After traveling to Italy for the first time as part of my international traveling debut during Christmas 2016, I was surprised to find that what people have told me about the country, its traditions and its culture were not just words, but there was some truth to what they said. The country is stunning. The roads were clear of pot holes, gum indentations, its people were classy and they respected their visitors. That’s not to say it is the happiest place on earth – this isn’t Walt Disney World, after all.
Part of the European Union, Italy is a country made up of nearly 60 million people, including clusters of Albanian, Greek, German, French and Slovene-Italians, according to infoplease.com. The population has grown steadily since the World Bank kept records of population growth per country dating back to 1960, when Italy had just over 50 million people. Italy became a nation-state in 1861, according to the CIA, during a time when regional states were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. Italy is member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Economic Community (EEC). While the country is known for its vast lands, religious prowess and proximity to much of the Eastern world (located in Southern Europe), the country is often finding itself in debt due to poor economic growth, high unemployment rates with young people and females, and a decent amount of organized crime and corruption. The median age of an Italian is 45.1 years, while population growth is estimated to be 0.23% for 2016.
The capital of Italy is Rome, where much of their religious identity stems. 80% of Italians are Christian with Muslims, atheist and agnostic individuals, among others, making up the remaining 20%.In Italy the pre-dominant language spoken by its people is Italian. Other languages spoken by people residing in the country, albeit not large numbers, include Albanian, Bavarian, Catalan, Cimbrian, Corsican, Croatian, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Franco-Provencal, French, Friulian, German, Greek, Italkian, Ladin, Ligurian, Lombard, Mocheno, Napotelano-Calabrese, Piemontese, Provencal, Romani, Sardinian, Sicilian, Slovenian, Venetian and Wasler.
For native English speakers, TheLocal.IT is a great resource of information on the happenings in Italy. Another resource for information is the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), which provides news coverage for many European countries, albeit not as tight as they cover the United Kingdom. The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The New York Times are just some of the news outlets that cover Italy in more intimate ways. However, for best coverage you’ll find them directly from such national news outlets such as broadcast media Radio 24, RAI News, TGCom.