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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
local short form: Italia
former: Kingdom of Italy
Gevernment typerepublic
Capital name: Rome
geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 29 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and is green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of the Cote d'Ivoire, which has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green
note: inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797
Currencyeuro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Internet country code.it
Ports and terminalsAugusta, Genoa, Livorno, Melilli Oil Terminal, Ravenna, Taranto, Trieste, Venice
Agriculture productsfruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish
Industriestourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics
Geography
LocationSouthern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Coordinates42 50 N, 12 50 E
ContinentEurope
Area total: 301,230 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
water: 7,210 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
Boundaries total: 1,932.2 km
border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Coastline7,600 km
Climatepredominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Terrainmostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Natural resourcescoal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorospar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land
Natural hazardsregional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
People
Population58,133,509 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsItalian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Religionsapproximately 90% Roman Catholic (about one-third regularly attend services); mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
LanguagesItalian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

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