Exploration Of The Region Of Italy, The Italian Republic, And All Of The Surroundings
For my paper, I am exploring the region of Italy, the Italian Republic, and all of the surroundings. The geographical imagination of Italy puts the country in southeastern Europe that is made up of a peninsula, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. The country covers a total of 116,350 square miles while neighboring France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. The population of Italy is around 60 million people, ranking Italy the fourth-most populous state in the European Union (worldfactbook). Italy also includes the microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. The island Sicily also belongs to Italy, which is located on the southwestern region, which is to be known as the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (Regions of Italy). The geographical coordinates of Italy are 41.8719 degrees north (latitude) putting Italy in the northern hemisphere and 12.5674 degrees east (longitude) also putting Italy into the eastern hemisphere. According to the geographical imagination of this certain country of course, all the information above has been textualized and made believable to all readers and nobody has discussed it otherwise. I am here to discuss further into the details and broaden the horizons of Italy.
The reasoning behind my choice of location, is the beauty and my interests of the whole country. I have always been interested in going to Italy because of all the pictures I have seen, I think it is a beautiful country and I plan on taking Italian next semester. Europe has always been an interesting topic to me because I love how different it is from the United States, and I am wanting to know the differences of the culture from the US and compare it to Italy’s culture. The region of Italy has not been brought up in class discussions so far, but I am wanting to know more into detail all the specifics that I am able to know for the future. I am looking forward to discovering new information about Italy and forming all the new information into a well put paper.
Present-day Italy became a sovereign state on March 17, 1861, during the Resurgence (Stimage). Italy came a long way to fight for their independence, and it took a while, but they finally discovered what was best for them during this time. During the reign of the Roman Empire the Italian Peninsula was among the imperial provinces under the rule of the Romans. It stayed that way until the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, when all states of the Italian Peninsula that were under their control fell to the power of something bigger. Italy was then under the control of the Feudal European conquerors, and then France invaded Northern Italy and took control over all the independent states. After the French invasion, in the 15th and 16th centuries the Italian Wars started, and after the wars ended in 1559, three of the Italian states gained their independence. France still had control over the majority of the independent states until 1680, Spain then stepped in and gained power over Italy until 1713. Many countries took over Italy until they finally started to gain their own independence, which wasn’t until after the Napoleonic Wars in 1796. Italy finally became unified in the 19th century in 1861, when the regional states of the peninsula were united under King Victor Emmanuel II (worldatlas.com).
After Italy became its own country, I think many things that came after colonization have impacted Italy for the better, making it a well put together country. There are many things that have impacted Italy, but I think the main factor is the people and set location of the country itself. Italy has a good geographical location and I think the country wouldn’t be as popular if it was put somewhere else. There are many factors to consider when thinking about the good that came from colonialization, but to me I think most of the impact was for the better. When you read articles talking about the unification of Italy, people always state that the government was the most affected by the unification because it changed and forced people to come up with something new and try to fix what was broke. Italians were in distraught after unification because a lot of things were changed and that stressed everyone out tremendously, and they felt like it was up to the government to fix everything back to how it was, people wanted the Italian society to remain the same after unification, but I don’t think they thought out all the good that came from it. Unification forced Italy to come together and change the whole society from what it used to be and make it better. As I have stated before, I believe unification changed Italy for the better because without it, who knows what Italy would be like today.
The government of Italy is a democratic republic that was established in the Italian constitution of 1946. The republic consists of three main branches of government which are the legislative, executive, and judicial with the Head of State or, a president (Sponza). Article I of the Italian Constitution states: “Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labor. Sovereignty belongs to the people and is exercised by the people in the forms and within the limits of the Constitution”. The current president of Italy is Sergio Mattarella, he was elected in 2015. When a person becomes the president of Italy, they can only be in their term for seven years, a law that was made by Parliament. The president represents the nation, serves as a connection point between the three branches, and serves and does the duties given to them by the King of Italy. According to the Constitution, any citizen of Italy that is fifty years old on the day of the election and is involved in political and civil rights, can be elected as president. I don’t think Italy’s government is very fair because to become on the board, you have to be voted in by other people that are already in Parliament and they all get to have opinions about you before letting you in, or not. I feel like this type of government is only for the elite and does not take anyone else into consideration, although many of the people in Italy are a part of the elite, I would still like to think the people that aren’t elite would still have a chance. Therefore, I do not think that Italy is a very political region, but they could be if there were different ways of being able to be inside the government without having to be voted in by Parliament.
The people living in Italy are actually from all over, but of course there is mainly Italians making up the majority of the population. The main ethnic group in Italy are Italian as I said before, but there are also some groups of people that are German, French, and Slovene. The main language is standard Italian, it was well known way before the unification back in the 1860s. But, emigration in the late 19th and 20th centuries played an important role of spreading the standard language of Italian all throughout Italy. Many of the local dialects had no written form, which forced Italians to learn from writing back and forth with their relatives until the written form became known to all. The greatest diversity from standard Italian actually comes from around the border areas, the mountains, and from the island of Sicily. There are many other small languages throughout Italy that came from the past, but the majority of the people living in Italy speak Italian today. Figuring out the language of a certain place inside of Italy all depends on the people who had taken over Italy for a short amount of time in the past. Many countries took control of Italy before Italian became the most known language, so there are many other small locations inside that speak something else than just Italian. I think that is something important to think about, because many people probably think of Italy as an only speaking Italian country, without considering the people who tried to conquer all and change it from what Italy was trying to be on its own. Obviously Italian is the dominant language, but people from all over brought different languages into the mixture and made Italy a diverse country. This was one of the main impacts from Italy’s colonization period, this affected the whole country and made it more diverse. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad impact on Italy, I think it makes the country a more respectable place for be able to welcome many types of people instead of just Italians.
Italy is extremely well-known for tourism, as of 2017 there is said to be 58.3 million tourists a year. Making Italy the fifth most visited country in the international tourism arrivals. When people visit Italy, they are mainly going for Italy’s rich culture, the history, fashion, the art, the coastline beaches, the mountains, the ancient monuments, and of course, the food. Tourism is one of Italy’s fastest growing and most profitable sectors that is still growing to this day, the estimated revenue is about 189.1 billion Euros. The beginning of tourism in Italy started around the 17th century at the beginning of the “Grand Tour”, a period in which European aristocrats visited Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean places. The most famous stop during the tour in Northern Italy was Venice and in Central Italy it was Rome. Sicily was also considered a big part of the tour and many people wanted to visit the island after visiting the rest of Italy. After the Grand Tour died down, American people were still wanting to visit Italy and their main destinations were Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples and Sicily. I think tourism in Italy is really what makes Italy so popular and makes the whole country known all around the world. Without tourism, I truly believe Italy would be nothing compared to what it is now. I feel like tourism really distinguishes the region of Italy because when people come to visit, they want to explore everything and see everything that the country has to offer, and that is such a big deal to Italy because it’s one of their main ways of getting money and being able to stay above waters financially. I think when tourists come to visit a certain city in Italy, they learn a lot more than they were expecting to and that’s because there is so many places and facts about Italy that people wouldn’t understand until they actually go visit and see for themselves. Tourism distinguishes a region throughout Italy, and I think people that are in charge of the tourism companies do a really good job of representing Italy to the outside world.
The cultural region of Italy is considered the birthplace of Western civilization. The Italian peninsula has shaped almost every aspect of Western culture with continuous learning, creativity, and technological advancement. I think Italy is a very good cultural place in the world.
They have many things going on that everyone from around the world seem to be interested in. The most known elements in the Italian culture is the art, music, style, and the famous foods. Italy is famous for the leading cultural role through the Romantic period, stating its dominance with painting and sculpture, and some music. The renaissance period made a rebirth in the arts throughout all of Italy in particular. Art is a very important factor in what makes Italy what is most known for. People from all over the world travel to Italy to look at their most famous art pieces from any time period they choose. The Italian culture is very popular amongst many people and I think it is what makes Italy such a tourist attraction. Many people travel to Italy to see their famous art pieces and that largely contributes to the tourism in the country, and I think it adds to the region of Italy that is based off of tourism. Many of the people that travel to Italy are interested in seeing the history of the country and learn about the famous artists that grew up all over Italy and see what they lived through and see actual pieces of theirs that are on display in famous museums.
Italy’s economy is the third largest national economy in the “Eurozone” and has the 8th largest GPD in the world. Italy has an extremely advanced economy and because of that, Italy is one of the founding members of the European Union. After World War II, Italy changed from being an agriculturally based economy to becoming one of the world’s most advanced nations, with high expertise in importing and exporting world trade. There are many imported goods, but the main products are engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals, textiles, clothing, and tobacco. The main export that leaves Italy is similar as the imports, there are engineering products, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, production machinery, and transport equipment. Italy is a large manufacturer (second in the EU behind Germany) and has a large trade surplus with the world. Despite all these efforts, Italy’s economy today is not the same as it used to be. It suffers from structural and non-structural problems, and their annual growth has been low for many years now. Of course, over the years Italy’s economical factors have changed, but they are still doing extremely well, just not as well as before. Personally, I think Italy has a great economy considering that no country can have a perfect economy. I think Italy does a pretty good job at keeping everything up to date and understanding the importance of having a good economic system running throughout the whole country.
Sicily is an island just south west of Italy that has been famous for as long as it has been there because it is known as the largest Mediterranean island in the area. Of course, they mostly have the same culture and people who go here are still looking for the same things when they want to visit the rest of Italy. They share the same arts, music, and literature, but they speak their own language. The most spoken language in Sicily is Sicilian and has been for quite a while. Sicilian is a mixture of Italian words with a different twist to make it their own, it is known as the “Romance language” (Ricciuti). Most of the words come from many different alphabets such as, Greek, French, Arabic, Spanish, Catalan, and many other languages. Sicilian has been around since Italian was still being learned throughout the rest of the country, so many people are bilingual knowing Italian and Sicilian. The geography of Sicily is very similar to the rest of Italy’s, so it is hilly with some mountain ranges.
In conclusion, I believe Italy is a very well thought out country and seems to have everything put together. Although I did learn many facts I didn’t know before, I am still interested in going there sometime in my life and experience it all firsthand. This paper has broadened my horizons about the Italian culture and made me come to terms with how different the whole country is when comparing it to the United States. After reading and familiarizing myself with Joanne Sharp’s book Geographies of Postcolonialism, it helped me understand to not have a geographical imagination about the country before reading the facts for myself and understanding what the country went through before it is what it is today. She helped me not to stereotype the whole country and taught me to figure out everything by myself. Just as Sharp said, it is best for people not to generalize a certain region in geography because what you read could most likely be based off of someone else’s opinion about the country and all the “facts” you read, might not be true or represent the country how it is supposed to be shown. I truly believe that this book has helped me realize that the people who have traveled to a certain place in the world, generalize it and make it their own meaning and change it from what it is. I understand the facts I read and used to compose this paper could even be from a person who didn’t know what they were talking about and trying to make Europe a higher place than the rest of the world. Although I used many articles and viewed many different opinions about the country, I think I got the best information that anyone could have when taking on this task.
The postcolonial theory that really took into place when I was considering this paper was the stereotypes about Italy based off of movies and books. I really tried to stray away from the generics and try to allow the readers to understand that although Italy is generally like how it is portrayed in films, there is many huge differences that need to be understood when thinking about Italy and its culture. I think many people generalize Italy because it is a part of Europe and a large amount of people kind of consider all the countries in Europe to be alike and not different as they really are. The use of hybridity also comes to mind when thinking about the people that combine the cultures of every country in Europe, because I think they truly believe all the countries are the same. Despite all the rumors and thoughts about the stereotypes, Italy is very different from the rest of Europe and I hope after reading my paper, you think the same way.