|Flag||Coat of arms|
Il Canto degli Italiani (de facto)
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)
Location of Italy (orange)
– on the European continent (camel & white)
– in the European Union
| - ||Unification||17 March 1861 |
| - ||Republic||2 June 1946 |
|Accession to EU||March 25, 1957 (founding member)|
| - ||Total||301,318 km² (71st)|
116,346.5 sq mi
| - ||Water (%)||2.4|
| - ||July 2006 estimate||58,883,958 (23rd)|
| - ||October 2001 census||57,110,144 |
| - ||Density||195 /km² (54th)|
499.4 /sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2006 estimate|
| ||Total||$1.727 trillion (8th)|
| ||Per capita||$29,700 (21st)|
|GDP (nominal)||2006 estimate|
| ||Total||$1.78 trillion2 (7th)|
| ||Per capita||$30,200 (20th)|
|Gini? (2000)||36 (medium) |
|HDI (2004)|| 0.940 (high) (17th)|
|Currency||Euro (€)3 (EUR)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
| ||Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|French is co-official in the Aosta Valley; German is co-official in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.|
|Prior to 2002: Italian Lira.|
|The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.|
Italy (Italian: Italia, officially the Italian Republic; Italian: Repubblica Italiana), is a country located in Southern Europe, that comprises the Po River valley, the Italian Peninsula and the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italians also refer to it as lo Stivale ("the Boot", due to its boot-like shape), il Bel Paese ("the Beautiful Country") or la Penisola ("the Peninsula" as an antonomasia). Italy shares its northern alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italian territory, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland.
Italy was home to many well-known and influential European cultures, including the Etruscans, Greeks, and the Romans. Its capital Rome has laid the foundations for Western Society, and is an historically important world city, especially as the core of ancient Rome and the Roman Catholic Church. For more than 3,000 years Italy experienced migrations and invasions from Germanic, Celtic, Frankish, Lombard, Byzantine Greek, Saracen and Norman peoples during the Middle Ages, followed by the Italian Renaissance period, in which the Italian Wars took place and various city-states were noted for their cultural achievements. Italy was divided into many independent states and often experienced foreign domination before the Italian unification, that created Italy as an independent nation-state for the first time in its history, took place. During the period under the Italian monarchy and during the world wars Italy experienced much conflict, but stability was restored after the creation of the Italian Republic.
Today, Italy is a highly-developed country with the 7th-highest GDP and the seventeenth-highest Human Development Index rating in the world. It is a member of the G8 and a founding member of what is now the European Union (having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957), of the Council of Europe and of the Western European Union. Starting from January 1, 2007, Italy is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. It is considered by some a Great Power. Inhabitants of Italy are referred to as Italians (Italiani, or poetically Italici).
The name appears to be a Greek form of Latin Vitelia, related to the Latin vitulus and Greek ἰταλός 'calf', but nature of the relationship is obscure: see Italus.
The name originally applied to a small part of southern Italy. According to Antiochus of Syracuse, it was originally just the southern portion of the Bruttium peninsula (modern Calabria), but by his time Oenotria and Italy were synonymous, and covered most of Lucania as well. It was only under Augustus that this denomination was applied to the whole peninsula.
Excavations throughout Italy have unearthed proof of human presence in Italy dating back to the Palaeolithic period (the "Old Stone Age") some 200,000 years ago.
Greek migrations as early as 600 BC saw many Greek intelligentsia migrate to Western Europe — especially to Italy, including Pythagoras who built his University at Crotone, Calabria, Italy.
Italy has influenced the cultural and social development of the whole Mediterranean area, deeply influencing European culture as well. As a result, it has also influenced other important cultures. Such cultures and civilisations have existed there since prehistoric times. After Magna Graecia, the Etruscan civilisation and especially the Roman Republic and Empire that dominated this part of the world for many centuries, Italy was central to European science and art during the Renaissance.
The Colosseum in Rome, perhaps the most enduring symbol of Italy
Rome and the Middle Ages
Centre of the Roman civilization for centuries, Italy lost its unity after the collapse of the Roman Empire and subsequent barbarian invasions. Conquered by the Ostrogoths and briefly regained by the Eastern Empire (552), it was partially occupied by the Longobards in 568, resulting in the peninsula becoming irreparably divided. For centuries the country was the prey of different populations, resulting in its ultimate decadence and misery. Most of the population fled from cities to take refuge in the countryside under the protection of powerful feudal lords. After the Longobards came the Franks (774). Italy became part of the Holy Roman Empire. Pippin the Short created the first nucleus of the State of the Church, which later became a strong countervailing force against any unification of the country.
Population and economy started slowly to pick up after 1000, with the resurgence of cities (which organized themselves politically in Comuni), trade, arts and literature. During the later Middle Ages the partially democratic Comuni, which could not face the challenges of that period, were substituted by monarchic-absolutistic governments (Signorie), but the fragmentation of the peninsula, especially in the northern and central parts of the country, continued, while the southern part, with Naples, Apulia and Sicily, remained under a single domination. Venice and Genoa created powerful commercial empires in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.
Italy during the Renaissance and Baroque
Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance man.
The Black Death in 1348 inflicted a terrible blow to Italy, resulting in one third of the population killed by the disease. The recovery from the disaster led to a new resurgence of cities, trade and economy which greatly stimulated the successive phase of the Humanism and Renaissance (15th-16th centuries) when Italy again returned to be the centre of Western civilization, strongly influencing the other European countries. During this period the many Signorie gathered in a small number of regional states, but none of them had enough power to unify the peninsula.
After a century where the fragmented system of Italian states and principalities were able to maintain a relative independence and a balance of power in the peninsula, in 1494 the French king Charles VIII opened the first of a series of invasions, lasting half of the sixteenth century, and a competition between France and Spain for the possession of the country. Ultimately Spain prevailed (the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559 recognised the Spanish possession of the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples) and for almost two centuries became the hegemon in Italy. The holy alliance between reactionary Habsburg Spain and the Holy See resulted in the systematic persecution of any Protestant movement, with the result that Italy remained a Catholic country with marginal Protestant presence. The Spanish domination and the control of the Church resulted in intellectual stagnation and economic decadence, also attributable to the shifting of the main commercial routes from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.
Napoleonic Italy and the struggle for unification
Giuseppe Garibaldi, the "Hero of the Two Worlds"
Austria succeeded Spain as Hegemon in Italy after the Peace of Utrecht (1713), having acquired the State of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples. The Austrian domination, thanks also to the Enlightenment embraced by Habsburgic emperors, was a considerable improvement upon the Spanish one. The northern part of Italy, under the direct control of Vienna, again recovered economic dynamism and intellectual fervour, had improved its situation.
The French Revolution and the Napoleonic War (1796-1815) introduced the modern ideas of equality, democracy, law and nation. The peninsula was not a main battle field as in the past but Napoleon (born in Corsica in 1769, one year after the cession of the island from Genoa to France) changed completely its political map, destroying in 1799 the Republic of Venice, which never recovered its independence. The states founded by Napoleon with the support of minority groups of Italian patriots were short-lived and did not survive the defeat of the French Emperor in 1815. The Restoration had all the pre-Revolution states restored with the exception of the Republic of Venice (forthwith under Austrian control) and the Republic of Genoa (under Savoy domination). Napoleon had nevertheless the merit to give birth to the first national movement for unity and independence. Albeit formed by small groups with almost no contact with the masses, the Italian patriots and liberals staged several uprisings in the decades up to 1860. Mazzini and Garibaldi are the best-known leaders of this political-military movement. From 1849 onwards the Italian patriots were more or less openly supported by Vittorio Emanuele II, the king of Sardinia, who put his arms in the Italian tricolour dedicating the House of Savoy to the Italian unity.
Industrialisation, World Wars, and Fascism
Industrialisation and modernisation, at least in the northern portion of the country, started in the last part of the nineteenth century under a protectionist regime. The south, in the meanwhile, stagnated under overpopulation and underdevelopment, so forcing millions of people to search for employment and better conditions of life abroad. This lasted until 1970. It is calculated that more than 26 million Italians migrated to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, United States, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Australia.
Parliamentary democracy developed considerably at the beginning of the twentieth century.The Sardinian Statuto Albertino of 1848, extended to the whole Kingdom of Italy in 1861, provided for basic freedoms, but the electoral laws excluded the non-propertied and uneducated classes from voting. In 1913 male universal suffrage was allowed. The Socialist Party resulted the main political party, outclassing the traditional liberal and conservative organisations. The path to a modern liberal democracy was interrupted by the tragedy of the First World War (1914-1918), which Italy fought along with France and the United Kingdom. Italy was able to beat the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in November 1918. It obtained Trentino, South Tyrol(Alto Adige), Trieste and Istria, besides Fiume and a few territories on the Dalmatian coast (Zara), gaining respect as an international power, but the population had to pay a heavy human and social price. The war produced more than 600,000 dead, inflation and unemployment, economic and political instability, which in the end favoured the Fascist movement to violently seize power in 1922, albeit with the support of the King Vittorio Emanuele III, who feared civil war and revolution, and preserving, at least initially, constitutional procedures.
The fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini lasted from 1922 to 1943 but in the first years Mussolini maintained the appearance of a liberal democracy. After rigged elections in 1924 gave to Fascism and its conservative allies an absolute majority in Parliament, Mussolini cancelled all democratic liberties on January 3, 1925. He then proceeded to establish a totalitarian state, imposing the control of the state upon all single social and political activity. Political parties were banned, independent trade unions were closed. The only permitted party was the National Fascist Party. A secret police (OVRA) and a system of quasi-legal repression (Tribunale Speciale) ensured the total control of the regime upon Italians who, in their majority, either resigned or welcomed the dictatorship, many considering it a last resort to stop the spread of communism. While relatively benign in comparison with Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, several thousands people were incarcerated or exiled for their opposition and several dozens were killed by fascist thugs (Giacomo Matteotti, Carlo and Nello Rosselli) or died in prison (Antonio Gramsci). Mussolini tried to spread his authoritarian ideology to other European countries and dictators such as Salazar in Portugal, Francisco Franco in Spain and Adolf Hitler in Germany were heavily influenced by the Italian examples. Conservative but democratic leaders in the United Kingdom and United States were at the beginning favourable to Mussolini. Mussolini tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to spread fascism amongst the millions of Italians living abroad.
In 1929 Mussolini realised a pact with the Holy See, resulting in the rebirth of an independent state of the Vatican for the Catholic Church in the heart of Rome. In 1935 he declared war on Ethiopia on a pretext. Ethiopia was subjugated in few months. This resulted in the alienation of Italy from its traditional allies, France and the United Kingdom, and its nearing to Nazi Germany. A first pact with Germany was concluded in 1936 and then in 1938 (the Pact of Steel). Italy supported Franco's revolution in Spanish civil war and Hitler's pretensions in central Europe, accepting the annexation of Austria to Germany in 1938, although the disappearance of a buffer state between mighty Germany and Italy was unfavourable for the country. In October 1938 Mussolini managed to avoid imminent eruption of another war in Europe, bringing together the United Kingdom, France and Germany at the expense of Czechoslovakia's integrity.
In April 1939 Italy occupied Albania, a de-facto protectorate for decades, but in September 1939, after the invasion of Poland, Mussolini decided not to intervene on Germany's side, due to the poor preparation of the armed forces. Italy entered in war in June 1940 when France was almost defeated. Mussolini hoped for a quick victory but Italy showed from the very beginning the poor nature of its army and the scarce ability of its generals. Italy invaded Greece in October 1940 via Albania but after a few days was forced to withdraw. After conquering British Somalia in 1940, a counter-attack by the Allies led to the loss of the whole Italian empire in the Horn of Africa. Italy was also defeated by Allied forces, notably Australians, in Northern Africa and saved only by the German armed forces led by Erwin Rommel.
The Italian empire in 1940
After several defeats, Italy was invaded in June 1943. In July 1943 King Vittorio Emanuele III and a group of Fascist leaders staged a coup d'etat against Mussolini, having him arrested. While the old pre-Fascist political parties resurfaced, secret peace negotiations with the Allies were started. In September 1943 Italy surrendered. It was immediately invaded by Germany and for nearly two years the country was divided and became a battlefield. The Nazi-occupied part of the country, where a puppet fascist state under Mussolini was reconstituted, was the theatre of a savage civil war between Italian partisans ("partigiani") and Nazi and fascist troops. The country was liberated by a national uprising on 25 April 1945 (the Liberazione).
Under the 1947 peace treaty, minor adjustments were made to Italy's frontier with France, the eastern border area was transferred to Yugoslavia, and the area around the city of Trieste was designated a free territory. In 1954, the free territory, which had remained under the administration of U.S.–UK forces (Zone A, including the city of Trieste) and Yugoslav forces (Zone B), was divided between Italy and Yugoslavia, principally along the zonal boundary.
Particularly in the north agitation against the king ran high, left wing and communist armed partisans wanting to depose him as being responsible for the fascist regime. Vittorio Emanuele gave up the throne to his son Umberto II who again faced the possibility of civil war. Italy became a Republic after the result of a popular referendum held on 2 June 1946, a day since then celebrated as Republic Day. The republic won with a 9% margin; the north of Italy voted prevalently for a republic, the south for the monarchy. The Republican Constitution was approved and entered into force on 1 January 1948, including a provisional measure banning all male members of the house of Savoy from Italy. This stipulation was redressed in 2002.
The First Republic (1947-1992)
In the fifties Italy became a member of the NATO alliance and an ally of the United States, which helped to revive the Italian economy through the Marshall Plan. In the same years, Italy also became a member of the European Economical Community (EEC), which later transformed into the European Union (EU). At the end of the fifties an impressive economic growth was termed "Economic Miracle", which lifted the country among the most industrialised nations in the world, with a perennial political instability.
During the First Republic, the Christian Democracy slowly but steadily lost support, as society modernised and the traditional values at its ideological core became less appealing to the population. The Christian Democracy's main support areas (sometimes known as "vote tanks") were the rural areas in southern and central Italy, whereas the industrial North had more left-leaning support because of the larger working class. An interesting exception were the "red regions" (Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria) where the Italian Communist Party (and the Democrats of the Left after them) has historically had a wide support.
Aldo Moro, photographed during his kidnapping by the BR
The shrinking support for the Christian Democracy eventually caused the single main event in the First Republic, the entry of the Socialist party in the government in the sixties, after the reducing edge of the Christian Democracy (DC) had forced them to accept this alliance; attempts to incorporate the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) in the Tambroni government led to riots, and were short-lived. This period came to be known as the "Years of Lead" because of a wave of bombings and shootings, attributed to far-right, far-left and secret services actions. Christian democrat politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Red Brigades, a terrorist paramilitary group, on March 16, 1978, the day the historic compromise with the Italian Communist Party (PCI), which had embraced eurocommunism with Enrico Berlinguer, was supposed to be enacted, insuring the PCI's return to government for the first time since May 1947. Aldo Moro's corpse was then discovered on May 9, in via Caetani in Rome, in a site equidistant between the DC and the PCI headquarters. In 2000, a Parliament Commission report from the Olive Tree left-of-center coalition concluded that the strategy of tension had been supported by the United States to "stop the PCI, and to a certain degree also the PSI, from reaching executive power in the country".
In the 1980s, for the first time, two governments were led by a republican and a socialist (Bettino Craxi) rather than by a member of DC (which nonetheless remained the main force behind the government). With the end of the “lead years”, the PCI gradually increased their votes under the leadership of Enrico Berlinguer. The Socialist party (PSI), led by Bettino Craxi, became more and more critical of the communists and of the Soviet Union; Craxi himself pushed in favour of US president Ronald Reagan's positioning of Pershing missiles in Italy.
The Second Republic (1992-present)
Bettino Craxi, viewed by many as the symbol of Tangentopoli, leader of the Italian Socialist Party, is greeted by a salvo of coins as a sign of loathing by protesters contesting him.
From 1992 to 1997, Italy faced significant challenges as voters (disenchanted with past political paralysis, massive government debt, extensive corruption, and organized crime's considerable influence collectively called Tangentopoli after being uncovered by Mani pulite - "Clean hands") demanded political, economic, and ethical reforms. The scandals involved all major parties, but especially those in the government coalition: between 1992 and 1994 the DC underwent a severe crisis and was dissolved, splitting up into several pieces, among whom the Italian People’s Party and the Christian Democratic Center. The PSI (and the other governing minor parties) completely dissolved.
The 1994 elections also swept media magnate Silvio Berlusconi (leader of "Pole of Freedoms" coalition) into office as Prime Minister. Berlusconi, however, was forced to step down in December 1994 when the Lega Nord withdrew support. The Berlusconi government was succeeded by a technical government headed by Prime Minister Lamberto Dini, which left office in early 1996.
In April 1996, national elections led to the victory of a center-left coalition under the leadership of Romano Prodi. Prodi's first government became the third-longest to stay in power before he narrowly lost a vote of confidence, by three votes, in October 1998. A new government was formed by Democrats of the Left leader and former communist Massimo D'Alema, but in April 2000, following poor performance by his coalition in regional elections, D'Alema resigned. The succeeding center-left government, including most of the same parties, was headed by Giuliano Amato (social-democratic), who previously served as Prime Minister in 1992-93, from April 2000 until June 2001.
In 2001 the centre-right formed the government and Silvio Berlusconi was able to remain in power for a complete five year mandate, became the longest government in post-war Italy. Berlusconi participated in the US-led military coalition in Iraq, but his successor, Romano Prodi, withdrew Italian forces.
The last elections in 2006 returned Prodi in the government with a slim majority. Mr. Prodi, in the first year of his government, has followed a cautious policy of economic liberalization and reduction of public debt.
Italy is a founding member of the European Community, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO and G8.
Government and politics
The Quirinal Palace, house of the President of the Republic.
The 1948 Constitution of Italy established a bicameral parliament (Parlamento), consisting of a Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) and a Senate (Senato della Repubblica), a separate judiciary, and an executive branch composed of a Council of Ministers (cabinet) (Consiglio dei ministri), headed by the prime minister (Presidente del consiglio dei ministri).
The President of the Italian Republic (Presidente della Repubblica) is elected for seven years by the parliament sitting jointly with a small number of regional delegates. The president nominates the prime minister, who proposes the other ministers (formally named by the president). The Council of Ministers must retain the support (fiducia) of both houses.
The houses of parliament are popularly and directly elected through a complex electoral system (latest amendment in 2005) which combines proportional representation with a majority prize for the largest coalition (Chamber). All Italian citizens older than 18 can vote. However, to vote for the senate, the voter must be at least 25 or older. The electoral system in the Senate is based upon regional representation. During the elections in 2006, the two competing coalitions were separated by few thousand votes, and in the Chamber the centre-left coalition (L'Unione; English: The Union ) got 345 Deputies against 277 for the centre-right one (Casa delle Libertà; English: House of Freedoms), while in the Senate l'Ulivo got only two Senators more than absolute majority. The Chamber of Deputies has 630 members and the Senate 315 elected senators; in addition, the Senate includes former presidents and appointed senators for life (no more than five) by the President of the Republic according to special constitutional provisions. As of 15 May 2006, there are seven life senators (of which three are former Presidents). Both houses are elected for a maximum of five years, but both may be dissolved by the President before the expiration of their normal term if the Parliament is unable to elect a stable government. In the post war history, this has happened in 1972, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1994 and 1996.
A peculiarity of the Italian Parliament is the representation given to Italians permanently living abroad (about 2,7 million). Among the 630 Deputies and the 315 Senators there are respectively 12 and 6 elected in four distinct foreign constituencies. Those members of Parliament were elected for the first time in April 2006 and they enjoy the same rights as members elected in Italy. Legislative bills may originate in either house and must be passed by a majority in both. The Italian judicial system is based on Roman law modified by the Napoleonic code and later statutes. The Constitutional Court of Italy (Corte Costituzionale) rules on the conformity of laws with the Constitution and is a post-World War II innovation.
See also: List of Prime Ministers of Italy
Italy was a founding member of the European Community--now the European Union (EU). Italy was admitted to the United Nations in 1955 and is a member and strong supporter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe. It chaired the CSCE (the forerunner of the OSCE) in 1994, the EU in 1996, and the G-8 in 2001 and served as EU president from July to December 2003.
Massimo D'Alema, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Italy firmly supports the United Nations and its international security activities. Italy actively participated in and deployed troops in support of UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Mozambique, and East Timor and provides critical support for NATO and UN operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Italy deployed 1,000 Alpini troops to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in February 2003. Italy also supports international efforts to reconstruct and stabilize Iraq through its military contingent of some 3,200 troops, as well as humanitarian workers and other officials. The troops remained in Iraq under UN mandate and at the request of the sovereign Iraqi Government until December 2006.
In August 2006 Italy sent about 3,000 soldiers to Lebanon for the ONU peacekeeping mission UNIFIL. Furthermore, since 2 February 2007 an Italian, Claudio Graziano is the commander of the UN force in the country.
The Italian Government seeks to obtain consensus with other European countries on various defense and security issues within the EU as well as NATO. European integration and the development of common defense and security policies will continue to be of primary interest to Italy.
See also: Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
An Iveco-Oto Melara Ariete main battle tank of Esercito Italiano
The Italian armed forces are divided into four branches:
The Italian armed forces are under the command of the Italian Supreme Defense Council, presided over by the President of the Italian Republic. The total number of military personnel is approximately 308,000. Italy has the eighth highest military expenditure in the world.
The Italian Army (Esercito Italiano) is the ground defense force of the Italian Republic. It has recently (July 29th, 2004) become a professional all-volunteer force of 115,687 active duty personnel. It's most famous combat vehicles are Dardo, Centauro and Ariete, and Mangusta attack helicopters, recently deployed in UN missions; but the Esercito Italiano also has at its disposal a large number of Leopard 1 and M113 armored cars.
The Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI) is the air force of Italy. It was founded as an independent service arm on the 28th March, 1923, by King Vittorio Emanuele III as the Regia Aeronautica (which equates to "Royal Air Force"). After World War II, when Italy was made a republic by referendum, the Regia Aeronautica was given its current name. Today the Aeronautica Militare has a strength of 45,879 and operates 585 aircraft, including 219 combat jets and 114 helicopters. As a stopgap and as replacement for leased Tornado ADV interceptors, the AMI has leased 30 F-16A Block 15 ADF and four F-16B Block 10 Fighting Falcons, with an option for some more. The coming years also will see the introduction of 121 EF2000 Eurofighter Typhoons, replacing the leased F-16 Fighting Falcons. Furthermore updates are foreseen on the Tornado IDS/IDT and the AMX-fleet. The transport capacity will be improved with the delivery of eighteen C-130Js (for 2°Gr) and an upgrade programme for the C-130Hs. Also a completely-new developed G222, called C-27J Spartan, will enter service replacing the G222's.
The new aircrafr carrier Cavour
The Marina Militare (the Italian Navy) is one of the four branches of the military forces of Italy. It was born in 1946, as the Navy of the Italian Republic, from the ashes of the Regia Marina. Today's Marina Militare is a modern navy with a strength of 35,261 and ships of every type, such as aircraft carriers, destroyers, modern frigates, submarines, amphibious ships and plenty of other smaller ships, including oceanographic research ships.
The Marina Militare is now equipping herself with a bigger aircraft carrier (the Cavour), new destroyers, submarines and multipurpose frigates. In modern times, the Marina Militare, being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), has taken part in many coalition peacekeeping operations. The Marina Militare is considered the sixth strongest navy of the world.
The Carabinieri are the gendarmerie and military police of Italy. At the Sea Islands Conference of the G8 in 2004, the Carabinieri was given the mandate to establish a Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) to spearhead the development of training and doctrinal standards for civilian police units attached to international peacekeeping missions. As of 2007 the Carabinieri has a strength of 112,226.
Italy consists predominantly of a large peninsula (the Italian Peninsula), with a distinctive boot shape that extends into the Mediterranean Sea, where together with its two main islands - Sicily and Sardinia - it creates distinct bodies of water, such as the Adriatic Sea to the north-east, the Ionian Sea to the south-east, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the south-west and finally the Ligurian Sea to the north-west. For a complete list of the islands of Italy, see this comprehensive list.
The Apennine mountains form the backbone of this peninsula, leading north-west to where they join the Alps, the mountain range that then forms an arc enclosing Italy from the north. Here is also found a large alluvial plain, the Padan plain, drained by the Po River — which is Italy's longest river with 652 km — and its many tributaries flowing down from the Alps: Dora Baltea (160 km), Sesia (138 km), Ticino (280 km), Adda (313 km), Oglio (280 km), Mincio (194 km); and flowing down from the Apennines: (Tanaro (276 km), Trebbia (115 km), Taro (126 km), Secchia (172 km), Panaro (148 km). Other notable rivers include the Tiber (Tevere) (405 km), Adige (410 km), Arno (241 km), Piave(220 km), Reno (212 km), Volturno (175 km), Tagliamento (175 km), Liri-Garigliano (158 km), Isonzo (136 km). Italy is also rich of lakes: Lake Garda with a surface area of 370 km² is the largest Italian lake, others notable lakes in Northern Italy are Lake Como (146 km²), Lake Maggiore (212.5 km²), Lake Iseo (65.3 km²); notable lakes in Central Italy are Lake Trasimeno (128 km²), Lake Bolsena (113.5 km²), Lake Bracciano (57 km²). Southern Italy is an area rather poor in freshwater.
Italy's highest point is Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) at 4,810 metres (15,781 feet).3 Italy is more typically associated with two famous volcanoes: the currently dormant Mount Vesuvius (1,281 m) near Naples and the very active Mount Etna (3,326 m) in Sicily. The greatest distance between two points on Italy mainland is 1,150 km (715 miles) between Vetta d'Italia (Trentino-Alto Adige) and Capo Isola delle Correnti (Sicily).
The climate in Italy is uniquely diverse and can be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate and "land of sun", depending on the location. The inland northern areas of Italy (Turin, Milan, and Bologna) have a continental climate, while the coastal areas of Liguria and the peninsula south of Florence fit the stereotype (even if the city of Genoa, about once a year, may experience heavy snow falls). The coastal areas of the peninsula can be very different from the interior, particularly during the winter months. The higher altitudes are cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions, where most of the large towns are located, have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot and generally dry summers. The length and intensity of the summer dry season increases southwards (compare the tables for Rome, Naples, and Brindisi).
Between the north and south there is a quite remarkable difference in the temperatures, above all during the winter: in some winter days it can be -2°C and snowing in Milan while Rome gets +12°C and it is +18°C in Palermo. Temperature differences are less extreme in the summer. (See how Po valley can be frosty in winter )
Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Italy and Western Europe.
The east coast of the peninsula is not as wet as the west coast, but is usually colder in the winter. The east coast north of Pescara is occasionally affected by the cold bora winds in winter and spring, but the wind is less strong here than around Trieste. During these frosty spells from E-NE cities like Rimini, Ancona, Pescara and the entire eastern hillside of the Apennines can be affected by true "blizzards". The town of Fabriano, located just around 300 meters in elevation, can often see 0.50-0.60 m of fresh snow fall in 24 hours during these episodes. Northwide, on the coast line from Ravenna to Venice and Trieste, snow falls more rarely: during cold spells from east, the cold can be harsh but with bright skies; while, during the snowfalls that affects Northern Italy, on the Adriatic coast usually blows a milder Scirocco wind which makes snow turning into rain - the mild effects of this wind, anyway, often disappear just a few kilometers inside the plain, and sometime the coast from Venice to Grado sees snow while it is raining in Trieste, the Po mouths and Ravenna. Rarely, the city of Trieste may see snow blizzards with north-eastern winds, but just in very particular conditions; in the colder winters, the Venice Lagoon may freeze, and in the coldest ones even enough to walk on the ice sheet.
Italy is subject to highly diverse weather conditions in autumn, winter, and spring, while summer is usually more stable, although the northern regions often experience thunderstorms in the afternoon/night hours and some grey and rainy day. So, while south of Florence the summer is typically dry and sunny, the north is tends to be more humid and cloudy. Spring and Autumn weather can be very changeable, with sunny and warm weeks (sometime with Summer-like temperatures) suddenly broken off by cold spells (sometime bringing snow in November, March or April even at sea level) or followed by rainy and cloudy weeks.
The least number of rainy days and the highest number of hours of sunshine occur in the extreme south of the mainland and in Sicily and Sardinia. Here sunshine averages from four to five hours a day in winter and up to ten or eleven hours in summer. In the north precipitation is more evenly distributed during the year, although the summer is usually slightly wetter. Between November and March the Po valley is often covered by fog, especially in the central zone (Pavia, Cremona, and Mantua), while the number of frost days usually goes from 60 to 80 a year. Snow is quite common between early December and early March in cities like Turin, Milan and Bologna, but sometime it appears in late November or late March and even April. In the winter of 2005-2006, Milan received around 0.75-0.80 m of fresh snow, Como around 1.00 m, Brescia 0.50 m, Trento 1.60 m, Vicenza around 0.45 m, Bologna around 0.30 m, and Piacenza around 0.80 m. (see the late January 2006 snowfall of Bergamo )
Lake Garda from Riva del Garda
Summer temperatures are often similar North to South, but with the different weather conditions seen above. July temperatures are 23-24°C north of river Po, like in Milan or Venice, and south of river Po can reach 25-26°C like in Bologna, with less thunderstorms; on the coasts of Central and Southern Italy, and in the near plains, mean temperatures goes from 23°C to 27°C. Generally, the hottest month is August in the south and July in the north; during these months the thermometer can reach 38-42°C in the south and 33-35°C in the north; rarely, the country can be split as during winter, with rain and fresh temperatures like 20-22°C during the day in the North, and 30°C to 40°C in the South; but, having a hot and dry summer does not mean that Southern Italy never see rain from June to August.
The coldest month is January: the Po valley's mean temperature is around 0-1°C, Venice 2-3°C, Trieste 4-5°C, Florence 5-6°C, Rome 7-8°C, Naples 9°C, Palermo 12°C. Winter morning lows can occasionally reach -30/-20°C in the Alps, -14/-8°C in Po valley, -7°C in Florence, -4°C in Rome, -2°C in Naples and 2°C in Palermo. In cities like Rome and Milan, strong heat islands can exist, so that inside the urban area, winters can be milder and summers more sultry. Often, the biggest snow falls happen in February, sometime in January or March; in the Alps, snow falls more in Autumn and overall Spring over 1500m, because winter is usually marked by cold and dry weeks; while the Apennines see many more snow falls during winter, but they are warmer and less wet in the other seasons; both the mountain chains can see up to 5-10m of snow along a year at 2000m; on the highest pikes of Alps, snow may fall even during mid summer, and small to large glaciers are present.
The absolute record low was near -45°C in the Alps, and the record low near the sea level was -28.8°C (recorded during January 1985 near Bologna), while in the south cities like Catania, Foggia, Lecce or Alghero have experienced highs of 48°C in some hot summers.
Italy is subdivided into 20 regions (regioni, singular regione). Five of these regions enjoy a special autonomous status that enables them to enact legislation on some of their specific local matters, and are marked by an *. It is further divided into 109 provinces and 8,101 municipalities (comuni).
|6||Friuli-Venezia Giulia*||Trieste||7,855 km²||1,208,000|
|15||Aosta Valley*||Aosta||3,263 km²||123,000|
|17||Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol*||Trento||13,607 km²||985,000|
The latest population estimate done by ISTAT (Italian Statistics Office) stated that there were 58,751,711 inhabitants in Italy in 2005, making it the fourth largest population in the European Union (after Germany, France and the United Kingdom), and the 22nd in the world. In July 2006, the Italian population climbed to an estimated 58,883,958 , an increase of 0.2%, mainly supplemented by immigrants, and an increasing life expectancy of 79.81 years. Despite population growth, Italy is rapidly ageing. One in five Italian inhabitants is a pensioner; if this ageing trend continues, the Italian population could shrink by a quarter by 2050.
Italy has the fifth highest population density in all of Europe with 195 persons per square kilometre. The highest density is in Northwestern Italy, as two regions out of twenty (Lombardy and Piedmont) combined, contain one quarter of the Italian population, where an estimated 7.4 million people live in the metropolitan Milan area. The literacy rate in Italy is 98% overall, and school is mandatory for children aged 6 to 18.
Other major cities with populations in excess of 250,000 inhabitants are Bologna, Florence, Bari, Catania, Venice and Verona.
According to the OECD., these are the major Italian metropolitan areas:
Migration and ethnicity
Italy's position in Europe and the northern Mediterranean basin meant many influences, invasions and migrations over thousands of years. As a result, besides the ancient Italic peoples, the Italian peninsula has been influenced by Etruscan, Roman, ancient Greek, Gallic, Germanic, Norman French, and Catalan peoples who either colonised, invaded or plundered Italy over the past 3,000 years.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Italy was a major source of emigrants to the Americas, Australia and other countries in Western Europe. However, Italy is now a destination for immigrants from all over the world with Eastern Europe, North Africa, and Asia being the chief areas. At the beginning of 2006, foreigners comprised 4.56% of the population or 2,670,514 people, an increase of 268,357 or 10 percent from the previous year. In many northern Italian cities, like Padua, Milan, and Brescia, migrants make up a significant portion of the population.
The most recent wave of migration has been from Eastern Europe, replacing North Africans as a major source of migrants. As of 2006, some 1,025,874 Eastern Europeans live in Italy, 40% of the total population of migrants in Italy. The five largest foreign nationalities in Italy are: Albanian (348,813), Moroccan (319,537), Romanian (297,570), Chinese (127,822), and Ukrainian (107,188).
|Ethnic group ||Population ||% of total* |
|Other East European||273000.0273,000||0.46%|
|* Percentage of total Italian population|
Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, the largest church in Christianity
Roman Catholicism is by far the largest religion in the country. Although the Catholic Church has never been the state religion, it still plays a role in the nation's political affairs, partly due to the Holy See's location in Rome. 87.8% of Italians identified as Roman Catholic , although only about one-third of these described themselves as active members (36.8%).
Other Christian groups in Italy include more than 700,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians (1.2%) , including 470,000 newcomers PDF (65.4 KiB) and some 180,000 Greek Orthodox, 550,000 Pentecostals and Evangelicals (0.8%), of whom 400,000 are members of the Assemblies of God, 235,685 Jehovah's Witnesses (0.04%), 30,000 Waldensians , 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists, 22,000 Mormons, 15,000 Baptists (plus some 5,000 Free Baptists), 7,000 Lutherans, 5,000 Methodists (affiliated to the Waldensian Church) .
The country's oldest religious minority is the Jewish community, comprising roughly 45,000 people. It is no longer the largest non-Christian group. As a result of significant immigration from other parts of the world, some 825,000 Muslims  (1.4%) live in Italy, though only 50,000 are Italian citizens. In addition, there are 110,000 Buddhists (0.2%)   PDF (65.4 KiB), 70,000 Sikhs , and 70,000 Hindus (0.1%) in Italy.
See also: Christianity in Italy, Islam in Italy, Jews in Italy, Buddhism in Italy, and List of Italian politicians belonging to a religious minority
Palace Koch Headquarters of the Banca d'Italia, the central bank of Italy
According to nominal GDP calculations, Italy was ranked as the seventh largest economy in the world in 2006, behind the United States, Japan, Germany, China, UK, and France, and the fourth largest in Europe. According to the OECD, in 2004 Italy was the world's sixth-largest exporter of manufactured goods. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less developed agricultural south. Italy's economy is supposed to have an "underground" sector that is not included in the official data.
Most new materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported. Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Union and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. Italy joined the Euro from its introduction in 1999.
Italy's economic performance has at times lagged behind that of its EU partners, and the current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. It has moved slowly, however, on implementing certain structural reforms favoured by economists, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italy's rigid labour market and expensive pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labour unions.
Italy has a smaller number of world class multinational corporations than other economies of comparable size. Instead, the country's main economic strength has been its large base of small and medium size companies. Some of these companies manufacture products that are technologically moderately advanced and therefore face increasing competition from China and other emerging Asian economies which are able to undercut them on labour costs. These Italian companies are responding to the Asian competition by concentrating on products with a higher technological content, taking advantage of the technological potential of the country and the cultural tradition of high-quality products, while moving lower-tech manufacturing to plants in countries where labour is less expensive. The small average size of Italian companies remains a limiting factor, and the government has been working to encourage integration and mergers and to reform the rigid regulations that have traditionally been an obstacle to the development of larger corporations in the country.
Italy's major exports are precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals and electric goods, but the country's more famous exports are in the fields of food, clothing, and luxury vehicles.
Tourism is very important to the Italian economy. With over 37 million tourists a year, Italy is ranked as the fourth major tourist destination in the world.
ETR 500 at Milan Central Station
The railway network in Italy totals 19,394 kilometres (12,051 mi), ranking the country 16th in the world, and is operated by Ferrovie dello Stato. High speed trains include ETR-class trains, of which the ETR 500 travels at 300 km/h (186 mph).
In 1991 Treno Alta Velocità SpA was created, a special purpose entity owned by RFI for the planning and construction of high-speed rail lines along Italy's most important and saturated transport routes. These lines are often referred as "TAV" lines. The purpose of TAV construction is to aid travel along Italy's most saturated and used rail lines and to add tracks to these lines, namely the Milan-Naples and Turin-Milan-Venice corridors. One of the focuses of the project is to turn the rail network of Italy into a modern and high-tech passenger rail system in accordance with updated European rail standards. A secondary purpose is to introduce high-speed rail to the country and its high-priority corridors. An important consideration of the lines is to improve travel times, train frequency, and safety. When demand on regular lines is lessened with the opening of dedicated high-speed lines, those regular lines will be used primarily for low-speed regional rail service and freight trains. With these ideas realised, the Italian train network can be integrated with other European rail networks, particularly the French TGV, German ICE, and Spanish AVE systems.
There are approximately 654,676 kilometres (406,000 mi) of serviceable roadway in Italy, including 6,957 km (4,300 mi) of expressways.
There are approximately 133 airports in Italy, including the two hubs of Malpensa International (near Milan) and Leonardo Da Vinci International (near Rome).
There are 27 major ports in Italy, the largest is in Genoa, which is also the third largest in the Mediterranean Sea, after Marseille and Algeciras. 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) of waterways traverse Italy.
Further information: List of Italian painters
Italy, as a state, did not exist until the unification of the country came to a conclusion in the year 1861. Due to this comparatively late unification, and the historical autonomy of the many regions that comprise the Italian Peninsula, many traditions and customs that we now recognise as distinctly Italian can be identified by their regions of origin, which further reflects the influence of the many different peoples that occupied those areas, and of the importance of religion, especially Roman Catholicism. Despite the pronounced political and social isolation of these regions that prevailed throughout Italy's history, Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe remain immense. In fact, Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (41) to date.
Italy has been a seminal place for many important artistic and intellectual movements that spread throughout Europe and beyond, including the Renaissance and Baroque. Perhaps Italy's greatest cultural achievements lie in its long artistic heritage, which is often validated through the names of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian and Raphael, among many others. Beyond art, Italy's contributions to the realms of literature, science, and music cannot be overlooked.
Dante, author of the Divine Comedy
With the basis of the modern Italian language established through the eminent Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri, whose greatest work, the Divina Commedia, is often considered the foremost literary statement produced in Europe during the Middle Ages, there is no shortage of celebrated literary figures; the writers and poets Boccaccio, Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, and Petrarch, whose best known vehicle of expression, the sonnet, was invented in Italy. Prominent philosophers include Bruno, Ficino, Machiavelli, and Vico. Modern literary figures and Nobel laureates are nationalist poet Giosuè Carducci in 1906, realist writer Grazia Deledda in 1926, modern theatre author Luigi Pirandello in 1936, poets Salvatore Quasimodo in 1959 and Eugenio Montale in 1975, satiryst and theatre author Dario Fo in 1997.
In science, Galileo Galilei made considerable advancements toward the scientific revolution, and Leonardo da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance Man. Italy has been the home of many great scientists and inventors: the physicist Fermi, one of the fathers of quantum theory and head of the Manhattan Project; the astronomer Cassini; the physicist Volta, inventor of the electric battery; the mathematicians Lagrange and Fibonacci; Nobel Prize in Physics laureate Marconi, inventor of the radio; and Antonio Meucci, disputable inventor of the telephone.
From folk music to classical, music has always played an important role in Italian culture. Having given birth to opera, for example, Italy provides many of the very foundations of the classical music tradition. Some of the instruments that are often associated with classical music, including the piano and violin, were invented in Italy, and many of the existing classical music forms can trace their roots back to innovations of sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian music (such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata). Some of Italy's most famous composers include the Renaissance composers Palestrina and Monteverdi, the Baroque composers Corelli and Vivaldi, the Classical composers Paganini and Rossini, and the Romantic composers Verdi and Puccini. Modern Italian composers such as Berio and Nono proved significant in the development of experimental and electronic music.
The Azzurri exulting after they won FIFA 2006 Germany World Cup
Italians are renowned for their love of sports. Their zeal for sports events is, indeed, no less than legendary; from the Gladiatorial games of Ancient Rome, to the Stadio Olimpico of contemporary Rome, where prestigious football clubs compete regularly, the impact that sports has had on Italian culture is enduring and undeniable. Towards the alps, the popularity of winter sports grows, with many Italians from that region competing in international games and Olympic venues. Moving downwards the peninsula, the disparity between participation in sports becomes less regional. Despite any regional variation that may exist, the incorporation of sports in many Italian festivities like Palio (see also Palio di Siena), and the Gondola race (regatta) that takes place in Venice on the first Sunday of September, affirms the role sports play in everyday Italian life. Popular sports include football, cycling, and auto racing (a sport which shares its renown with a staple of Italian design, Ferrari), among others.
Gondolas in Venice Rialto Bridge in background
The official language of Italy is Standard Italian, a descendant of Tuscan dialect and a direct descendant of Latin. (Some 75% of Italian words are of Latin origin.) However, when Italy was unified, in 1861, Italian existed mainly as a literary language. Different languages were spoken throughout the Italian peninsula, many of which were Romance languages which had developed in every region, due to the political fragmentation of Italy.2 Indeed, each historical region of Italy had its own so-called ‘dialetto’ (with ‘dialect’ usually meaning, improperly, a non-Italian Romance language), with variants existing at the township-level.
Massimo d'Azeglio, one of Cavour's ministers, is said to have stated, following Italian unification, that having created Italy, all that remained was to create Italians. Given the large number of languages spoken throughout the peninsula, it was quickly established that 'proper' or 'standard' Italian would be based on the Florentine dialect spoken in most of Tuscany (given that it was the first region to produce authors such as Dante Alighieri, who between 1308 and 1321 wrote the Divina Commedia), the process of unification of an Italian language, started before 1500 a. C. with Pietro Bembo, who took Petrarca's language to make the official Italian literary language (il volgare illustre or simply volgare). Early in 1500 a. C. with the increased spread of books, standardized Italian became very popolar and his diffusion was to be further increased by literary movements (like: (petrarchismo, bembismo etc). A national education system was established - leading to a decrease in variation in the languages spoken throughout the country over time. But it was not until the 1960s, when economic growth enabled widespread access to the television programmes of the state television broadcaster, RAI, that Italian truly became broadly-known and quite standardised. [Image:Olbia32IMG 0004 bordercropped.jpg|thumb|right|200px| Sunset at Olbia, Sardinia]]] Today, despite regional variations in the form of accents and vowel emphasis, Italian is fully comprehensible to most throughout the country. Nevertheless certain local idioms have become cherished beacons of regional variation— Neapolitan which is extensively used for the singing of popular folk-songs, for instance—and in recent years many people have developed a particular pride in their local dialects.
In addition to the various regional linguistic varieties and dialects of standard Italian, a number of languages enjoying some form of official recognition are spoken:
In the north, the province of Bolzano has a majority German-speaking population; the area was awarded to Italy following the First World War and the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Pockets of German speakers also persist in other north Italian regions: the Cimbrians in Veneto (Asiago, Luserna, etc.) and the Walsers in Val'Aosta (Gressoney). In total some 300,000 or so Italians speak German as their first language and indeed many identify themselves as ethnic Austrians.
Some 120,000 people live in the Aosta Valley region, where a dialect of Franco-Provençal is spoken that is similar to dialects spoken in France. About 1,400 people living in two isolated towns in Foggia speak another dialect of Franco-Provençal.
About 80,000 Slovene-speakers live in the north-eastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia near the border with Slovenia.
Some 100,000 people mainly in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia speak an accent that has recently been recognized by the state as an official language: Friulano.
In the Dolomite mountains of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Veneto there are some 40,000 speakers of the Rhaetian language Ladin.
A very large community of some 700,000 people in Friuli speak Friulian—another Rhaetian language.
In the Molise region of central-south Italy some 4,000 people speak Molise Croatian. These are the Molise Croats, descendants of a group of people who migrated from the Balkans in the Middle Ages.
Scattered across southern Italy (Salento and Calabria) are some 30,000 Greek-speakers—considered to be the last surviving traces of the region's Greek heritage. (Ancient Greek colonists reached southern Italy and Sicily about 1500 BC.) They speak a Greek dialect, Griko.
Some 15,000 Catalan speakers reside around the area of Alghero in the north-west corner of Sardinia—believed to be the result of a migration of a large group of Catalans from Barcelona in ages past.
The Arbëreshë, of whom there are around 100,000 in southern Italy and in central Sicily—the result of past migrations—are speakers of the Arbëresh dialect of Albanian.
Sicilianu is spoken in Sicily by 4,832,520 people, nearly the entire population of the island. Again, it is commonly assumed to be a dialect, though it is distinct enough from Italian to be classified separately by Ethnologue. 
Finally, the largest group of non-Italian speakers, some 1.3 million people, are those who speak Sardinian, a Romance language which retains many pre-Latin words.
1 According to Mitrica, an October 2005 Romanian report estimates that 1,061,400 Romanians are living in Italy, constituting 37.2% of 2.8 million immigrants in that country  but it is unclear how the estimate was made, and therefore whether it should be taken seriously or not.
2 See also (in Italian): L. Lepschy e G. Lepschy, La lingua italiana: storia, varietà d'uso, grammatica, Milano, Bompiani
3 Official French maps show the border detouring south of the main summit, and claim the highest point in Italy is Mont Blanc de Courmayeur (4,748 m), but these are inconsistent with an 1861 convention and topographic watershed analysis.
^ Encyclopæedia Britannica, eleventh edition, 15:25bc
^ (Italian) Commissione parlamentare d'inchiesta sul terrorismo in Italia e sulle cause della mancata individuazione dei responsabili delle stragi (1995 Parliamentary Commission of Investigation on Terrorism in Italy and on the Causes of the Failing of the Arrests of the Responsibles of the Bombings) (1995). Retrieved on May 2, 2006.
^ (English)/(Italian)/(French)/(German) Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology / International Relation and Security Network. Retrieved on May 2, 2006.
^ "Italian soldiers leave for Lebanon Il Corriere della Sera, 30 August 2006
^ Society and Culture.
^ a b La popolazione straniera residente in Italia (Italian) (2007-10-17). Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
^ International Tourism Receipts (PDF). UNWTO Tourism Highlights, Edition 2005 12. World Tourism Organization. Retrieved on 2006-05-24.
Other references can be found in the more detailed articles linked to in this article.
Mitrica, Mihai Un milion de romani s-au mutat in Italia ("One million Romanians have moved to Italy"). Evenimentul Zilei, October 31, 2005. Visited April 11, 2006.