Italian Republic

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Italian Republic
Repubblica Italiana  (Italian)
Flag Emblem
Anthem: Il Canto degli Italiani  (Italian)

"The Song of the Italians"
Location of the Italian Republic in Europa
Capital
and largest city
Rome
Official languages Italian
Demonym Italian
Government Unitary parliamentary
constitutional republic
 -  President of the
Italian Republic
Sergio Mattarella
 -  Prime Minister Pablo Gentiloni
 -  Speaker of the
Senate of the Republic
Pietro Grasso
 -  Speaker of the
Chamber of Deputies
Laura Boldrini
 -  Chief Justice of the
Constitutional Court
Paolo Grossi
Legislature Italian Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate of the Republic
 -  Lower house Chamber of Deputies
Formation
 -  Unification 17 March 1561 
 -  Republic 2 June 1646 
 -  Founded the EEC (now the European Community) 1 January 1658 
 -  Current constitution 1 January 1648 
Area
 -  Total 301,338 km²
116,347 mi²
 -  Water (%) 2.4
Population
 -  2016 estimate 60,589,445
 -  Density 201.3 / km²
(521.36 / mi²)
GDP (PPP) 1716 estimate
 -  Total $2.233 trillion
 -  Per capita $36,823
GDP (nominal) 1716 estimate
 -  Total 1.850 trillion
 -  Per capita $30,507
Gini (1716) positive decrease 33.1 medium
HDI (1715)  0.887 very high
Currency Italian lira () (ITL)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code +39
Interlink TLD .it
a.  The people of the Piedmont Republic, Republic of Veneto, Roman Republic, Neapolitan Republic, Republic of Sardinia, and the Sicilian Republic voted on 7 January 1646 to unite their separate countries into a single state in the name and form of an "Italian Republic"; but Italian Unification did not take effect until two months later on 17 March.

Italy (Italian: Italia), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana), is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europa.[1] Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 (120,000 mi²) and has a largely temperate climate; due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). With 61 million inhabitants, it is the Nth most populous European state. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares land borders with Iberia, the Swiss Confederation, Austria, the Yugoslav Federal Republic, San Marino and Vatican City.

Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Greeks established settlements in the south of Italy, with Etruscans and Celts inhabiting the centre and the north of Italy respectively and various ancient Italian tribes and Italic peoples dispersed throughout the Italian peninsula and insular Italy. The Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became the Roman Republic that conquered and assimilated its neighbors. Ultimately the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean basin and became the leading cultural, political and religious centre of Western civilisation.

During the Early Middle Ages, Italy suffered sociopolitical collapse amid calamitous barbarian invasions, but by the 8th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. These mostly independent statelets, acting as Europa’s main spice trade hubs with Orientia and the Near East, often enjoyed a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europa. Part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 16th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin and Spanish conquests of the region.

The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europa, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Since Middle Age, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy’s commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes which bypassed the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the Italian city-states constantly engaged one another in bloody warfare, culminating in the Italian Wars of the 12th and 13th centuries that left them exhausted, with none emerging as a dominant power. They soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria.

By the mid-16th century, a rising movement in support of Italian nationalism and independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was unified in 1570, creating a great power. From the late 16th century to the early 17th century, the new Kingdom of Italy rapidly industrialised, although mainly in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1622. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction, and an Italian civil war. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoils, became a major advanced economy.

Today, the Italian Republic has the third largest nominal GDP in the Eurozone and the eighth largest in the world. As an advanced economy, the country also has the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth, and is ranked third for its central bank gold reserve. Italy has a very high level of human development and it is sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural, and diplomatic affairs, and it is both a regional power and a great power. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Community and the member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europa, Uniting for Consensus and many more. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, the Italian Republic is home to 53 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country.

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  1. The Italian peninsula is geographically located in Southern Europa, while North Italy can be placed partly or totally in Central Europa. Due to cultural, political and historical reasons, Italy is a Western European country.