Go to Next Page POPULATION 61,3 million people AREA 116,348 square miles CAPITAL Roma (Rome), which is often called “Eternal City”, with 2,6 million inhabitants and Italy’s biggest city NICKNAME “Bel Paese” which means “Beautiful country” GOVERNMENT Democracy, Republic HEAD OF STATE Giorgio Napolitano LANGUAGE Italian (German, French and Ladin are sometimes spoken in northern Italy) RELIGION mainly Christians (Roman Catholic 90%) CURRENCY 1 Euro = 100 cents; before 2001 Italian lira NATIONAL ANTHEM Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) Go to Next Page FLAG Its name is “TRICOLORE” which means “Three colours”, that is to say the three virtues: HOPE (green), FAITH (white) and CHARITY (red). LITERACY RATE more than 99% of the population can read and write HISTORY The country has a long history, as Rome, its capital, was founded in 753 BC. After the Roman Empire broke down in 395 AD, there were many separate kingdoms and city states. However, Italy became one nation only in 1861 and since then it includes the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It was a kingdom until 1946 after the second World War, where Italy sided with the German Nazis. Italy is a founding member of the European Union (EU) and the NATO Go to Next Page POSITION Italy lies in Southern Europe SHAPE It is easy to recognize Italy in a world map for its shape; it’s like a high-heeled boot. GEOGRAPHY In the North, the mountain range of the Alps separates Italy from the other European countries: France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. -Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), in the Alps, is the highest mountain:4807m. -The Po is the longest river in Italy. Go to Next Page GEOGRAPHY -In the south of Italy there are three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, near Naples, Etna in Sicily and Stromboli off the coast of Italy -Italy is subdivided in 20 regions like Tuscany (aroud Florence), Veneto (around Venice) and Lazio (around Rome) -Italy surrounds two of the world’s smallest countries: San Marino in Northern Italy, the oldest republic in the world and the Vatican City in Rome, the smallest country in the world: The Vatican City is led by the Pope and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Go to Next Page TOP 10 PAINTERS LEONARDO da VINCI MICHELANGELO RAFFAELLO CARAVAGGIO BOTTICELLI TIZIANO BERNINI DONATELLO CANALETTO CORREGGIO Go to Next Page TOP 10 AUTHORS DANTE ALIGHIERI PETRARCA BOCCACCIO MANZONI LEOPARDI MACHIAVELLI FOSCOLO CARDUCCI D’ANNUNZIO PASCOLI Go to Next Page ROME Piazza Navona Castel Sant’Angelo Palazzo Fori Imperiali Venezia Colosseo Fontana diS. Trevi Piazza Pietro Terme di Piazza di Spagna Caracalla Rome (Roma), the capital city, is full of history. Looking around while walking, you can admire its magnificent ancient monuments (Fori Imperiali, the Colosseo, Terme di Caracalla), its interesting medieval churches (Santa Francesca Romana, San Giorgio al Velabro, San Clemente), the beautiful fountains like the famous “Fontana di Trevi”, a lot of museums, Renaissance palaces (Palazzo Venezia, Palazzo Farnese) and its unforgettable squares (Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza San Giovanni) The Vatican and San Pietro Church are also found in Rome. Go to Next Page VENICE Piazza San Marco Ponte di Rialto Venice (Venezia) is a special city because it was built on water, in the middle of a lagoon. It’s one of the most romantic places in the world with its hundred canals, San Marco square and its unforgettable bridges. The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei sospiri) is the most famous. A very nice experience is sailing through the canals on the “gondola”, the typical venetian boat. Go to Next Page FLORENCE Santa Maria del Fiore Immagine storica Ponte Cattedrale Vecchio Santa Maria del Fiore Palazzo Vecchio Florence (Firenze). The regional capital of Tuscany, is one of the most important Renaissance architectural and art centres. Dante Alighieri was born here and the Medici family lived and ruled in this city for many years. Thanks to them the most famous artists and painters produced their works of art living in their courts. The Dome with its famous bell tower by Giotto, the Baptisery, the medieval Town Hall, Santa Croce Church and Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) over Arno river are some of the most visited places. Go to Next Page MILAN Galleria Panettone il classico dolce natalizio milanese Duomo di Milano Cotoletta alla Milanese, piatto della tradizione gastronomica ambrosiana Milan (Milano), in the North of Italy, is one of Europe’s richest cities. It is famous for its fashion boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. If you go to Milan don’t miss the Dome, a huge Gothic church, and “La Scala” theatre, one of the world’s most famous opera and ballet houses. Go to Next Page NAPLES Vista Vesuvio Sfogliatella Pastiera Piazza Plebiscito Pizza Caffè Maschio Naples (Napoli) lies on the coast, south of Rome. It Angioino is surely one of the most vibrant cities in Italy. From its wonderful gulf you can have an impressive view of Vesuvius, one of the three active volcanoes in Italy In Naples you can find many historical and artistic treasures, but most of all its special PIZZA, the SFOGLIATELLA, BABA’ and PASTIERA, three typical delicious cakes. Another incomparable thing to taste is COFFEE. They say it is so unique because of the Go to Next Page water used to prepare it.