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Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Italian Republic
Conventional short form Italy
Local long form Repubblica Italiana
Local short form Italia
Former Kingdom of Italy

Government type
Republic

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

Administrative divisions
15 regions (regioni, singular - regione) and 5 autonomous regions (regioni autonome, singular - regione autonoma)
Regions
Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio (Latium), Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte (Piedmont), Puglia (Apulia), Toscana (Tuscany), Umbria, Veneto (Venetia)
Autonomous regions
Friuli-Venezia Giulia; Sardegna (Sardinia); Sicilia (Sicily); Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-South Tyrol) or Trentino-Suedtirol (German); Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley) or Vallee d'Aoste (French)

Independence
17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)

Constitution
Passed 11 December 1947, effective 1 January 1948; amended many times

Legal system
Civil law system; judicial review under certain conditions in Constitutional Court

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal (except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25)

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Giorgio NAPOLITANO (since 15 May 2006)
Head of government
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mario MONTI (since 16 November 2011); note - in Italy the prime minister is referred to as the President of the Council of Ministers
Cabinet
Council of Ministers proposed by the Prime Minister and nominated by the President of the Republic
Elections
President elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of parliament and 58 regional representatives for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held on 10 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2013); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by parliament
Election results
Giorgio NAPOLITANO elected president on the fourth round of voting; electoral college vote - 543

Legislative branch
Bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (315 seats; members elected by proportional vote with the winning coalition in each region receiving 55% of seats from that region; members to serve five-year terms; and up to 5 senators for life appointed by the president of the Republic) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; members elected by popular vote with the winning national coalition receiving 54% of chamber seats; members to serve five-year terms); note - it has not been clarified if each president has the power to designate up to five senators or if five is the number of senators for life who might sit in the Senate
Elections
Senate - last held on 13-14 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 13-14 April 2008 (next to be held in April 2013)
Election results
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - S. BERLUSCONI coalition 174 (PdL 147, LN 25, MpA 2), W. VELTRONI coalition 132 (PD 118, IdV 3), UdC 3, other 6; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - S. BERLUSCONI coalition 344 (PdL 276, LN 60, MpA 8), W. VELTRONI coalition 246 (PD 217, IdV 29), UdC 36, other 4

Judicial branch
Constitutional Court or Corte Costituzionale (composed of 15 judges: one-third appointed by the president, one-third elected by parliament, one-third elected by the ordinary and administrative Supreme Courts); Supreme Court of Cassation or Corte Suprema di Cassazione

Political parties and leaders
Center-Right
People of Freedom or PdL [Silvio BERLUSCONI]
Center-Left
Democratic Party or PD [Rosy BINDI]
Centrist Third Pole
Future and Freedom for Italy or FLI [Gianfranco FINI]; Movement for Autonomy or MpA [Raffaele LOMBARDO]; Union of the Center or UdC [Pier Ferdinando CASINI]
No affiliation
Italy of Values or IdV [Antonio DI PIETRO]; Lega Nord or LN [Umberto BOSSI]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Manufacturers and merchants associations - Confcommercio; Confindustria; organized farm groups - Confcoltivatori; Confagricoltura; Roman Catholic Church; three major trade union confederations - Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Susanna CAMUSSO] which is left wing; Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Raffaele BONANNI], which is Roman Catholic centrist; Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Luigi ANGELETTI] which is lay centrist

International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Claudio BISOGNIERO
Chancery
3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 612-4400
FAX [1] (202) 518-2151
Consulate(s) general
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco
Consulate(s) Detroit

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador David THORNE
Embassy
Via Vittorio Veneto 121, 00187-Rome
Mailing address PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
Telephone [39] (06) 46741
FAX [39] (06) 488-2672, 4674-2356
Consulate(s) general Florence, Milan, Naples

Flag description
Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; design inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797; colors are those of Milan (red and white) combined with the green uniform color of the Milanese civic guard
Note
Similar to the flag of Mexico, which is longer, uses darker shades of red and green, and has its coat of arms centered on the white band; 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

National symbol(s)
White, five-pointed star (Stella d'Italia)

National anthem
Name
"Il Canto degli Italiani" (The Song of the Italians)
Lyrics/music Goffredo MAMELI/Michele NOVARO
Note
Adopted 1946; the anthem, originally written in 1847, is also known as "L'Inno di Mameli" (Mameli's Hymn), and "Fratelli D'Italia" (Brothers of Italy)


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  Italy (Rome):


  GPS points from Italy (Rome)

Illasi Italy (general)

Roncocesi Emilia-romagna

Gruppo Dell' Adamello Trentino-alto Adige

Poggio Cascino Tuscany


Villecchia Tuscany

Serdiana Sardinia

Ponte Dell'olio Italy (general)




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