Hello everyone!

This is a publicity organisation of Italy, and our objective is to introduce Italy to more people so that they can get a better knowledge about this country.

Italy is a fantastic country with a long history, beautiful scenery and very friendly people. Here are some brief introductions about this country.

Nature and landscape

Italy covers an area of about 300,000sq km and is surprisingly mountainous, with the Alps forming a natural northern barrier and the Apennines running from the French border down the middle of the country to Sicily. South of the Alps is the Po Valley, the country’s largest flat, fertile area, intensively farmed and irrigated. The central regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio are hilly rather than mountainous, ideal for grape and olive cultivation. Father south and on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia the climate is drier and harsher and the soil gernerally pooer. Although 1.4 million people are employed in farming, only 28% of Italy is arable and most farms are small. Visitors to the major cities quickly become familiar with the problems of air pollution and over- aggressive houdebilding, yet there are sighs that Italy is bacoming eco- friendlier. The country has a sprinkling of green Members of Parliament and senators, and the national parks are working hard to educate people about the countryside and endangered habitats.

Society and politics

Italy has some of the most densely populated areas in Europe, as Italians gravitate towards the cities for economic reasons, leaving their native regions behind. Women’s roles are evolving, particularly in the north, with many continuing with their careers after marriage. Over the last 20 years the birth rate has fallen alarmingly, while the divorce rate has rockted, affecting traditional patterns. Despite this, family and community ties remain strong.

High style

There is a long– established Italian tradition of craftsmanship and luxurious living, dating right back to the Roman era and continuing after the glittering Renaissance courts. With this background, the native sense of style and the cult of the bella figura, it is not surprising that fashion and design are booming. Italians seem to infuse everything with elegance, whether it’s gorgeous clothes or cars, interior or exterior building design, washing machines or typewriters. The sense of style spills over into the media and the creative arts, too, evident in the cutting– edge sharpness of Italian magazines and the distinctive and unmistakable films of Italian–born Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni.

Living with history

The role Italy’s history plays in the 21th century is particularly apparent in the continued lively celebration of ancient annual festivals aroun the county. Physically, it’s simply impossible to avoid the artistic remains and treasures of the country’s many previous cultures. With 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Italy stands at the top of the international list for culture importance. The artistic heritage spans over 4000 years, comprising archaeological sites, monuments, churches and works of art. In the last 50 years, Italy has made outstanding achievements in the field of restoration, preserving important treasures nationwide and rising superbly to challenges such as the aftermath of the 1997 earthquake in Umbria. There’s no easy answer in a country with so many treasures, but it’s generally agreed there could be a better balance between money poured into the major attractions and the neglect of a broad conservation infrastructure.

Catholice Italy

Although Church and State are theoretically separate in Italy, the Catholic Church is so well established that its position of strengh seems unassailable. Around 85% of native–born Italians are still nominally Roman Catholic but fewer than 10% attend Mass regularly and many young Italians take divorce, birth control and abortion for granted. Many churches, not only in Rome but alsoin remote villages, are treasure houses of art from past ages of regious devotion and some are thus becoming monuments, museums and art galleries more than places of active worship. The 21st century will bring further challenges. Not least of these is growing immigration from Africa, Asia and the middle East, resulting in increased number of practising Buddhists and Muslims in the country. This is causing political and social conflict, as seen in the divisive comments of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi about Ialam following the terroriest attacks against the US on 11 September 2001. But the church thinks in centuries, not decades, and continues to view mordern apathy with equanimity.


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