Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
Mainland Italy extends southward into the Mediterranean Sea as a large boot-shaped peninsula. This extension of land has forced the creation of individual bodies of water, namely the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Ligurian Sea, and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The northern reaches of the country are dominated by varied ranges of the Alps, a massive stretch of mountains that extends from France to Austria, and then south along the Adriatic Sea. Italy’s highest point near the summit of Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco), a mountain it shares with France, rises to 4,748 m. The beautiful and rugged Lake District of northern Italy includes many mountain lakes, with the major ones being Como, Garda and Maggiore. The Po River Valley is positioned directly south of Alps, and runs from Turin to Venice. Rising in the Alps, the Po River is Italy’s longest and the valley it dissects is the country’s most fertile farmland. The Apennine Mountains (a range of the Alps) form the backbone of the Italian peninsula, and they extend south through Italy, then directly beneath the narrow Strait of Messina to cover much of Sicily. These mountains consist of several chains and they form the peninsula’s watershed, as several rivers rise in the upper elevations, including the Arno and the Tiber. About 30% of Italy’s land area consists of plains with some low, marshy areas, especially along the Adriatic Sea, from Ancona north to Venice. The coastline of the country features numerous large and small bays, as well as gulfs. Italy is renowned for its many rugged islands, most volcanic in origin. Significant ones include the large islands of Sardinia and Sicily and the smaller islands of Capri, Elba, Ischia, and the Aeolian Island group.
Much of Italy is volcanic in origin, and today a few of its many volcanoes are active, including Sicily’s Mt. Etna, Stomboli in the Aeolian Islands, and volcanologists are constantly monitoring Mt. Vesuvius near Naples, as it has the potential to erupt at any time.
Key cities in Italy include Rome, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Bari, and Catania.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Italy, meaning the entire peninsula south of the Alps, is known as such from about the 1st century BC. In the 1st century, BC Italy is under the control of a single power, Rome, and it will remain so until the 5th century AD.
Italian culture is steeped in the arts, family, architecture, music, and food. Home of the Roman Empire and a major center of the Renaissance, culture on the Italian peninsula has flourished for centuries. Here is a brief overview of Italian customs and traditions
Brief Country History
The first civilization in Italy was the Etruscan, which arose about 800 BC in central Italy. The Etruscans built cities on a grid pattern. Some of these cities still exist (including Arezzo, Chiusi, Cortona, Perugia, and Cerveteri). The Etruscans were also engineers who drained marshes and built roads. They were also skilled artists. The Etruscans made terracotta sculptures and worked in bronze. Their craftsmen also made jewelry of gold and silver. Etruscan artists painted frescoes on the walls of rich people’s tombs. They also painted pottery. Upper-class Etruscans lived in splendid houses of many rooms arranged around a courtyard. They had luxurious furniture. Poor Etruscans lived in simple huts of wood and brick.
The Etruscans were influenced by the Greeks, with whom they traded. About 750 BC the Greeks established a colony on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. Later they created colonies in Sicily such as Catania and Messina. They also founded colonies on mainland Italy such as Reggio Calabria. By 600 BC the Etruscans came to rule central Italy, including Rome. They also had a powerful navy. However, in 510 BC the Romans rebelled and they gradually encroached on the Etruscan territory. The last Etruscan city fell to the Romans in 265 BC.
Today the north of Italy is highly industrialized but the south is still relatively poor. Italy also has an important fishing industry. Wine is also an important export. However, in recent years’ service industries such as tourism, education and finance have become the most important ones in Italy.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The official and most widely spoken language across the country is a direct descendant of Tuscan, Italian; twelve additional languages are officially recognized as linguistic minorities, with “perfect bilingualism” (bilinguismo perfetto) being granted to three of them: Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovene,
Important Types of Commerce in Italy
Italian industries include tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear and ceramics shrunk 12 percent in 2010. In 2010, the Italian industry sector contributed 26.7 percent to GDP while agriculture accounted for 2 percent and services, 71.3 percent.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Italy
Business investments and business relations require things like Italian to English foreign insurance policy translation for shipping products and employees that travel. Italy is also an extremely popular destination for vacation and travel for many English speakers. This travel often requires translation for documents like visas, passports, birth certificates, and other Italian document translation. People choose language sections or websites in their native language. Many online purchasing choices are based on language preference – and with 5 countries where Italian is the official language and 85 million speakers which include Italy. It makes sense to translate your website into Italian. It is clear that having a certified translation company to translate from English to Italian, whether it is for technical documentation or to translate a website into Italian has become essential nowadays.
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