Population Size

There are currently about 60,145,798 people that live in Italy.

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Country Size

Italy is a country in southern Europe that is 116,347 square miles. Italy borders Switzerland and Austria to the north, France to the west and Slovenia to the east.

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Italian is the official language of Italy, and 93% of population are native Italian speakers. Around 50% of population speak a regional dialect as mother tongue. Many dialects are mutually unintelligible and thus considered by linguists as separate languages, but are not officially recognised. Friulian, one of these dialects, is spoken by 600,000 people in the north east of Italy, which is 1% of the entire population. Other northern minority languages include Ladin, Slovene, German, which enjoys equal recognition with Italian in the province of Alto-Adige, and French, which is legally recognised in the Alpine region of the Val d'Aosta.

Albanian is spoken by 0.2% of the population, mainly in the southern part of Italy, as too are Croatian and Greek.

Catalan is spoken in one city, Alghero, on the island of Sardinia, by around 0.07% of the population. On the rest of the island, Sardinian is spoken by over 1m, which comes to 1.7% of the Italian population.

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President: Giorgio Napolitano (2006)

Prime Minister: Matteo Renzi (2014)

Italy is Republican.

Read more: Italy: History, Geography, Government, & Culture |
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Roman Catholicism is the majority religion with 85 percent of native-born citizens Catholic, if only nominally, and only 20 percent participate regularly in services of worship.

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government is thought to generally respect this right in practice, not tolerating its abuse, either by government or private action. Thus, there is no state religion and the constitution prohibits state support for private schools but the Catholic Church enjoys some privileges, stemming from its sovereign status and its historical political authority, not available to other faiths.

The status of the Roman Catholic Church in Italy has been determined (since its temporal powers ended in 1870) by a series of accords with the Italian government. The Lateran Pacts of 1929, which were confirmed by the present Constitution, confirms that the State of Vatican City is recognised by Italy as an independent, sovereign entity. While preserving that recognition, in 1984 Italy and the Vatican updated several provisions of the 1929 Pacts, which included the end of Roman Catholicism as Italy's formal state religion.

While most of the population is Roman Catholic there are also significant minorities, which include Protestants and Jews, although the Jehovah's Witnesses form the second largest denomination among native-born citizens, numbering approximately 400,000. Increasing immigration has led to some anti-immigrant sentiment to be directed towards the country's many Muslim immigrants as religion has served as an additional factor differentiating them from native-born citizens.
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The flag of Italy (bandiera d'Italia, often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore) is a tricolour featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white, and red, with the green at the hoist side. Its current form has been in use since 19 June 1946 and was formally adopted on 1 January 1948.
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  • Appearances matter in Italy.The way you dress can indicate your social status, your family's background, and your education level.First impressions are lasting impressions in Italy.The concept of 'bella figura' or good image is important to Italians.They unconsciously assess another person's age and social standing in the first few seconds of meeting them, often before any words are exchanged.Clothes are important to Italians.They are extremely fashion conscious and judge people on their appearance. You will be judged on your clothes, shoes, accessories and the way you carry yourself.Bella figura is more than dressing well. It extends to the aura your project too - i.e. confidence, style, demeanour, etc.
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    Italian food and wine are probably as famous as Italy's artistic and historical assets: think of Italian wines such as Chianti, Amarone and Barolo, of their specialty foods, like Buffalo Mozzarella, or of fresh produce such as truffles and olives, that are so much part of our cuisine to have become almost a symbol of it. Feeling hungry? Well, If you want to get straight to work, check out their delicious Italian food recipes database. If you want to learn more about Italian food and wine and some of their secrets, than keep on reading this section of our website: you'll be surprised by the history behind the food, and how strictly related to the culture and heritage of an area a wine or a dish can be. - See more at:
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    Top sights

    Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy

    Greetings in Italy

    When you’re introduced to an Italian, you should say ‘good day’ ( buongiorno) and shake hands (a single pump is enough). ‘Hello’ ( ciao) is used among close friends and young people, but it isn’t considered polite when addressing strangers unless they use it first. Women may find that some men kiss their hand, although this is rare nowadays.

    When being introduced to someone in a formal situation, it’s common to say ‘pleased to meet you’ ( molto lieto). When saying goodbye, you should shake hands again. It’s also customary to say ‘good day’ or ‘good evening’ ( buonasera) on entering a small shop, waiting room or lift, and ‘good day’ or ‘goodbye’ ( arriverderci or, when addressing only one person, arrivederla) on leaving (friends say ciao).

    Buongiorno becomes buonasera any time after the lunch break (around 1pm), although if you choose buonasera (or buongiorno), don’t be surprised if the response isn’t the same. Good night ( buonanotte) is used when going to bed or leaving a house in the evening.

    Titles should generally be used when addressing or writing to people, particularly when the holder is elderly. Dottore is usually used when addressing anyone with a university degree ( dottoressa if it’s a woman) and employees may refer to their boss as director ( direttore) or presidente. Professionals should be addressed by their titles such as professor ( professore), doctor ( dottore), engineer ( ingegnere), lawyer ( avvocato) and architect ( architetto).

    If you don’t know someone’s title, you can use signore (for a man) or signora (woman); a young woman may be addressed as signorina, although nowadays all women tend to be addressed as signora.


    If you’re invited to dinner by an Italian family (a rare honour), you should take along a small present of flowers, pastries or chocolates. Gifts of foreign food or drink aren’t generally well received unless they’re highly prized in Italy such as single malt whisky. Some people say you must never take wine, although this obviously depends on your hosts and how well you know them. If you do bring wine, it’s unlikely to be served with the meal, as the wine will have already been chosen.

    Flowers can be tricky, as some people associate them with certain things (e.g. chrysanthemums for cemeteries), but a florist will be able to advise you. It’s common for Italians to send a small note or gift the following day to thank people for their hospitality or kindness.

    Italians say ‘good appetite’ ( buon appetito) before starting a meal. If you’re offered a glass of wine, wait until your host has made a toast ( salute!) before drinking. If you aren’t offered another drink, it’s time to go home. You should, however, go easy on the wine and other alcohol, as if you drink to excess you’re unlikely to be invited back! It’s common in Italy to invite people to come after dinner ( dopo cena), e.g. from 9.30pm, for dessert and wine.

    Dress Code

    Italians dress well and seem to have an inborn sense of elegance and style. Presentation and impression are all-important to Italians and are referred to as bella presenza or bella figura (literally ‘beautiful presentation or figure’). Italians generally dress well and appropriately, tending to be more formal in their attire than most northern Europeans and North Americans.

    However, although they rarely loaf around in shorts or jogging pants, they also tend not to go to the other extreme of tuxedos and evening gowns. Italians judge people by their dress, the style and quality being as important as the appropriateness for the occasion. Italians consider bathing costumes, skimpy tops and flip-flops or sandals with no socks strictly for the beach or swimming pool, and not the street, restaurants or shops. (Italians believe that many foreigners are shameless in the way they dress and act in public and have no self respect.)

    They also choose the occasions when they wear jeans carefully, as these aren’t thought appropriate for a classy restaurant or church.

    Bella figura refers not only to the way you look, but also to the way you act and what you say. It’s similar in some ways to the oriental concept of ‘face’, and Italians must look good and be seen in the best light, always appearing to be in control and not showing ignorance or a lack of savoir-faire. It’s important not to show disrespect or ridicule an Italian, even if it means biting your tongue on occasions.

    Epiphany and Befana

    Although this festival is now marked with a national holiday, nowhere it is observed with such spirit of festivity as in Rome. According to Christian tradition the festival is held on the 12th day of Christmas when children celebrates the arrival of the holy witch Befana. In The Vatican City the festival takes a particularly colorful shape with thousands of people in their medieval dress head towards the Vatican. Many churches display nativity scenes from their collections and even celebrate the day with live performances of nativity scenes. For its wide ranging religious significance it is widely regarded as one of the top festivals in Italy.
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