Our Nature lies in movement; complete calm is death.
— Blaise Pascal, 1623 - 1662
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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

Spin the globe....summer 2018

by madjeanne

Temperature hit 100, gotta go!

May 2018 - Jul 2018  »  United States | Italy | Croatia | Montenegro | Greece | Turkey | Malta | Spain | France | Monaco

Little praying in the Vatican

by annewhite

Trip to Rome

Jun 2011  »  Italy

Europe Trip!

by Pancake

Apr 2016  »  Italy

Featured hotels in

Italy

ItalyBauer Il Palazzo 

Sestiere Di San Marco 1413 D
Venice 30124
Italy

Price (US$): $444 - $1548 / night

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Location. Located in central Venice, Bauer Il Palazzo is within walking distance of Correr Civic Museum, St. Mark's Basilica, and Basilica of St Mary of Health. Nearby points of interest also include Rialto Bridge and Squero di San Trovaso. Hotel Features. Bauer Il Palazzo's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the breakfast room. Recreational amenities… more »

ItalySavoia Hotel Regency 

Via Pilastro 2
Bologna 40127
Italy

Price (US$): $440 - $734 / night

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Location. Connected to the airport, Savoia Hotel Regency is located in Bologna's Exhibition Center neighborhood and close to BolognaFiere, Palazzo Comunale, and Archiginnasio of Bologna. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include National Picture Gallery and University of Bologna. Hotel Features. Savoia Hotel Regency's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast in… more »

ItalyMelia Milano 

Via Masaccio 19
Milan 20149
Italy

Price (US$): $189 - $299 / night

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Location. Melia Milano is a business friendly hotel located in Milan's Fiera Milano City San Siro Stadium neighborhood, close to Fiera Milano City, Milan Convention Centre, and Cathedral of Milan. Additional points of interest include San Siro Stadium and Arch of Peace. Hotel Features. Dining options at Melia Milano include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club and a sauna. Spa amenities include… more »

ItalyHotel Grimaldi Palace 

Via Trentino Alto Adige, 1
Cittanova 89022
Italy

Price (US$): $84 - $373 / night

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Location. Hotel Grimaldi Palace is located in Cittanova and attractions in the region include Lido di Palmi. Hotel Features. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Hotel Grimaldi Palace features tour/ticket assistance, laundry facilities, and express check in. Additional property amenities include express check out, an elevator (lift), and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Guest parking is complimentary. The front desk is open 24 hours a day. 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 »

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