St Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

Italy in a Nutshell

Author: Sue
Date: 1st June 2020

What is the History of Italy?

  • Between the sixth to third centuries BC, the Italian city of Rome conquered Peninsular Italy and built an empire that spread over much of the Mediterranean and Western Europe. At its peak, the Roman Empire covered 2.3 million miles.
  • After the Italian part of the Roman Empire declined and “fell” in the fifth century and the previously united region broke apart into several smaller bodies, including the Papal States, governed by the Catholic Pope.
  • A number of powerful and trading-oriented city-states emerged, including Florence, Venice, and Genoa; these were the forces that incubated the Renaissance. These smaller states were the fertile grounds of the Renaissance, as competing states vied to outspend each other on art and architecture.
  • Unification and independence movements throughout Italy developed ever stronger voices in the 19th century after Napoleon created the short-lived Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Italy was finally formed in 1861

Is Italy in the EU?

  • Italy was a founder member of the EU and the currency is the euro
  • This is the fourth most populated country in Europe, mostly because of high birth rates and low death rates
  • Italy is divided into 20 regions. … The regions are divided into provinces, 110 in all, varying dramatically in size. These provinces are divided into communes, of which there are 8,100.

Italy - Snippets of Information

  • The name Italy comes from the word Italia, meaning “calf land,” perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the Southern Italian tribes, though no-one seems sure of its origins
  • Italy lies on a fault line, so it has more volcanoes than any other country in Europe.
  • This large number of volcanoes is mainly due to the fact that the land lies on a fault line, which is the cause of volcanoes.
  • Italy is responsible for introducing the world to ice cream (via the Chinese), coffee, and fruit pies. In addition to Belgium and France, Italy also claims to have made the first French fries. But not the first pasta, which it is thought came to Italy via Arab trade routes. When the Arabs first brought dried pasta to Italy in the 13th century, it was served with honey and sugar, and eaten with the fingers.

What is There to See and Do in Italy?

  • Italy is famous for its huge contributions to the worlds of art, architecture, fashion, opera, literature, design, film … and food
  • Italy is Italy is considered by many to be the art capital of the world and is said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world.
  • Almost 80% of Italy is either mountainous or hilly. There is some beautiful countryside.
  • The capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican, as well as landmark art and ancient ruins.
  • And don’t forget to engage in la passeggiata. This is the before dinner, evening stroll; when Italians wander the streets to see and be seen by others, before settling down to their evening meal.

See the following:

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