Land of total startling
extremes Italy in geographical terms alone is one of Europe's most
disaster-prone countries. Italy's Civil Protection service works in a
constant state of readiness to cope with the country's active volcanoes,
earthquakes, floods, avalanches, forest fires.
A large proportion of the
country is hilly, and modern Italy is shaped by its natural geography as
well as by millennia of turbulent history. Over the last three thousand
years, Italy has had a consistently rich culture, producing fine buildings,
works of art, and a mythologized history with timeless appeal.
From the jewels of the Italian
Riviera to the high slopes of the Abruzzo, the more time you spend in Italy,
the more faces you will discover. Italy, and the Italians, are at times
cultured and barbaric, modern and surreally old-fashioned, lazy and vibrant,
in thrall of the past, and neglectful of it.
This is a country where cities
have been at war with each other for centuries.. now this masquerades as
football rivalry or civic pride, but really it's a continuation of the
peninsula's city-state culture. Italians all feel they 'belong' primarily to
their town (this may be their parents' birthplace, where they have never
lived), secondly perhaps to Europe. 'Italy' is a concept which is still
being worked at, and Mameli's national anthem a tool which is wielded not
for custom but for political ends. The easier way to please and Italian is
to first praise the beauty of their city, followed by comparing it
favourably with other Italian cities.
The Italian Peninsula has a mixture of hills, plains, and mountains that
alters the climate of Italy. This distinctive geography not only changes the
climate but also separates Italy into different zones. The Apennine
Mountains run through most of Italy..........
Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations. In summer
the Northern parts of Italy are warm with occasional rainfall, the central
region is somewhat stifled by humidity and the south scorches under the dry
heat. In winter, conditions in Milan,...........
The influence of the traditional Mediterranean
culture on the inhabitants can be seen in the central and southern parts of
the country. In southern Italy most people are shorter with olive skin and
dark hair. On the other hand, in the north they tend to be taller,............
In the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. Greeks
settled in the southern tip of the Italian Peninsula Etruscans. Romans
and others inhabited the central and northern mainland. The peninsula
subsequently was unified under the Roman Republic............