Form of Government: Parliamentary republic
Area: 302 073 sq km
Population: 60 483 973 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 200.23 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 47° - 35° N; long. 6° - 18° E
Capital: Rome=Roma (capital) 2 872 800 inhab. (2017);
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.887 (rank: 26)
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 based on the elections of 4 March 2018: Chamber of Deputies: M5S (Five Star MoVement), 222; League (right-wing), 124; PD (Democratic Party), 111; FI (Forza Italia, centre-right), 105; FdI (Brothers of Italy, right-wing), 32; LeU (Free and Equal, left-wing), 14; Mixed Group, 21. Senate: M5S (Five Star MoVement), 109; FI (Forza Italia, centre-right), 61; League (right-wing), 58; PD (Democratic Party), 52; FdI (Brothers of Italy), 18; For the Autonomies (centre-left, regionalist), 8; Mixed Group, 12
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

The elections on 4 March 2018 marked a new chapter in the country’s political history, with the victory of the opposition and the collapse of the centre-left, in power since 2013. The Five Star Movement (M5S) came out on top (30%), earning excellent results particularly in the south. The centre-right alliance earned major support in northern Italy, becoming the most voted coalition in the country. The substantial tie between the centre-right and M5S and the apparent incompatibility between the alliance’s programs led to Parliament being formed without a clear political majority. After two months of deadlock and institutional conflict, Lega formed a parliamentary alliance with M5S, together outlining a “government contract” and recommending the attorney Giuseppe Conte for prime minister. The new government began on 1 June 2018 and earned the confidence of the houses on the basis of a program that includes an expansive economic policy, which should facilitate fiscal reform and the expansion of subsidies, a tough immigration policy and a European policy inconsistent with Italy’s traditional Europeanism.
The first months of the Conti government saw priority given to security and immigration. Minister of the Interior, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Lega, Matteo Salvini, took a hard-line stance on the NGOs active in the Mediterranean, on other EU countries and on European institutions, which he accuses of having abandoned Italy in the management of the migration phenomenon. Agreements with the wider EU for a new immigration policy didn’t lead to any concrete results, but they did stoke the conflict with major founding countries, particularly France and Spain, and encourage Italy’s alignment with the sovereigntist position taken by the four central-eastern countries in the Visegrád Group.
On 14 August 2018, for reasons still unknown, the partial collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa led to 43 deaths and 15 wounded, as well as more than 600 evacuees. In addition to the serious problems for transporting goods and people, the disaster ignited a harsh conflict between the government and Italy’s highway authority, which has been held responsible by the government for not taking adequate care of the structure.

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 Aegadeans 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 2018, about 6100 Italian military were involved in 32 international operations: large contingents of troops operate in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon and in the Balkans. In the Mediterranean, Italy heads up the EUNavForMed European operation against human trafficking to control the migratory flow and introduced the “Mare Sicuro” (Secure Sea) national campaign. Smaller contingents are active in Libya, Mali, Somalia, Niger, Turkey and in the Indian Ocean. Another 7000 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 American).

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 force23.9%2018
Crimes4 722.8per 100 000 pop.2012
Homicides0.8per 100 000 pop.2015

Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Rome=Roma2 872 800inhab.2017
Milan=Milano1 366 180inhab.2017
LOMBARDY=LOMBARDIA10 036 258ab.2017
LAZIO5 896 693ab.2017


Population by age and gender (% - 2017)

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 rate7.62017
Death rate10.72017
Foreigners, total5 144 440units2017
Romanians1 190 091units2017
Ethnic groups


Population by selected age groups
0-14 years13.6%2017
15-29 years15.1%2017



Economic situation.
In 2017, Italy’s economic recovery continued to strengthen. Despite growing a lower rate against the Eurozone average, Italy’s GDP increased 1.5%, an acceleration compared to the +0.9% registered in 2016. A driving force in the recovery has been internal demand, particularly private investments, even if this is owed to the expansive monetary policy of the ECB. According to recent estimates by the OECD, growth should slow down in 2018-19.
Although the policies regarding structural reform and fiscal prudence seen in 2103-17 contributed to relaunching economic development, low salary growth and a probable reduction in private investments weigh heavily on the prospect of acceleration.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)91.55index2016
Balance of trade53 602M US$2017
Economy - Employment
Active population25 929 842units2017
Active population, Females42.6%2017
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate11.2%2017
Unemployment rate, Females47.1%2017
Economy - State budget
Expenses494 209M LCU2017
Revenues451 495M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
GDP by economic activity
Financial data
Currency in circulation192.9BN LCU2017
International reserves151 120.4M US$2017


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 is undergoing considerable development, 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 008.91000 t2017
cereals, total16 317.91000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
potatoes1 389.21000 t2017
roots and tubers, total1 398.61000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
artichokes402.51000 t2017
asparagus48.21000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry11.31000 t2017
beans, green162.9521000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes7 260.41000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Olive
olives2 741.91000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
rapeseed42.31000 t2017
sesame seed0.2821000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
pyrethrum0.31000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
sugar beet2 290.71000 t2016
tobacco61.91000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
flax fibre and tow0.6581000 t2016
linseed21000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste5.1151000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples1 940.61000 t2017
apricots272.11000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
almonds84.71000 t2017
hazelnuts143.51000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits2 874.91000 t2016
citrus fruits, nes19.91000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
bananas0.3541000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms683.621000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley250.51000 ha2017
maize645.71000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
potatoes48.61000 ha2017
sweet potatoes0.41000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
artichokes40.51000 ha2017
cabbages23.71000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry61000 ha2017
beans, green18.6861000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape693.11000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
olive1 163.91000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
rapeseed15.61000 ha2017
sesame seed0.2221000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
sugar beet32.31000 ha2016
tobacco16.11000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
flax fibre and tow0.1981000 ha2016
linseed31000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
hemp tow waste0.51000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples57.31000 ha2017
apricots191000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
almonds58.51000 ha2017
hazelnuts801000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits147.41000 ha2016
citrus fruits, nes1.61000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
bananas0.0151000 ha2016


timber12 928 0002016
Livestock - Cattle
cattle5 949.41000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes6 350.21000 heads2017
Livestock - Buffaloes
buffaloes400.81000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
pigs8 5711000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
sheep7 2151000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
goats9921000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
asses and mules72.41000 heads2017
equines, total4401000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
birds167 4951000 heads2016
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey9.51000 t2013
Livestock - Silk farming
silk, raw0.0121000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
butter95.41000 t2016
cheese1 232.21000 t2016
crustaceans and molluscs160 418.5t2016


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
- thermal200 305.3M kWh2017
- other renew.47 403.6M kWh2017
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- thermal64 045.11000 kW2017
- other renew.30 261.31000 kW2017
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation285 265.7M kWh2017
total installed capacity117 144.31000 kW2017


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
aluminium1 369.81000 t2015
aluminium, secondary1 369.81000 t2015
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
bikes2 470 000no.2017
cars742 642no.2017
Industry - Electrical and electronics
computers101 000no.2017
fridges2 232 133no.2015
Industry - Petrochemicals
bitumen2 6291000 t2017
petrol23 6651000 t2015
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia5701000 t2016
artificial tow6.81000 t2004
Industry - Textiles
cotton fabrics270.5M m²2017
cotton yarn32.31000 t2017
Industry - Clothing and footwear
footwear190 600 000pairs2017
Industry - Food and beverages
beer of barley1 296.81000 t2014
coconut oil0.51000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes2 418M units2013
cigars146M units2002
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp111.5391000 t2016
chemi-mechanical pulp392.011000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement19 3051000 t2017
sheet glass - t887.11000 t2016
Industry - Various
chemicals production26 791.4M US$2014
food, beverages and tobacco production34 284.9M US$2014


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
Italy is one of the leading countries in world trade, with 2.9% of the overall export of goods and 2.5% in imports (2017). 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 2017, the banking sector consisted of 113 banks belonging to 60 groups, 347 banks not belonging to groups and 78 branches of foreign banks. Merger and acquisitions in the last few years have increased the segment’s level of concentration on a national scale. The two largest groups (Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo) account for one third of the whole sector. The Milan Stock Exchange merged with the London Stock Exchange in 2007, creating the most important European financial market.

Composition of goods exports
manufactures83.5% of goods exports2017
food products9% of goods exports2017
Commercio Estero - Esportazioni
Germany55 877M euro2017
France46 164M euro2017
Commercio Estero - Importazioni
Germany65 347M euro2017
France35 210M euro2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
Germany62 814M US$2017
France51 816M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
Germany73 734M US$2017
France39 637M US$2017
Merchandise Export
2017506 226.026M US$ -
2016461 874.834M US$ -
Merchandise Import
2017452 624.472M US$ -
2016406 924.887M US$ -


Italy is ranked among the most preferred tourist destinations in the world, with 60.5 million of international arrivals in 2017 (+11.8% over 2016). 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 schooling16.3years2015
Gradautes, percentage17.7%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Teachers, primary level237 483units2015
Teachers, secondary level407 866units2015
Social statistics - Social protection
Social protection spending42.8% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending29.7% of GDP2016
Social statistics - Health
Hospital beds3.2per 1000 pop.2015
Physicians4per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
HIV0.3% of adults2016
HIV, total0.4%2001
Museums4 588units2011
Museums, visitors103 888 764units2011
Research and development spending1.29% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2016
Access to electricity100%2016
Household consumption expenditure
clothing, footwear4.8%2017