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Italy

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Italy (Italian: Italia) is a country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.

It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country).

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Info Table

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Capital Rome
Currency Euro (€)
Population 61,070,224 (July 1 2014)
Electricity 230V/50Hz. European (Type C) or Italian (Type L) plug.
Country code +39
Time zone UTC +1
Emergencies dial 112
Tourism information italia.it
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 Culture

Italy is considered the birthplace of Western civilization and a cultural superpower. Italy has been the starting point of phenomena of international impact such as the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, the Renaissance, the Risorgimento and the European integration. During its history, the nation gave birth to an enormous number of notable people.

Italian culture is steeped in the arts, family, architecture, music and food. Home of the Roman Empire and a major center of the Renaissance, culture on the Italian peninsula has flourished for centuries. Here is a brief overview of Italian customs and traditions.

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 Language

Not surprisingly, Italian is the language spoken natively by most Italians.

Every region in Italy has a distinct native Romance dialect (which is, sometimes, a language) in addition to Italian that may or may not be the native language of the locals depending on the area: in areas like Rome or Milan the spoken language is nowadays mostly Italian with slight local influence, whereas in rural areas the local language is more common; though people are usually bilingual.

A good phrasebook will be very useful if you’re going anywhere remote, while in most big cities you will find many people understanding English, Spanish or French. But even in those areas Italians will be happy to hear you trying to speak Italian or the local language, and will try to understand you even if you are making many mistakes. If you want your errors to be corrected to help you better learn the language, don’t forget to ask before starting a conversation. Italians will rarely correct you otherwise as they consider it very impolite to do so. They also appreciate your efforts to speak their language, even if you do it badly, and won’t make too much fuss about your mistakes.

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Italy

Updated on 2016-03-24T07:32:55+02:00, by Roberts Rožkalns.