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Destination Italy, a virtual travel guide to "Bella Italia" - beautiful Italy how the Italians often call their country. This page aims to give you a broad overview of Italy's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, the page contains links to sources which provide you with all the information you need to know about this European nation, e.g.: official web sites of Italy, addresses of Italian and foreign embassies, domestic airlines, city- and country guides with extensive travel and tourism information on accommodation, tourist attractions, events and more like weather information, maps, statistics and local newspapers from Italy.

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Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze
 

Italian Republic | Repubblica Italiana

Country Profile


Flag of Italy
Flag of Italy

Background:
Italy became a nation-state belatedly - in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL.
An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous 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 European Monetary Union in 1999.
Persistent problems include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the more prosperous north.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)

border countries: Austria, France, Holy See (Vatican City), San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland
 
Where in Europe is Italy?


Official Name:
Repubblica Italiana
short form: Italia
int'l long form: Italian Republic
int'l short form: Italy
former: Kingdom of Italy

ISO Country Code: it
Actual Time: Fri-Aug-29  03:30
Local Time = UTC +1h;
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +2)

Country Calling Code: +39

Capital City: Rome (pop. 2.8 million)

Other Cities:
Italian Cities

Government:
Type: Republic since 2 June 1946.
Constitution: 1 January 1948.

Geography:
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea.
Area: 301 318 km² (116 303 sq. mi.);
Terrain: Mostly rugged and mountainous.

Climate: Generally mild mediterranean; cold winters in the north.

People:
Nationality: Italian(s)
Population: 59 million (2011 census)
Ethnic groups: Primarily Italian, but there are small groups of German-, French-, Slovene-, and Albanian-Italians.
Religion: Roman Catholic (majority).
Language: Italian.
Literacy: 98%.

Natural resources: Mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal, arable land.
Agriculture products: Fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish.
Industries: Tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics.

Exports partners: Germany 13.8%, France 12.3%, USA 8.5%, Spain 7%, UK 6.9% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 17.9%, France 11.2%, Netherlands 5.8%, Spain 4.8%, UK 4.7%, Belgium 4.3%, USA 4% (2003)

Currency: Euro (EUR) has replaced the formerly used Italian Lira.

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Italy

Parlamento Italiano
The Italian Parliament.

Ministero degli Affari Esteri (MAE)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy.

Italian State Tourism Board
Una finestra sull' Italia - A window to Italy.

Diplomatic Representations
Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations
Italy at the UN.
Ambasciata d'Italia
The Italian Embassy, Washington D.C.
Italian Diplomatic Representations
List of Italian embassies and consulates abroad.
Foreign Diplomatic Representations in Italy
List of Foreign Missions in Italy.

Statistics
Instituto Nazionale di Statistica
Italy's National Institute of Statistics.

Weather
Centro Nazionale di Meteorologia e Climatologia Aeronautica
National center of Meteorology and Aeronautical Climatology (in Italian).

Maps
 Map of Italy
Political Map of Italy.
Google Earth Google Map Italy
Searchable map and satellite view of Italy.
Google Earth Google Map Rome
Searchable map and satellite view of Italy's capital.
Google Earth Google Map Colossseum
Satellite view of the ancient Roman amphitheatre.
Google Earth Google Map Florence
Searchable map and satellite view of Florence.
Google Earth Google Map Milan
Searchable map and satellite view of Milan.
Google Earth Google Map Venice
Searchable map and satellite view of Venice.
Google Earth Google Map Naples
Searchable map and satellite view of the capital of Campania region and the province of Naples.
Google Earth Google Map Mount Vesuvius near Naples
Searchable map and satellite view of Mount Vesuvius showing the volcano near Naples and the location of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.
 

Italy Newspaper

l'ANSA
Italians News Agency.
Corriere della Sera
Italy's most important newspaper with national and international news (in Italian).
Il Giorno
Italian Newspaper online (in Italian).
Il Mattino
Italian News - Naples (in Italian).
Il Messaggero
Italian News - Rome (in Italian).
la Repubblica
National and international news (in Italian).
La Stampa
National and international news - Turin (in Italian).
L'Unita
National and international news (in Italian).
 

 

Arts & Culture

Arena di Verona
The Arena of Verona is a Roman amphitheater now used for the annual Opera Festival
La Biennale di Venezia
Biennale Venice, an international exhibition of contemporary visual arts, architecture, cinema, dance, music and theatre.
Cinecitta
Italian cinema; official web site of the Italian Hollywood (in Italian)
Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence - shows artworks of Leonardo, Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and many others.
MusicaItaliana
Music Italian style. Music portal with news, concerts, reviews, TOP 20, chat and more (in Italian)
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
Centro di Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, with internationally-renowned exhibitions.
Teatro alla Scala, Milano
One of the world's most famous opera houses.
Teatro La Fenice
The Opera of Venice, founded in 1792, reopened in December 2003 after it has been almost destroyed by fire in 1996.

List of Links to Museums in Italy
Musei on line
A guide to Italy's museums.

Mangiare Bene
The English version of the most popular Italian internet recipe archive and guide to Italian cooking.

Sports
Lega Calcio
Italy's national football (soccer) league.
 


 

Business & Economy

Banca d'Italia
Central Bank Italy.
Borsa Italiana
Stock Exchange Italy.
Sito Nazionale CCIAA italiane
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Italy.

Italian Products

great site Made*In*Italy*On*Line
Information about the best that Italy has to offer.

Italian Cars:
Ferrari
Typical Italian car.
Fiat
Native Italian car
Lamborghini
Typical Italian car.
Lancia
Granturismo.
Maserati
Also a typical Italian car.

Italian Design:
B&B Italia
Interior decoration.

Italian Fashion, Perfumes and Accessories:
Benetton
United Colors of Benetton.
Bvlgari
Contemporary Italian Jewellers.
Dolce & Gabbana
Since 1985 precise Italian fashion design.
Gianfranco Ferré
Contemporary Italian fashion.
Luxottica
One of the largest suppliers of eyewear in the world.
Kiton
Neapolitan Tailors - Hands express the soul of Naples.
Laura Biagiotti
Fashion, Accessories, Parfumes.
Missoni
Knitware (virtuoso).
Moschino
Italian Fashion from Milano.
Prada
opening soon.
Trussardi
Fashion style.
Versace
Italian Fashion.

Modaitalia.net
Italian style, Italian fashion directory.
Moda Online
More Italian style.

Transportation
Airlines
Air One
Scheduled and charter airline based in Rome.
Alitalia
Italy's flag airline.
Volare Airlines
A low-cost airline made in Italy.

Aeroporti di Roma
Airport Rome provides information on both Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino airports.


__Railroad
Trenitalia
Italy's Railway.
Ferrovie Turistiche
FTI - Italian Touristics Railways - Italy by historical railways.

Yellow Pages
PagineGialle
Italian Yellow Pages.
 
 

Destination Italy - Country Guides

Italian State Tourism Board
Una finestra sull' Italia - A window to Italy, a comprehensive travel and tourism guide.
Italian Government Tourist Board - North America
Tourism in Italy, travel tips, information, italian regions.

Sicily for Tourists
Official tourism information for Sicily.

More destinations in Italy: Cities and Regions in Italy


Autostrade
Italy by car.
DolceVita
The insider's guide to Italy.
Guida Internet Italia
Internet Guide Italy.
ITALYGUIDE
Guide to know and travel Italy.
Italian Tourist Web Guide
The Italy Travel Guide.
Traveleurope Italy
An Italian tourist guide.
Ultimate Italy
A non-profit Site which creates opportunities to explore the many aspects of Italian culture.

Hotels
Hotels in Italy
Find Hotels in Italy.
Accommodation in Italy
Hotels, Hotel Reservations, Pensions, Farm Holidays, Camping, Youth Hostels.
 

Travel and Tour Consumer Information



Education

Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica
National Museum of Science and Technology "Leonardo da Vinci".

Nuova Accademia di Bella Arti
Fine art academy, Milan.
Politecnico di Torino
Public University, Turin.
Università Bocconi
The first school in Italy to grant a university degree in economics, founded 1902, Milano.
Università degli Studi di Bologna
The oldest university in the western world, founded in 1088.
Università degli Studi di Firenze
University of Florence. (in Italian)
Università degli Studi di Milano
University of Milan.
Università di Padova
University of Padova.
Università di Pavia
University of Pavia home page. (in Italian)
Università di Pisa
University of Pisa, founded: 1343. (in Italian)
Università degli Studî di Roma "La Sapienza"
University of Rome.
Università di Siena
University of Siena, founded: 1252.
Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia
University Ca' Foscari, Venice. (in Italian)
 
 

 

Environment & Nature

Environmental Organizations
Legambiente
Italian NGO for environment, part of the International Union for Conservation of Natures (in Italian).
LIPU - Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli
Association for nature conservation (in Italian).
Movimondo
An association for international solidarity and cooperation.

National Parks
Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano
The Tuscan Archipelago with the islands of Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Gorgona, Pianosa, Giannutri and Montecristo, is one of the largest marine parks in Europe.
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre National Park in Northern Italy, in the region of Liguria is a Unesco world heritage site.
Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio
Vesuvius National Park, founded in 1995, in order to protect the last-remaining active volcanic complex in Europe.
Google Earth Google Map Mount Vesuvius
Searchable map and satellite view of Mount Vesuvius showing the volcano near Naples and the location of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Parks in Italy
Comprehensive online guide to National Reserves and National Parks in Italy.
 
 



History

Fori Imperiali di Roma
Rome's Imperial Forums - the history of the age of Emperors, the history of Rome, sayings and habits of the Antique Romans.

Italian History Index
WWW Virtual Library Resources produced in Italy together with other world-wide resources that deal with the history of Italy.
The Roman Empire
Illustrated History of the Roman Empire.

History of Italy
Wikipedia entry about Italy's history.
Imperium Romanum
Think Quest site with information about Roman history and culture.
 
 

Search

Ciao Italy
Ciao Italy's index of Italian web sites.
Il Porto
Webportal in Italian and English, a guide to Italian information resources.
virgilio
Italian portal and search engine.


Additional Information on Italy

BBC News - Country profile: Italy
Governments on the WWW: Italy
Open Directory Project: Italy
Wikipedia: Italy
The World Factbook -- Italy  
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Actually, there are more than five colors,

Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley



* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.