ITALY
Demographic Information
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  Demographic Information
 
ITALY. Republic, S Europe, bounded on the N by Switzerland and Austria; on the E by Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea; on the S by the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea; on the W by the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea; and on the NW by France. It comprises, in addition to the Italian mainland, the Mediterranean islands of Elba, Sardinia, and Sicily and many lesser islands. Enclaves within mainland Italy are the independent countries of San Marino and Vatican City, a papal state mostly enclosed by Rome, the capital of Italy. The area of Italy is 301,225 sq km (116,304 sq mi).  

Government. Italy has been a democratic republic since June 2, 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by pop ular referendum. By the terms of the constitution that became effective on Jan. 1, 1948, the re-establishment of the Fascist party is prohibited; direct male heirs of the house of Savoy ( see Savoy, House of ) are ineligible to vote or hold any public office and are, in fact, banished from Italian soil; and recognition is no longer accorded to titles of nobility, although titles in existence prior to Oct. 28, 1922, may be used as part of the bearer's name.  

Land and Resources. More than half of Italy consists of the Italian Peninsula, a long projection of the continental mainland. Shaped much like a boot, the Italian Peninsula extends generally SE into the Mediterranean Sea. From NW to SE, the country is about 1145 km (about 710 mi) long; with the addition of the southern peninsular extremity, which extends N to S, it is about 1360 km (about 845 mi) long. The maximum width of the mainland portion of Italy is about 610 km (about 380 mi) in the N; the extreme width of the peninsula is about 240 km (about 150 mi). On the N frontiers are the Alps , which extend in a wide arc from Ventimiglia on the W to Gorizia on the E. Between the Alps and the Apennines, which form the backbone of the Italian Peninsula, spreads the broad Plain of Lombardy, comprising the valley of the Po. The N Apennines project from the Maritime Alps along the Gulf of Genoa to the sources of the Tiber R. Monte Cimone (2163 m/7097 ft) is the highest summit of the N Apennines. The central Apennines, beginning at the source of the Tiber, consist of several chains. In the E portion of this rugged mountain district is Monte Corno (2914 m/9560 ft), the highest Apennine peak. The S Apennines stretch SE from the valley of the Sangro R. to the coast of the Gulf of Taranto, where they assume a more southerly direction. High peaks of the Apennine ranges of the Calabrian Peninsula, as the S extremity of the Italian Peninsula is known, include Botte Donato (1929 m/6329 ft) and Montalto (1957 m/6422 ft). The Apennines form the watershed of the Italian Peninsula. The main uplifts are bordered by less elevated districts, known collectively as the sub-Apennine region. Only about one-third of the total land surface of Italy is made of plains, of which the greatest single tract is the Plain of Lombardy. The coast of Italy along the N Adriatic Sea is low and sandy, bordered by shallow waters and, except at Venice, not readily accessible to oceangoing vessels. From a point near Rimini southward, the E coast of the peninsula is fringed by spurs of the Apennines. Along the middle of the W coast, however, are three stretches of low and marshy land, the Campagna di Roma, the Pontine Marshes, and the Maremma.  

The W coast of Italy is broken up by bays, gulfs, and other indentations, which provide a number of natural anchorages. In the NW is the Gulf of Genoa, the harbor of the important commercial city of Genoa. Naples, another leading W coast port, is situated on the beautiful Bay of Naples, dominated by the volcano Vesuvius. A little farther S is the Gulf of Salerno, at the head of which stands the port of Salerno. The SE end of the peninsula is deeply indented by the Gulf of Taranto, which divides the so-called heel of Italy (ancient Calabria) from the toe (modern Calabria). The Apennine range continues beneath the narrow Strait of Messina and traverses the island of Sicily, where the volcano Etna, 3369 m (11,053 ft) high, is located. Another active volcano rises on Stromboli, oneof the Lipari Islands, NW of the Strait of Messina.  

Rivers and Lakes. Italy has many rivers, of which the Po and the Adige (q.v.) are the most important. The Po, about 670 km (about 415 mi) long, is navigable from Turin to its outlet on the Adriatic Sea and with its tributaries affords about 965 km (about 600 mi) of inland waterways. The Adige, about 355 km (about 220 mi) long, enters Italy from the Austrian province of Tirol, flows E, and, like the Po, empties into the Adriatic. The beds of these rivers are slowly being elevated by alluvial deposits from the mountains. The rivers of the Italian Peninsula are shallow, often dry during the summer season, and consequently of little importance for navigation or industry. The chief peninsular rivers are the Arno and the Tiber. From its sources in the Apennines, the Arno flows W for about 225 km (about 140 mi), through a well-cultivated valley and the cities of Florence and Pisa. The Tiber rises not far from the sources of the Arno and runs through the city of Rome. Both the N and peninsular regions of Italy have numerous lakes. The principal lakes of N Italy are Garda, Maggiore, Como, and Lugano; the peninsular lakes, which are considerably smaller, include Trasimeno, Bolsena, and Bracciano.  

Climate. The climate of Italy is highly diversified, with extremes ranging from frigid, in the higher elevations of the Alps and Apennines, to semitropical along the coast of the Ligurian Sea and the W coast of the lower peninsula. The average annual temperature, however, ranges from about 11° to 19° C (about 52° to 66° F); it is about 13° C (about 55° F) in the Po Valley, about 18° C (about 64° F) in Sicily, and about 14.5° C (about 58° F) in the coastal lowlands. Climatic conditions on the peninsula are characterized by regional variations, resulting chiefly from the configurations of the Apennines, and are influenced by tempering winds from the adjacent seas. In the lowlands regions and lower slopes of the Apennines bordering the W coast from N Tuscany to the vicinity of Rome, winters are mild and sunny, and extreme temperatures are modified by cooling Mediterranean breezes.  

Temperatures in the same latitudes on the E of the peninsula are much lower, chiefly because of the prevailing NE winds. Along the upper E slopesof the Apennines, climatic conditions are particularly bleak. The climate of the peninsularlowlands below the latitude of Rome closely resembles that of S Spain. In contrast to the semitropical conditions prevalent in S Italy and along the Gulf of Genoa, the climate of the Plain of Lombardy is continental. Warm summers and severe winters, with temperatures as low as -15° C (5° F), prevail in this region, which is shielded from sea breezes by the Apennines. Heaviest precipitation occurs in Italy during the fall and winter months, when westerly winds prevail. The lowest mean annual rainfall, about 460 mm (about 18 in), occurs in the Apulian province of Foggia in the south and in S Sicily; the highest, about 1525 mm (about 60 in), occurs in the province of Udine in the NE.  

Natural Resources. Italy is poor in natural resources, much of the land being unsuitable for agriculture due to mountainous terrain or unfavorable climate. Italy, moreover, is seriously deficient in such basic natural resources as coal. The most important mineral resources are natural gas, petroleum, lignite, sulfur, and pyrites. Other mineral deposits include lead, manganese, zinc, iron ore, mercury, and bauxite. Italy is rich in various types of building stone, notably marble. The coastal waters of Italy teem with fish, of which sardine, tunny, and anchovy have the greatest commercial importance. Freshwater fish include eels and trout.  

Population. The Italian population consists almost entirely of native-born persons. The country is largely urban in the N and rural in the S. In recent decades the population has generally migrated from rural to urban areas; the population was about 65% urban in the late 1980s. The overwhelming majority of the people speak Italian, one of the Romance group of languages of the Indo-European family of languages. German is spoken around Bolzano, in the N near the Austrian border.  

Population Characteristics. The population of Italy (1990 est.) was 57,512,000; the overall population density is approximately 191 persons per sq km (approximately 494 per sq mi).  

Political Divisions. Administratively, Italy is divided into 20 regions, each of which is subdivided into provinces and communes.  

Principal Cities. The capital and largest city of Italy is Rome (pop., 1988 est., 2,817,000), which is a famous cultural and tourist center. Other cities with populations of more than 300,000 in 1988 include Milan (1,478,500), an important manufacturing, financial, and commercial city; Naples (1,201,000), one of the busiest ports in Italy; Turin (1,025,390), a transportation junction and major industrial city; Palermo (728,800), the capital and chief seaport of Sicily; Genoa (722,000), the leading port in Italy and a major trade and commercial center; Bologna (427,200), a major transportation center and agricultural market; Florence (421,300), a cultural, commercial, transportation, and industrial center; Catania (372,200), a manufacturing and commercial city of Sicily; Bari (358,900), a major commercial center; and Venice (327,700), a leading seaport and a cultural and manufacturing center.  

Religion. The dominant religion of Italy is Roman Catholicism, the faith of more than 80% of the people. Roman Catholic religious instruction is part of the curriculum of primary and secondary schools. The constitution guarantees freedom of worship to the religious minorities, which are primarily Protestant, Muslim, and Jewish.  

Culture. From antiquity to modern times Italy has played a central role in world culture. Italians have contributed some of the world's most admired sculpture, architecture, painting, literature, and music, particularly opera. Although the nation was politically unified only about a century ago, the Italians do not consider themselves to be a "new" people, but see themselves instead as the descendants of the ancient Romans. Moreover, regional differences persist because of natural geographical boundaries and the disparate cultural heritage that has come down from the Greeks, Etruscans, Arabs, Normans, and Lom bards. Regional particularism is evident in persistent local dialects, holidays, festivals, songs, and regional cuisine. Central to all Italian life is the tradition of the family as a guiding force and focus of loyalty. Many of the great Italian painters, such as Giotto, Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and Amedeo Modigliani, are covered in separate articles in the encyclopedia, as are such famous Italian composers as Antonio Vivaldi, Gaetano Donizetti, Giacomo Puccini, Gioacchino Rossini, and Giuseppe Verdi.  

Economy. A largely agricultural country before World War II, Italy has developed a diversified industrial plant in the N, which contributes significantly to the economy. In the late 1980s the gross national product was estimated at $872 billion, or about $15,150 per capita; industry contributed 40% to the value of domestic output, agriculture 4%, and services 56%. Italy has essentially a private-enterprise economy, although the government has a controlling interest in a number of large commercial and manufacturing enterprises, such as the oil industry through the Italian state petroleum company. Also, the state owns the principal transportation and telecommunication systems. An ongoing problem of the Italian economy has been the slow growth of industrialization in the S, which lags behind the N in most aspects of economic development. Many southerners have migrated to N Italy in search of employment. The annual national budget of Italy in the late 1980s included revenue of about $362.4 billion and expenditure of some $450.7 billion.  

Currency and Banking. The unit of currency in Italy is the lira, consisting of 100 centesimi (1102 liras equal U.S.$1; 1991). The Bank of Italy is the bank of issue and exercises control over credit. A public institution, the Bank of Italy has branches in each provincial capital. In addition, Italy has many private banks. Milan and Rome are major financial centers.  

Foreign Trade. Increased trade between Italy and the other member countries of the European Union characterized the 1970s and '80s. The dependence of Italy on imported coal, petroleum, and other essential raw materials usually yields an unfavorable balance of trade. This imbalance is partly offset by the expenditures of tourists, remittances from Italian nationals in foreign lands, and shipping revenues. In the late 1980s Italian exports earned about $128.1 billion per year and imports cost about $128.8 billion. Exports include motor vehicles, machinery, vegetables and fruits, chemicals, textiles, and clothing; imports consist mainly of machinery, transport equipment, crude oil, coal, foodstuffs, chemicals, and cotton. The bulk of Italian export trade is conducted with the countries of the EC and with the U.S., Switzerland, Austria, and countries of the former Soviet Union. Leading sources of Italian imports are Germany, France, the U.S., the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Switzerland. 


 Freight Forwarders & Cargo Agents
 
  • Agenzia Espressi Int'l Aerei A.E.I.A.SRL, Rome, Tel: (6) 44-65-267, (6) 44-65-268, Fax: (6) 44-65-266 
  • AIDA srl, Rome, Tel: (6) 55-15-229, Fax: (6) 55-06-706 
  • Air Sea Land Franco Bonaretti SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 39-32-02-91, Fax: (2) 39-31-23-00 
  • Airborne Express Italia SRL, Rome, Fiumicino, Tel: (6) 65-02-91-49, Fax: (6) 65-84-200 
  • Albini & Pitigliani SPA, Prato, Tel: (574) 57-30, Fax: (574) 57-17-88, (574) 57-59-15 
  • Alisped SPA International Forwarding, Prato, Tel: (574) 63-91, Fax: (574) 63-92-22, (574) 63-92-24 
  • A.M.I. Aeromerci Internazionali Venezia, Venice, Tel: (41) 54-15-396, (41) 54-15-003, (41) 54-15-300, Fax: (41) 54-15-710 
  • Argon SRL, Brescia, Tel: (30) 35-32-408, Fax: (30) 34-76-22 
  • Borghi Trasporti Spedizioni Spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 54-74-41, Fax: (2) 54-74-42-22 
  • Cargosped International Srl, Rome, Tel: (6) 66-418-451, (6) 66-418-549, Fax: (6) 66-013-417 
  • Carretta Tavoni International srl, Vicenza, Tel: (444) 39-27-00, (444) 39-27-02, Fax: (444) 34-96-42, (444)34-95-88 
  • Castanini SRL, Genoa, Tel: (10) 25-25-14, (10) 26-70-71, (10) 25-54-08, (10) 26-56-96, (10) 24-63-587, Fax: (10) 24-62-728 
  • Circle Freight International Italia Srl, Milan, Tel: (2) 95-32-82-01, Fax: (2) 95-32-81-06 
  • Columbia Transport, Milan, Tel: (2) 95-32-85-98, Fax: (2) 95-32-87-45, (2) 95-32-82-92 
  • Cosmofret, Milan, Tel: (2) 65-96-336, Fax: (2) 65-32-18 
  • Danzas, Milan, Tel: (2) 21-661, Fax: (2) 21-38-564 
  • Dometrans STI Spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 26-92-06-62, Fax: (2) 26-92-25-26 
  • Dynamic Forwarding International Srl, Milan, Tel: (2) 66-30-06-40, Fax: (2) 66-30-06-42 
  • Emery Air Freight SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 26-96-61, Fax: (2) 21-36-451 
  • Esin International Transport, Campogalliano, Tel: (59) 52-52-60, Fax: (59) 52-58-52 
  • Esse Emme SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 55-21-10-11, Fax: (2) 53-90-346 
  • Eurotrans Spedizioni SRL, Pisa, Tel: (571) 36-64-00, Fax: (571) 36-64-05, e-mail: eurotrans@leonetlj 
  • Expeditors International Italia Srl, Milan, Tel: (2) 26-92-16-21, Fax: (2) 26-92-15-69 
  • Expotrans MTO Srl, Rome, Tel: (6) 65-00-48-46, Fax: (6) 65-00-48-70 
  • Falcomar SRL, Livorno, Tel: (586) 89-25-55, Fax: (586) 88-44-73, SITA: PSAFCVN 
  • "Falcon" SpA, Milan, Tel: (2) 26-92-31-00, Fax: (2) 21-35-552 
  • Femar SPA, Catania, Tel: (95) 71-39-138, (95) 71-39-140, Fax: (95) 71-39-094 
  • Fert Spedizioni Internazionale, Brescia, Tel: (30) 35-82-265, Fax: (30) 35-82-192 
  • Filacchioni & Pietraforte & Co, Rome, Fiumicino, Tel: (6) 65-82-636, Fax: (6) 65-21-772 
  • Fiore SRL Fowarding & Shipping Agency, Ravenna, Tel: (544) 59-85-11, Fax: (544) 42-34-14 
  • Fischer International Forwarders, Milan, Tel: (2) 98-46-154, Fax: (2) 98-46-154 
  • Fischer & Rechsteiner SpA, Milan, Tel: (2) 21-611, Fax: (2) 21-33-100 
  • Florence Shipping Spedizioni Int'l Srl, Florence, Tel: (55) 73-21-247, Fax: (55) 73-21-235, (55) 73-22-084 
  • Forship Ltd, Carrara, Tel: (585) 77-77-05, Fax: (585) 77-77-04 
  • Fracassi Trasporti Internazional, Florence, Tel: (55) 28-35-97, (55) 28-93-40, Fax: (55) 21-47-71 
  • Francesco Parisi Casa di Spedizioni Spa, Trieste, Tel: (40) 41-931, Fax: (40) 44-263 
  • Fratelli Salvadori SRL, Bologna, Tel: (51) 55-77-65, Fax: (51) 55-77-94 
  • Fritz Companies, Italy, Milan, Linate, Tel: (2) 21-34-695, (2) 21-39-880, (2) 21-37-466, Fax: (2) 21-33-237 
  • Gava International Freight Con. Spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 95-32-85-01, Fax: (Air Division) (2) 95-32-80-71, (Commercial Dept) (2) 95-32-13-41 
  • IFC International Freight Consultants, Rome, Tel: (6) 79-08-51, Fax: (6) 79-21-281 
  • Interjumbo Service S.R.L., Como, Tel: (31) 56-45-65, Fax: (31) 24-90-22 
  • Intertransport SRL, Genoa, Tel: (10) 65 17 967, (10) 65 17 977, (10) 65 17 978, Fax: (10) 65 17 954, (10) 65 05 273 
  • Italia Overseas SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 33-20-02-79, Fax: (2) 39-00-00-12 
  • Italtransport SNC, Florence, Tel: (55) 42-22-862, Fax: (55) 41-29-89 
  • JAS Jet Air Service Spa, Milan, Linate, Tel: (2) 75-261, Fax: (2) 70-20-03-08, (2) 75-61-01-6 
  • Jumbo SRL, Gallarate, Tel: (331) 77-36-36, Fax: (331) 77-61-59 
  • Kuehne & Nagel Asc spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 51-89-21, Fax: (2) 51-89-25-01 
  • L'Aereo Stazione Merci srl, Rome, Tel: (6) 66-92-736/45, Fax: (6) 66-92-746, SITA: MILIG7X 
  • LEP Albarelli Spa, Verona, Tel: (45) 82-90-811, Fax: (45) 82-90-948 
  • Luigi Serra spa, Milan, Linate, Tel: (2) 26-92-92-44, (2) 26-92-92-66, Fax: (2) 26-92-92-45 
  • McGregor Cory Cargo Services Srl, Trieste, Tel: (40) 44-371, Fax: (40) 44-373 
  • Mercur, Milan, Tel: (2) 55-19-54-00, (2) 55-19-54-46, Fax: (2) 55-10-564 
  • Merzario S.r.l., Milan, Tel: (2) 74-84-37-44, (2) 74-84-37-81, Fax: (2) 74-84-37-60 
  • Monava SPA, Cardano Al Campo, Tel: (331) 26-16-21, (331) 26-31-85, Fax: (331) 26-33-55, (331) 73-06-37 
  • MSAS Italcargo spa, Milan, Linate, Tel: (2) 21-60-71, Fax: (2) 26-92-02-53 
  • Multicargo SRL, Ancona, Tel: (71) 28-02-082, (71) 28-09-71, Fax: (71) 28-02-077 
  • New Cargojet SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 48-84-26-12, Fax: (2) 48-84-26-57, e-mail: 012@ncjmil.it 
  • Nippon Express (Italia) SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 95-34-32-29, Fax: (2) 95-3 
  • O.T.I.M. SPA, Milan, Tel: (2) 69-91-21, Fax: (2) 69-91-22-45 
  • Panalpina S.p.A. Trasporti Internazional, Milan, Tel: (2) 37-781, Fax: (2) 39-31-24-76 
  • Penta Shipping Italia srl, Milan, Tel: (2) 75-30-545, Fax: (2) 75-30-986 
  • Pisani (Carlo) & Co Spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 38-00-79-46, Fax: (2) 38-00-12-11 
  • Prato Express, Prato, Tel: (574) 57-76-76, Fax: (574) 57-10-45 
  • Rinaldo Rinaldi SRL, Rome, Tel: (6) 41-52-11, Fax: (6) 41-11-565 
  • Roadway Global Air, Milan, Tel: (2) 70-00-44-50, Fax: (2) 70-00-43-13 
  • S.A.T. Sea-Air Transport, Milan, Tel: (2) 48-02-98-52, Fax: (2) 48-02-98-47 
  • Saima Avandero S.P.A., Milan, Tel: (2) 55-22-01, Fax: (2) 57-30-19-47 
  • Saima Avandero spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 55-22-01, (2) 92-13-42-09, Fax: (Air Freight) (2) 92-13-42-34 
  • Saving Srl, Milan, Tel: (2) 57-68-91, Fax: (2) 57-60-69-79 
  • Savino del Bene spa, Florence, Tel: (55) 72-901, Fax: (55) 72-12-88, (55) 72-90-207 
  • Schenker Italiana Spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 69-531, Fax: (2) 66-80-02-57, (2) 68-87-065 
  • Sigma Trans srl, Milan, Tel: (2) 95-32-13-77, Fax: (2) 95-32-13-56 
  • SITES srl, Turin, Tel: (11) 22-36-846, Fax: (11) 22-36-866 
  • Società Trasporti Castelletti Spa, Milan, Tel: (2) 26-99-81, (2) 21-39-951, Fax: (2) 21-39-789, (2) 21-39-787 
  • T & T Cargo Services, Naples, Tel: (81) 55-22-600, Fax: (81) 55-22-829 
  • Tavoni International, Bologna, Tel: (51) 73-49-59, (Exports) (51) 73-49-10, (Imports) (51) 38-49-71, Fax: (Exports) (51) 73-45-62, (Imports) (51) 38-94-69 
  • Timat Spedizioni Srl, Vicenza, Tel: (444) 22-61-22, Fax: (444) 22-61-61 
  • Transavia SRL, Milan, Tel: (2) 55-40-03-42, Fax: (2) 50-62-835 
  • Trismare International Transport Srl, Gallarate, Tel: (331) 79-64-75, Fax: (331) 79-91-16 
  • Tuvia S.P.A., Milan, Tel: (2) 92-16-16-16, Fax: (2) 92-16-15-86, (2) 92-16-19-42 
  • Tuvia Veneto SRL, Cornuda, Tel: (423) 63-97-93, Fax: (423) 63-97-84 
  • F.J. Tytherleigh Italia SRL, Livorno, Tel: (586) 42-33-33, Fax: (586) 42-33-43 
  • UPS SRL Cargo Service, Milan, Tel: (2) 50-791, Toll Free: (2) 1-67-82-20-55, Fax: (2) 50-61-226 
  • World Cargo SRL, Rome, Tel: (6) 65-02-91-34, Fax: (6) 65-84-594, e-mail: 101457.402@compuserve.com 
  • Zaninoni International Fwdg Agent, Bergamo, Tel: (35) 68-06-90, (35) 68-34-68, Fax: (35) 68-23-88, (35) 68-35-25 
  • Zust Ambrosetti Trasporti Internazionali, Milan, Tel: (2) 52-541, Fax: (2) 55-21-02-58