Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy is a parliamentary republic in Europe. It is the 4th most populous EU-member state, with approximately 61 million residents. Italy is known as the home of the Renaissance, which spread throughout Europe, and brought new ideas about humanism, exploration, science, and art. Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and Leonardo Di Vinci, were just a few of the prominent names to come out of the country, throughout this period, and its history. The country helped usher in Europe’s age of Discovery.
Today, the country has the 3rd highest nominal GDP in the Eurozone and 8th largest worldwide. The country is highly ranked for gold bank reserves and national wealth. Italy is considered a regional and great power worldwide. The country is one of NATO’s founding members, is a member of the United Nations, G7, G20, OSCE, WTO, and other international foreign relations groups.
The Italian government has been a unitary parliamentary republic since 1946 when the monarch was abolished. The President appoints the Prime Minister and cabinet members. The country’s judicial system is based on Roman-Law and is modified by the Napoleonic Code. The system is centralized, and all the courts are connected.
Italy’s economy is a capitalist mixed economy. It is today one of the world’s most industrialized nations, and a leader in world trade exports. Innovative business, a highly advanced agricultural system, and its impact in auto-manufacturing, food production, design, and the fashion industries, are among the leading sectors which contribute to the Italian economy. Italy is also the world’s 6th largest manufacturing country. It is also one of the world’s largest exporters, with the automotive industry being one of the biggest exports for the country.
Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world with over 50.5 million visitors touring the country in 2015. In 2010, approximately 10.1% of the country’s GDP came from tourism dollars. With 53 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Italy is well-known for its environmental tourist sites. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pompeii, Pitti Palace, Lake Como, and the Medici Chapels, are just a few of the most visited sites in the country.
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