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The founders of Italy can be traced to the Etruscans who originally were from Turkey, but settled in Italy for a short period creating a civilization that would soon be the foundation of Rome. Rome was ruled by seven kings until the time when the Roman Republic was formed. This was a period of ruling by an aristocratic class of people with organized control. Although this was a great government style, soon the empire grew covering the whole of Italy and even more. Having this enormous power was a burden that the ruling party could not handle well. Finally, a peasant rebellion managed to damage the power of the Republic whereby Julius Caesar came into power. However, hatred and corruption soon got him assassinated after which a power struggle his nephew, Octavius, seized control by declaring himself emperor, and hence the Roman Empire was established. Under his and his successor’s rule, the next 200 years saw the reaches of the Roman Empire growing bigger and bigger. However, after the death of the last great emperor of Rome, the Roman Empire gradually declined until Christianity became their only religion and Rome became the home of the Catholic Church. (Life in Italy, 2009)
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Italy’s economy and prosperity were revived in the 14th century when its cities became trade hubs. Also during this time, important figures like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, and Galileo proved their art and excelled in their relative fields that started Europe’s Renaissance (Italy Profile, 2009). Due to these figures and the explorers like Marco Polo, the world finally got to meet Italy and Europe. However, during the 16th century, Italy found itself again broken and scattered when trade routes shifted away. Conquests from France and Spain were regular threats until their great leader Napoleon Bonaparte started the unification of Italy once again. However, his work was left incomplete with Italy again falling into disintegration when another ruler took over. Amidst the new Italian leadership, First World War soon arose with Italy being with the allies who won the war but were devastated and unable to gain much. A fascist dictator, Mussolini, much like the Hitler of Germany, soon gained support to become the supreme ruler of Italy. Mussolini took Italy to the Second World War however the enormity of the war took Italy by surprise and suffered dire consequences. After the war, Italy abolished the monarchy and declared itself a republic with help from the United States to rebuild its economy. Since then Italy has been an active part of NATO, joined the European Union, and became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. (Life in Italy, 2009)
Italy or the land of the Leaning Tower is Pisa is located strategically in the southern Europe carefully surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and sharing its northern boundaries with Austria, France, Slovenia and Switzerland. On its coastal side of 7600 kilo meters, it is also connected with the Vatican City and San Marino. Its distinguishable boot shaped map has always been a key identification mark on the world atlas. This strategic location was one of the reasons for Italy’s success in forming alliances and becoming the homeland of one of the mightiest civilizations of all time. It has a total area of 301,225 square kilometers (116,303 square miles) with important cities of Rome, Milan, Venice and Sicily, and Sardinia Islands (CIA, 2009).
Italy’s climate is predominantly Mediterranean with its boundaries enclave by the Mediterranean Sea. However, the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy during the winter season. On the other hand, the coastal regions tend to have mild winters and dry and warm summers. Rainfall is quite common in the winters with months ranging from October to December while the central region can become extremely hot and humid in the summers. The average mean rainfall varies from about 50 cm (20 in) per year, The winters in the southern part rarely fall below the freezing point however tourists enjoy the Northern Alps snow in the winters. The mean temperature for the country ranges from between 11°C and 19°C (Italy Profile, 2009)
The terrain of Italy is mostly rugged and mountainous with some plains and coastal lowlands near the Mediterranean area. Italy’s northern side is Alpine and mountainous with Italy’s largest river running between the mountains. Also in the northern region, there are various lakes while the Italy also has two islands, Sardinia and Sicily. Although Italy’s terrain is rugged, some agriculture is still supported with the Northern side producing grains, sugar beets, soybeans, meat, and dairy products, while the south specializes in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and durum wheat. Italy has the most active volcano in the whole of Europe called Mount Etna. Apart from this, there are also several other volcanoes in the region though not as active as Mount Etna. (Italy Profile, 2009)
Cateora, P.R. and Graham, J. International Marketing. Thirteenth Edition. New York, New York: Irwin/McGraw Hill. (2007). ISBN# 0390-715042
CIA. Italy World Fact Book. Central Bureau of Investigation. Web. 2009.
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Life in Italy. A History of Italy in Brief. Life in Italy. 2009. Web.