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What are some statistics about Italy?

Area = 301,338 sq. km

Resident population = 61,000,000 (July 2011);

Life expectancy at birth = 75.8 yrs for males; 82.0 yrs for females

Foreign resident population = 4,500,000(January 2010)

Population growth rate = -0.42% (December 2011)

Unemployment rate: 9.2 % (January 2012)

When was Italy established as a country?

The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on 17 March 1861. The Italian Republic was established in June 1946.

What is the capital of Italy?

Rome has been the capital of Italy since 1870. It is located in the Lazio region.

How is Italy organized administratively?

Italy is a republic and it's divided into 20 Regioni (regions): Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Trentino Alto-Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto.

Each Regione is sub-divided into a number of Province (provinces). Each Provincia is structured into municipalities.

Campania's provinces are: Napoli (the largest city), Caserta, Salerno, Avellino, Benevento.

Who's the President of Italy and who's the Prime Minister?

The President of Italy is Giorgio Napolitano

The Prime Minister is Mario Monti

Is Italy part of the European Union?

Yes, Italy is part of the EU (European Union) and was one of the 6 founding members together with Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Does Italy belong to the G8?

Yes, Italy is one of the members of the G8, the informal organization of the eight most industrialized countries in the world. Italy is the sixth largest economic power in the world.

What is the currency in Italy?

Since January 2002 Italy  has adopted the Euro as its national currency. The Euro has replaced the Lira, the previous Italian currency.

What's the Italian National Anthem?

Since October 1946, the Italian National Anthem has been "Inno di Mameli."

Do the European Union countries have a common anthem?

Yes, "The Ode of Joy", the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

What are the colors of the Italian flag and what do they represent?

The Italian flag consists of three vertical stripes: green, white and red (from left to right).

The colors represent the three cardinal virtues: Green, hope; white, faith; red, charity.

What is the main religion in Italy and what are the religious minorities?

Rome is recognized internationally as the Capital of Christianity. In fact the Italian population is 91.6% Roman Catholic (2006). Religious minorities in Italy are: Protestants, Jews, and Muslims.

How many museums does Italy have?

Italy has about 3000 museums and 70% of the UNESCO historical artistic patrimony

What is the national sport in Italy?

The national sport is soccer. The Italian soccer team is known as Azzurri (light blue, the color of their uniform) Other popular sports are cycling, basket, boxing, swimming, rugby, waterpolo, etc 

What is the national language in Italy?

Italian is the national language; it derives from Latin, the ancient language of the Roman Empire. Italians also speak their regional language (dialect) and learn a foreign language at school.

What about the Italian education system?

In Italy education is mandatory up to 14 yrs. The first, scuola elementare (elementary school) begins for children at age six and lasts for 5 yrs. Upon completion, students move on to the scuola media (middle school). This is most comparable to the three years of study in American middle schools. If the students have performed satisfactorily, they receive a Diploma di Licenza di Scuola Media at age 14. Mandatory school ends with graduation from a scuola media. The length of study at a scuola superiore is 4 or 5 yrs, depending on the type of school and program in which the student is enrolled. Students may choose among different high schools, knowns as licei, for specific courses of study in the arts, sciences, linguistics, and what is known as a classical education. Other institutes offer students preparation for teaching at the elementary school level and for technical, industrial, and commercial careers. After completion of their chosen courses of study in a scuola superiore, students must pass a state examination to earn a diploma di Maturita` and the ability to continue their studies at a university. In Italy there are about 42 state universities, 6 private universities, 3 technical universities, 12 university institues with special status. Education in Italy is free and illiteracy is only 2%.

Is Italy surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea?

Yes, Italy is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Each part of the Mediterranean Sea is known by a specific name: to the east of Italy is the Adriatic Sea; to the south, the Ionian Sea; to the west, the Tyrrhenian Sea; and along the northern coast (Italian Riviera), the Ligurian Sea.

What are Italy's major rivers and lakes?

The longest river is the Volturno, which runs to the Adriatic Sea. Other major rivers are the Adoge in the north, also the Arno and the Tiber in the center, and the Liri in the south. The largest lake is Lago di Garda, between the regions of Lombardia and Veneto. Other major lakes are Como and Maggiore in the north and Bolsena and Trasimeno in central Italy.

What are Italy's major islands?

The two largest islands are Sicily and Sardinia. Among the best-known smaller islands are Capri, Ischia, Elba.

What mountain ranges are in Italy?

The Alps form part of Italy's northern border. The Apennines, Italy's "spine", estend from Liguria to Sicily. The highest mountain of the Alps range is the Monte Bianco (15,580 feet); the highest of the Apennines is the Gran Sasso.

Where are Italy's active volcanos?

There are three active volcanos:Vesuvio, near Naples (the only active volcano on mainland in Europe); Etna, near Catania (Sicily); and Stromboli, on the island of Stromboli, near Sicily.


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