AOH :: ITALY.TXT|
Everything that you ever wanted to know about Italy!
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is an independent nation in
southern Europe. It extends southward from the Alps to the MEDITERRANEAN
SEA, forming a narrow, 1,100-km-long (700-mi), boot-shaped peninsula
reaching almost to the northern coast of Africa. The peninsula is
bordered by the LIGURIAN SEA and the TYRRHENIAN SEA on the west, the
IONIAN SEA on the south, and the ADRIATIC SEA on the east. It is
advantageously located to control traffic between the eastern and
western basins of the Mediterranean. The national territory includes the
two large islands of SARDINIA and SICILY; the smaller offshore islands
of CAPRI, ELBA, and Ischia; the Lipari (Aeolian) Islands; the islands of
Pantelleria, Linosa, Lampione, and Lampedusa in the Strait of Sicily
between Sicily and Africa; and--by agreements with Yugoslavia in 1954
and 1975--TRIESTE and the northern sections of ISTRIA. Located on the
Italian peninsula are two small independent enclaves--VATICAN CITY, in R
ome, and the Republic of SAN MARINO, near RIMINI. Italy is bordered on
the northwest by France, on the north by Switzerland, on the northeast
by Austria, and on the east by Yugoslavia. The capital is ROME.
The name Italy was already in use during Roman times and came into the
Latin language from the ancient Oscan tongue, which in turn may have
taken it from a southern Greek dialect. Its etymology is linked to a
Greek word meaning "calf," and according to a modern interpretation it
is a reference to Calabria in southern Italy, where early inhabitants
adopted the calf as their symbol.
The modern Italian state dates from 1861, when the title king of Italy
was conferred on VICTOR EMMANUEL II, king of Sardinia. Before that time,
Italy consisted of separate states which have retained a strong sense of
regional identity and are identifiable today in the nation's 20
administrative regions. Eight of these states are located in northern
(or Upper) Italy: EMILIA-ROMAGNA, FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA, LIGURIA,
LOMBARDY, PIEDMONT, TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE, VALLE D'AOSTA, and VENETO. Six
are in central Italy: ABRUZZI, LATIUM, MARCHE, MOLISE, TUSCANY, and
UMBRIA. Southern Italy contains four: APULIA, BASILICATA, CALABRIA, and
CAMPANIA. The other two states are the island regions of Sardinia and
Italy has been historically important since Roman times, and millions of
tourists are attracted each year to its ancient cities and art
treasures. Modern Italy is an important industrial nation and a leading
member of the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (EEC), commonly known as the
Common Market. Italy's rapid growth since 1950 has been referred to as
the "Italian miracle"; the term is apt, because Italy has developed with
few economic assets other than an abundant, skilled labor force.
Italy can be divided topographically into three parts--continental,
peninsular, and insular Italy. Continental Italy, in the north, includes
the broad, triangular-shaped North Italian Plain--Italy's only large
lowland--and the high mountains of the Alps, which curve along the
northern border in a broad arc about 1,300 km (810 mi) long and 150 to
250 km (93-155 mi) wide. These mountains extend from Savona, on the
Ligurian coast, to near Trieste in the east. The highest peaks in the
Alps are west of the SIMPLON PASS (linking Domodossola and Brig,
Switzerland) and include Gran Paradiso, which rises to 4,061 m (13,323
ft) south of Aosta; Mont Blanc (see BLANC, MONT), the highest mountain
in Europe, on the border with France; the MATTERHORN, on the border with
Switzerland; and Monte Rosa (see ROSA, MONTE), Italy's highest point.
The central Alps, located between the Simplon Pass on the west and the
Resia Pass on the east, rise over 3,300 m (10,800 ft) in the Lepontine
Alps and to 4,049 m (13,284 ft) farther east i n the Bernina Alps.
Italy's eastern Alps include the Otztal and Carnic Alps, forming parts
of the border with Austria; the Dolomites, rising wholly within Italy to
3,342 m (10,965 ft) in Marmolada; and the Julian Alps, located primarily
Peninsular Italy encompasses all of the Italian peninsula south of the
North Italian Plain and the junction of the Ligurian Alps with the
APENNINES at Savona. The Apennines form the backbone of the peninsula
and reach their highest elevation in the central or Abruzzi Apennines.
In the northern and central sections of the peninsula, the highest
mountains are close to the Adriatic coast. Broad lowlands, backed by the
rolling hills of the pre-Apennines, border the Tyrrhenian coast in
Tuscany and Latium. In the south, the highest mountains are close to the
Tyrrhenian coast, which is rocky, steep, and indented south of Naples.
VESUVIUS, Europe's only active mainland volcano, is near Naples.
Insular Italy includes Sardinia, Sicily, and many smaller islands off
their shores. Sardinia covers an area of 23,812 sq km (9,194 sq mi) and
rises to a high point of 1,834 m (6,016 ft) in the ancient granite
massif of Gennargentu. Sicily covers an area of 28,812 sq km (11,124 sq
mi) and rises to 3,262 m (10,703 ft) in Mount ETNA. Northern Sicily is
traversed by high mountains geologically related to the Apennines. This
chain reappears across the Sicilian Channel as the ATLAS MOUNTAINS of
northern Africa. Two active volcanoes--STROMBOLI and Vulcano--located
on islands off the north coast of Sicily, together with frequent
earthquakes felt throughout Italy, attest to the geologic youth of the
Alpine chain and the Apennines. Only Sardinia is composed primarily of
The richest and most productive soils for agriculture are the alluvial
soils of the North Italian Plain and the smaller river valleys of the
peninsula. Well suited for forestry and pasture are the brown podzolic
soils, which developed under an original forest cover and are found
throughout the Apennines. Regosols have developed on the weathered
volcanic deposits of Tuscany and Latium and on the lower slopes of
active volcanoes. Red soils are common in Apulia and in other limestone
areas in the south.
Except for the Alps, which have a mountain climate that varies with
altitude, Italy has a continental climate in the north and a
Mediterranean climate in the south. Summer temperatures average 24 deg C
(75 deg F) for July throughout the nation, but winter temperatures range
from a January average of 1 deg C (33 deg F) at BOLZANO in the north to
7 deg C (45 deg F) at Rome, and 12 deg C (53 deg F) at Palermo on
Sicily. The annual temperature range between summer and winter is
greatest in the north (typical of a continental climate) and least in
the south. Precipitation ranges from 889 mm (35 in) at Trieste to 610 mm
(24 in) in Palermo. It is concentrated during the winter in the south
(typical of a Mediterranean climate) and during the warmer part of the
year in the north.
Six climatic subregions may be distinguished. The Alpine zone is
characterized by harsh winters, abundant precipitation, frequent snow,
and cool summers. The lowlands of the North Italian Plain experience
harsh winters with long periods of frost, warm summers, precipitation
concentrated in spring and fall, and intense fog in fall and winter. The
coastal Tyrrhenian region has mild winters and hot, dry summers. The
Adriatic coast has a climate similar to that of the Tyrrhenian coast but
tends to be drier and colder in winter. The Apennines are climatically
similar to the North Italian Plain. The islands have a typically
Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters during
which some rainy days can be expected.
The main Italian waterway is the 652-km-long (405-mi) PO RIVER, which
drains most of the North Italian Plain and enters the Adriatic Sea about
56 km (35 mi) south of Venice. The ADIGE RIVER, Italy's second longest,
has a length of 410 km (255 mi) and flows into the Adriatic Sea north of
the Po. In the peninsula, the main river is the 405-km-long (253-mi)
TIBER RIVER, which flows from the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines through Rome
and Ostia to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Also important in the peninsula is the
241-km-long (151-mi) ARNO RIVER, flowing through Tuscany and the cities
of Florence and PISA before entering the Ligurian Sea.
The largest lakes in Italy are in the Alps and pre-Alps and are of
glacial origin. The largest is Lake GARDA, with an area of 370 sq km
(142 sq mi); others are Lake MAGGIORE, and Lake COMO. The largest lakes
of the peninsula are Lake Trasimeno (Lake of Perugia) and Lake Bolsena,
which was formed in an extinct volcanic crater.
Vegetation and Animal Life.
About one-fifth of Italy is forested, with deciduous trees predominating
in the North Italian Plain and needle-leaf trees at higher altitudes.
The typical lowland Mediterranean woodland is a mixture of holm oaks,
cork trees, maritime pines, cypresses, oleasters (wild olive), carobs,
laurels, and myrtles. Forests of chestnut and oak are characteristic of
cooler areas; they occur at elevations of about 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in
the Alps, 1,100 m (3,600 ft) in the northern Apennines, and 1,800 m
(5,900 ft) in Sici ly. Above these limits are mainly beech trees, pines,
and white fir. In the Alps at altitudes above 1,000 m (3,300 ft) forests
of larch, spruce, and pine are found. Between the tree line (limit of
tree growth) and the snow line stretch extensive alpine pastures. Heath
is common on the North Italian Plain.
The principal large animals found wild in Italy today are the brown
bear, which inhabits the Alps and the Abruzzi mountains; wolves, found
in the Apennines; wild boars, found in Sardinia; red deer, chamois, roe
deer, and Alpine ibex, in Gran Paradiso National Park; and fallow deer
and mouflons, on Sardinia. The most numerous birds are larks, crows, and
wrens. Hawks, buzzards, eagles, and other birds of prey can be seen in
some upland areas. Gran Paradiso and Circeo national parks are important
centers for t he conservation of endangered animal species.
Except for sulfur and mercury, Italy has only small deposits of minerals
needed for industry. Minor coal deposits are located in Sardinia, and
some lignite is mined in Tuscany, Umbria, and Basilicata. Petroleum and
natural gas are found in Sicily, and a large natural gas field underlies
much of the North Italian Plain. Abundant hydroelectric power is
produced on rivers flowing from the Alps. This form of energy is
increasingly important in the south as dams are built to regulate the
flow of local rivers. Forests occupy about 21% of the total land area,
arable land 53%, and pastures 17%.
The Italian people are among the most ethnically homogenous in Europe.
Nearly all are of Italian origin and speak Italian or dialects and
languages related to Italian. These dialects vary considerably from
region to region and are considered separate languages in the case of
Sardinian, spoken by about 1.2 million people in Sardinia; Friulian, a
Rhaeto-Romanic language spoken by about 520,000 people in the
northeastern district of Friuli; and Ladin, a Rhaeto-Romanic language
spoken in the mountains of the Al to Adige. The principal non-Italian
minorities are about 260,000 German-Italians, who live in the Alto Adige
(formerly Austria's South TYROL) and speak the German dialects of
Austria and Bavaria; and 53,000 Slavic Italians, scattered in several
areas in Friuli and Venezia-Giulia. In addition, some isolated minority
groups live in southern Italy, including Greek-speaking communities in
parts of Apulia and Calabria; Albanian colonies in Sicily and Calabria;
and Serbo-Croatian communities in parts of Molise. French is spoken in
the Aosta valley.
Most Italians are Roman Catholics. Roman Catholicism was established as
Italy's official religion by the LATERAN TREATY between Vatican City and
Italy on Feb. 11, 1929; however, this legal status was abolished in
1984. Protestants constitute a small minority of about 180,000, and Jews
number about 35,000.
Italy has one of the highest population densities in Europe. Densities
over 100 persons per sq km (260 per sq mi) occur in most of the North
Italian Plain; the Ligurian coast; the Arno Valley and northern Tuscany;
the hilly Adriatic regions of Marche, Abruzzi, and Molise; most of
Umbria, Latium, Calabria, and Apulia; and many coastal areas in Sicily.
The sparsely populated areas are the Alpine uplands, parts of the
Apennines in Liguria and Calabria; and the marshes of Tuscany and
Italy's current birthrate and death rate approximate the average in
Europe. Both rates have dropped dramatically since the 19th century. In
the decade 1971-81, Italy's population increased by about 5.7%, a rate
slightly lower than that maintained since the first census in 1861.
During this period, the population of central and northern Italy grew
faster than that of the south, an indication that internal migration
from south to north is continuing despite government efforts to develop
the south and slow thi s migration. Between 1957 and 1971, an estimated
4.2 million of a total Mezzogiorno (south) population of 19 million
migrated northward, most in search of greater economic opportunity.
About 78% of the population live in urban areas. More than 30% live in
the 48 cities that have more than 100,000 inhabitants. The largest city
is Rome. MILAN, NAPLES, and TURIN each have more than one million
inhabitants. Other large cities are GENOA, PALERMO, BOLOGNA, FLORENCE,
CATANIA, and VENICE.
Emigration has long been a feature of Italy's population. Between 1861
and 1965, an estimated 26.5 million Italians emigrated, primarily to the
United States, Argentina, and Brazil. Only 6 million returned. Since
World War II, emigration has continued but mainly by workers leaving
temporarily for employment in other European nations--particularly West
Germany and Switzerland. Only about 25% of all migrants during this
period emigrated permanently overseas.
Education and Health.
Education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 14. Children
between the ages of 11 and 14 attend middle school, and those who
graduate may continue their education in a classical or scientific high
school, in a teacher training school, or in one of a variety of
technical schools that prepare students for specific careers. Only a
small number of students go on to study at a university. The principal
universities are at Rome, Naples, Milan, Bologna, Turin, and Palermo.
According to the 1971 census , about 5.2% of the total population over
the age of 6 were illiterate and had completed no school course, 27%
could read but had completed no school course, 44.3% had graduated from
elementary school, 14.7% had a diploma from middle school, 6.9% had a
high school diploma, and 1.9% possessed university degrees.
Health costs for most Italians are covered by compulsory insurance
programs. In 1976 there was one physician for every 429 inhabitants,
about average for Europe. The principal causes of death were cancer,
heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. The infant mortality rate in
1977 was 17.6 per 1,000 live births. In 1976, 1,945 hospitals, with
588,103 beds, served the country. Many are run by Catholic religious
Academies are an important feature of intellectual life in Italy. Among
the more prominent are the ACCADEMIA DEI LINCEI, founded in Rome in
1603; the National Academy of Saint Luke for fine arts, founded in the
14th century; Florence's Accademia Nazionale della Crusca (1582) for
philological, lexicographical, and grammatical studies; and the National
Academy of Saint Cecilia for music, founded in Rome in 1566. The leading
research institute for mathematics, physics, and natural sciences is the
National Rese arch Council of Italy (1923). The leading libraries are
the National Central Library (1747) in Florence, containing 4 million
books; Rome's Victor Emmanuel II National Central Library, with 2.8
million volumes; and the Central State Archives (1871) in Rome,
containing 120,000 volumes. Museums and art galleries can be found in
all the larger towns. Among the most famous are the PITTI PALACE,
UFFIZI, and National Museum in Florence; the Gallerio Borghese, Villa
Giulia, Capitoline Museum, and Nat ional Gallery of Modern Art, in Rome;
and the Accademia in Venice. The Universita Italiana per Stranieri,
founded in 1925 in Perugia, offers courses in the history of Italian
civilization and the Italian language for foreign students.
Modern industry developed in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century,
about 100 years later than in other parts of Western Europe. This delay
resulted in part from a lack of industrial raw materials, especially
coal and other fuels. Other factors retarding industrialization were the
survival into the 19th century of ancient feudal social structures and
the political fragmentation that hindered the development of a single
national market. Early industrialization was concentrated mainly in the
northwest, w here industrial agglomeration in the iron and steel,
shipbuilding, engineering, and textile industries continues. The rest of
Italy remained industrially underdeveloped and primarily agricultural
until economic growth rapidly accelerated in the 1950s.
Governmental participation in industrial development continues. Through
autonomous public organizations, an estimated one-third to one-half of
all production by privately managed and competing companies is directed
by the state. In addition, programs such as the Southern Development
Fund offer special financial incentives to companies locating in the
south. These programs are part of the government's efforts to lessen the
socioeconomic disparity between north and south.
Manufacturing and Mining.
In 1980 manufacturing contributed about 42% to the gross national
product and employed approximately one-fourth of the economically active
population. About 30% of all industrial workers live in Lombardy, and
another 14% live in Piedmont. Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Tuscany each
have 8% of the industrial labor force. Italy's principal industries are
the steel, automotive engineering, chemical, and textile industries. In
1981 steel output was 24.8 million metric tons (24.3 million U.S. tons),
more than 11 times the production at the end of World War II. The
principal steel-making centers are TARANTO, Genoa, Naples-Bagnoli, and
Piombino. The automobile industry is located in BRESCIA, MODENA, Milan,
and Turin. Italy also exports sewing machines, typewriters, motor
scooters, bicycles, mopeds, power tools, calculators, refrigerators,
radios, and televisions. Airplanes are manufactured in Turin, and ships
are built at ANCONA, LA SPEZIA, Genoa, Naples, Trieste, and Venice. The
production of petrochemicals such as plastics, fertilizers, and
synthetic rubber is concentrated in the natural gas fields of the North
Italian Plain and Sicily. The textile industry, important as early as
the Middle Ages, was traditionally dependent on imported wool and
cotton. Since the discovery of natural gas and petroleum, a synthetic
fiber and fabric industry has developed. Florence and Milan are leading
textile and garment centers. Artisans play an important role in the
Italian economy and receive assistance from the government. Glass, po
ttery, lace, carved marble, and gold and silver filigree work are among
the most famous hand-crafted products.
Petroleum and natural gas are the leading minerals produced, but local output supplies only a fraction of the nation's needs. Most petroleum is extracted in the Sicilian district of Ragusa. Natural gas underlies much of the North Italian Plain and parts of Sicily. Other minerals, far less important in terms of total value, include marble, quarried as in Michelangelo's time at Carrara; lead and zinc, mined in Sardinia; sulfur, in Sicily; and bauxite, mined mainly in the south.
Petroleum is the principal fuel consumed, and about 80% is imported. In
1977, Italy produced 166.5 billion KW h of electricity. About 71% of all
electricity is generated in thermal electric power plants, fueled by
petroleum and natural gas; 26% by hydroelectric installations primarily
along Alpine rivers; and 1% from nuclear plants. Hydroelectric power
output stayed about the same during the decade 1965-75 while total
electrical production nearly doubled.
About 13% of the labor force are employed in agriculture, which
contributed some 7% to the gross national product in 1980. Slightly more
than half of all land is used for farming, but productivity is low
because only 29% of the land devoted to farming is in the fertile North
Italian Plain; the rest is in the agriculturally marginal hill and
mountain areas. Agricultural production is further limited by lack of
investment capital for modern equipment, by a preponderance of
tenant-farmed estates in the south, and by the small size of most farm
The principal crops include wheat, which is grown throughout the nation,
and corn and rice, grown mainly in the North Italian Plain where water
is available in summer for irrigation of the rice crop. Olives, grapes,
citrus fruits, peaches, and other tree crops are characteristic of
Italian agriculture, especially in the typically Mediterranean central
and southern regions. Early spring vegetables, grown near Naples and
other southern areas, command high prices when shipped to northern
Europe. Flowers are a specialty crop along the Ligurian coast. Livestock
accounts for about 40% of all agricultural production by value, but
Italy must import large quantities of meat, primarily from France and
Germany. Dairy cattle dominate in the Alps and in the provinces of
Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, and Tuscany, and sheep and goats are raised in
the hilly, drier areas of the south and in Sardinia and Sicily.
Fishing and Forestry.
Many small fishing ports line Italy's long coast, but the Mediterranean
is not abundant in fish. The 1980 catch of about 445,000 metric tons
(490,528 U.S. tons) was insufficient to meet the nation's needs. Some
fishing fleets work in the Atlantic Ocean, but most fishers use small
boats and outdated equipment. Forestry is of only minor importance, and
Italy must import most of its wood.
Road and freeway traffic is increasing as more Italians purchase
automobiles, and the expressway system now covers 5,900 km (3,665 mi).
The most important freeway is the 1,250-km-long (777-mi) highway linking
Milan, Rome, Naples, and REGGIO DI CALABRIA, breaking the historic
isolation of many southern communities. About half of the 20,088 km
(12,483 mi) of railroad is electrified, and the fast, efficient service
on many of the state-run lines provides an alternative to highway
travel. International air traf fic is centered on Rome, located on
international air traffic routes serving Europe and Asia. The Po River,
navigable as far as CREMONA, is Italy's only natural inland water route.
Small canals are used for transportation in Venice and in the North
Italy has an extensive broadcasting system. The major networks are
responsible to the state, but the country also has numerous local
broadcasters. Rome and Milan are the principal centers of newspaper and
Italy's imports are dominated by industrial raw materials, petroleum,
meat, and cereal grains. The principal exports are manufactured goods
and craft items, along with fruits and vegetables. Italy usually suffers
a trade deficit, but the difference is partly offset by its large and
profitable tourist industry and by money sent by Italian citizens
working abroad. The principal ports are Genoa, Trieste, Taranto, Venice,
Savona, and Naples. Petroleum is imported primarily through Augusta. A
pipeline from Alger ia, by way of Tunisia, to Sicily is under
construction. Italy's principal trading partners are other members of
the EEC, especially West Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom. Other trade partners include the
United States, and--for petroleum imports--Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq.
In a referendum vote held on June 2, 1946, Italy's monarchy was
abolished and the Italian Republic established. The constitution was
adopted on Dec. 22, 1947, and took effect on Jan. 1, 1948. According to
the constitution, executive power lies with the cabinet, and legislative
powers are vested in a parliament consisting of a 630-member chamber of
deputies and a 322-member senate. Except for a few life members of the
senate (including former presidents and five prominent citizens
nominated by the president) , both houses are elected directly by
universal adult suffrage for 5-year terms unless dismissed earlier. The
president of the republic is head of state and is elected to a renewable
7-year term by a joint session of Parliament and three delegates from
each of the regional legislatures. Executive power rests with the
council of ministers (cabinet) headed by the prime minister appointed by
Each of the 20 regions has an elected council, a president, and a qiunta
regionale that exercises executive power and is responsible to the
regional council. Five of the regions--Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia,
Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Valle d'Aosta--are granted special
autonomous status by the constitution.
The principal political party is the Christian Democratic party, which
has led or participated in every government since 1945. The second
largest party is the Communist party, which was excluded from the
government from 1947 to 1977. Other parties include the Republican,
Italian Socialist, and Social Democratic parties.
Bibliography: Acquaviva, Sabino, and Santuccio, Mario, Social Structure
in Italy: Crisis of a System (1976); Adams, J. C., The Government of
Republican Italy, 3d ed. (1972); Allen, Kevin J., and Stevenson, Andrew
A., An Introduction to the Italian Economy (1974); Allum, P. A., Italy:
Republic Without Government? (1973); Barnes, Samuel H., Representation
in Italy: Institutionalized Tradition and Electoral Choice (1977);
Carlyle, Margaret, The Awakening of Southern Italy (1962); Dickenson,
Robert E., The Popu lation Problem in Southern Italy (1977); Nichols,
Peter, Italia, Italia (1974); Tannenbaum, Edward R., and Noerther, E.
R., eds., Modern Italy (1974); Tilly, Charles, et al., The Rebellious
Century, 1830-1930 (1975); Walker, Donald S., A Geography of Italy, 2d
ed. (1967); Woolf, S. J., ed., The Rebirth of Italy, 1943-50 (1972).
See also: ITALIAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE; ITALIAN LITERATURE; ITALIAN
LAND. Area. 301,225 sq km (116,304 sq mi). Capital and largest city.
Rome (1983 pop., 2,834,094). Elevations. Highest--Monte Rosa, 4,634 m
(15,203 ft); lowest--sea level, along the coast.
PEOPLE. Population (1983 est.). 56,345,000. Density (1983 est.). 187
persons per sq km (484 per sq mi). Distribution (1979). 78% urban, 22%
rural. Annual Growth (1983). 0.1%. Official Language. Italian. Major
Religion. Roman Catholicism.
ECONOMY. GNP (1981). $335 billion; $5,857 per capita. Labor Distribution
(1982). agriculture--15%; industry and commerce--37%; services--48%;
unemployed (1984)--13.3%. Major Crops, Products, and Industries. wheat,
corn, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, barley, grapes, citrus fruit, olives,
apples, pears, peaches, sugar beets, beans, peas, lettuce, melons,
onions; iron and steel, motor vehicles, chemicals, processed food,
refined petroleum, textiles, clothing, footwear, machinery, printed
materials; mining, fishing , tourism. Foreign Trade (1982).
imports--$86.2 billion; exports--$73.5 billion; principal trade
partners--West Germany, France, United States, Saudi Arabia. Energy.
total electrical energy production (1982)--184.5 billion kW h; total
electric capacity (1982)--48.5 million kW. Currency. 1 Italian lira =
100 centesimi. Currency Exchange Rate (July 1, 1985). 1 lira =
GOVERNMENT. Type. republic. Political Parties. Christian Democratic
party (DC), Italian Communist party (PCI), Italian Socialist party
(PSI), Italian Social Movement (MSI), Democratic Socialist party (PSDI),
Italian Republican party (PRI), Italian Liberal party (PLI). Government
Leaders (1985). Francesco Cossiga--president; Bettino Craxi--prime
minister. Legislature. Parliament. Political Subdivisions. 20 regions.
Active Military Forces (1982). 370,000.
EDUCATION AND HEALTH. Literacy (1982). 94% of adult population.
Universities (1982). 52. Enrollment (1982). 4,335,900 primary students;
3,482,500 secondary students; 719,450 university and college students.
Hospital Beds (1981). 554,600. Physicians (1979). 164,555.
VITAL STATISTICS. Life Expectancy (1978). women--73.1; men--67.0. Infant
Mortality (1981). 14.1 per 1,000 live births. Births (1983). 11 per
1,000 persons. Deaths (1983). 10 per 1,000 persons. Marriages (1982).
5.5 per 1,000 persons. Divorces (1980). 0.2 per 1,000 persons.
COMMUNICATIONS. Railroads (1982). 20,085 km (12,480 mi). Roads (1980).
260,500 km (161,867 mi) primary; 33,910 km (21,071 mi) secondary. Major
Ports. 9. Airfields (international, 1983). 21. Telecommunications.
telephones (1981)--19,269,340; television licenses (1981)--13.4 million.
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