Pizza, pasta and a whole lot of culture. Italy really does have something for everyone. It’s got some of the most famous historical sites in the world – think about the Coliseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pompeii, as well as Venice and St Peters in Rome. The locals are passionate about life, food and wine. Why not try spaghetti vongole (with clams), panna cotta for pud and a glass of Chianti. Come to Italy and discover a whole new way of life. Espresso anyone?

About Italy

Italy is a country full of history, culture and politics. The ancient Roman civilization stretched out across the globe and dominated societies for hundreds of years. Nowadays, Italy is perhaps best recognised for its boot-shaped peninsular in Southern Europe. It borders with France, Switzerland and Austria, making travel to and from its main cities easy and convenient.

Rome is the capital city but other equally famous cities include Milano (Milan), Napoli (Naples), Torino (Turin), Palermo, Bologna, Firenze (Florence), Catania in Sicily, Bari and Venice. Italian is the official language but German is spoken around Bolzano in the north, near the Austrian border and French and Slovenian are spoken in other regions.

Italy is one of Europe’s largest economies but it also has very high levels of public debt and is currently tackling a deep and prolonged recession.  Servio Berlusconi was a highly colourful, controversial and for the most part, popular Prime Minister for many years, but Italy is now facing up to harsh economic realities and is working hard to adapt. The President is the Head of State of Italy and is elected for 7 years.  The current President is Sergio Mattarella who was elected in January 2015.

Other great points to note is that football is taken incredibly seriously by almost all Italians and the national team is one of the most successful ever in the world. It’s also a fabulous place to study – Italy has 89 universities – many ranked in the top 400 in Europe.

At a glance facts about Italy

  • Italy is a republic with a population of 59,290,969  (2018)
  • International dialing code: 39
  • The main spoken language is Italian but French, German and Slovenian are also spoken by many
  • Time: 1 hour ahead of the UK (2 in Summer).  CET


More Information

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