Chapter 6
Italy
Italy
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Country name: Italian Republic, Italy
Capital: Rome
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula
extending into the central Mediterranean Sea,
northeast of Tunisia
Border countries: Austria, France, Holy See
(Vatican City), San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland
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Government type: republic
Population: 57,998,353 (July 2003 est.)
Languages: Italian (official), 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)
Religions: predominately Roman Catholic with
mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a
growing Muslim immigrant community
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GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity $25,100 (2002 est.) (26th in the world) (2002 est.)
Industries: tourism, machinery, iron and steel,
chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor
vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics
Currency: euro (EUR) (CIA, World Fact Book)
Important Facts
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Among the top 5 destinations in the world
39,8 million international tourist arrivals
 $ 26,9 billion international tourism receipts (WTO,
2003)
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Coastline: 7,600 km
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some
plains, coastal lowlands
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Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine
in far north; hot, dry in south (CIA, World Fact
Book)
Selling Points
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Culture (ancient, old and modern), fabulous
food, historic sites, varied and stunning scenery,
beaches, jagged coastline, architecture, skiing,
opera, water sports, health and beauty spas, ruins
and shopping for clothing, shoes and designer
goods.
Brief History
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Influence of Roman Empire (from 27 BC until AD 476) is
wide-spread all around the world (Europe, Africa, Asia)
People of Italy have civilized Europe twice; once in the
ancient times (through Greek ideals and Roman Justice)
and then after the Middle Ages (forefront of Western
civilization during the Renaissance: work of Galileo,
Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci)
achieved its political unity in 1870, now still has 20 distinct
regions
one of the most densely populated countries in Europe
Rome (Roma)
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city of ancient and modern wonders, spread among seven
hills
untidy and disorganized, can be seen on foot
Palazzo Massimo, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain,
Pantheon, Piazza Venezia hundreds of churches - ancient
sites of Rome
Villa Borghese (a large park with gardens, a zoo, and several
museums including the Museo Borghese – one of the most
beautiful in Italy)
Trastevere; great for walks and sidewalk cafes
ancient ruins are lit at night and very beautiful
Vatican City
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home of Roman Catholicism
administratively independent (population is only 1000),
surrounded by the city of Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica; dome is designed by Michelangelo; also
his “Pieta” is exhibited there
the “grotto”; place where St Peter and other popes are
interred
Apostolic buildings, gardens, museums housing a fantastic
collection of art
Sistine Chapel; ceiling was painted by Michelangelo
no passports are needed to enter
Venice (Venezia)
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on the northeast coast, divided by 177 canals (400 bridges)
picturesque, romantic but also dirty and rundown; unique in
the world
St. Mark’s Square and its 11th century church, Doges’
Palace, Campanile, Bridge of Sighs
Venetian glass
Lido (across the Grand Canal from Venice) has beautiful
beaches and crystal factories
gondolas and vaporettis for transportation in the city - no
cars allowed
carnival in February or early March - historical costumes,
masks, balls in the streets
Milan (Milano)
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cosmopolitan atmosphere, a bit gray and monotonous
Castello Sforzesco
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie; Leonardo da Vinci’s
“The Last Supper” is displayed
Brera Museum; “Madonna and Child”
Museum of Science and Technology; Leonardo’s
inventions and designs
Il Duomo; the Gothic Cathedral
for shoppers - boutiques of Gucci, Fendi, Valentino, Ferre,
Armani and others
Florence (Firenze)
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lies in Tuscany (a stunning province of hills and
mountains)
among its famous sons are: da Vinci, Dante, Machiavelli
and Michelangelo
Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square); to see the heart of
the city climb 463 steps; Duomo Cathedral (made from
red, white, green marble)
Uffizi Gallery; Italian and European masterworks form
13th to 18th century including Boticelli, Titian, Caravaggio,
Raphael, Rembrandt and others
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Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge); dates back to 1345 on river
Arno, with shops on the sides
Museum of History of Science; Galileo’s telescope,
compass and middle finger
Siena
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picturesque, well preserved medieval town
lies in the Tuscany wine region
Gothic Cathedral and Palazzo Pubblico;
impressive frescoes
Torre del Mangia; to have nice view of the town
Palio horse race; beginning of July, parades and
costumes
San Marino
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set on the slopes of Mt. Titano, offers impressive
mountain and Adriatic view
claims to be the Europe’s oldest and smallest republic
surrounded by Italy, located inland from the Italian
coastal city of Rimini
one of the highest per capita income in the world;
discounted shops and tourism
capital named San Marino; medieval town center, no cars
allowed; narrow streets lined with red-roofed stone
houses, medieval ramparts and somber fortresses
Pompeii
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in AD 79 Mt. Vesuvius eruption covered
Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum with tufa
stone and volcanic mud
the cities were discovered by a farmer while
digging for a well (18th century)
the two cities give a real grasp of the life in the
Roman Empire; ancient paved streets, central
town square, temples, etc.
Pisa
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day trip from Florence
Leaning Tower; 14th century Romanesque style;
294 stairs; tourists are not allowed
Church of San Michele degli Scalzi; the other
leaning tower completed in the 13th century
narrow streets, great ambience
The Riviera (Liguria)
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The Italian Riviera, an extension of the French
Riviera, stretches 250 km from the French
border to Livorno in Tuscany
Sandy to rocky beaches, mountains, villages,
enchanting scenery, remarkable culture
Portofino; one of the most beautiful sections of
the Riviera – mountains, bays, forests, national
park, villas.
Lake District
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Near the Swiss border, includes Lake Como,
Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore
Lake Como
Torre del Comune monument
 The Gothic-Renaissance cathedral
 13th century Broletto (once the city hall)
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Towns; Tremezzo, Piona, Stresa, Bellagio are
worth to see
Naples (Napoli)
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fairly dirty port city, but has beautiful bay
Mt. Vesuvius; the volcano
home of the Great Caruso and pizza
Church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli; 16th
century church
Several museums; the National Archeological
Museum, the Museo Nazionale de San Martino
etc.
Sardinia
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a very striking island 240 km west of Rome in
the Tyrrhenian Sea
while approaching by boat, impressive colors
reflected in the rocks
has Europe’s most important resort areas
offers various attractions: beaches, wild horses,
nun seals, great fishing, mountain climbing,
Roman ruins, sailing, reef diving, skiing, etc.
Sicily
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mountainous island
famous for its Mafia families (Mafia tours to sea
various “family” activities and the graves of
infamous godfathers and victims)
home of Mt. Etna; an active volcano
Palermo; the ancient capital and the largest city
of the island
Capri
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a rocky island
superb restaurants, good shopping, water sports,
churches, castles, wonderful streets
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Chapter 6