Italy (GPS: 42 50 N, 12 50 E) is located in Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. The country’s area measurements are total: 301,340 sq km; land: 294,140 sq km, water: 7,200 sq km. This sovereign state is almost twice the size of Georgia, slightly larger than Arizona. The total irrigated land is 39,500 sq km (2012).
One of Italy’s essential features: Strategic location dominating the central Mediterranean and southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Rome’s GPS coordinates are 41 54 N 12 29 E. Rome’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the peninsula’s regional states, 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 is a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and its subsequent successors, the EC and the EU. It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include sluggish economic growth, high youth, female unemployment, organized crime, corruption, and economic disparities between southern Italy and the more prosperous north.
Italy’s names conventional long form: the Italian Republic, conventional short form: Italy, local long form: Repubblica Italiana, local short form: Italia, former: Kingdom of Italy, etymology: derivation is unclear, but the Latin “Italia” may come from the Oscan “Viteliu” meaning “[land] of young cattle” (the bull was a symbol of southern Italic tribes). The derivation is unclear, but the Latin “Italia” may come from the Oscan “Viteliu,” meaning “[Land] of Young Cattle” (the bull was a symbol of southern Italic tribes).
Italy’s terrain is typically mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands. The country’s mean elevation: 538 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Mediterranean Sea 0 m, highest point: Mont Blanc de Courmayeur 4,748 m.
The country’s general climate is predominantly Mediterranean: Alpine in far north: hot, dry in south.
The total number of border countries is 6, Austria 404 km, France 476 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.4 km, San Marino 37 km, Slovenia 218 km, Switzerland 698 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Italy’s coastline is 7,600 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: 2,400 km (used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 47.1%; arable land 22.8%; permanent crops 8.6%; permanent pasture 15.7%; forest: 31.4%; other: 21.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Italy 62,246,674 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 69% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: ROME (capital) 3.718 million; Milan 3.099 million; Naples 2.202 million; Turin 1.765 million; Palermo 853,000; Bergamo 840,000 (2015), while Italy has despite a distinctive pattern with an industrial north and agricultural south, a fairly even population distribution exists throughout most of the country, with coastal areas, the Po River Valley, and urban centers (particularly Milan, Rome, and Naples), attracting larger and denser populations.
Their spoken languages are Italian (official language), 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). Main religions in Italy are Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with tiny groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), atheist and agnostic 20%. The nation uses civil law system; judicial review of legislation under certain conditions in Constitutional Court. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Republic Day, 2 June (1946).
Economic overview for the country: Italy’s economy comprises a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, highly subsidized, agricultural south, with a legacy of unemployment and underdevelopment. The Italian economy is primarily driven by high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family-owned. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which accounts for as much as 17% of GDP by some estimates. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors. Italy is the third-largest economy in the eurozone, but its exceptionally high public debt and structural impediments to growth have rendered it vulnerable to scrutiny by financial markets. Public debt has increased steadily since 2007, reaching 131% of GDP in 2017. Investor concerns about Italy and the broader euro-zone crisis eased in 2013, bringing down Italy’s borrowing costs on sovereign government debt from euro-era records.
The government still faces pressure from investors and European partners to sustain its efforts to address Italy’s longstanding structural economic problems, including labor market inefficiencies, a sluggish judicial system, and a weak banking sector. Italy’s economy returned to modest growth in late 2014 for the first time since 2011. In 2015-2016, Italy’s economy grew at about 1% each year, and in 2017 growth accelerated to 1.5% of GDP. In 2017, overall unemployment was 11.4%, but youth unemployment remained high at 37.1%. GDP growth is projected to slow slightly in 2018.
Main export partners for Italy, Europe are Germany 12.3%, France 10.3%, US 8.7%, UK 5.4%, Spain 4.8%, Switzerland 4.7% (2015) for engineering products, textiles, and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco; minerals, nonferrous metals, while the main import partners for the country are: Germany 15.4%, France 8.7%, China 7.7%, Netherlands 5.6%, Spain 5%, Belgium 4.7% (2015) for engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles, and clothing; food, beverages, tobacco.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in Italy: Regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding, land subsidence in Venicevolcanism: significant volcanic activity, Etna (elevation 3,330 m), which is in discharge as of 2010, is Europe’s most active volcano, flank eruptions pose a threat to nearby Sicilian villages, Etna, along with the famous Vesuvius, which remains a threat to the millions of nearby residents in the Bay of Naples area, have both been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to their tumultuous history and proximity to human populations, Stromboli, on its namesake island, has also been continuously active with moderate volcanic activity, other historically active volcanoes include Campi Flegrei, Ischia, Larderello, Pantelleria, Vulcano, and Vulsini, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Italy faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide, Coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents, Acid rain damaging lakes, Inadequate industrial waste treatment, and disposal facilities.