Italy




Map of Italy

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Location: Southern Europe, bordering Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City)
3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Capital: Rome
Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

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National Flag of Italy
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  • White - peace and honesty
  • Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour
  • Green - hope, joy and love and in many cultures have a sacred significance


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Physical Geography

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The distinct shape of Italy makes it one of the easiest countries in the world to identify on a geographical map. Mainland Italy is shaped like a boot kicking the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia westwards. The geographical formation that Italy comprises is known as a peninsula, which means it is surrounded on three sides by water. Italy lies in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea and has land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Italy has territorial water borders with several Balkan states including Croatia, Serbia, Albania and Greece. Italy has dozens of small Islands scattered around its shoreline; however, the two main Islands in Italy with significant populations are Sicily and Sardinia. It has one large mountain range running through the country which are the appenines. There is also another mountain range bordering it at the north which are the Alps.



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Population60,221,211
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Customs
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Meeting Etiquette
. Greetings are enthusiastic yet rather formal.
. The usual handshake with direct eye contact and a smile suffices between strangers.
. Once a relationship develops, air-kissing on both cheeks, starting with the left is often added as well as a pat on the back between men.
. Wait until invited to move to a first name basis.
. Italians are guided by first impressions, so it is important that you demonstrate propriety and respect when greeting people, especially when meeting them for the first time.
. Many Italians use calling cards in social situations. These are slightly larger than traditional business cards and include the person's name, address, title or academic honours, and their telephone number.
. If you are staying in Italy for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to have calling cards made. Never give your business card in lieu of a calling card in a social situation.
Gift Giving Etiquette
. Do not give chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals.
. Do not give red flowers as they indicate secrecy.
. Do not give yellow flowers as they indicate jealousy
. If you bring wine, make sure it is a good vintage. Quality, rather than quantity, is important.
. Do not wrap gifts in black, as is traditionally a mourning colour.
. Do not wrap gifts in purple, as it is a symbol of bad luck.
. Gifts are usually opened when received.
Dining Etiquette
If invited to an Italian house:
. If an invitation says the dress is informal, wear stylish clothes that are still rather formal, i.e., jacket and tie for men and an elegant dress for women.
. Punctuality is not mandatory. You may arrive between 15 minutes late if invited to dinner and up to 30 minutes late if invited to a party.
. If you are invited to a meal, bring gift-wrapped such as wine or chocolates.
. If you are invited for dinner and want to send flowers, have them delivered that day.
Table manners
. Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat.
. Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
. Follow the lead of the hostess - she sits at the table first, starts eating first, and is the first to get up at the end of the meal.
. The host gives the first toast.
. An honoured guest should return the toast later in the meal.
. Women may offer a toast.
. Always take a small amount at first so you can be cajoled into accepting a second helping.
. Do not keep your hands in your lap during the meal; however, do not rest your elbows on the table either.
. It is acceptable to leave a small amount of food on your plate.
. Pick up cheese with your knife rather than your fingers.
. If you do not want more wine, leave your wineglass nearly full.




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Government

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republic
Presidente Del Consiglio Dei Ministri(President of the council of ministers): Romano Prodi
Capo Dello Stato(President of the Italian Republic): Giorgio Napolitano
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EconomyItaly has a diversified industrial economy, which is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with high unemployment. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family owned. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 15% of GDP. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors. Italy has moved slowly on implementing needed structural reforms, such as reducing graft, overhauling costly entitlement programs, and increasing employment opportunities for young workers, particularly women. The international financial crisis worsened conditions in Italy's labor market, with unemployment rising from 6.2% in 2007 to 8.4% in 2010, but in the longer-term Italy's low fertility rate and quota-driven immigration policies will increasingly strain its economy. A rise in exports and investment driven by the global economic recovery nevertheless helped the economy grow by about 1% in 2010 following a 5% contraction in 2009. The Italian government has struggled to limit government spending, but Italy's exceedingly high public debt remains above 115% of GDP, and its fiscal deficit - just 1.5% of GDP in 2007 - exceeded 5% in 2009 and 2010, as the costs of servicing the country's debt rose.
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Culture
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Italian Family Values. The family is the centre of the social structure and provides a stabilizing influence for its members.
. In the north, generally only the nuclear family lives together; while in the south, the extended family often resides together in one house.
. The family provides both emotional and financial support to its members.
Italian Style
. Appearances matter in Italy.
. The way you dress can indicate your social status, your family's background, and your education level.
. First impressions are lasting impressions in Italy.
. The concept of 'bella figura' or good image is important to Italians.
. They unconsciously assess another person's age and social standing in the first few seconds of meeting them, often before any words are exchanged.
. Clothes are important to Italians.
. They are extremely fashion conscious and judge people on their appearance.
. You will be judged on your clothes, shoes, accessories and the way you carry yourself.
. Bella figura is more than dressing well. It extends to the aura your project too - i.e. confidence, style, demeanour, etc.
Catholicism
. The primary religion in Italy is Roman Catholic.
. There are more Catholic churches per capita in Italy than in any other country.
. Although church attendance is relatively low, the influence of the church is still high.
. Many office buildings will have a cross or a religious statue in the lobby.
. Each day of the year has at least one patron saint associated with it.
. Children are named for a particular saint and celebrate their saint's day as if it were their own birthday.
. Each trade and profession has a patron saint.
. The church promulgates hierarchy, which can be seen in all Italian relationships.
. They respect and defer to those who are older, those who have achieved a level of business success, and those who come from well-connected families




Ethnic/Religous Make Up

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Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north
and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Religions: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a
growing Muslim immigrant community

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5 Problems of Italy

1.A very young country
2. Weak army
3. Not very diverse
4. Pope has most power
5. Christian headquarters in country with many different religions.


5 solutions of Italy

1. Look at older countries for guidance
2. Build army using conscription
3. Allow more immigrants
4. Place more power in presidents hands
5. Made Vatican city its own country
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