Country Briefs: Italy is situated in the Mediterranean Europe; it has land frontiers with France in the northwest, Switzerland and Austria in the north and Slovenia in the northeast.
The Ligurian Sea, the Sardinian sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, the Sicilian Sea and the Ionian Sea in the south and the Ardiatic Sea in the east, border the Italian peninsula.
The country Italy is famous for countless reasons. Beginning from its wonderful landscapes that are predominantly characterized by two mountain chains, the Alps and the Apennines to its wonderful 20 primary cities and countless gala events, Italy has it all.
Spread in an area of around 301,336 square kilometers the population of Italy is more than fifty-eight million people. Its capital city is its largest city Rome. Rome is the capital of Italy and its Latium region. Rome is one of the largest communes in Italy that spreads in an area of 1290 square kilometers.
The name Italy is an archaic name that stood for the country and people of southern Italy. Though the exact origins of the name are not known yet some people trace it to Greek language that refers to "Land of Cattle Calves or Veal".
Looking back over the years it is revealed that the Greek settlers came in this region in 800 BC. While the Greeks made their cities in the south the Etrusians captured the center. It is said that Rome as a kingdom was discovered in 753 BC. In the centuries that followed Roman Empire conquered Italy and developed it greatly.
In 774 most of Italy was occupied by the Frankish Realm. Charlemagne, the King of Franks was crowned the Roman emperor. During that time Italy witnessed many principalities and kingdoms that fought with each other for power. So Italy got divided into different states while Rome acted as the center of the Papal State.
At the onset of 16th century Italy suffered from economic crisis. Many of the weak Italian states were captured during this time and the supreme governing country was Spain. The political and economic condition of Italy deteriorated to a great extent.
In 1796 the French armies of Napoleon invaded Italy. Napoleon created many states in Italy. Later the Congress of Vienna divided Italy between Austria, Sardinia, kingdom of Sicily, Tuscany and Papal states. But in 1859 and 1861 Sardinia conquered Lombardy and some other territories in central Italy including Tuscany.
In 1866 and 1870 Venice and Papal States became parts of Italy respectively. Italy also got re-united. In 1861 Italy became a constitutional monarchy and remained so till 1922. In 1882 Italy joined the defensive Triple Alliance with Austria- Hungary and Germany. Gradually it also adopted the policy of colonization.
Italy's ambitions to capture Ethiopia resulted in the Firs Italo- Abyssinian War in 1896. In 1911 Italy fought a war with the Ottoman Empire and conquered Libya and islands in the Aegean Sea. In 1915 the Italian government decided to wage a war on Austria in exchange for several territories.
In 1915 Italy received many territories except Dalmatia. Around 1922 the Benito Mussolini came to prominence. The king formed an alliance with Mussolini to convince the liberal party to endorse a fascist led government.
Over the years Mussolini succeeded in eliminating all the political parties and in 1929 he signed the Lateran Pacts with the Catholic Church that led to the formation of the independent state of Vatican City.
Italy plunged into the Second World War and annexed Albania and Ethiopia. Italy was badly defeated in this war. Italy was re-styled into Italian republic in 1946. Italy signed a peace-treaty in 1947 that made adjustments in Italy?s frontier with France and transferred the eastern border to Yugoslavia.
At present Italy is a parliamentary democratic republic. It is a highly developed country of the world with 6th GDP in 2004, a member of G8 and a founding member of the European union signing the treaty of Rome in 1957.
- Province: Names are given in their common English form, where that differs from the Italian.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2 (see note below).
- CAP: Codici di Avviamento Postale (postal codes). Italy has a system of five-digit postal codes. The first two digits are constant within each province. (In a few cases, two or more provinces use the same first two digits.).
- NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, a European standard. The first four characters of the NUTS code for each province are the NUTS code for the region to which the province belongs. (If the fourth character is a 0, it is truncated.).
- Population: 2001-10-21 census.
- Reg: Region to which the province belongs (see list below).
- Capital: Capitals have the same names as provinces. When a province name mentions more than one city, they are co-capitals. Exceptions: The capital of Medio Campidano is Sanluri. The capitals of Ogliastra are Lanusei and Tortolì.
- Adjective: Masculine plural adjective for inhabitants of the provincial capital, or the province as a whole.