Geographic and Governmental Profile of Italy

Background
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.
Location
Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Geographic coordinates
42 50 N, 12 50 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Europe
Area
total:
301,340 sq km
rank:
72
land:
294,140 sq km
water:
7,200 sq km
includes Sardinia and Sicily
Area - comparative
slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries
total:
1,899.2 km
border countries:
Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 199 km, Switzerland 740 km
Coastline
7,600 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
continental shelf:
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate
predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Terrain
mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)
Natural resources
coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land
Land use
arable land:
26.41%
permanent crops:
9.09%
other:
64.5% (2005)
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Irrigated land
39,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
175 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
41.98 cu km/yr (18%/37%/45%)
per capita:
723 cu m/yr (1998)
Natural hazards
regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
volcanism:
significant volcanic activity; Etna (elev. 3,330 m), which is in eruption as of 2010, is Europe's most active volcano; flank eruptions pose a threat to nearby Sicilian villages; Etna, along with the famous Vesuvius, which remains a threat to the millions of nearby residents in the Bay of Naples area, have both been deemed "Decade Volcanoes" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Stromboli, on its namesake island, has also been continuously active with moderate volcanic activity; other historically active volcanoes include Campi Flegrei, Ischia, Larderello, Pantelleria, Vulcano, and Vulsini
Environment - current issues
air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe
Country name
conventional long form:
Italian Republic
conventional short form:
Italy
local long form:
Repubblica Italiana
local short form:
Italia
former:
Kingdom of Italy
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Rome
geographic coordinates:
41 54 N, 12 29 E
time difference:
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions
15 regions (regioni, singular - regione) and 5 autonomous regions (regioni autonome, singular - regione autonoma)
regions:
Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio (Latium), Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte (Piedmont), Puglia (Apulia), Toscana (Tuscany), Umbria, Veneto (Venetia)
autonomous regions:
Friuli-Venezia Giulia; Sardegna (Sardinia); Sicilia (Sicily); Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-South Tyrol) or Trentino-Suedtirol (German); Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley) or Vallee d'Aoste (French)
Independence
17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)
Constitution
passed 11 December 1947, effective 1 January 1948; amended many times
Legal system
civil law system; judicial review under certain conditions in Constitutional Court
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal (except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25)
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Giorgio NAPOLITANO (since 15 May 2006)
head of government:
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mario MONTI (since 16 November 2011); note - in Italy the prime minister is referred to as the President of the Council of Ministers
cabinet:
Council of Ministers proposed by the Prime Minister and nominated by the President of the Republic
elections:
president elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of parliament and 58 regional representatives for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held on 10 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2013); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by parliament
election results:
Giorgio NAPOLITANO elected president on the fourth round of voting; electoral college vote - 543
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (315 seats; members elected by proportional vote with the winning coalition in each region receiving 55% of seats from that region; members to serve five-year terms; and up to 5 senators for life appointed by the president of the Republic) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; members elected by popular vote with the winning national coalition receiving 54% of chamber seats; members to serve five-year terms); note - it has not been clarified if each president has the power to designate up to five senators or if five is the number of senators for life who might sit in the Senate
elections:
Senate - last held on 13-14 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 13-14 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - S. BERLUSCONI coalition 174 (PdL 147, LN 25, MpA 2), W. VELTRONI coalition 132 (PD 118, IdV 3), UdC 3, other 6; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - S. BERLUSCONI coalition 344 (PdL 276, LN 60, MpA 8), W. VELTRONI coalition 246 (PD 217, IdV 29), UdC 36, other 4
Judicial branch
Constitutional Court or Corte Costituzionale (composed of 15 judges: one-third appointed by the president, one-third elected by parliament, one-third elected by the ordinary and administrative Supreme Courts); Supreme Court of Cassation or Corte Suprema di Cassazione
Political parties and leaders
Center-Right:
People of Freedom or PdL [Silvio BERLUSCONI]
Center-Left:
Democratic Party or PD [Rosy BINDI]
Centrist Third Pole:
Future and Freedom for Italy or FLI [Gianfranco FINI]; Movement for Autonomy or MpA [Raffaele LOMBARDO]; Union of the Center or UdC [Pier Ferdinando CASINI]
no affiliation:
Italy of Values or IdV [Antonio DI PIETRO]; Lega Nord or LN [Umberto BOSSI]
Political pressure groups and leaders
manufacturers and merchants associations - Confcommercio; Confindustria; organized farm groups - Confcoltivatori; Confagricoltura; Roman Catholic Church; three major trade union confederations - Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Susanna CAMUSSO] which is left wing; Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Raffaele BONANNI], which is Roman Catholic centrist; Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Luigi ANGELETTI] which is lay centrist
International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Claudio BISOGNIERO
chancery:
3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 612-4400
FAX:
[1] (202) 518-2151
consulate(s) general:
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco
consulate(s):
Detroit
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador David THORNE
embassy:
Via Vittorio Veneto 121, 00187-Rome
mailing address:
PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
telephone:
[39] (06) 46741
FAX:
[39] (06) 488-2672, 4674-2356
consulate(s) general:
Florence, Milan, Naples
Flag description
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; design inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797; colors are those of Milan (red and white) combined with the green uniform color of the Milanese civic guard
similar to the flag of Mexico, which is longer, uses darker shades of red and green, and has its coat of arms centered on the white band; Ireland, which is longer and is green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of the Cote d'Ivoire, which has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green
National symbol(s)
white, five-pointed star (Stella d'Italia)
National anthem
name:
"Il Canto degli Italiani" (The Song of the Italians)
lyrics/music:
Goffredo MAMELI/Michele NOVARO
adopted 1946; the anthem, originally written in 1847, is also known as "L'Inno di Mameli" (Mameli's Hymn), and "Fratelli D'Italia" (Brothers of Italy)
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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