Italy – key data
Area: 301,340 km² (of which land: 294,140 km², water: 7,200 km²)
Population: 61.0 million (2011 estimate, CIA). Composition:Italian (includes small groups of German, French and Slovenian-Italians in the north and Albanian and Greek-Italians in the south)
Population density: 202 residents per km²
Population growth: 0.42% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Rome (2.7 million residents, 2007)
The Highest point: Mont Blanc(Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a summit in front of Mont Blanc). However, this is controversial, from the Italian point of view the border runs directly over Mt Blanc, the 4,808 m high Mt Blanc would be the highest peak in France and Italy.
Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea, 0 m
Form of government: Italy has been a republic since 1946, the constitution dates from 1948. That Italian Bicameral parliament consists of the House of Representatives (Camera dei Deputati, 630 members) and the Senate (Senato della Repubblica, 315 members). The head of state is elected every 7 years by a college of electors. Italy has existed as a unified state since 1861. On April 18, 1951, Italy was one of the founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community, which formed the core of what would later become the European Union (EU).
Administrative division: 15 regions: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia (Apulia), Toscana, Umbria and Veneto
5 autonomous regions: Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardegna (Sardinia), Sicilia (Sicily), Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-South Tyrol) and Valle d’Aosta
Head of State: President Giorgio Napolitano, since May 15, 2006
Head of Government: Prime Minister Mario Monti, since November 16, 2011
Language: Italian is the national official language, regional official languages are German (parts of the Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German-speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in the Valle d’Aosta region), Ladin, Slovenian (Slovenian-speaking minority in the area around Trieste and Gorizia)
Religion: Roman Catholic 90% (estimate, around a third practice the faith), the remaining 10% are Protestants, Jews and, to an increasing extent, Muslims.
Local time: CET. Between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October there is summer time in Italy (CET + 1 hour).
The time difference to Central Europe in both winter and summer 0 h.
International phone code: +39
Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz. The German Schuko plugs do not fit into Italian sockets. Adapter plugs are required here.
The Republic of Italy is located in southern Europe on the Apennine peninsula surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Italy borders France in the west, Switzerland and Austria in the north, Slovenia in the east and the rest of the country in the south Italian National territory surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. The total area of Italy, which covers 301,338 square kilometers, includes the mainland as well as the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Elba and a few smaller islands.
Italy is largely shaped by two large mountains: the Alps and the Apennines. The approximately 800 kilometers long high mountain ranges of the Alps run from the Ligurian coast to the Isonzo, which forms the border with Slovenia. The Alps are highest in Piedmont until they drop quite steeply into the Po Valley. With its 652 kilometers in length and a catchment area of 75,000 square kilometers, the Po is both the longest and the most important river in the country. On its course from the Cottian Alps to the confluence with theAdriaticThis river proves to be a true lifeline for Italy, but because of its properties as a dam river, ie its water level is higher than the surrounding country, it is often the cause of devastating floods. To the south of the Po, the plain merges over a hilly country into the Apennines, the mountains of which are about as old as the mountain range of the Alps.
Italy can be divided into five large areas: that of the Alps over the Po Valley to the Apennines and the Riviera northern Italy, then the west consisting of Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Lombardy and Liguria, to which the east joins with South Tyrol-Trentino, Veneto, Friuli and Emilia-Romagna. Southern Italy is the fourth large region and, together with Abruzzo, Molise and Apulia, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria, occupies the lower shaft, toe and heel of the boot of Italy. The last metropolitan area is the so-called “island Italy”, which includes the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and the small archipelagos of the Lipari, Egadi and Pontic Islands, Ischia, Capri, Elba and the Tuscan Archipelago.
The individual regions of Italy are as numerous as they are varied in landscape. The Aosta Valley and Trentino-South Tyrol are characterized by high mountain massifs, in addition to which the fertile valley of the Adige in South Tyrol ensures productive agriculture. Piedmont and Lombardy lie at the foot of the Alps and are both known for their excellent wine-growing regions. In addition to wine, cereal and vegetable cultivation, Veneto can also boast thermal and mineral springs, and Friuli is dominated by both the Julian Alps and its seaside resorts. In Liguria the landscape becomes Mediterranean and the plain of the extremely fertile Emilia-Romagna is not only used for agriculture; The petrochemical industry has also flourished here since the region’s oil and gas reserves were discovered. The hilly landscape of Tuscany is determined by the fertile Arno basin, while agriculture is only practiced in the valleys in the predominantly dry Marche. Among the other regions, Lazio and Campania, with their predominantly barren but typically southern Italian landscape, are more historically significant. The island of Sicily is on the one hand fertile and green, but on the other hand with repellent mountains and the all-dominating Etna. Sardinia, which is only a little smaller, is predominantly unforested and mountainous and, especially inland, has plains rich in water with arable farming and cork oak forests.
Best travel time for Italy
Although you can practically always travel in Italy, according to bridgat, the best time to travel is from April to June. During this period the weather is sunny but not too hot, the landscape is covered with spring flowers and summer tourism (especially during the school holidays) has not yet started. Most Italians are on vacation in July and August, so these two months are best avoided (due to increased accommodation prices and high temperatures).