The country is bounded on the north by Switzerland and Austria, northeast Slovenia, north-west by France. It includes enclaves of the Republic of San Marino (61 sq km) and the Vatican State (0.44 km²). The total length of the coastline is 7,600 km (Adriatic Sea – Ligurian Sea – Tyrrhenian Sea – Mediterranean Sea).
Official name: Italian Republic
Government type: parliamentary democracy
President: Mr. Sergio Mattarella (elected 31 January 2015), member of the Democratic Party
Chairman (head of government): Mr. Matteo Renzi (from 22 February 2014), member of the Democratic Party
Area: 310,226 km2
Capital: Rome (2,874,000 inhabitants, urban area: 4,103,250 inhabitants)
Main cities: Milan (1,336,000; urban area: 7,123,563 inhabitants), Turin (897,000), Naples (989,000), Palermo (676,000).
Official language: Italian
National Day: 2 June (Republic Day since 1946)
Population: 60,782,700 (1 January 2014)
Population Growth: 1.2% (World Bank, 2013)
Life expectancy: 82, 3 (World Bank, 2013) 79.9 men, women 84.8
Literacy rate: 99% (UNICEF, 2012)
Religion (s): Christians (80%, mainly Catholics), Muslims (1.5%), atheists and agnostics (<20%)
Human Development Index: 26th in the world (2013)
GDP (2014): 1 572 000 000 000 €
growth rate (2014): -0.4% (2015 forecast: 0.6% -0.7%)
unemployment rate (according to ILO) (2014): 12, 7% (forecast 2015: 12.4%)
Inflation rate (2014): 0.2% (forecast 2015: 0.2%)
Fiscal deficit (as% of GDP) (2014): -3.0% (forecast 2015: -2.6%)
Trade balance (2014): € 42.8 billion
Main clients (2014): 1 Germany (12.5%) – 2 France (10.5%) – 3 United States (7.5%); 4. UK (5.2%), 5 Switzerland (4.8%); 6 ° Spain (4.5%)
Major suppliers (2014): 1 Germany (15.4%) – 2 France (8.6%) – 3 China (7.1%). 4. Netherlands (5.5%), Spain 5 ° (4.8%), Russia 6 (4.6%), Belgium 7 ° (4.2%)
Share of main sectors in GDP:
Exports from France to Italy (2014): € 30.8 billion
French imports from Italy (2014): € 36.2 billion
Bilateral trade balance (2014): -5.4 billion euros
Consulates of France: Milan, Turin, Naples
French community in Italy: 46.300 registered (Aug 2014)
Italian community in France: 380,000 people
Human beings can be traced since the Paleolithic times, 200000 years ago. Starting from 17th century BC, Greeks colonized the southern shores of the peninsula.
Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus. Romulus killed his twin brother Remus to have the right to give his name to the city they were creating. Both were sons of Mars, the God of War, who had raped their mother. Then they were raised by a she-wolf. Is it true or just a legend?
In any case, this small settlement will grow to one of the largest empire ever that has shaped modern Europe.
The Romans were inspired by the Greeks and developed the Greco-Roman civilization. They conquered most of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. In the year 117, 20 % of the world population was under their control.
Everywhere they go, they would bring Rome with them, building cities, roads, schools, aqueducts. Roman cities had sewers and the streets were lightened at night.
The common wealth of people was administered; they call it the Res Publica, it would give the word Republic.
Roman law is still the base of most Europeans laws. French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages are direct descendants from the Latin. Latin locutions are still in used in modern English.
But the mighty Rome spread its wings to far, the power became too thin.
The Empire collapsed under the push of the barbaric tribes, Huns, Franks, Ostrogoth…and its own corruption.
During the Middle Ages, Northern Italy became part of Charlemagne’s Empire.
The Franks converted to Christianity since the 5th century, helped and settle the Papal States in central Italy.
After Charlemagne’s death, his Empire parted and the Holy See gained power. A long struggle ensued. Some cities took advantage of this and set up their own governments, building powerful maritime republics such as Venice or Genoa.
At the end of the Middle-Ages, Italy was mostly composed of City –States that would fight each other. The rest was controlled by the Pope and the Kingdom of Sicily in Napoli.
“Renaissance” was born in Italy. After decades of wars, after the Black Death of 14th century, Italians focused again on arts and culture. This was largely supported by the cities or the princes who had accumulated immense wealth, in particular in maritime trade.
“Renaissance” spread to Europe, for the greater benefit of France and other northern nations. In the East, the Ottomans had built armies and navies and were now controlling the trade.
Italy suffered from rivalries between France, Spain, and Austria. Still very fragmented, the Peninsula was an easy prey for neighboring nations.
In the mid-19th century, a powerful movement of independence; known as Risorgimento, sought to bring back independence to this old nation. After several attempts and wars, at last, Italy was reunited on March 17th 1861.
The North rapidly industrialized, Milano, Torino, Genoa becoming major industrial cities. However the South remained rural and poor. Southerners massively left Italy to try their luck in Northern Europe but also in America, North and South.
Italy was on the victorious side at the end of World War I. However, it went through a terrible economic crisis accompanied with social turmoil.
In 1922, the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini took control of the country, promising redemption to the Italian people,
Italy sided with Germany if World War II…
After the defeat, Italy re-instated democracy. Italians rapidly rebuild their country to enjoy prosperity.
Italy is one of the 6th founding states of the Economic Union.
Good to know
Italy uses the Euro (€)
The Euro (€) is the currency of the Economic and Monetary Union, inside the European Union.
19 countries of the European Union have chosen Euro as their currency, thus creating the Eurozone.
Four European micro-states, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Vatican City, are authorized to use Euro as well.
Two countries, non-members of Economic and Monetary Union, namely the Kosovo and the Montenegro, are also using it besides their national currencies.
The Euro has been circulated since January 1st 2002, replacing the national currencies of the member-countries.
The Euro is the second most used currency, behind the US Dollar, for the number of transactions.
The Euro is managed by the European Central Bank and the Eurosystem that comprises the 19 Central Banks of the member-countries.
Even if each member prints its own banknotes or mints its own coins, they are usable indiferently within the Eurozone.
Where to go?
How to settle there?
To do business
Personal Income tax
Italy applies a progressive scheme.
|Taxable Income (€)||Rate (%)|
|Up to 15,000||23|
|From 15,000 to 28,000||27|
|From 28,000 to 55,000||38|
|From 55,000 to 75,000||41|
The tax on company’s profit is 27.5 %.
In addition to it, comes a local tax known as IRAP. This tax varies depending on the region but the average is 3.9 %.
The VAT rate is 22 %.
A reduced rate of 10 % applies to pharmaceutical products, transportation and cultural events.
A super rate of 4 % applies food, medecine and books.
|Type||In service||On order|
|F35 A/B||8 + 67 planned|
|Gulftream III (Recce)||1|
|Gulfstream G550 (AEW)||2|
|Type||In service||On order|
|CH47||20||10 + 4 planifiés|
|Type||In service||On order|