The flag of Italy is often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore [il trikoˈloːre] (English: the Tricolour). It is a tricolourflag featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white and red, national colours of Italy, with the green at the hoist side, as defined by article 12 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic. The Italian flag is identical with the French one, the only difference being that it has green instead of blue. It was adopted on 18th June 1946.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian is the closest national language to Latin and it is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City. Italian is a major European language, being one of the official languages of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe. It is the second most widely spoken native language in the European Union with 67 million speakers (15% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 13.4 million EU citizens (3%). Italian is known as the language of music because of its use in musical terminology and opera.
Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures (Indo-European Italic peoples, Phoenicians, Carthaginians , Greeks, Etruscans, Celts). The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured the fall of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century numerous rival city-states, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through commerce, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping the European Age of Discovery to begin.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, mainly in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the four main allied powers in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of the Italian fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the Italian Resistance, the country abolished their monarchy, established a democratic Republic, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, and became a highly developed country. Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world’s most culturally and economically advanced countries.
Italy is located in southern Europe and comprises the long, boot-shaped Italian Peninsula, the southern side of Alps, the large plain of the Po Valley and some islands including Sicily and Sardinia. Corsica, although belonging to the Italian geographical region, has been a part of France since 1769. Italy is part of the Northern Hemisphere. Its total area is 301,340 km ², of which 294,140km ² is land and 7,200 km ² is water. Italy borders Switzerland (698 km), France (476 km), Austria (404 km) and Slovenia (218 km). San Marino (37 km) and Vatican city (3.4 km) are enclaves. Including islands, Italy has a coastline of 7,600 km on the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ligurian Sea, Sea of Sardinia and Strait of Sicily.
Here are 10 Italian dishes you should try:
- Pasta & Pizza
- Arancini (stuffed rice balls)
- Osso buco alla Milanese (Tender veal shanks, braised slowly in white wine, is served with an array of vegetables)
- Ribollita (reboiled unfinished food, traditionally considered as cucina povera i.e. poor man’s food)
- Saltimbocca (slices of veal, topped with salty prosciutto and herb leaves)
- Torrone (Creamy and sticky, it is made with ingredients such as honey, egg whites, toasted nuts and citrus zest.)
The music of Italy has traditionally been one of the cultural markers of Italian national identity and holds an important position in society and in politics. Italian music innovation – in musical scale, harmony, notation, and theatre – enabled the development of opera, in the late 16th century. Apart from that, there are also imported genres such as jazz, rock and hip hop from the United States. Italy was also an important country in the development of disco and electronic music, with Italo disco being one of the earliest electronic dance genres.
MOST IMPORTANT MONUMENTS AND NATURAL BEAUTIES
The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of Rome, Italy, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and is still the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today, despite its age. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD under the emperor Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (r. 81–96).The three emperors that were patrons of the work are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named the Flavian Amphitheatre from the family name of the emperors who built it.
The Colosseum could hold 65,000spectators. Its dimensions were colosseum: 156 X188 metres, its height reached 48 metres and it had 4 floors. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles including animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, sea battles and dramas based on Roman mythology, as well as Christian ordeals. Although substantially ruined because of earthquakes, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and was listed as one of the New7Wonders of the World. The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.
Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State is an independent city state located at the west of Rome, Italy. The Vatican became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929). With an area of 49 hectares and a population of about 825 people, it is characterized as the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population. Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures.
The Grand Canal is the widest channel in Venice, Italy and it forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. One end of the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into the basin at San Marco. It is 3.8 km long, and 30 to 90 m wide, with an average depth of 5 metres. The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice. The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca’ Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venierdei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The most important church along the canal is probably the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Because most of the city’s traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge. There are currently three more bridges, the Ponte degliScalzi, the Ponte dell’Accademia, and the controversial PontedellaCostituzione (2008), designed by Santiago Calatrava. Most of the palaces emerge from water without pavement. Consequently, one can only tour past the fronts of the buildings on the grand canal by boat.
Luciano Pavarotti (October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the quality of his tone, and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century, achieving the honorific title “King of the High Cs”. As one of the Three Tenors, who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts. He sold over 100 million records, and the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time. Pavarotti was also well known for his award-winning charity work for raising money on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross.
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci (born 30 September 1964) is an Italian actress and model. She began her career as a fashion model in 1977 at the age of 13. After graduation, she started law studies at the University of Perugia, which she abandoned in 1988 for the sake of modeling. In 1989 she started working as a model in Paris and in New York. Later in her life she took part in Italian, American and French films, such as Dracula (1992), Malèna (2000), Irréversible (2002), The Matrix (2003) and The Passion of the Christ (2004).
Valentino Rossi (born 16 February 1979) is an Italian professional motorcycle road racer and nine times World Champion. Rossi is widely considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name – seven of which are in the premier class. Rossi is also the only road racer to have competed in 400 or more Grand Prix. He has ridden with number 46 his entire career.