One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.
— John Wanamaker, 1838 - 1922
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Italy

Background

Italy

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.

About

Two independent mini-states are surrounded entirely by Italy: San Marino and Vatican City. While technically not part of the European Union, both of these states are also part of the Schengen Region and the European Monetary Union, (EMU). Apart from different police uniforms, there is no evident transition from these states and Italy's territory, and the currency is the same. Italian is also the lingua-franca in both city-states.

Read more about Italy in our Italy travel guide »

Featured journals from

Italy

Do we really know Sicily?

by siciliana

Parco Museo Jalari

Jun 2010 - Jul 2010  »  Italy

Lizara Jayne On The Go

by lizara2u

Adventurous Jayne

Feb 2014  »  Italy

2 month Tour de Europe under 3000 USD

by travelqueen168

travel and interning

Jun 2010 - Jul 2010  »  Germany | Italy

FLORENCE IS BEAUTIFUL

by bourgeoise

a love story to Tuscany and back

Mar 2010  »  Italy

Info of Montreal

by gauravks

Montreal is one of Canada's largest and most popular city,is geographically as close to the European coast as to Vancouver,and in look and feel it combines some of the finest aspects of the two continents.This is also the second-largest French-speaking metropolis after Paris. Montréal is also innovative and invigorating,offering a whirlwind of cultural creations,both traditional and modern. It is a unique city offering a vibrant night-life and several world-renown restaurants,bar clubs and lounges.The city is also a favorite destination for avid shoppers.It is a wonderful city offering a unique living experience from anything else in the world.Montreal is an enormous metropolis and the second-biggest city in the whole of Canada,known for its friendly atmosphere and ambiance, historical architecture and lavish churches, enormous shopping malls and top restaurants.One of Montreal's most surprising features is the 'Underground City'which is a vast network of tunnels,shops hotels,cinemas and business, protected from the cold winter weather extremes. No matter what you are looking for,outdoor/indoor attractions, music, dance,culture,great food,nice people,beautiful scenery or quiet tranquil moments,you can find it all in this wonderful city of Montreal.It will astound you with all its beauty and impress you with all it has to offer. Want to know more about Montreal,visit http://www.ticketstocanada.co.uk for more information.

Mar 2011 - May 2011  »  Switzerland | Portugal | Italy

Romantic Holidays in Milan!

by citybreak1

Milan Holidays!

Jul 2010  »  Italy | Belgium

Little praying in the Vatican

by annewhite

Trip to Rome

Jun 2011  »  Italy

Europe Trip!

by Pancake

Apr 2016  »  Italy

Featured hotels in

Italy

ItalyCAPRI PALACE HOTEL AND SPA 

Via Capodimonte 14
CAPRI ISLAND
ANACAPRI IT 80071
Anacapri 80071
Italy

Price (US$): $646 - $4415 / night

Check rates »

Seasonal Hotel: We will be re opening April 19th, 2013 NEWS FOR 2013: 1 COMPLIMENTARY MASSAGE PER STAY PER SUITE, COMPLIMENTARY SOFT DRINKS FROM MINIBAR. KEY SELLING POINTS FULLY EQUIPPED MEDICAL SPA GOURMET DINING IN 2 MICHELIN STARS RESTAURANT BISTROT IL RAGU LUXURY COLLECTION OF SAILING YACHT AND MOTOR BOATS ROOMS AND SUITES WITH PRIVATE GARDENS AND HEATED SWIMMING POOLS HOTEL BEACH CLUB AND RESTAURANT IL RICCIO NEXT TO BLUE GROTTO WITH COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS FOR HOTEL GUESTS more »

ItalyHotel Parco San Marco Beach Resort Golf & Spa 

Viale Privato San Marco 1
Cima di Porlezza
Porlezza 22010
Italy

Price (US$): $328 - $329 / night

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Location. Hotel Parco San Marco Beach Resort Golf & Spa is located near the beach in Porlezza's Cima neighborhood and close to Porlezza Lakeshore Park, Piazza Fontana, and Fogazzaro Library. Other area points of interest include Sacro Monte di Ossuccio and Menaggio and Cadenabbia Golf Club. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Parco San Marco Beach Resort Golf & Spa include 3 restaurants. A beach bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during… more »

ItalyGrand Hotel Des Iles Borromees 

Corso Umberto I, 67
Stresa 28838
Italy

Price (US$): $249 - $538 / night

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Location. Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees is located on the beach in Stresa's Lake Maggiore neighborhood, close to Villa Ducale, Giardini Botanici dell'Isola Bella, and Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Palazzo Borromeo and Giardini Botanici dell'Isola Madre. Hotel Features. Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during… more »

ItalyBauer Palladio Hotel & Spa 

Giudecca 33
Giudecca Island
Venice 30133
Italy

Price (US$): $343 - $875 / night

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Location. Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa is located in Venice's La Giudecca neighborhood, close to Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, St. Mark's Basilica, and Basilica of St Mary of Health. Nearby points of interest also include Peggy Guggenheim Museum and Doge's Palace. Hotel Features. Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa's restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served each morning.… more »

ItalyGolf Hotel Is Arenas 

Loc. Pineta Is Arenas, SS 292 Km113,4
Narbolia 09070
Italy

Price (US$): $744 - $1024 / night

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Location. Located in Narbolia, Golf Hotel Is Arenas is near the airport and close to Is Arenas Beach. Regional points of interest also include Tower of St. Christophoros and Oristano St. Francisco Church. Hotel Features. Golf Hotel Is Arenas features a restaurant, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site is an outdoor pool. This 5 star… more »

Browse more hotels in Italy »

Italy

Full name
Italian Republic
Capital
Rome
Location

Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia

Geographic coordinates

42 50 N, 12 50 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than Arizona

Border countries

Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 199 km, Switzerland 740 km

Coastline

7,600 km

Climate

predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Terrain

mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

Lowest point

Mediterranean Sea 0 m

Highest point

Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)

Natural resources

coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land

Population

58,090,681 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)

Religions

Roman Catholic 90% (approximately; about one-third practicing), other 10% (includes mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community)

Languages

Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

Government type

republic

Independence

17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)

National holiday

Republic Day, 2 June (1946)

Chief of state

President Giorgio NAPOLITANO (since 15 May 2006)

Head of government

Prime Minister Silvio BERLUSCONI (since 8 May 2008) note - in Italy the prime minister is referred to as the president of the Council of Ministers

Internet country code

.it

Internet users

29.235 million (2009)

Airports

132 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Augusta, Cagliari, Genoa, Livorno, Santa Panagia (Melilli), Taranto, Trieste, Venice

Other countries in the region