Italy / Italian Republic / Repubblica Italiana
- Rome is also the largest city in Italy
Official Language: Italian
Religion: Over 80% Christian
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Republic
- Italy is a founding member of the EU. They are a part of the UN, NATO, and other international organizations. They are also a part of the Schengen Area.
- Upper House: Senate of the Republic
- Lower House: Chamber of Deputies
Area: 301,230 km2
Location: Southern Europe, in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, but also considered part of Western Europe
- Borders France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia
- Contains ‘enclaved microstates’ Vatican City and San Marino
- Italy is ‘the boot’! It is a peninsula.
- The alps are in the north.
- Many islands surround the peninsula of Italy.
Population: 60,317,000 (2020 estimate)
- Italy is the third most populous country in the EU
- GDP: $2.61 trillion (2021 estimate)
- Currency: Euro
- Italy has the eighth largest GDP in the world, and 3rd largest in the EU.
- They are sixth largest by national wealth and 3rd largest by central bank gold reserve.
- Their capitalist mixed economy has made them a leading country in world trade and exports.
- Their agricultural sector is large, and quite competitive. As of the 2010 census, there were 1.6 million farms in Italy. They are the world’s largest producer of wine.
- They are the sixth largest manufacturing company in the world.
- Italy has several concentrated industrial districts, which are ‘the backbone of the Italian industry.’
- There is a stark economic difference in regional GDP between the north and the south, with certain northern regions making well over the average national GDP, and some southern regions making well under the national GDP.
- Meetings in Italy are usually less formal than in many other EU nations. However, hierarchy within companies is very important to be aware of, as well as power and age.
- Close relationships are important to Italian business culture. It’s common to express disagreement and constructive conflict in these partnerships, so having partners you can trust is crucial.
- The prevailing biases between northern and southern cultures can appear pronounced in certain situations. It is likely you will come across some of these biases, depending on what region you are doing business in.
- Italy is known for having a complex bureaucracy and regulatory framework that can make doing business a time-consuming matter.
- Unfortunately, there can be high levels of bribery, corruption, and tax evasion when doing business in Italy; which can put business-people who aren’t participating in these activities at a disadvantage.
- Keep In Mind: Avoid scheduling meetings in August AKA the ‘holiday month’, during Catholic festivities, and on other national days off.
History & Culture:
- Because of its central location in the Mediterranean, Italy has a rich history and has been home to many differing people and cultures - i.e. Phoenicians, Greeks, Indo-European Italic peoples, Etruscans, Celts, Latins, and more.
- The ‘Pax Romana’ was the period of time of over 200 years after the Roman Empire conquered the Italian peninsula, when Italy’s law, technology, economy, and culture saw great developments that we can still witness the influence of today.
- The Renaissance began in Italy, reviving interest in humanism, science, exploration, and the arts.
- Today, Italians are well-known for their influential and high-quality car, machinery, food, design, and fashion industries. Their influence on global culture cannot be understated.
- Italian culture is incredibly family-oriented.
- Italy has the greatest number of World Heritage sites - 58!
- The Italian flag is similar to the Mexican flag, except it begins with a green section, then white, then red, without any other emblem or other adornment.