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Italy

Italy: political system

Italy is a parliamentary democracy headed by the President as head of state. The country's parliament consists of two chambers, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, which are elected every five years and have equal rights. The head of government is the prime minister, who is elected by parliament.

Italy: political system

The country belongs to numerous international organizations and alliances, such as NATO since April 4, 1949 and the United Nations (UN) since December 14, 1955. Italy is also, together with Great Britain, France, Germany and the Benelux countries, a founding member of today's European Union, at that time the EEC, Euratom and the Coal and Steel Community. Although the country had 65 governments from its founding in 1946 to the end of 2018, the country is considered a stable democracy.

According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Italian Republic

Italy is divided into 20 regions, which, however, have less political powers than, for example, the German and Austrian federal states or the Swiss cantons.

Region Area in km² Population Capital Population
Abruzzo 10,794 around 1.3 million L'Aquila 67,000
Aosta Valley * 3,262 around 115,000 Aosta 34,000
Apulia 19,000 around 4 million Bari 330,000
Basilicata 9,992 around 600,000 Potenza 70,000
Emilia-Romagna 22,123 around 4 million Bologna 380,000
Friuli Venezia Giulia * 7,845 around 1.2 million Trieste 210,000
Calabria 15,080 around 2.1 million Catanzaro 95,000
Campania 13,595 around 6 million Naples 1 million (urban area)
Lazio 17.203 around 5.1 million Rome 2.8 million (urban area)
Liguria 5,410 around 1.8 million Genoa 590,000 (urban area)
Lombardy 24,000 around 9 million Milan 1.2 million (urban area)
Brands 9,694 around 1.4 million Ancona 100,000
Molise 4,438 around 332,000 Campobasso 52,000
Piedmont 25,399 around 4.3 million Turin 870,000 (urban area)
Sardinia * 24,090 around 1.7 million Cagliari 160,000
Sicily * 25,709 around 5.1 million Palermo 670,000
Tuscany 23,000 around 3.6 million Florence 382,000
Veneto 18,264 around 4.5 million Venice 280,000
Trentino-South Tyrol * 13,619 around 940,000 Bolzano/Trento 97,000/105,000
Umbria 8,457 around 815,000 Perugia 158,000

* These regions have a special autonomy status.

With the exception of the Aosta Valley, the regions are again subdivided into provinces, of which there are 109 in total. The "next lower" administrative units are the municipalities and cities.

National anthem

The national anthem of Italy was written by Goffredo Mameli in 1847 and set to music by Michele Novaro that same year. In honor of its creator, it is therefore also called the "Mameli Hymn". It became the country's anthem in 1946, although this was never written into the constitution. But in 2012 a law was passed stating that the hymn must be learned in schools across the country. During the curfew due to the corona virus in March 2020, the Italians played and sang the national anthem together from their balconies and windows

In Italian In the English translation
Fratelli d'Italia,

l'Italia s'è desta,

dell'elmo di Scipio

s'è cinta la testa.

Dov'è la vittoria?

Le porga la chioma,

che schiava di Roma

Iddio la creò.Refrain:

Stringiamoci a coorte,

siam pronti alla morte.

Siam pronti alla morte,

l'Italia chiamò.

Stringiamoci a coorte,

siam pronti alla morte.

Siam pronti alla morte,

l'Italia chiamò!Noi fummo da secoli

calpesti, derisi,

perché non siam popoli,

perché siam divisi.

Raccolgaci un'unica

bandiera, una speme:

di fonderci insieme

già l'ora suonò.refrain

Uniamoci, uniamoci,

l'unione e l'amore

rivelano ai popoli

le vie del Signore.

Giuriamo far libero

il suolo natio:

uniti, per Dio,

chi vincer ci può?

refrain

Dall'Alpi a Sicilia

Dovunque è Legnano,

Ogn'uom di Ferruccio

Ha il core, ha la mano,

I bimbi d'Italia

Si chiaman Balilla,

Il suon d'ogni squilla

I Vespri suonò.

refrain

Son giunchi che piegano

Le spade vendute:

Già l'Aquila d'Austria

Le penne ha perdute.

Il sangue d'Italia,

Il sangue Polacco,

Bevé, col cosacco,

Ma il cor le bruciò.

refrain

Brothers of Italy,

Italy rose,

And

adorned herself with the helmet of Scipio Das head.

Where is the goddess of victory?

May she bow her head to Italy,

For as a slave of Rome

God created her.Refrain:

Let's close the ranks,

We are ready to die,

We are ready to die,

Italy has called!

Let's close the ranks,

We are ready to die,

We are ready to die,

Italy has called!We have been

kicked and laughed at for centuries

because we are not a people,

because we are divided.

Let us collect a single

flag, a hope:

that we can unite,

the hour has already struck.refrain

Let us

unite, let us unite Unity and love

reveal to the peoples

the ways of the Lord

Let us swear

to liberate our homeland:

United by God,

who can defeat us?

refrain

From the Alps to Sicily

, Legnano is everywhere,

every man has

his heart and hand from Ferruccio.

The children of Italy

are called Balilla.

The sound of every bell rang out

at Vespers

refrain

Like rushes are those who

swing bought swords.

The Austrian eagle

has already lost its feathers.

He drank the blood of Italy,

the blood of Poland

with the Cossack.

But his heart is burned.

refrain

National flag

The national flag (national flag) of Italy was introduced on June 19, 1946 and modified somewhat on July 28, 2006. Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, there are different interpretations for the three colors. The meanwhile recognized sees green as a symbol for nature and the landscape, white the color of the glaciers of the Alps and red the blood that was shed in the Italian struggles for freedom and unification.

Italy flag and coat of arms

Italy: animals

Mammals

In the national parks

A lot of large mammals in Italy can be observed particularly well in the national parks, for example foxes, chamois or red deer, ibex and wild boar - but not only there, of course

Ibex are a genus of goats (Capra) and are divided into seven species, including the Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex) in Italy. The population in the Italian Alps is estimated at around 13,000 animals. The alpine ibex has a head-trunk length of about 130 to 150 cm, with a shoulder height of 70 to about 90 cm. The females (goats) are significantly smaller than the males (buck). The bucks have up to 100 cm long and curved horns, while the goats have only about 20 cm short and barely curved horns. It is interesting that the goats have a goatee. In summer the bucks are dark brown in color and the goats are more reddish or golden brown. In winter, the fur of both sexes is rather gray and very dense. In summer you can find the pure herbivores up to heights of approx. 3. 500 m. They are excellent climbers. The Swiss canton of Graubünden has the animal in its coat of arms.

As in Germany, for example, the wild boars now come to the cities. They are also becoming an increasing nuisance for farmers - including wine and olive growers. Their occurrence is now estimated at over a million animals. Therefore, they are hunted intensively, which of course comes in very handy for the hunting enthusiasts Italians

In Italy you can find the Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), which is closely related to the Pyrenees chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica). The alpine chamois reach a head-trunk length of 90 to 130 cm, with a shoulder height of about 70 to 85 cm. Their weight varies between 25 and 40 kg. Their fur is short in summer with a reddish tinge, while their winter fur is long, dense and dark brown or black - with white spots on the neck, shoulders and flanks. Both the males and the females have horns up to 25 cm in length. These animals are excellent climbers who climb to higher regions in summer. They are pure herbivores, depending on the season of the year on herbs, shoots and leaves of deciduous trees, grasses, mosses,

Other deposits

in the Abruzzo even still live brown bears and wolves.

Mountain hares, marmots, chamois, wolves and lynxes are at home in the Alps and in the wild in Calabria you can still come across wild sheep and goats.

It is well known that a brown bear came to Germany every now and then, which, as we know, always caused great excitement.

In Italy, on the other hand, around 50 animals live in the Alpine region and around 50 in Abruzzo. The animals in the Italian Alps often come from Slovenia, where they are relatively common.

It is estimated that between 1,000 and 2,500 wolves live on the Italian peninsula, divided into the southern population in the Apennines and the northern in the Alps. The local wolf - the Apennine wolf belongs to the Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus lupus) - a subspecies of the wolf (Canis lupus). As in Germany, all cattle breeders defend themselves against the predators.

The lynx population in the Alpine region of Italy is estimated to be around 130 animals.

Etruscan shrew

The smallest mammal in Europe, the approximately 3-3.5 cm tall Etruscan shrew, occurs in the entire Mediterranean area and also in Italy. The small shrew species does not get very old with a life expectancy of 1.5 to 2.5 years and is on the red list of endangered species.

Mouflons

The mouflons, which have also become rare, can be seen in Sardinia.

The rather shy animals are also known as European wild sheep. They reach a size of 65 to 90 cm and live on average 8 to 10 years.

Typical are the gray to yellowish colored saddle spots on the brown fur and the horns of the males, which grow throughout life and can reach a length of 0.45 m.

The horns of the females are much shorter or nonexistent. The mouflons have a well-developed sense of hearing and smell, but the sense of sight is best developed.

Their diet includes grasses, herbs and woody plants, but also mushrooms and fruits.

Cats and dogs

A rather inconspicuous mammal can be found on almost every street corner, not only in Rome - cats are almost as common here as humans. There are also numerous stray dogs in Italy - especially in the south. Since the animals are unfortunately often sick, you should definitely refrain from touching them.

Reptiles

Wall lizards, geckos

The green wall lizards are particularly common residents of Lake Garda in northern Italy - but they are not only found there.

The nimble geckos can also be encountered almost anywhere.

Salamander

The most widespread is the salamander, which can hardly be seen when lying motionless in the sun.

Non

-poisonous snakes The non-poisonous snakes that live here include the dice snake and the Aesculapian snake, the Aesculapian, the god of medicine. To this day, the Aesculapian snake winding around an Aesculapian staff is a symbol for doctors and pharmacists.

Poisonous animals Poisonous spiders and scorpions are found mainly in the remote, warm areas of southern Italy.

The native here viper and the asp, however, are more widespread.

In addition, the European horned viper, a very poisonous snake, lives in northern Italy, and the less poisonous meadow viper lives throughout the country.

Birds

Overview

The following birds can be found in Italy in the country and on the coast. Listed in alphabetical order:

Amur falcon, blackcap, European roller, thin-billed gull, Eleanor falcon, rock grouse, griffon vulture, cuckoo cuckoo, collared flycatcher, Italian sparrow, cap sparrow - a typical songbird of southern Italy, coral gull, sarcophagus, black-headed kawk, sea-headed warbler, Sepia shearwater, steppe harrier, stone grouse, wood warbler. Other birds are:

Wallcreeper

An interesting contemporary is the wallcreeper, which is also known as the "hummingbird of the Alps" due to its long and slightly curved beak. Also noticeable are its red wing feathers, which are particularly effective in flight. Due to its otherwise gray plumage, the bird is rather difficult to see when it is breeding in the rocks and it takes a lot of patience to find it.

Owls, cormorants, cardinals, sparrows On the coast of Capo Vaticano owls, seagulls, cardinals and the Italian sparrows are quite frequent guests. Cormorants can also be found in the waters of the country.

Seagulls

The seagulls (Laridae) form a bird family, which is divided into 10 kinds and about 55 kinds. The most famous gulls are the black-backed gulls, black-headed gulls, herring gulls, and common gulls. In Italy you can also find thin-billed gulls and coral gulls - as listed.

Woodpeckers, sparrowhawks, tawny owls

Typical birds of Italy include the woodpeckers, sparrowhawks and tawny owls

Eurasian jay, fork harrier, buzzard

But also the jay, fork harrier and buzzard belong to the typical feathered residents of the country.

Ducks, stilt, black-tailed godwit

In the wetlands one also encounters various species of duck, black-winged black-winged godwit and also the godwit.

Bitterns, herons, reed warblers

These birds are mostly found in the bank cane, whereby the seabirds can also be observed on shallower and inaccessible beaches.

Alpine birds

Typical Alpine birds, such as the golden eagle or the mountain jackdaw, also belong to the Italian avifauna.

Imperial eagle, ptarmigan, Alpine chaffinch, eared, owls

Among the lucky ones, those are among the birdwatchers who received the imperial eagle, ptarmigan, Alpine chaffinches, eared owls or to face.

Falcons and hawks

These birds of prey are also native to Italy.

Birds as a treat

Unfortunately, an estimated 25 million birds are caught in traps or shot every year in Italy to bring them to the table as a treat. These include: chaffinches, thrushes, skylarks, finches, bullfinches, lapwing, nightingales, robins, starlings, goldfinches, lovebirds, quail, woodcock or wrens. The birds are sold in delicatessen shops or at market stalls.

Underwater world

In the country's waters, the fish population is seriously threatened by the still widespread black fishing, while some species thrive particularly well, such as the endemic Lake Garda trout, which feed on crustaceans.

Tench, whitefish, pike, perch, sea bream, ringed bream, chub and barbel are the most common.

However, fish farms - such as the trout farms in Sarcatal - are playing an increasingly important role.

Dolphins Dolphins

, in particular, are a great pleasure for water sports enthusiasts, who like to romp around in the "family association" near the sailing or motor boats. Every now and then you can watch them from the ferry.

Swordfish, Tuna, Sharks

Swordfish, schools of tuna and also smaller - and rarely larger - shark species cavort in the coastal waters.

Moray

eels belong to the family of eel-like bony fish (Muraenidae). The family is divided into about 12 different genera and about 200 species. The animals live in rather shallow tropical and subtropical seas. There are two species in the Mediterranean, namely the Mediterranean moray (Muraena helena) and the brown moray (Gymnothorax unicolor). They are pure carnivores and usually hide in caves and crevices in the rock and can also be found in coral reefs. They usually only leave their hiding place at night to hunt for prey. Their bite is very much feared by divers and can cause nasty injuries. The Mediterranean moray reaches a length between 80 and 120 cm - with a weight between approx. 3.5 and 6 kg.

Octopus

The common squid (Sepia officinalis) reaches a size of almost 50 cm and a weight of up to about 4 kg. In addition to the Mediterranean, the animals can be found on the coasts of Western Europe, North Africa, and in parts of the North Sea. The animals are offered in many restaurants in different ways of preparation.

Oysters

Oysters are not farmed in Italy, and they almost never appear here. But they are imported as a delicacy and are "slurped" from the peel by connoisseurs raw with a little lemon juice. Therefore we have briefly introduced this seafood here.

Italy: plants

Trees

The flora of Italy is very diverse, which is not least due to the different vegetation zones.

Deciduous and coniferous forests characterize the mountain flora, with firs dominating from an altitude of 1,500 m.

On the coast, on the other hand, there is often a more desert-like landscape.

Characteristic trees of Calabria are pines, as well as orange and lemon trees, which can be found along with olive trees mainly along individual coastal sections.

On the Ionian Sea, the relatively undemanding eucalyptus trees are represented.

The black pine, which can grow up to 50 m high, is typical of the Sila. There are also chestnut trees, cypresses and oaks that grow on the low slopes of the Apennines and are also found in higher altitudes around Lake Garda.

From a height of around 1,800 m, the shrub vegetation predominates with only a few trees.

A specialty is the snakeskin pine, which owes its name to its bark, which is reminiscent of snakeskin on the outside.

This pine, of which there are only about 1000 specimens left in the wild, is represented in the Monte Pollino area.

The walnut plantation near Cardinale in the Serre is also worth a visit. Centuries-old fir forests are also home to the Parco Nazionale Foreste Casentinesi in Tuscany, where 6.5% of the area is protected.

Furthermore, oleander, pomegranate, fig, lemon and orange trees can be found in the country.

Chestnuts grow on the island of Elba.

Crops

Numerous crops such as olive trees and citrus trees are grown on the Po Valley. In the south of the country, on the other hand, date palms, fig, pomegranate and almond trees as well as sugar cane and cotton grow predominantly.

Grains and vegetables are mainly grown in the mountains. Bergamot, a citrus fruit, only grows in the Aspromonte area, between Villa Jan Giovanni and Gioiosa Jonica. The most valuable thing about it is hidden in the skin of the fruit. The essential oil of the peel is used as a raw material for perfumes and is contained in almost all perfumes. The approximately 4 m tall plant is grown almost exclusively for this purpose, but the remains of the harvest are also used in the production of juices, schnapps and jams.

The most important wood suppliers include cedars, pines, white poplars and eucalyptus.

Medicinal plants

Peony, which is poisonous in itself, was previously used as an antispasmodic and against epilepsy. However, this effect has never been proven. It can allegedly also be used for skin and mucous membrane inflammation, fissures, gout, rheumatism and diseases of the respiratory tract. In homeopathy, it is used for hemorrhoids.

While the columbine was still of great medical importance in the Middle Ages, it no longer plays a role in today's medicine. Nowadays it is only used in homeopathy for nervousness and skin diseases.

Butcher's broom root has anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, and diuretic properties.

The use of the herbal active ingredients of the root stock is very common for hemorrhoids and in preparations for venous disorders.

Poisonous plants

The rare holly from the holly family occurs in Calabria and is an evergreen shrub or tree that can reach a height of 6 m and live up to 300 years. Other names are piercing sleeve, piercing oak and palm or Christmas thorn. It is named after its leathery and thorny toothed leaves, which are brightly colored on the underside and dark green on the upper side. It blooms with inconspicuous small white flowers between May and June, so that the fruits ripen in autumn. These are first green, later coral red. Both the leaves and the fruit are poisonous, and children in particular should be careful as a dose of 20-30 berries is considered fatal to them. The symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness.

The peony from the buttercup family is between 50 and 100 cm tall and flowers from June to May. The large flowers with a diameter of 12 cm and petals with a length of 5 - 8 cm are striking.

Most types of peony are common in Europe, Asia, and North America. It prefers light and rocky mountain slopes to grow. Due to the alkaloid paenonin, this plant is poisonous and causes gastrointestinal complaints and vomiting and colic in excessive doses. In the correct dosage, it can also be used as a medicinal plant.

The columbine is also slightly poisonous. Although the toxins are mainly contained in the seeds, consuming about 20 g of the leaves already leads to heart problems, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. However, the symptoms usually go away soon.

More plants

Tuscany with its vineyards and grain fields offers an outstanding landscape in the most beautiful colors.

Vineyards also characterize the Calabrian vegetation, whereby olive groves are also very common here.

Geraniums, hibiscus, bougainvilleas and peperoncini grow on streets, parks or even in gardens.

Butcher's broom is very popular with its red berries, as is the cyclamen, which is mostly pink or purple in color.

Deforestation enabled the macchia, which consists of tree heather, laurel and rockrose, to spread widely. Many rare plants can be found on the Monte Baldo massif on Lake Garda. During the Ice Age it protruded from the glacier sea, so that a fantastic splendor of plants could develop here, the origins of which go back millions of years.

There are also pre-glacial features such as the dolomite devil's claw, which belongs to the bluebell family, the endemic Monte Baldo anemone and the South Tyrolean bedstraw.

Bear's weed, columbine, elder boy and tiger lilies with their beautiful, not to be overlooked orange-red flowers and the equally beautiful but poisonous peonies also grow here.

 

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