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( Italy Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (), officially the ) listen Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana ), is a [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna] European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km 2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km 2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland ( Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea ( Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
Due to its central geographic location in
Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called of Magna Graecia Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural, political and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the empire, whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.
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Funerary Monument to Sir John Hawkwood
: the fresco measures 732 × 404 cm (288 × 159 in); with
frame added in the 16th century, 820 × 515 cm (323 × 203 in).
(or Funerary Monument ) Equestrian Monument to Sir is a John Hawkwood fresco by Paolo Uccello, commemorating English condottiero John Hawkwood, commissioned in 1436 for Florence Cathedral. The fresco is an important example of art commemorating a soldier-for-hire who fought in the Italian peninsula and is a seminal work in the development of perspective.
The politics of the commissioning and recommissioning of the fresco have been analyzed and debated by historians. The fresco is often cited as a form of "
Florentine propaganda" for its appropriation of a foreign soldier of fortune as a Florentine hero and for its implied promise to other condottieri of the potential rewards of serving Florence. The fresco has also been interpreted as a product of internal political competition between the Albizzi and Medici factions in Renaissance Florence, due to the latter's modification of the work's symbolism and iconography during its recommissioning.
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Did you know... - Selected cuisine -
( Gelato Italian pronunciation: ) is a popular [dʒeˈlaːto] frozen dessert of Italian origin. It is generally made with a base of 3.25% milk and sugar. It is generally lower in fat than other styles of frozen desserts. Gelato typically contains 70% less air and more flavoring than other kinds of frozen desserts, giving it a density and richness that distinguishes it from other ice creams.
Gelato as we know it is credited to the
Italian chef Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli who in the late 1600s opened his “ Café Procope” in Paris and introduced gelato at his café, earning notability first in Paris and then in the rest of Europe. Thanks to his gelato, Procopio not only obtained French citizenship, but also got an exclusive royal licence issued by the Sun King Louis XIV, making him at the time the sole producer of the frozen dessert in the kingdom.
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Italy and the nearby islands in the 1st century BCE.
the EUR in Rome is a perfect example of modern Italian architecture
Roman Forum, the commercial, cultural, and political center of the city and the Republic which housed the various offices and meeting places of the government.
Map of Etruscan civilisation.
Italy has been a home for innovation in
science in the centuries since Galileo formulated his theories of planetary movement.
Giuseppe Verdi, one of Italy's greatest opera composers. Portrait by
St. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest Christian church. It is the second church to stand above the crypt (tomb) believed to hold the body of Saint Peter, the first pope.
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, possibly one of the most famous and iconic examples of Italian art
Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, which has the biggest brick dome in the world, and is considered a masterpiece of Italian architecture and world architecture.
gelato ice cream dessert.
Commedia dell'arte troupe in a late 16th-century Flemish painting.
Secondary, widely spoken or understood.
Understood by some due to former colonisation.
Attack of the far-right terrorist group NAR at the Bologna railway station on 2 August 1980, which caused the death of 85 people.
Fiat 600, iconic middle-class dream car and status symbol of the 1950-60s.
Italian Lombard kingdom (781–1014).
Physician attire for protection from the Bubonic plague or Black death, 1656.
Ancient Greek colonies and their
groupings in Southern Italy.
NW Greek Achaean Doric
Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, elected on 3 February 2015.
espresso comes from the Italian esprimere, which means "to express," and refers to the process by which hot water is forced under pressure through ground coffee.
Italian states (1815–1859).
Fiume cheering D'Annunzio and his Legionari, September 1919. At the time, Fiume had 22,488 (62% of the population) Italians in a total population of 35,839 inhabitants.
Ötzi the oldest mummy in the world discovered in the southern Alps (region of Trentino-Alto Adige) with extremely sophisticated equipment to that time. 4th millennium BCE.
Umberto II, the last King of Italy, was exiled to Portugal.
Prada shop in Singapore.
Mussolini and Hitler in June 1940.
Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy for almost ten years between 1994 and 2011.
Regional seat of
RAI in Cosenza.
Giacomo Matteotti was murdered a few days after he openly denounced Fascist violence during the 1924 elections.
Imperial ambitions of Fascist Italy in Europe, 1936.
Roman Empire provided an inspiration for the medieval European. Although the Holy Roman Empire rarely acquired a serious geopolitical reality, it possessed great symbolic significance.
mosaic depicts some of the Gladiators entertainments that would have been offered at the games.
Colosseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.
From left to right, Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Italian Foreign Minister
Count Ciano at the signing of Munich Agreement.
Italian unification in 1860.
Italian prisoners in El Alamein, November 1942.
Spanish Republican poster against "the Italian invader".
Alcide De Gasperi, Prime Minister 1945–53, is revered as a founding father of modern Italy and Europe.
Mussolini reviewing adolescent soldiers, late 1944.