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Expats in ItalyItaly: An Overview

Archaeological excavations reveal a Neanderthal presence in Italy as long as 200,000 years ago, and there is evidence that Homo Sapiens has lived there for 40,000 years. In the first millennium BC, the Italian peninsula was inhabited by Romans, Umbrians, Volsci, Samnites, Etruscans, Elymians, Sicani, Ligurians and Celts. The Roman Republic was created in 509 BC, after which Rome started conquering the other tribes. By 281 BC, Rome had taken control of most of the Italian peninsula. In 149 BC, following victory over the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars, the Italiotes (Greeks), Phoenicians, and Carthaginians that were settled in Sicily, Sardinia and Southern Italy, came under Roman control. This initial spread of the Roman Republic paved the way for the formation of the Roman Empire under Augustus in 27 BC. The Empire was at its greatest extent under the reign of Trajan between 98 AD and 117 AD when it spread from Britain to Mesopotamia on the borders of Persia.

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The Roman Empire broke into two parts in 395 AD; the Western Roman Empire (based in Italy) soon dissolved, in 476 AD, following pressure from migrating Germanic tribes. Over the next millennium, Italian politics was decentralised, with power in the hands of city-states, with Holy Roman Emperors and Popes also having a stake in the country. The power of the city-states reached its zenith during the Renaissance, before defeat in the Italian Wars led to foreign domination (Habsburg Spain from 1559 to 1713, Habsburg Austria from 1713 to 1796, and France from 1805 to 1814).

The campaigns of Giuseppe Garibaldi led to the formation of modern-day Italy in 1861. Heavy loss of life and socialist movements resulting from World War I and the Russian Revolution, led to anarchic conditions, and ultimately to the formation of Fascism (following a coup by Benito Mussolini in 1922). Mussolini's style of dictatorship served as a blueprint for Nazi Germany and Falangist Spain; his two decades of rule were ended by the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943. Since 1946, Italy has been a republic, and it was a founding member of the European Economic Community (which in time became the European Union).


Country Name: Italy
Coordinates: 42°56'N 12°64'E
Capital: Rome
Capital Coordinates: 41°54'N 12°29'E
Other Main Cities: Milan, Naples, Turin
Population: 59943933
Area: 301338
Official Language(s): Italian
Ethnic Group(s): Italian 96%, North African Arab 0.9%, Italo-Albanian 0.8%, Albanian 0.5%, German 0.4%, Austrian 0.4%, other 1%
Demonym: Italian
Currency: Euro, €, EUR
GDP: $1.848 trillion
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
International Dialling Code: 39
Internet TLD: .it
Electricity Voltage: 220 Volts AC (50Hz)



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Moving to Italy

If you are considering moving to Italy or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Italian section including; details of immigration and visas, Italian forums, Italian event listings and service providers in Italy.

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Living in Italy

From your safety to shoppingliving in Italy can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Italy with relevant news and up-to-date information.

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Working in Italy

Working in Italy can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Italy, and general Italian culture of the labour market.

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