English (English is the base language spoken but Australia
does have a lot of people who speak other languages in it
too. There is also a lot of slang used too which adds to
the individuality of the country)
Principal religion: Roman Catholicism
Currency unit: 1 Lira = 100 Centesimi
Highest Point: 15,203 feet (4,634 meters)
Lowest Point: Sea level
Political Divisions: 20 regions, divided into 95 provinces
National Holiday: June 2, Constitution Day
National Anthem: Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn)
Italy, an independent
republic in southern Europe, on the northern shore of the Mediterranean
Sea. It occupies all of the boot-shaped Italian peninsula, except for the
23 square miles (60 sq km) of the republic of San Marino (near Rimini)
and the 108 acres (44 hectares) of the Vatican City State. Italy also includes
two large Mediterranean islands, Sardinia and Sicily, and many smaller
ones (see Map 1). Its peninsular territory is separated from the rest of
Europe by the Alps and the country is bordered on the northwest by France,
on the north by Switzerland and Austria, and on the northeast by Slovenia.
The name Italy was first used by the Greeks to describe the southern tip of the peninsula, where they settled in the eighth and seventh centuries b.c. Gradually, as the peninsula was unified under the Roman Republic, the name came to be applied to all of the land south of the Alps.
From Italy, the core of the Roman Empire, the civilization of the ancient Mediterranean world was brought to Western Europe. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West in the fifth century a.d., it was subjected to a series of invasions, and political unity was lost. In the familiar phrase, Italy became a "geographical expression," an often-changing succession of petty states, principalities, and kingdoms, which fought among themselves and were subject to the ambitions of foreign powers.
The tradition of Roman leadership survived, however. It was embodied in the popes of Rome, who regarded themselves as the heirs of the Roman emperors. The popes ruled central Italy and sought, as spiritual leaders, to become the rulers of all Europe. Through the church headed by the popes, the ancient civilization brought by Rome to the West was preserved and even extended. But the rival ambitions of popes and German Holy Roman emperors, who claimed Italy as their domain, helped make the peninsula a battlefield. The commercial prosperity of the great northern Italian cities, which began in the 11th century, proved, however, to be a stronger force than medieval political rivalries. In these cities a new world of ideas, learning, and art was born. The Renaissance ("rebirth"), as it was called, marked the beginning of modern times, not only for Italy but also for the whole of Western Europe.
The rise of the Atlantic economy in the 16th century brought the prosperity of medieval Italy to an end and for two centuries the Italian states were the victims of economic decline and foreign invasion. The 18th century saw a strong revival in cultural life, accompanied by new signs of economic expansion and attempts at political reform. These tendencies were accelerated by the experience of Napoleonic rule following invasion by France in 1796 and the incorporation of the Italian states into the Napoleonic empire after 1804. With Napoleon's fall in 1814, the Italian states were restored to their former rulers, but the pressures for political change increased and contributed to the political events that 19th-century Italian nationalists would call the Risorgimento, or national resurrection. War between Piedmont and Austria in 1859 resulted in Austria's withdrawal from Lombardy; and Giuseppe Garibaldi's expedition to Sicily in 1860 opened the way for the creation of a unified and independent Italian state. Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont was proclaimed king of Italy in 1861, but the new kingdom remained incomplete until Venice was acquired in 1866, following the war between Prussia and Austria. Rome finally became the capital of the new state in 1870. Italy remained a constitutional monarchy until Benito Mussolini's Fascists seized power between 1922 and 1925. Following the fall of Fascism in 1943, parliamentary government was reinstated, but the monarchy was abolished by referendum on June 13, 1946, and Italy became a republic.
This page was made by Lady Kittara.
Most of the links on this page are still in this process of being made.
The site is still under serious construction so bear with me please.
I am trying my hardest to get this all up as soon as possible for everyone's
viewing pleasure. But as usual it takes time and much work. Keep checking
back from time to time for expansions and upgrades. Again thank you for your
patience and a special thanx to all those who helped me with this page
(the language help and all). I love you all. This site was last
updated on Tuesday 21st July 1998.