean basin. Of a surface of 301.270 km ², it 1300 km is long of north in the south. Opened on the Adriatic Sea in the east, the the Mediterranean in the south, the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, the Ionian sea in the South and the Ligure Sea in the North-West, it includes many islands whose principal ones are the Sicily and the Sardinia. In the south of Italy, one finds the last Volcan S in activity of Europe (if one excludes the Iceland), the Vesuvius close to Naples, the Etna in the west of Sicily and the Stromboli in the islands Éoliennes. The center of the Italian peninsula and the north of the country are occupied by mountains: the the Apennines and the inner face of the alpine arc. These areas are unsuitable with important economic activities, put aside the winter sports in the the Italian Alps which are moreover a water tank and a large supplier of Hydroélectricité. To facilitate the national and international connections, the authorities made large efforts of installation. 7.000 km of highway were built. The equipment of the collars and the boring of large tunnel like that of the Mont Blanc or the Fréjus connect Italy to the remainder of the Europe.
In the north of Italy the plain of the Po is an agricultural rich person zone. Methane present in its basement is the only fossil energy source present in Italy. The other plains are located on the littoral. A long time marshy, they were drained and amended to allow the development of the Agriculture and the Tourisme.
The near total of Italy knows a Mediterranean Climat, with nuances. The more one goes towards the south, the drier the summers are long and. In the south of the Pouilles and Calabria the estival dryness is higher than 5 months. In the the Apennines, the winters are more cold. The north of Italy knows a climate with continental nuance with rather cold winters but of the very hot summers and precipitations more abundant than in the peninsula.
Rivers and lakesThe most important rivers and rivers are: the Po, the Adige, the Arno, the the Tiber. The most important lakes are: the Lake Maggiore, the Lake of Like, the Lake Garda and the Lake Orta.
See also: Demography of Italy
See also: Economy of Italy, List of Italian companies
Italy east member of G8, eight countries the most industrialized. and the first world exporter of luxury item. The areas of north, in particular Lombardy and the Emilie Romagna, have one of the GDP per capita highest of the European Union (29 140 dollars/living in 2004) and comparable with that of Île-de-France or of the area of London. On the other hand the southernmost areas always show a notable economic delay compared to the areas of north. The official rate of chomâge is of 7,5% but varies according to the areas, in particular between the north and the south of the pays.
Italy has a long tradition of manufacture of quality and commercial dynamism. Still today, its dynamism is that of its contractors, that it is the fact of the great industry groups as FIAT which knows today a rise of its sales in Europe, Olivetti, the group Berlusconi or Benetton, companies of State today largely privatized like the Eni or the fact of a network of SME made up subcontractors or small companies turned towards export. The great names of the luxuries Italian like Ferrari, Maserati in the car, Gucci, Dolce&Gabanna, inter alia, in the fashion, make of Italy a world reference in the domain of elegance and design. In parallel, there exists an underground economy especially present in the south of Italy. It would account for 20% of the GDP and is the fact large criminal organizations like the sicilian Mafia or the Neapolitan Camorra. These organizations practice the extortion of money, the drug trafficking and of cigarettes, the bets clandestine and wear. According to certain estimates, 80% of the sicilian companies undergo the racket of the Mafia. This weighs on the economy of the the Mezzogiorno (south of the peninsula). The Italian or international investors indeed hesitate to move into this zone.
So the companies and the dynamic networks of SME are established in north for the two-thirds. This part of Italy is twice richer than the south and counts only 4,5% of unemployment whereas the south reaches the 20%. Between the two, there exists an area which the geographers called third Italy. It bases its economic development on dynamic networks of SME in sectors diversified like the textile, leather, metal and mechanical industries. In all the country, tourism is an important activity. Italy, the third country tourist of Europe behind France and right behind Spain, accommodates 52 million tourists per annum in the Alps, on the littorals and in its towns of art like Venice, Florence, Rome and Pompéi close to Naples.
One counts nearly 2 million farms in Italy. They specialize in the culture of the traditional products in the Mediterranean world, the vine, corn, the olive-tree, the fruits and vegetables. But this agriculture does not allow food self-sufficiency and obliges the country to import part of its consumption.
The lightening of the taxes and social security deduction, the easing of the job market, the reform of the expensive retirement scheme, advances too slowly because of opposition of the Syndicat S which fear a precarisation of the work conditions of the employees and an impoverishment of the future pensioners. Certain sectors like aeronautics, the nuclear power and telecommunications are developed little. However thanks to the exportation of products manufactured and with the currencies brought by the tourists, the Italian trade balance remains largely surplus.
Regional cuttingOne can divide Italy into three great areas which are characterized by a different economy:
the Italy of North belongs in the middle economic of the Europe and occupies the south of the European megalopolis. It concentrates the main activities and the strongest densities. North is organized around three big cities which form the industrial triangle of Italy:
Other industrial towns of north: Brescia, Vérone, Padoue, Venice - Mestre, Trieste, Modena, Bologna. These last forms an industrial fabric, one of densest of Europe and belong to the areas engines of the country. In particular the North-East, which experiences a development fulgurating due to the opening of the Eastern European countries.
- the Italy of the South , (or the Mezzogiorno ) is a late periphery of Europe and Italy. It is a more rural and poorer space. It profited from the and State aid European Union to finance a powerful highway network and to install industrialo-harbor complexes. The Weakens and the the Abruzzi which do not undergo the seizure of the Mafia or of the Camorra knew a growth stronger than the south-west of Italy.
the Italy of the center or third Italy is a dynamic periphery of the Europe thanks to innovating SME with family structures gathered in " districts" industrialists. The urban network is composed of medium-sized cities which combine historical heritage and zones of industrial activities.
Italy is subdivided in 20 areas (15 of normal statute and 5 autonomous regions), themselves divided into 109 provinces.
See also: Areas of Italy, List of the Italian provinces
See also: Political of Italy
GovernmentThe Italian Constitution of 1947 established the First Republic, “based on work” (Article 1st). It devotes the principle of Séparation of the capacities (the Gouvernement, the Parlement and the Justice) and rests on a parliamentary Régime bicameral:
- a House of Commons ( Camera dei Deputati ) of 630 deputies;
- a Senate ( Senato della Repubblica ) of 315 senators (as well as former presidents of the Republic and 5 Senators to life, at most, named by the Head of the State).
The executive consists of a government chaired by a president of the Council, primus inter pares . The Head of the State is a President of the Republic to the relatively limited capacities, elected for seven years by the joined together rooms (to which delegates are added representing the areas).
A fallen through reform of the Constitution, adopted by the Parliament at the end of 2005, should have led to the creation of “IIe République” in which the territorial organization would have been of federal type and where the Prime Minister (new name given to the chief of the Government) would have had very wide capacities while the House of Commons would have counted 530 deputies (- 100)) and the Senate of the Republic 265 senators (- 50). The senators would have been in addition elected by the indirect suffrage. This reform was massively rejected at the time of a referendum in May 2006.
The preceding government (known as of “center-right”) was an alliance composite, called Maison of freedoms , in particular including Forza Italia, the party created by Silvio Berlusconi, the National alliance, heir to the Italian Social movement, the Christian-Democrats of right-hand side, brought together in UDC and the Ligue of North. The April 15th 2005, the Union of the Christian democrats and the Nouveau Italian Socialist party leave the government of Silvio Berlusconi, while giving the resignation of their ministers, which involves a fast governmental crisis. Berlusconi resigns the April 20th 2005 and is charged (as of the 22) to form new a government which lends oath the April 23rd. The modifications are very few and the two outgoing parties return to the government. Only one ministry is created, without wallet, which must be devoted to the development of the the Mezzogiorno.
Romano Prodi, victorious of accuracy of the legislative elections of the April 9th and 10th 2006 to the head of an electoral coalition of center-left entitled the Union, was named president of the Council of Ministers by Giorgio Napolitano, new President of the Republic elected on May 10th, 2006.
See also: Culture of Italy
A decree of 1985 fixes religious holidays (Catholique S), pursuant to the certificated agreement (Article 6) signed in Rome the February 18th 1984 between the Italian Republic and the the Holy See, ratified by the law n° 121 of the March 25th 1985:
- every Sunday;
- on January 1st, Maria Santissima Veined di Dio (very holy Marie, mother of God);
- the January 6th, Epifania del Signore (Epiphany of the Lord);
- the August 15th, Assunzione della Beata Vergine Maria (Assumption of the Happy Virgin Mary);
- on November 1st, tutti I Santi (All Saints' day);
- the December 8th, Immacolata Concezione della Beata Vergine Maria (Immaculate Conception);
- the Native December 25th, del Signore (Christmas of the Lord);
- the June 29th, S. Pietro E Paolo (Holy Pierre and Paul), for the commune of Rome.
the greatest association of the worship in Italy is the Catholic church, followed by far by the Assemblee di Dio, which are communities pentecostales, and the Témoins of Jéhovah. But the two other institutional religions are the Juif S and the Valdesi (Vaudois taken refuge in Italy of the areas Arpitan be).
- List of the Italian daily newspapers
- Spoke Radiotelevisione Italiana (=> to see Spoke (television)), the group of audio-visual mediums includes/understands Rai Uno, Rai Had, Rai Tre and Rai Sat, but also of the radios: Radio operator Uno, Radio Which had, Radio operator Tre
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