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Continent:Europe National flag
National flag: Italy
Capital city:Roma
Area:301,278 km2 ( 69. )
Population:58,103,033 Person ( 22. )
People density:193 Person / km2
GDP per capita:17,650 $ / Person ( 20. )
GDP:1,025,518,532,450 $
Official language:italian


More detailed information about country

Italy is perhaps Europe’s most complex and alluring destination. It is a modern, industrialized nation, but it is also, to an equal degree, a Mediterranean country, with a southern European sensibility. Agricultural land covers much of the country, a lot of which, especially in the south, is still owned under almost feudal conditions. In towns and villages all over the country, life grinds to a halt in the middle of the day for a siesta, and is strongly family-oriented, with an emphasis on the traditions and rituals of the Catholic Church, which, notwithstanding a growing scepticism among the country’s youth, still dominates people’s lives.

Above all, Italy provokes reaction. Its people are volatile, rarely indifferent, and on one and the same day you might encounter the kind of disdain dished out to tourist masses everywhere and an hour later be treated to embarrassingly generous hospitality. If there is a single national characteristic, it’s to embrace life to the full: in the hundreds of local festivals taking place across the country on any given day, to celebrate a saint or the local harvest; in the importance placed on good food; in the obsession with clothes and image; and above all in the daily domestic ritual of the collective evening stroll or passeggiata – a sociable affair celebrated by young and old alike in every town and village across the country.

Italy only became a unified state in 1861, and, as a result, Italians often feel more loyalty to their region than to the nation as a whole – something manifest in different cuisines, dialects, landscape and often varying standards of living. There is also, of course, the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably of course in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.

Yet there’s no reason to be intimidated by the art and architecture. If you want to lie on a beach, there are any number of places to do so: beaches are for the most part sandy; coastal development has been kept relatively under control, and many resorts are still largely the preserve of Italian tourists, while other parts of the coast, especially in the south of the country, are almost entirely undiscovered. Mountains, too, run the country’s length – from the Alps and Dolomites in the north right along the Apennines, which form the spine of the peninsula – and are an important reference-point for most Italians. Skiing and other winter sports are practised avidly, and in the five national parks, protected from the national passion for hunting, wildlife of all sorts thrives.

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International codes

Map of country Italy

Map of country  Italy

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