Italy - the country where the lemons bloom
Already Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) wrote in his poem Mignon "Do
you know the land where the lemons bloom" and thus described the
longing of northern Europeans for the beautiful country in southern Europe.
Germans prefer to travel to Italy. Italy still attracts with its varied
landscape, good cuisine and its ancient and immeasurably rich culture.
Anyone who hears about Rome, Florence, Venice, Ravenna or Pisa does not
let go of the longing for them. Even if it is a separate state, the center
of Christianity - the Vatican - somehow belongs to Italy. And it should be
mentioned that the small state of San Marino lies on the Italian "boot". A visit
there should be planned.
In addition to its beautiful coast, the "Boot in the Mediterranean" has many
other sights to offer. Italy, the home of the ancient Romans, the Renaissance,
the popes and humanism, experienced a more than interesting and varied history
that extends from the Etruscans to the Roman Empire and the beginning of
Christianity to the present day as a member state of the European Union.
Italy is a country that you shouldn't visit just once in your life. But with
all the exuberance, it's easy to forget that the country is
repeatedly hit by severe earthquakes and that there are two active volcanoes
there: Stromboli on the island of the same name in the south of the country and
Mount Etna in Sicily.
|Name of the country
|Form of government
|Head of state
||President of the Italian Republic: Giorgio Napolitano (since May 15,
||Country in southern Europe on the Mediterranean
||Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy)
|Head of government
||60.7 million (Credit:
||Italians, as well as minorities such as Slovenes, Albanians and
||predominantly Roman Catholic, approx. 1 million Muslims, approx.
120,000 Buddhists, approx. 50,000 Protestants
and around 40,000 Jews
||Italian, Sardinian and minority languages such as German, Ladin,
French and Slovenian
||Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) with an altitude of 4,748 m
||Po with a length of 620 km
||Lake Garda with an area of 370 km²
|International license plate
||Euro (€) = 100 cents
|Time difference to CET
|International phone code
||0039 - the zero for the cities is then also selected
|Mains voltage, frequency
||230 volts, 50 hertz
|Internet Top Level Domain (TLD)
Before the year 1000
During the Indo-European Migration Period around 1200 BC Italians settled in
what is now Italy, and they split into two groups, the Latin group from which
the Romans emerged and the Umbrian-Sabellian group. Oscar tribes penetrated as
far as southern Italy and the island of Sicily. Around 1000 BC Illyrian
Venetians immigrated to today's Veneto. 900 to 500 BC BC Etruscans settled in
Italy, who brought the Greco-Asia Minor culture and technology to Italy and
which was later adopted by the Romans. After 800 BC The Phoenicians secured sea
bases in Sicily and Sardinia. Between 750 and 550 the Greeks colonized Lower
Italy and Sicily. During this time the Latin alphabet developed from the Greek
Abbreviationfinder website, from 753 BC. Until AD 476, Italy was under the rule of Rome. The Roman
city-state was able to assert itself against the Italians and gained control
over the Italian mainland. According to legend, Rome was founded in 753
BC. Founded by Romulus. In addition, Romulus is said to have been a descendant
of Aeneas who is said to have fled Troy. 510 BC The Roman Republic was
introduced. In the years 396 to 280 Rome subjugated central Italy, built
military colonies and military roads and Latinized the Italians. Between 300 and
146 Rome extended its power to Upper Italy, Lower Italy and Sicily. In the third
Punic War between 149 and 146 BC The Mediterranean power Carthage was finally
defeated and the city completely destroyed. Then Rome took over its position in
the Mediterranean. From 229 to 64 Rome subjugated Greece, Macedonia, and Asia
Minor. The exploitation of the provinces began. Slavery and the money economy
were introduced. In addition, there was an increasing demand for luxury.
From 133 to 30 the peasant class became impoverished and with it civil
wars. The slaves also rebelled against their rulers in slave revolts. The best
known was certainly the uprising under the Thracian Spartacus from 73 to 71
BC. BC, who temporarily brought Rome to the brink of defeat. After the victory
in 71, the Romans barbarously punished the captured insurgents. Spartacus
himself fell in the decisive battle against the Romans. The Roman legions were
under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus.
Between 58 and 51 Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. 45 BC He became the sole
ruler of Rome. With his murder on March 14th, 44 BC The Roman Republic
ended. His adopted son Gaius Octavius Thurinus (63 BC to 14 AD) founded as
Augustus from 31 BC The Roman Empire and secured internal and external peace and
allowed the empire to flourish further. From AD 14 to 195 the Roman Empire was
at its greatest extent.
In 64 there was a fire in Rome under Nero and the first persecution of
Christians. The last major persecution of Christians took place in 303 under
Diocletian (emperor from 284 to 305). From 313 onwards, Christians were granted
religious freedom by Constantine the Great (emperor from 306 - 324). In 330
Constantinople (Byzantium) was raised to the status of imperial capital. Emperor
Theodosius (379 - 395) made Christianity the state religion in 391. In 395 the
empire was divided into an eastern empire with the capital Constantinople and a
western empire with the capital Rome.
From 410 Huns, Visigoths, Vandals and Germanic tribes invaded the western
empire, which finally came to an end in 476. From 493 until the 19th century
Italy was politically torn. City-states, later principalities, rose to become
independent individual states. Theodoric founded the Ostrogoth Empire in Italy
from 493 to 526 with residences in Ravenna, Pavia and Verona.
The Longobard Empire existed in northern Italy from 568 to 774. In 773/774
Charlemagne conquered the Longobard Empire and united it with France. In 800 he
was crowned emperor in Rome. Saracens coming from Tunisia conquered Sicily from
827 to 901, which became an independent emirate in 948. In 899 the Hungarians
sacked Northern Italy.
From 951 the German Italian policy began. Otto the Great won power in northern
Italy and was crowned emperor as Otto I in Rome in 962. German emperors
continued to rule Italy until 1268. There was constant controversy between the
Empire and the Papacy, whereupon two parties formed, the Ghibellines, who were
on the side of the German rulers, and the Guelphs (Welfen) loyal to the Pope.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
Between 1000 and 1200, Lower Italy and Sicily were united into one kingdom by
the Normans. In 1130, Lower Italy was united with Sicily. Between 1194 and 1268,
the Hohenstaufen ruled in southern Italy and Sicily. In 1282 the so-called
Sicilian Vespers took place in Sicily, during which all French were murdered or
expelled. The House of Aragon ruled the island until 1442. They managed to
reunite Sicily with Naples from 1442 to 1504. From 1504 to 1713 Sicily was under
the rule of the Spanish Habsburgs.
In the investiture controversy from 1076 to 1122, the decisive conflict
between the empire and papacy, the papacy freed itself from the influence of
imperial power. Most people are familiar with Henry IV's visit to Pope Gregory
VII in January 1077, who was in Canossa at the time. After Heinrich had spent
about three days in front of the castle barefoot and in a penitent garb, the
Pope finally received him and lifted the ban on church that had previously been
In Milan, the Visconti came to power in the 13th century, and after 1450 the
Sforza family. Around 1350, Milan was the most powerful city-state in Northern
Italy. In 1515 it was conquered by Francis I from France. Venice gained naval
supremacy over Genoa in the 13th century. In the so-called Chioggia War between
Genoa and Venice, from 1378 to 1381, fought for supremacy in the Mediterranean
Sea, from which Venice emerged victorious.
The trading city of Florence had had a democratic constitution since
1282. Around 1400, the Medici gained great prestige and political power
there. After the Medici were temporarily driven out, the Dominican prior
Savonarola established a republic from 1494 to 1498. In 1498, however, he was
burned as a heretic.
In 1527 Rome was sacked by Charles V's troops.
From 1250 to 1600 humanism and around 1400 the Renaissance spread in Italy
and, starting from there, throughout Europe from the end of the 16th century.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
Between 1703 and 1737 Lombardy, Matua and Tuscany fell to the Austrian
Habsburgs. From 1735 to 1806 the Bourbons ruled Naples and Sicily. In 1768 Genoa
sold the island of Corsica to France.
In 1797 the Cisalpine Republic with Milan, Modena, Ferrara, Bologna and
Romagna as well as the Ligurian Republic (Genoa) were founded. The following
year the Tiberin Republic (Rome) was founded. In 1805 Napoleon became King of
Italy and the Ligurian Republic annexed to France. After the Congress of Vienna
in 1815, however, the former small states were restored. In 1859/60 the national
unification of Italy began under Count Cavour. In 1859 the allies Sardinia and
France defeated the Austrian troops. Austria then lost Lombardy. In 1860 the
princes were expelled from central and northern Italy. The militant leader
Garibaldi (1807 - 1882) defeated the Bourbons in the same year and occupied the
Papal States. Referendums everywhere led to the annexation to Sardinia.
Victor Emanuel II was crowned king in 1861, and the first Italian capital was
Florence. In 1870 Rome was occupied by Italian troops and made the capital of
Italy. The Pope retained sovereignty over the Vatican State. Under Umberto I,
Italy became a great power in 1878. In 1882 Italy, Austria-Hungary and the
German Empire signed the so-called Triple Alliance. In the war against Abyssinia
from 1887 to 1889, Italy won the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea.
20th century until today
In 1911/12 Italy waged war against the Turks, with Italy annexing Cyrenaica,
Tripoli and the Dodecanese. From 1915 to 1918 Italy was in the First World War,
fighting Austria-Hungary and the German Empire. In the peace of St-Germain in
1919 Italy received South Tyrol as far as the Brenner, Istria and several
Dalmatian islands. Between 1919 and 1921, Mussolini formed combat units that
used open violence against the communists, among other things.
In 1922, Mussolini received dictatorial powers from parliament, and the
fascists gradually took over state power. A friendship treaty with the Soviet
Union was signed in 1933, and Mussolini first met Hitler in 1934. The
German-Italian cooperation was founded in 1936 in the "Berlin-Rome Axis" and,
from 1939, was consolidated in a military alliance. In 1940 Italy declared war
on France and Great Britain. The three-power pact with Germany and Japan came
The Italian surrender took place in North Africa in 1943. The Allies landed
in Sicily shortly afterwards. The fascist regime in Italy was overthrown,
Mussolini was arrested and a new government was formed that worked with the
Allies. On September 3, 1943, Italy declared war on Germany. The German armed
forces finally capitulated in Italy in 1945. Mussolini was shot dead by
partisans in the same year after continuing to fight the Allies with a
counter-government and German support.
In 1946 King Emanuel III thanked. from. A referendum was in favor of the
republic, which was installed in a democratic constitution in 1948. In the Peace
Treaty of Paris in 1947, Italy renounced its colonies and ceded Istria and
Dodecanese. Italy was a founding member of NATO in 1949 and a founding member of
the European Economic Community in 1957.
Since 1948, an economic gap developed in Italy that still exists today
between the affluent north and the poor south of the country. The political
balance was also unstable for decades. Between 1953 and 2001 there were
constantly changing governments and coalitions. From 2001 to 2006, Silvio
Berlusconi (born 1936) was Italian Prime Minister. On May 17, 2006, Romano Prodi
(born 1939) took over the office, which he had held from 1996 to 1998. Prodi was
also President of the Commission of the European Union from 1999 to 2004. The
former communist Giorgio Napolitano (born 1925) has been the President of Italy
since May 15, 2006.
In the early elections in mid-April 2008, Silvio Berlusconi from the People
of Freedom Party (PDL) of the center-right alliance won a triumphant victory
over the center-left alliance under Walter Veltroni. He got a surprising
majority of around 47% in both chambers of parliament, the House of
Representatives and the Senate - which incidentally have equal rights - compared
to the 38% for the left-wing alliance. On May 8, 2008, he was sworn in by
President Giorgio Napolitano. This was the third time that Berlusconi became
Prime Minister of Italy. He intended to serve for a full five-year term. But he
resigned on November 16, 2011. Instead, the non-party politician and economist
Mario Monti (born in 1943 in Varese) took over the post of Prime Minister.