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 Study in Italy

STUDY IN  ITALY - about italy

General Information    |    Geography    |    Government    |    Communication

General Information


Area: 301,338 sq km (116,346 sq miles).

Population: 57,715,625 (July 2002 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 0.05% (2002 est.)
Population Density: 192 per sq km.

Capital: Rome

Ethnicity / Race: Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)

Language: Italian (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)

Currency: Single European currency (Euro): The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Italy). The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Italian Lira was still in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Religion: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community

Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in September).

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Health: Leishmaniasis (cutaneous and visceral), sandfly fever, West Nile virus and typhus, though rare, may occur along the Mediterranean coast. Echinococcosis and brucellosis also occur, although rarely.
Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. For further information, see the Health appendix.

Tipping: Service charges and state taxes are included in all hotel bills. It is customary to give up to 10 per cent in addition if service has been particularly good.

Customs: What would it be like to wake in the heart of the Roman Empire, lunch in a sumptuous 16th-century Renaissance villa, and go to bed in the capital of 21st-century designer chic? Visit Italy, taking in Rome, Florence and Milan, and the experience is yours.

But that’s not all. Italy combines art history and contemporary fashion with stunning natural landscapes: the turquoise waters of the Costa Smeralda offer one of Europe’s most beautiful stretches of sand, sea and sunshine, while the snow-covered slopes of the Dolomite mountains are a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.

Besides the renowned cities of Venice, Genoa and Naples (each with its own unique identity – Italy was only unified in 1870), there are romantic Medieval hill towns, such as San Gimignano in Tuscany, and unspoilt fishing villages, like the unforgettable Positano on the Amalfi coast. Visit vineyards and cellars to taste the very best regional wines: The Veneto, famed for the sparkling white prosecco, and Tuscany, home of the highly acclaimed robust red, Brunello di Montalcino. And to really get away from it all, take a boat to the islands of Sicily or Sardinia to experience rural hospitality in the blissful Mediterranean. Italy: still so much more to discover.







Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia

Geographic coordinates: 42 50 N, 12 50 E

301,230 sq km note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
Water: 7,210 sq km
Land: 294,020 sq km

Coastline: 7,600 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)

Natural resources: mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal, arable land

Natural hazards: regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice

Environment - current issues: air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities

Geography - note: strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe





Government Structure: Since changes to the 1948 constitution, agreed by referendum in 1993, both houses of the bicameral Parlamento are elected under a mixed system – three-quarters by majority vote in constituencies and one-quarter by direct proportional representation. The lower house, the Camera dei Deputati (Chamber of Deputies), has 630 members, elected for a five-year term, 475 members in single-seat constituencies and 155 members by proportional representation. The Senato della Repubblica (Senate of the Republic) has 326 members, elected for a five-year term, 232 members in single-seat constituencies, 83 members by proportional representation and 11 senators for life. The two chambers, plus a group of 58 regional representatives, comprise an electoral college which elects a President as head of state for a seven-year term. The President appoints a Prime Minister (usually, but not always, the leader of the largest party in parliament) who leads a Council of Ministers with executive responsibilities. In June 1997, a parliamentary commission on constitutional reform announced its recommendations (including a directly elected President) but as yet it has proved impossible to transmute these ideas into any kind of political reality.





Telephone: Full IDD service available. Country code: 390 (followed by 6 for Rome, 2 for Milan, 11 for Turin, 81 for Naples, 41 for Venice and 55 for Florence). Outgoing international code: 00. Telephone kiosks now only accept phonecards, which can be purchased at post offices, tobacconists and certain newsagents.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900 and 1800 networks. Network operators include Vodafone Omnitel (website:, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) (website: and Wind (website:

Fax: Some hotels have facilities.

Internet: ISPs include Freenet (website:, Telecom Italia Net (website:, Tiscali (website: and Virgilio (website: Public access is available in Internet Corner Kiosks operated by Telecom Italia. Kiosks have been installed at airports, major hotels and in other public places. There are also Internet cafes in all main towns.

Telegram: Both internal and overseas telegrams may be dictated over the telephone.

Post: The Italian postal system tends to be subject to delays. Letters between Italy and other European countries usually take a 7 to 10 days to arrive. Letters intended for Poste Restante collection should be addressed to Fermo Posta and the town. Stamps are sold in post offices and tobacconists. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0800/0830-1200/1230 and 1400/1430-1730/1800, Saturday mornings only.

Press: The main towns publish a weekly booklet with entertainment programmes, sports events, restaurants, nightclubs, etc. There are several English-language publications: monthly magazines Enigma Roma (Rome), Grapevine (on the Lucca area) and Hello Milano (Milan), as well as Wanted In Rome, (website:, published twice monthly. Among the most important Italian dailies are La Stampa (Turin), Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), Il Messaggero (Rome), and Il Giorno (Milan). The Informer (website: is a useful English-language online guide for expatriates living in Italy.

Radio: BBC World Service (website: time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.


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