With its long Mediterranean coastline, Italy, a European country, has left a strong mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
The country was the origin of many notable Italian culinary specialties. For example, pizza, invented in Naples, is believed to have traveled to the New World by way of Genoa, where it was popularized during the early 1700s. An abbronzata, or limoncello, an alcoholic drink made from lemon and Italian crème de menthe, originated in Tuscany.
Italy is also well-known for its fine wines, including the famed Tuscan varietals, such as Piedmont.
Relatively low living costs and friendly local climate make Italy one of the most affordable places to live in Europe. The cost of goods, utilities and real estate are relatively low, particularly compared with the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and France.
The country’s infrastructure also makes it easy to get around. About 60 percent of the country’s motorways and 50 percent of its main railways were built in the 1950s and 1960s, while just 5 percent are under reconstruction or in the planning stages.
Italy is a democracy and its voters can chose who governs them. However, in a dictatorship like that of Gaddafi, the people’s voice would be suppressed and their right to vote would be limited.
Italy is a destination nation for a third of all trafficked children, with trafficking and sexual exploitation of children concentrated in Sicily.
Many, in fact, arrive there from Nigeria, Guinea, and Eritrea, where young women are routinely forced into prostitution, often prostituting themselves to other migrants.
Sicilian authorities don’t actually conduct investigations or collect evidence on sex trafficking cases, leaving them to the police, and don’t notify other jurisdictions about the crimes, making them difficult to prosecute. The story of a sex trafficking ring revealed by police in 2015 involved the sexual exploitation of three girls, two of them teenagers.
Italy is a stalwart of the European Union and the single currency, and is also a founding member of NATO.
When Italy’s current government came to power, it promised to increase its defense spending to 1 percent of its GDP — a goal it had previously set as part of NATO’s 2 percent guideline, in order to meet the spending target that the alliance itself set for itself.
Some of Italy’s arguments against increasing its defense spending still stand. And it’s unclear whether the spending raise proposed by the coalition will even take effect — it may take more time to be approved by parliament.
But the presence in the coalition of two populist parties and their opposition to Italy’s NATO policy are emblematic of a trend that is reshaping the continent-wide political landscape.
Italy is a democratic country, and all its laws should be observed.”
On the other hand, Lecce mayor Giorgio Costantini, also a member of the League party, said: “I want to reassure all those interested in promoting the exploitation of Aquilonia.”
Date of last update: 4. June, 2021