Italy

Italy is country of Europe located in south Europe.

Details

Official Name:Italian Republic
Capital:Rome
Total area:301 338 km2
GDP per capita:$30,136
Native Language:Italian
Government:Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
Population:59,685,227
Major Religion:Roman Catholicism
Monetary Unit:Euro (EUR)

Italy is mainly mountainous, except for the Po plain in the north, and runs from the Alps to the central Mediterranean Sea. It includes the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Elba and about 70 other smaller ones. There are two small independent states within peninsular Italy: the Vatican City in Rome, and the Republic of San Marino.

Italy has a two-chamber parliament, consisting of the Senate (Senato della Repubblica) or upper house and the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati). Elections take place every five years.

The country’s main economic sectors are tourism, fashion, engineering, chemicals, motor vehicles and food. Italy's northern regions are per capita amongst the richest in Europe.

The centre of the vast Roman Empire which left a huge archaeological, cultural and literary heritage, the Italian peninsula saw the birth of medieval humanism and the Renaissance. This further helped to shape European political thought, philosophy and art via figures like Machiavelli, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo.

The list of famous Italian artists is long and includes Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio. The country has also produced opera composers such as Verdi and Puccini and film-maker Federico Fellini.

Italian cuisine is one of the most refined and varied in Europe, from the piquant flavours of Naples and Calabria to the pesto dishes of Liguria and the cheese and risotto dishes of the Italian Alps.

Health & Welfare

National health care service provides free medicine for all of the citizens.

Economy & Jobs

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing, and energy.

Main Attractions

Rome, Amalfi Coast, Assisi city, Florence town, Milan city, Naples' historic centre, Siena city, and Venice.

Economy

Italy has a market economy characterized by high per capita GDP and low unemployment rates. In 2012, it was the ninth-largest economy in the world and the fifth-largest in Europe in terms of nominal GDP, and the tenth-largest economy in the world and fourth-largest in Europe in terms of PPP. It is a founding member of the G7, G8, the Eurozone and the OECD.

After World War II, Italy was rapidly transformed from an agriculture based economy into one of the world's most industrialized nations and a leading country in world trade and exports. It is a developed country, with the world's 8th highest quality of life in 2005 and the 25th Human Development Index. In spite of the recent global economic crisis, Italian per capita GDP at purchasing power parity remains approximately above to the EU average, while the unemployment rate (8.5%) stands as one of the EU's lowest. The country is well known for its influential and innovative business economic sector, an industrious and competitive agricultural sector (Italy is the world's largest wine producer), and for its creative and high-quality automobile, industrial, appliance and fashion design.
Italy is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone, and of the EU single market.

Italy has a smaller number of global multinational corporations than other economies of comparable size, but there is a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, notoriously clustered in several industrial districts, which are the backbone of the Italian industry. This has produced a manufacturing sector often focused on the export of niche market and luxury products, that if on one side is less capable to compete on the quantity, on the other side is more capable of facing the competition from China and other emerging Asian economies based on lower labour costs, with higher quality products.

The country was the world's 7th largest exporter in 2009. Italy's closest trade ties are with the other countries of the European Union, with whom it conducts about 59% of its total trade. Its largest EU trade partners, in order of market share, are Germany (12.9%), France (11.4%), and Spain (7.4%). Finally, tourism is one of the fastest growing and profitable sectors of the national economy: with 43.6 million international tourist arrivals and total receipts estimated at $38.8 billion in 2010, Italy is both the fifth most visited country and highest tourism earner in the world.