A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ART
Italy has many Archaeology Sites including Castelseprio, an archaeological park, and the Colosseum in Rome the largest amphitheater ever built, the Parco Archaeologico del Neapolis, one of the most important archaeological areas of Sicily, and Pompeii near modern Naples, mostly destroyed and buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. In 2017, an 1,800 year old ruins was discovered in Rome metro excavation. Archaeological museums are located throughout the country. Matera has one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. The Sassi. are well-known for their ancient cave dwellings. In 1991, the well-preserved mummy of Otzi, the Tyrolean Iceman was found in the Ötztal Alps. He lived between 3400 and 3100 BC and is the oldest known natural human mummy in Europe. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, South Tyrol.
Italian ART has influenced several major movements throughout the centuries and has produced several great artists, including painters and sculptors. Today, Italy has an important place in the international art scene, with several major art galleries and museums.. Major artistic centers in the country include its capital city, Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, and Turin.
Italy has over 500 species of BIRDS including endangered and threatened birds. Birdwatching is popular and there are many Birding Hot spots. Southern Italy has many Passerines. The Amur Falconcan occasionally be see on the Straits of Messina. The Italian side of the Alps has the Golden Eagle. NW Italy has both Alpine and Red-billed Chough. The Lammergeiger can be found in NE Italy. The Black Woodpecker and Tengmalm`s Owlscan be found in the Colomites area. The Valle del Mezzano has a Red-footed Falcon colony. The southern part of Tuscany has the Great-spotted Cuckoo. Southern Italy has the largest colony of the Lesser Kestrel in the country. Sicily has the biggest Lanner falcon population in Europe and 15-20 pairs of Bonelli`s Eagle. The Po Delta and Sardina have several bird watching areas.
Italy has many BRIDGES including pedestrian bridges, road bridges, and suspension bridges. Venice is called the City of Bridges. The Pons Fabricus arch bridge was built in 62 B.C. and is the oldest bridge in Rome. The Ponte Vecchio in Florence has been rebuilt several time and has always hosted shops. The Sant'Angelo Bridge was built in 134 A.D and is one of the most famous bridges in Rome. The Bridge of Real Ferdinando in Minturno was the first iron suspension bridge built in Italy. The Rialto Bridge in Venice is the oldest bridge across the Grand Canal.
Italy has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, magazine, radio, and television. The country has many telephone dialing codes. There are several Internet Service Providers. Webcams are located throughout Italy.
The history of CURRENCY in Italy spans thousands of years beginning with Ancient Greek and Roman currency. The florin was struck from 1252 to 1523. Early modern Italian coins were very similar in style to French francs since it was ruled by the country in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. The Parman lira was the official currency of Parma before 1802, and later revived from 1815 to 1859. The Neapolitan piastra was the most common silver coin of the Kingdom of Naples. The Two Sicilies piastra was the coinage system or currency of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies between 1815 and 1860. The Lombardy-Venetia florins were the coins of Lombardy-Venetia between 1862 and 1866. The lira was made the official currency of Italy in 1861 after the Italian unification, however it stopped being used in 2002 when the euro entered circulation and is currently the official currency.
In the last decade, Italian Mesozoic marine deposits have revealed the unexpected presence of DINOSAURS in Italy. The findings include the discovery of Scipionyx, the Trieste Hadrosaurs and the Saltriosaur. Italian marine and flying reptiles have also been found including the Shastasaurus Ichthyosaur Pisanosaurus and the pterosaur Eudimorphodon. The Megachirella found in the Alps in northern Italy in 2003 is thought to be an early species from which all of today's squamates—lizards and snakes—eventually evolved. Dubbed Megachirella wachtleri, the fossil creature dates back 240 million years,
In Italy an EDUCATION System has existed since 1859 and is compulsory for children from ages 6-16. There are Public schools and Private schools. There are also International schools and languageschools. home schooling is popular.
Italy has a variety of special EVENTS and festivals including many Traditional Events. Click HERE for a month by month list of events. Italy observes many holidays both national and local. There are also Public Holidays. In Italy only certified fireworks are legal. Homemade fireworks and fireworks not approved by Italian authorities are illegal. One town in Italy made a law that fireworks must be silent
The FOOD Timeline of Italy dates back to cross-cultural currents of people and societies from over 3,000 years of history. The country has a variety of food. Click HERE for the 10 most famous foods of Italy. EuroChocolate takes place in Perugia and is one of the largest chocolate festivals in Europe. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream made in an Italian style. A ceramic jar and 2 other vessels uncovered at Castelluccio, an archaeological site in Sicily, once held olive oil and shows that the ancient people of Italy made and used olive oil at the end of the third millennium B.C. The oldest Italian wine on record, dating to nearly 6,000 years ago, was found in a cave in Sicily. The country has food festivals, events, and shows and food and wine tours.
Italy has had many FORTS. Most of them have been destroyed, but a few have been restored. Fort Bard is open to tourists as the Museum of the Alps. Fort Festrelle is the biggest alpine fortification in Europe, and redevelopment has been started. Fort Montecchio-Lusardi is the only Italian fort from World War I which has been preserved intact with its original weapons.
Italy has GHOST TOWNS. Some remains of ancient buildings are in Aveia. The destroyed village of Romagnano al Monte is a tourist attraction. Campomaggiore replaced the original town that was destroyed by an avalanche in 1885 and is now a ghost town. Pentedattilo has been partially restored. Craco is a ghost town and commune in the Province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The destroyed village of Anna di Stazzema is the site of the Italian National Park of Peace. Italy claims to have several Haunted Places.
The GLOBAL POSTION of Italy is approximately 41 degrees latitude north and 12 degrees longitude east. Italy shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City. The highest point is Mont Blanc and the lowest point is the Mediterreanean Sea. Three places claim to be the center of Italy, Narni, Monteluca, and Reiti. Geocaching is a high-tech sport using a Global Positioning Finder and the state has many Geocaches including Underwater Geocaches.
Italy has many HISTORIC sites. The Roman Forum is open as a tourist destination along with Palatine Hill and the Colosseum . The ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern suburban town of Pompei. The Pantheon, a former Roman temple, is now a church in Rome. The city of Florence is noted for its culture, Renaissance art, architecture, and monuments. Parts of Venice are noted for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, and art work. The country has had many Historic Natural Disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides, and tornadoes. The Messina earthquake in 1908 was one of the worst disasters in the country.
The HISTORY of Italy dates back to the 9th century B.C. when earliest accounts record the presence of Italic tribes. The Roman Empire later dominated Western Europe and the Mediterranean for many centuries. After the fall of Rome in AD 476, Italy remained fragmented in numerous city-states. Parts of Italy were annexed to the Spanish, the Austrian and Napoleon I's empire, while the Holy See maintained control over Rome, before the Italian Peninsula was eventually liberated and unified in the late 19th century. The new Kingdom of Italywas established in 1861. In 1946, as a result of a Constitutional Referendum the monarchy was abolished and Italy became a republic.
Italy has a over 37,000 species of INSECTS. There are 200 species of Italian endemic butterflies and moths. Species of butterflies include the Sail Swallowtail Butterfly, the Cleopatra butterfly, and the Clouded Apollo that lives on mountains located in northern Sicily. Other commonly seen insects include the Damsel Fly and Dragonflies, the Praying Mantis, the cicada, and moths, Italy has a rather large concentration of Glowflies. Because of its hovering behavior, accompanied by an audible humming noise, the Hummingbird Hawk-moth looks remarkably like a hummingbird. Italy has a variety of spiders including 2 venomous spiders. The Lycosa tarantula, originally called the Tarantula, is a large species found in Apulia region of Italy and near the city of Taranto from which it gets its name. Beekeeping is popular in Italy and there are several Beekeeping Associations. The Italian Honey Bee is thought to originate from the continental part of Italy and may have survived the last Ice Age in Italy. It is the most commonly kept honey bee in the United States
Italy has many ISLANDS. The largest island is Sicily. The island of Elba is famous for harboring HERE for 10 of the best islands to visit. Lipari is the largest of the 7 volcanic isles that make up the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea and has an active volcanoe. Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the largest of the Phlegrean Islands.
The JUDICIAL system of Italy is made up of Civil Courts and Criminal Courts. The Italian civil judicial system is based on the principle of a "two tier justice system" which allows the re-consideration of a case. The Ministry of Justice handles the administration of courts and judiciary. In Italy, judges are public officials and only Italian citizens are eligible for judgeship. Once appointed, judges serve for life and cannot be removed without specific disciplinary proceedings conducted in due process before the Council of the Judiciary. Defendants in Italy are not tried by a jury of peers. All cases are presided over by professional judges or a panel of three/five/nine judges.
Italian is the official LANGUAGE of Italy. It is the third most widely spoken first language in the European Union and the second language of many European Union citizens. It is the main language of the Holy See and the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. A large number of local languages are spoken in Italy most of which are indigenous evolutions of Vulgar Latin and classified as Romance Languages.
Many cities in Italy have LIBRARIES. The country has 5 National Libraries and 3 Academic Libraries. The current poet laureate of Italy is Maximilian Schaibe, who was born in Germany. He has lived in Rome since 1993.
Italy has many LIGHTHOUSES. The Lighthouse of Genoa is one of the oldest standing structures of its kind in the world. The first tower at this location was built around 1128. The Lighthouse of Genoa is also the world's fifth tallest lighthouse and the second tallest "traditional" one built of masonry. The lighthouse at Punta Carena was built in 1866 and is the second tallest in Italy. This name is usually reserved for the larger coastal lights; smaller beacons are called fanali. Two of the lighthouse in Italy can be rented. The Italian word for a lighthouse is faro, plural fari. A lighthouse is an important aspect to the mariner.
Italy has many MOUNTAINS and Mont Blanc is the tallest. Mountain Climbing & Rock Climbing are popular activities. The country has several mountain passes. The Club Alpino Italiano owns about 600 huts in the mountain districts.
OPERA is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. It started in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe. Italian opera is both the art of opera in Italy and opera in the Italian language. LaScala opened in 1778 and is one of the leading opera and ballet theaters in the world.
Italy has many Astronomical OBSERVATORIES and planetariums. The Planetarium in Milan was established in 1930 and is the largest and most important planetarium in Italy. Italy has many astronomy clubs.
Italy belongs to many International World Trade Organization, and the European Union. The country has been a member of the UNITED NATIONS since 1995 and has deployed UN peacekeeping troops on several missions.
Italy has a population of over 60 million PEOPLE. Many famous people have called the country their home including Galileo, astronomer; Christopher Columbus, explorer; Florence Nightingale, nurse; and Michaelangelo, artist. Italy has had many rulers including presidents, kings, ministers, dukes, counts, emperors, and dictators.
Italy has many PORTS and harbors. The port of Gioia_Tauro is the largest port in Italy for container shipping. The Port of Naples is one of the largest Italian seaports and one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea. The Port of Venice is the eighth-busiest commercial port in Italy and a major hub for cruise ships. . It was one of the most popular Mediterranean major shipping ports in maritime history,
QUILTING is popular in Italy and there are Quilting Guilds and Quilt Shows. The earliest known surviving European bed quilt is from late 14th century Sicily. Corded quilting is thought to have originated in Italy hence its other name, Italian quilting. Knitting and weaving is also popular. The Garfagnana, a mountainous region in northwest Tuscany, has long been home to a rich tradition of handweaving.
Italy has many REPTILES and amphibians including tortoises, and turtles and lizards. The Sicilian Wall Lizard is only found in the Sicily and Aegadian Islands. The Spur-Thighed Tortoise is a tortoise subspecies of the larger Mediterranean tortoise. The Spectacled salamander is only found in the southern Apennine Range in Italy Many reptiles are native to the country and its islands.. Italy has a variety of snakes including 7 species of poisonous snakes, all vipers, of which the Adder, the Asp Viper, the Nose Horned Viper, are the most dangerous.
Italy has many RIVERS. The longest river is The Po. The Adige is the second-longest river and an important source of hydroelectric power and irrigation. The Tiber is the third longest river. Historically, the river has played a major role, given its passage through Rome. The Arno is also well-known because it passes near Pisa, the city made famous by its leaning tower. River cruises are popular.
SPORTS in Italy have a long tradition both individual and team. Football is the most popular sport and the country has a National Football Team. Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and is currently the second most successful football team in World Cup history, having won four FIFA World Cup championships. Basketball, volleyball, and Cycling are the next most popular/played sports. Italy also has strong traditions in rugby union, tennis, athletics, fencing, and winter sports. horse racing is a popular spectator sport. Scuba diving is popular and there are many scuba diving opportunities. Italy offers abundant Fishing opportunities, both fresh and salt water and many people take part in the sport.
Italy has many UNIVERSITIES and colleges. Someof the oldest UNIVERSITIES in the world are in Italy. The term “University” was coined by the Italian University of Bologna, which, with a traditional founding date of 1088, is considered the first university. Perugia is known as the "Universities Town" with the University of Perugia founded in 1308, the University for Foreigners , and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts Pietro Vannucci founded in 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded in 1788, and others Institutes.
The VEGETATION of Italy is the richest in Europe where over 1,000 grow. Nearly 19 per cent of the national flora is represented by endemic species. Italy has three zones of vegetation: the Alps, the Po valley, and the Mediterranean-Apennine area. In the Alps vegetation is diverse and gradually changes with altitude, sun exposure, and location. Vegetation in the Pro Valley is divided into an upper, drier part, and a lower, very fertile, and well irrigated section and is one of the most important industrial and agricultural areas in Italy. The vegetation of the Mediterranean-- Apennini area consists of mixed woods of evergreen and deciduous species, shrub lands, and Mediterranean maquis. There is a development of pioneer sea grape on the coastal dunes. The Rome Rose Garden was established in 1931 and has over 1100 varieties of roses and many of them gifts from countries around the world. Each section has rose varieties characteristic of, or grown in, the respective variety. There is also has an experimental section where new varieties of roses are tested for their suitability for public and private gardens in Italy.
Italy has the only active VOLCANOES in mainland Europe. The country has 3 main clusters of volcanism, a line running northwest along the central part of the mainland, a cluster in the northeast of Sicily, and another cluster around the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria. Mt. Vesuvius is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world and has an eruption cycle of about 20 years. The last eruption was in 1944. The volcano is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Mt. Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily and is in an almost constant state of eruption. The most recent eruption was in February 2017. Activity at Mt. Stromboli has been recorded for more than 1,000 years. It is part of the Aeolian Islands and has been in almost continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years. The eruption in September 1930 stands as the most violent and destructive event in the history of the volcano.
The WEATHER in Italy varies. The long Italian Peninsula stretches from the Swiss Alps to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, through its length run mountain ranges and terrains of every conceivable nature. In the winter, the cold northern winds blow down from central Europe bringing precipitation and cold weather. In the summer, the warm winds from the Sahara bring heat and the occasionally dusting of sand from the great desert that arrive as far north as Rome. The village of Musi having an annual average of 130.4 inches of rain is the wettest place in Italy. Accuweather has current temperatures in the country.
Italy has over 57,000 species of WILDLIFE recorded (more than a third of all European wildlife). Mammals unique to Italy include the Corsican Hare, the Sardinian Long-eared Bat, the Udine Shrew, and the Calabria Pine Vole. the Apennine Shrew endemic to Italy. The Appenine Wolf is a subspecies of grey wolf native to the Italian Peninsula and strictly protected. The Apennine Chamois is called “the world’s most beautiful chamois”. The Marsican Brown Bear is the symbol of the Park of Abruzzo and is an exclusive endemic species to central Italy. Some animals are endangered. The Wolf is the national animal.
Italy has ZOOS and Aquariums. . The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest aquarium in Italy and the 2nd largest in Europe. ZooSafari is one of the largest zoos in Europe. Giardino Zoo has nightly tours to observe nocturnal animals.