61 Facts About Italy

1. Italy has a strong cooperative sector, with the largest share of the population employed by a cooperative in the EU.

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2. Italy is home to Europe's only three active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius.

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3. The President of Italy, currently Sergio Mattarella since 2015, is Italy's head of state.

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4. In 1940, as Germany drew closer to Italy's borders, Mussolini feared that his failure to engage would leave him subordinate to Germany at the end of the war.

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5. Italy is heavily dependent on Algerian gas and Arab oil supplies, so it was hit hard by the oil crises of the 1970s.

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6. Italy is part of the European single market which represents more than 500 million consumers.

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7. Italy is a signatory to the Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats and the Habitats Directive both affording protection to the Italian fauna and flora.

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8. Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK.

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9. Italy is a member of the G8, as it has the eighth largest Gross Domestic Product in the world.

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10. Italy is a country in south Europe and a member of the European Union.

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11. Italy is home to a number of world-renowned fashion houses, including Armani, Gucci, Benetton, Versace and Prada.

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12. Italy is home to some of the most famous structures in the world, including the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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13. Italy has a strategic location, dominating the central Mediterranean region and representing the southern part of Europe facing the ethnic and cultural areas of North Africa and the Arabic-Islamic civilization.

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14. In 1914, then, Italy was one of the poorer and less-developed countries of Europe.

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15. In 2005, the average life expectancy in Italy was estimated to be 79.68 years.

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16. In 2005, Italy had oil reserves estimated at 622 million barrels.

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17. Italy is the second-largest producer of crude steel in the European Union after Germany.

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18. In 2004, Italy maintained railway lines of 19,319 kilometers.

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19. Italy is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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20. In 1996, Italy exported almost 2 billion gallons of wine.

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21. Italy has considerable climatic variation, from subtropical conditions in Sicily to year-round snowcaps in parts of the Alpine region.

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22. At the outbreak of World War II, Italy assumed a neutral stance friendly to Germany, but in June, 1940, it declared war on collapsing France and on Great Britain.

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23. At the Paris Peace Conference, Italy obtained S Tyrol, Trieste, Istria, part of Carniola, and several of the Dalmatian islands.

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24. Italy is part of EDUVINET, Education via networks, a partner team of European Community member countries for Internet-supported teaching and learning and distance education in and among schools in Europe.

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25. In 1998, Italy recorded a trade surplus, with imports totaling US$215.887 billion against exports worth US$242.332 billion.

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26. The Bank of Italy is the central bank, but with EMU now in place, the country's monetary policy is overseen by the European Central Bank.

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27. Italy is a highly developed economy, and the financial and banking sector is similar to that of all other Western European countries.

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28. In 1998, Italy consumed 266.705 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, provided mainly by the formerly state-owned company ENEL, which was privatized in 1999.

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29. Italy is a major power in container shipping in the Mediterranean.

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30. Italy has an efficient and modern infrastructure, even though it performs poorly compared to other Western European countries of comparable size.

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31. Italy has a bicameral legislature consisting of a 315-member Senate and a 630-member Chamber of Deputies.

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32. Italy has an area of 301,230 square kilometers and a coastline of 7,600 kilometers (4,722 miles), including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

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33. Italy is a member of the Europena Community; its road code, in compliance with EC policies, requires catalytic converters.

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34. Italy is a founding member of the European Union and, in 1998, of Europe's Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

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35. Italy is very dependent on imported petroleum and natural gas from Libya, Iran, Algeria and Russia.

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36. Italy is one of the most attractive assignments in the Foreign Service.

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37. In 2004, Italy jumped from 12th to 9th most attractive FDI destination in the world, driven primarily by increased confidence among US and Asian investors, according to the FDI Confidence Index.

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38. In 2003, Italy produced 89,000 tons of canned tuna and 20,000 tons of canned anchovies.

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39. In 2003, Italy had 1,680,000 tractors and 37,500 harvester-threshers.

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40. In 2005, Italy had a paramilitary force of 254,300 active personnel, of which 111,367 were Carabinieri.

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41. Under the terms of the 1948 constitution, Italy is divided into 20 regions.

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42. Italy is one of the most overlegislated countries on Earth.

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43. Italy is a country in Southern Europe that occupies the Italian Peninsula, the major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, and the small islands of Elba, Capri, and Ischia.

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44. Italy is known for its fast and furious car makers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.

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45. Italy has 50 Unesco World Heritage Sites, the most of any country in the world.

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46. Italy is home to Europe's only three active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius.

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47. In 1914, Italy took the side of the United Kingdom and the US in World War I, but was left in poverty at war's end.

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48. Italy is at the heart of the Catholic Church, which is governed from Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome.

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49. Italy is subdivided in 20 regions, like Tuscany, Veneto and Lazio (around Rome).

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50. Italy has two bigger islands Sicily and Sardegna and many smaller ones such as Capri, Elba and Ischia.

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51. Italy is "on the right path" toward crafting a solid budget, Moscovici said Friday.

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52. Italy is the most awarded country at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, with 14 awards won, 3 Special Awards and 31 nominations.

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53. Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world, and has rich collections of art, culture and literature from many periods.

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54. Italy has for centuries welcomed Jews expelled from other countries, notably Spain.

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55. Italy is well known for its cultural and environmental tourist routes and is home to 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most in the world.

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56. Italy is one of the largest financiers of the Palestinian National Authority, contributing €60 million in 2013 alone.

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57. Italy is a recurrent non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the most recently in 2017.

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58. Law enforcement in Italy is provided by multiple police forces, five of which are national, Italian agencies.

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59. In 1957, Italy was a founding member of the European Economic Community, which became the European Union (EU) in 1993.

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60. In 1939, Italy annexed Albania, a de facto protectorate for decades.

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61. In particular, Southern Italy was impoverished and cut off from the mainstream of events in Europe.

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