Form of Government: Parliamentary republic
Area: 302 073 sq km
Population: 60 359 546 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 199.82 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 47° - 35° N; long. 6° - 18° E
Capital: Rome=Roma (capital) 2 856 133 inhab. (2018);
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.88 (rank: 28)
President of the Republic: Sergio Mattarella, elected on 31 January 2015, in office since 3 February 2015
Prime Minister (President of the Council of Ministers): Giuseppe Conte (independent), since 1 June 2018
Parliament: seats (August 2019 update): Chamber of Deputies: M5S (Five Star MoVement), 216; League (right-wing), 125; PD (Democratic Party), 111; FI (Forza Italia, centre-right), 104; FdI (Brothers of Italy, right-wing), 33; LeU (Free and Equal, left-wing), 14; Mixed Group, 27. Senate: M5S (Five Star MoVement), 107; FI (Forza Italia, centre-right), 62; League (right-wing), 58; PD (Democratic Party), 51; FdI (Brothers of Italy), 18; For the Autonomies (centre-left, regionalist), 8; Mixed Group, 15
Internet: (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, NATO, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO


Italia, Repubblica Italiana
Useful information

International license plate code I
International dialling code 0039
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .it

GMT  +1
DST  +2
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October

Annual average temperature (°C) Rome 15.6; Florence 14.6; Genova 15.6; Milano 12.5; Naples 15.5; Palermo 18.6; Venice 12.8
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Rome 7.5/24.5; Florence 6/24; Genova 8/24; Milano 1.5/23.5; Naples 8/23.5; Palermo 12.5/25.5; Venice 2.5/23
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Rome 9/4; Florence 8.5/3; Genova 8/3.5; Milano 8/2; Naples 9/3; Palermo 10/4; Venice 8/2
Annual average precipitation (mm) Rome 830; Florence 910; Genova 1075; Milano 995; Naples 1015; Palermo 604; Venice 840
Days of rainfall (annual average) Rome 81; Florence 92; Genova 80; Milano 89; Naples 132; Palermo 75; Venice 86

Politics and current affairs

In 2018-19, the government led by Giuseppe Conte was backed by a parliamentary majority comprised of the Five-Star Movement (M5S) and League (Lega), though this coalition was marked by rising tensions that ultimately led to a crisis in August 2019. Divided on many fronts, the governing parties formulated an expansive economic policy, which was a clear break from the budget rules established by the European Union, causing a deep disagreement with the European Commission. The strict policy towards the European Union and immigration paid off for League, which won the European elections on 26 May 2019 with 34.3% of the votes, while their allies in government, M5S, suffered a drop in popularity, taking 17.1%. The disorder caused by this lack of balance between the two governing parties further deteriorated their rapport, leading to a government crisis (7 August) and the resignation of Prime Minister Conte (20 August). With the support of President Mattarella, negotiations were held between M5S and the Democratic Party (PD) to form a new executive, which took office on 5 September, with a reinstated G. Conte at the helm. The new coalition was strongly opposed by the right, which was seeking to call snap elections.
Despite the number of migrant arrivals dropping (around 23 000 in 2018 compared to 181 000 in 2016), immigration has remained a central topic in public debate. On several occasions, Italy denied NGO ships rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea from docking at its ports for days at a time. Internationally, tensions rose with France owing to the countries’ diverging interests in Libya, while League had to face accusations of murky rapports with and alleged financing from Russia.
Worry among western partners finally led to Italy signing a Memorandum of Understanding with China regarding the Belt and Road Initiative on 23 March 2019.

Italy only has borders from the north-west to the north-east: France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. San Marino and the Vatican are also within the landmass. It also includes an exclave in Switzerland: Campione d’Italia. The peninsula is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, divided into the Ligurian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea.
The two largest islands in the Mediterranean are Italian: Sardinia, separated from Corsica (France) by the Strait of Bonifacio, and Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicilian Channel and Ionian Sea. Minor islands include the Tuscan Archipelago, the Pontine Islands off the coast of Lazio, Capri, Ischia and Procida in the Bay of Naples, the Aeolians (or Lipari) to the north and the Aegadians to the west of Sicily, Pantelleria in the Sicilian Channel, the Tremiti Islands in the Adriatic and the Pelagies off the Tunisian coast.
The peninsula is dominated by two mountain ranges: the Alps, to the north, and the Apennines throughout the peninsula. Between the foothills of the Alps and the Northern Apennines lies the Po Valley, crossed by the river Po. In the northern Adriatic, the coasts are low and there are numerous lagoons; in the rest of the country the coasts are rocky or fringed with short stretches of sandy beach. Hills and mountains cover much of Sicily, with the volcano of Mount Etna that dominates the Catania Plain in the east. Sardinia is largely mountainous and most of the coast has rugged cliffs.
The climate is affected by the mountain ranges of the Alps, the Apennines and the highlands of the larger islands, while the sea influences the climate along coastal stretches.


The Italian State is the result of a unification process that began in 1848 with the Wars of Independence. These drew to a close in 1919, at the end of the Great War, with the annexation of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (South Tyrol), Trieste and Istria. The peace agreement after the end of the Second World War deprived Italy of Istria and part of Venezia-Giulia. An institutional referendum held on 2 June 1946 put an end to the monarchy and the rule of the House of Savoy.
The Constitution, passed on 27 December 1947, defines the structure and operation of the State, attributing legislative power, together with control of the guidance and activities of the executive, to Parliament. On 29 September, 1999, Italians living abroad gained the right to vote.
Parliament comprises two chambers, both of which are elected directly by universal suffrage for five years. The Chamber of Deputies has 630 members. The Senate of the Republic has 315 senators. The President of the Republic, who is “head of state and represents national unity”, is elected by Parliament for five-year terms and may be re-elected. The Government comprises the President of the Council (as the Prime Minister is known), who is appointed by the President of the Republic, and his ministers, who form the Council of Ministers. A new Government must be approved by gaining a majority vote in both Chambers.
The territory of the Italian Republic is divided in terms of administration into regions, metropolitan cities, provinces and municipalities. There are 20 regions, 15 of which are under ordinary statutes and 5 under special statutes (Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sicily and Sardinia). The provinces and municipalities have administrative and financial autonomy. The provinces of Trento and Bolzano/Bozen also have legislative autonomy. Effective 1 January 2015, 14 “metropolitan cities” were instituted (Rome Capital, Turin, Milan, Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Bari, Naples, Reggio di Calabria, Palermo, Catania, Messina, Cagliari), which have absorbed the respective provinces, benefitting from special powers and administrative autonomy.

Since 2005, when compulsory military service was abolished, the armed forces have been a professional service, and open to men and women. The Italian armed forces comprise the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Carabinieri (which absorbed the State Forestry Corps in 2016), and the Financial Guards (reporting to the Ministry of Economy and Finance). The Italian State Police report to the Ministry of the Interior.
As of May 2019, about 6100 Italian military were involved in 39 international operations: large contingents of troops operate in Iraq and Kuwait, Lebanon, Afghanistan and in the Balkans. The presence in Africa is growing, with contingents in Libya, Niger, Somalia and Mali. In the Mediterranean, Italy heads up the EUNAVFOR Med European operation against human trafficking to control the migratory flow, and introduced the “Mare Sicuro” (Secure Sea) national campaign. Another 7160 soldiers have been deployed across Italy as part of the “Strade Sicure” (Secure Streets) operation. The Italian territory is home to several military sites (bases, radar centres, depots and firing grounds) headed up by NATO armed forces or allies (mainly US).

The judicial administration is divided into offices of Justices of the Peace, courts and public prosecutors’ offices, juvenile courts, surveillance courts, courts of appeal and Public Prosecutors’ offices at courts of appeal, the Court of Cassation and Public Prosecutor’s offices at the Court of Cassation, and the Higher Court of the Public Waters.

Air force24%2019
Crimes4 722.8per 100 000 pop.2012
Homicides0.7per 100 000 pop.2016

Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Rome=Roma2 856 133inhab.2018
Milan=Milano1 378 689inhab.2018
LOMBARDY=LOMBARDIA10 060 574ab.2018
LAZIO5 879 082ab.2018


Population by age and gender (% - 2018)

Italy has one of the highest population densities in Europe, but population distribution across the country is uneven on account of environmental factors and the different ways in which towns and cities have developed.
Italy has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. For years immigration has been the main factor in population growth. The permanent presence of foreign residents is mainly concentrated in north and central Italy. The largest foreign communities are from Romania, Albania, Morocco, China and Ukraine.

Demographic statistics
Birth rate7.32018
Death rate10.52018
Foreigners, total5 255 503units2018
Romanians1 206 938units2018
Ethnic groups


Population by selected age groups
0-14 years13.6%2018
15-29 years15%2018



Economic situation.
Italy’s economy slowed down in 2018, growing 0.9% compared to the 1.7% registered the previous year. Domestic consumption only grew 0.6% compared to 1% in 2017. The economy is impacted by the constant uncertainty of domestic politics, as well as the general slowdown worldwide, especially when considering the protectionist tensions that could undermine international value chains. Investments, on the other hand, grew compared to other European countries (3.4%), but they did not fill the gap with European partners that has grown in previous years. While the country experienced an economic slowdown, the job market only partially felt its impact, and employment continued to grow in 2018 (+0.9%), though at lower rhythms compared to 2017. Unemployment still remains above the European average, at 10.6%.
Despite tensions registered by the financial markets, the stabilization of its public finances strengthened in 2018, with the deficit dropping to 2.1% of the GDP. Although the primary balance (1.6%) remains above the EU average, the public debt began to increase again, reaching 132.1% of the GDP, equal to 2317 billion euros.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)91.55index2016
Balance of trade45 847.7M US$2018
Economy - Employment
Active population25 970 421units2018
Active population, Females42.6%2018
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate10.6%2018
Unemployment rate, Females47.3%2018
Economy - State budget
Expenses498 220M LCU2018
Revenues454 036M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
GDP by economic activity
Financial data
Currency in circulation202.64BN LCU2018
International reserves152 361.9M US$2018


Primary sector
Yields from cereal crops are moderate high, with cereals being grown mainly in the south (durum wheat) and in the Po Valley. More than 50% of Italian maize is grown in Veneto and Lombardy. Rice is grown in the provinces of Novara, Vercelli and Pavia. The most industrial crop is sugar beet (Po Valley).
Tomatoes are mostly cultivated in Campania, Sicily, Apulia and Emilia-Romagna. Other main fruit and vegetables include artichokes, melons, watermelons, onions and cauliflowers. Flower growing is extensive, especially in Liguria and Tuscany. Scattered throughout the peninsula, grapevines enjoy prestige in Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany. Italy alternates with France for first place in terms of global wine-making and vies with Spain for the production of olive oil (Apulia and Calabria excel in terms of quantity, but Tuscany and Liguria offer the finest of oils). Citrus fruits (oranges and lemons) are grown mainly in Sicily, Calabria and Campania. Apples, pears, peaches, almonds, cherries and plums are grown extensively in some regions.
Livestock and fishing.
Livestock farming is practised mainly in the Po Valley, where beef and dairy cattle predominate, along with poultry and pigs. Derivative products, such as cured meats and cheeses are justly famous.
Apart from in the Adriatic Sea and the Sicilian Channel, fishing in the seas off the Italian coast is somewhat limited. The major fishing-ports are Chioggia, Ancona, San Benedetto del Tronto, Manfredonia, Molfetta, Palermo, Trapani and Mazara del Vallo. The total catch isn’t sufficient to meet the demand of the national market, which is forced to import large amounts. Fish farming has developed considerably, both in freshwater (trout and sturgeon) and at sea (bass, grey mullet and gilthead). The Valli di Comacchio are known for their eels.

Land use
arable land30.76%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
barley1 022.21000 t2018
cereals, total16 531.21000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
potatoes1 342.51000 t2018
roots and tubers, total1 350.91000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
artichokes402.71000 t2018
asparagus50.71000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry12.11000 t2018
beans, green154.8511000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes8 642.81000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Olive
olives2 151.81000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
rapeseed39.81000 t2018
sesame seed0.2891000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
pyrethrum0.3051000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
sugar beet2 2011000 t2018
tobacco58.81000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Flax
flax fibre and tow0.8351000 t2017
linseed21000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste3.4441000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples2 436.61000 t2018
apricots236.11000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Nuts
almonds84.71000 t2018
hazelnuts140.31000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits2 884.31000 t2018
citrus fruits, nes311000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
bananas0.3541000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms69.5581000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley262.51000 ha2018
maize591.21000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
potatoes46.41000 ha2018
sweet potatoes0.41000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
artichokes40.21000 ha2018
cabbages24.11000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry6.41000 ha2018
beans, green18.6181000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape7001000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
olive1 164.11000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
rapeseed14.41000 ha2018
sesame seed0.2251000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
sugar beet34.41000 ha2018
tobacco15.51000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
flax fibre and tow0.2531000 ha2017
linseed31000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste0.71000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples57.51000 ha2018
apricots19.31000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
almonds59.51000 ha2018
hazelnuts84.31000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits1431000 ha2018
citrus fruits, nes1.61000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
bananas0.0151000 ha2017


timber12 928 0002017
Livestock - Cattle
cattle5 949.3931000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes6 3241000 heads2018
Livestock - Buffaloes
buffaloes400.7921000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
pigs8 4921000 heads2018
Livestock - Sheep
sheep7 1791000 heads2018
Livestock - Goats
goats9861000 heads2018
Livestock - Equines
asses20.9281000 heads2017
asses and mules28.1751000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
birds173 4371000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey9.51000 t2013
Livestock - Silk farming
silk, raw0.0121000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
butter91.21000 t2017
cheese1 261.11000 t2017
crustaceans and molluscs162 821t2017


Mineral resources - Energy minerals
coal541000 t2017
coal, total541000 t2017
Mineral resources - Metal ores
alumina752.91000 t2009
antimony0.51000 t2005
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
asphalt, natural1 1001000 t2015
barite3.51000 t2014
Mineral resources - Rocks
alabaster2 8741000 t2015
diatomite251000 t2016


Electric energy - Generated
- thermal184 336.1M kWh2018
- hydro49 929M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- thermal64 0211000 kW2018
- other renew.31 185.41000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation279 844.6M kWh2018
total installed capacity118 116.91000 kW2018


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
aluminium1 369.81000 t2015
aluminium, secondary1 369.81000 t2015
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
bikes2 445 000no.2018
cars670 932no.2018
Industry - Electrical and electronics
air conditioners4 211 497no.2016
computers132 677no.2018
Industry - Petrochemicals
bitumen2 7741000 t2018
petrol24 4131000 t2018
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia5701000 t2016
artificial tow6.81000 t2004
Industry - Textiles
carpets6 8541000 m²2016
cotton fabrics223.9M m²2018
Industry - Clothing and footwear
footwear185 700 000pairs2018
Industry - Food and beverages
beer of barley1 296.81000 t2014
coconut oil0.51000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes2 629.7M units2016
cigars146M units2002
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp111.5391000 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp392.011000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement19 3051000 t2017
sheet glass - t887.11000 t2016
Industry - Various
chemicals production24 154.5M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production31 460.5M US$2016


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
Italy is one of the leading countries in world trade, with 2.8% of the overall export of goods and 2.6% in imports (2018). The main markets for Italian exports are EU countries (especially Germany and France) and the USA. Oil and natural gas, vehicles, machinery, electrical and electronic equipment and pharmaceutical products come top on the list of imported goods.

Main exports (M US$ - 2017)
machinery 99 475, iron and steel 30 700, electrical and electronic equipment 30 117, pharmaceuticals 25 687, vehicles and parts thereof 25 680, apparel and accessories 21 331, plastics 20 561, cars 18 021, petroleum products 14 973, chemicals 14 144, furniture and accessories 13 655, footwear 11 315, leather goods 9 177, jewels and precious stones 8 423, technical and electro-medical appliances 8 348, glass and ceramic products 8 025, paper and paperboard 7 080, wine 6 762, aluminium 6 401, fruit and vegetables 5 896, cosmetics and perfumes 5 513, pasta and bakery products 5 218, rubber articles 4 856, ships and boats 4 796, aircraft and parts thereof 4 562, raw hides & skins 4 420, spectacles/goggles and the like 4 090

Finance and banking.
In 2018, the banking sector consisted of 100 banks belonging to 58 groups, 327 banks not belonging to groups and 78 branches of foreign banks. The process of credit union reform concluded in 2019, which led to a rationalization of banking groups. The Milan Stock Exchange merged with the London Stock Exchange in 2007, creating the most important European financial market.

Composition of goods exports
manufactures83.230% of goods exports2018
food products8.874% of goods exports2018
Commercio Estero - Esportazioni
Germany58 096M euro2018
France48 421M euro2018
Commercio Estero - Importazioni
Germany70 315M euro2018
France36 535M euro2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
Germany68 297M US$2018
France56 872M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
Germany82 944M US$2018
France42 974M US$2018
Merchandise Export
2018546 643M US$ -
2017507 418M US$ -
Merchandise Import
2018500 795M US$ -
2017453 123M US$ -


Italy is ranked among the most preferred tourist destinations in the world, with 63.2 million of international arrivals in 2018 (+4.4% over 2017). Its famous cities of art (Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples and many other smaller places) are the most popular destinations. Its many other attractions include: the seaside resorts along the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts, ski resorts and summer Alpine walking resorts, its lakes, spas, archaeological sites and nature reserves and parks. Its visitors come mainly from Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the USA.
Italy confirms its leadership as the nation with the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

International Tourism
Expenditures27 100M US$2017
Number of arrivals60 523 190units2017


The communications network is highly developed, although this is not true for all parts of the country. The railways network has been upgraded quite significantly, though not without problems. The rolling stock is being modernized and a high-speed, high-capacity train network is in the process of being built. On account of the geography of the country, sea transport plays a key role in trade with countries outside Italy.

Media and telecommunication.
In recent years, the telecommunications sector has undergone constant change as a result of the deregulation of the market and the evolution of TC technology, which has enabled major synergies between the telephone infrastructure and computers, causing mobile phone services to be established once and for all as well as Internet access. With the move to digital terrestrial television, the number of channels has increased, but the market stays divided between three groups: two on the terrestrial network (RAI, which is the Italian state television network, and Mediaset, offering additional digital channels for a fee) and one on the satellite network (Sky, for a fee), with other marginal companies.

Communication - Transport
Civil aviation, km flown406 600 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried27 836.41000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
Broadband subscribers279.420per 1000 pop.2017
Computers366.6per 1000 pop.2005

Social and welfare

Education, culture & research.
School is compulsory for ten years in all. Completion is expected by the age of 18 years with upper secondary school qualifications or a vocational qualification that takes at least three years to gain. Pre-school education is not compulsory. Primary education lasts for 5 years and is followed by the first stage of secondary teaching for 3 years. Upper secondary schools are divided as art schools, schools with an emphasis on humanities, those with an emphasis on science, language schools, music and dance conservatories and schools focusing on life science. Vocation and technical training is divided into technical and vocational training schools.
The former is separated into two sectors, economic and technological, whereas the latter into vocational schools for the service sector and vocational schools for the industry and handicraft sectors. University courses are organized around two cycles. The first, which lasts for three years, leads to a first-level (bachelors) degree; the second, which lasts for two years, enables students to gain a specialist degree (masters).

Social security and health.
Welfare, healthcare and assistance are the three main areas around which the publicly-funded Italian social security system is organized, providing financial aid as well as social services. During recent years, expenditure has increasingly been allocated for social welfare schemes to support the disabled, the elderly, war veterans, the unemployed, victims of accidents at work, and people on maternity and sick leave.
There has been a series of various reforms of the pension system to ensure that the figures balance out in the midterm, also taking into account the increased life expectancy of the population, by gradually raising the retirement age and the gradual equalization of men and women.

Social statistics - Education
Expected years of schooling16.2years2016
Gradautes, percentage18.7%2017
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Teachers, primary level254 572units2016
Teachers, secondary level456 891units2016
Social statistics - Social protection
Social protection spending42.8% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending27.9% of GDP2018
Social statistics - Health
Hospital beds3.2per 1000 pop.2016
Physicians4per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
HIV0.2% of adults2017
HIV, total0.4%2001
Museums4 889units2017
Museums, visitors119 069 134units2017
Research and development spending1.35% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
clothing, footwear4.6%2018