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Motorsports are also extremely popular in Italy. Why are gods and goddesses on official State seals? In recent years, the Italian scene has received only occasional international attention, with movies like Life Is Beautiful directed by Roberto Benigni , Il Postino: Italy is subdivided into 20 regions regioni , five of these regions having a special autonomous status that enables them to enact legislation on some of their local matters. Sexual sin can bring spiritual confusion. There are mammals species in Italy , such as the Alpine marmot , Etruscan shrew the smallest mammal in the world , and European snow vole ; notable large mammals are the Italian wolf , Marsican brown bear , Pyrenean chamois , Alpine ibex , rough-toothed dolphin , crested porcupine and Mediterranean monk seal. In difficoltà si trova costretta a mentire di nuovo al suo capo.

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Supermajority

Robert's Rules of Order states: As a compromise between the rights of the individual and the rights of the assembly, the principle has been established that a two-thirds vote is required to adopt any motion that: This book also states: The vote of a majority of the entire membership is frequently an alternative to a requirement of previous notice, and is required in order to rescind and expunge from the minutes see p.

Otherwise, prescribing such a requirement is generally unsatisfactory in an assembly of an ordinary society, since it is likely to be impossible to get a majority of the entire membership even to attend a given meeting, although in certain instances it may be appropriate in conventions or in permanent boards where the members are obligated to attend the meetings.

In Canada, most constitutional amendments can be passed only if identical resolutions are adopted by the House of Commons, the Senate and two thirds or more of the provincial legislative assemblies representing at least 50 percent of the national population. Article 20 of the Constitution of Denmark states that if the government or parliament wants to cede parts of national sovereignty to an international body such as the European Union or the United Nations , it has to get a five sixths majority in the Folketing out of seats.

The Council of the European Union uses 'Qualified majority voting' for the majority of issues brought before the institution. However for matters of extreme importance for individual member states, unanimous voting is implemented. After the accession of Croatia, on 1 July , at least votes out of a total of by at least 15 member states were required for legislation to be adopted by qualified majority. Requirements to reach an absolute majority is a common feature of voting in the European Parliament EP where under the ordinary legislative procedure the EP is required to act by an absolute majority if it is to either amend or reject proposed legislation.

Article of the Indian Constitution requires a supermajority of two-thirds of members present and voting in each house of Indian Parliament , subject to at least by a majority of the total membership of each House of Parliament, to amend the constitution.

In addition, in matters affecting the states and judiciary, at least two thirds of all the states need to ratify the amendment. The Rome Statute may only be amended by a seven-eighths majority of participating states. Amendments to the constitution require a two-thirds majority in both houses of the National Diet and a simple majority in a referendum. Under the Constitution of the Philippines , a two-thirds majority of both houses of the Congress of the Philippines the House and the Senate meeting in joint session is required to declare war.

Under the Constitution, "The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention , or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required to ratify treaties, and to remove an impeached official from office. The approval of three-fifths of legislators is required before a bill can be put to a vote in the National Assembly , in order to prevent the ruling party pass laws without the support of opposition party.

The Constitution states that a three-fifths majority in both Congress of Deputies and Senate of Spain is needed to pass a constitutional reform, but if a two-thirds majority is reached in the Congress of Deputies, an absolute majority of senators is enough to pass the proposal [27]. Nevertheless, when a new Constitution is proposed, or when the proposal's goal is to reform the Preliminary Title, the Chapter on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms or the Title on the Crown, the supermajority becomes significantly harder:.

Each Spanish Autonomous Community has her own Statute of Autonomy , that works as a kind of Constitution subject to the Constitution and national powers. On its behalf, the Ombudsman needs a three-fifth majority to be appointed.

Also, if two-thirds of the MPs from a circumpscription votes for a veto against a law project, it must be posposed to the following session. Before the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China in , the constitution amendments need to be passed by the National Assembly. The House of Commons UK can be dissolved and an election held before the expiry of its 5-year term by a vote of two-thirds of the membership of the House of Commons since This is the only supermajority required in the British Constitution.

However, Parliament can also be dissolved if the House of Commons passes a motion of no-confidence in the government and no new government wins a motion of confidence within two weeks of the original vote of no-confidence. The United Nations Security Council requires a supermajority of the fixed membership on substantive matters procedural matters require a simple majority of those present and voting. Specifying the fixed membership has the effect of making abstentions count as votes against—absences are not normal but would be treated the same way.

This is useful for the five permanent members of the Council the United States , the Russian Federation , China , the United Kingdom , and France because a vote against from any one of them constitutes a veto , which cannot be overridden.

Permanent members who do not support a measure, but are unwilling to be seen to block it against the wishes of the majority of the Council, tend to abstain; abstentions by veto powers are generally seen by close observers of the UN [ according to whom?

The Constitution of the United States requires supermajorities in order for certain significant actions to occur. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in one of two ways: Once proposed, the amendment must be ratified by three quarters currently 38 of the states either through the State legislatures, or ratification conventions, whichever "mode of ratification" Congress selects.

Congress may pass bills by simple majority votes. If the president vetoes a bill, Congress may override the veto by a two-thirds supermajority of both houses.

A treaty must be ratified by a two-thirds supermajority of the Senate to enter into force and effect. Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives Congress a role to play in the event of a presidential disability. If the vice president and a majority of the president's cabinet declares that the president is unable to serve in that role, the vice president becomes acting president.

Within 21 days of such a declaration or, if Congress is in recess when a president is disabled, 21 days after Congress reconvenes , Congress must vote by two-thirds supermajorities to continue the disability declaration; otherwise, such declaration expires after the 21 days and the president would at that time "resume" discharging all of the powers and duties of the office. While Section 3 of this amendment in which the president declares that they are unable to discharge the powers and duties of the Presidency has been invoked three times, Section 4 has yet to be invoked.

The House may, by a simple majority vote, impeach a federal official such as, but not limited to, the president, vice president, or a federal judge. Removal from office and optional disqualification from any Federal, State or local office requires a two-thirds supermajority of the Senate. In , the House failed to impeach president John Tyler. In , the Senate fell one vote short of removing president Andrew Johnson following his impeachment.

In , efforts to remove Bill Clinton following his impeachment in fell just short of a simple majority, and 17 votes short of the two-thirds supermajority. The impeachment procedure was last used in , when Judge Thomas Porteous was removed from office. Each chamber may expel one of its own members by a two-thirds supermajority vote; this last happened when the House expelled James Traficant in A two-thirds supermajority in the Senate is 67 out of senators, while a two-thirds supermajority in the House is out of representatives.

However, since many votes take place without every seat in the House filled and representative participating, it does not often require 67 senators or representatives to achieve this supermajority. Apart from these constitutional requirements, a Senate rule except in cases covered by the nuclear option , or of a rule change requires an absolute supermajority of three fifths to move to a vote through a cloture motion, which closes debate on a bill or nomination, thus ending a filibuster by a minority of members.

In current practice, the mere threat of a filibuster prevents passing almost any measure that has less than three-fifths agreement in the Senate, 60 of the senators if every seat is filled. For state legislatures in the United States , Mason's Manual says, "A deliberative body cannot by its own act or rule require a two-thirds vote to take any action where the constitution or controlling authority requires only a majority vote.

To require a two-thirds vote, for example, to take any action would be to give to any number more than one-third of the members the power to defeat the action and amount to a delegation of the powers of the body to a minority.

Many state constitutions allow or require amendments to their own constitutions to be proposed by supermajorities of the state legislature; these amendments must usually be approved by the voters at one or more subsequent elections. Michigan, for instance, allows the Legislature to propose an amendment to the Michigan Constitution; it must then be ratified by the voters at the next general election unless a special election is called. In most states, the state legislature may override a governor 's veto of legislation.

In most states, a two-thirds supermajority of both chambers is required. One common provision of so-called " taxpayer bill of rights " laws either in state statutes or state constitutions is a requirement of a supermajority vote in the state legislature to increases taxes. The National Conference of State Legislatures reported in that fifteen states required a supermajority vote either a three-fifths, two-thirds or three-fourths majority vote in both chambers to pass some or all tax increases.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Railway rule, see Two-third rule. Index of politics articles Politics by country Politics by subdivision Political economy Political history Political history of the world Political philosophy. Political science political scientists. Public policy doctrine Domestic and foreign policy Civil society Public interest.

Separation of powers Legislature Executive Judiciary Election commission. Sovereignty Theories of political behavior Political psychology Biology and political orientation Political organisations Foreign electoral intervention. Voting in the Council of the European Union. The Origins and Limits of Supermajority Rule. William Jennings Bryan and the Democratic Convention. From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Unity Within Diversity Fifth Revised ed. In , Italy had about 5. The figures include more than half a million children born in Italy to foreign nationals—second generation immigrants, but exclude foreign nationals who have subsequently acquired Italian citizenship; [] In , about , people acquired Italian citizenship [] , in Starting from the early s, until then a linguistically and culturally homogeneous society, Italy begun to attract substantial flows of foreign immigrants.

An equally important source of immigration is neighbouring North Africa in particular, Morocco , Egypt and Tunisia , with soaring arrivals as a consequence of the Arab Spring. Furthermore, in recent years, growing migration fluxes from Asia-Pacific notably China [] and the Philippines and Latin America have been recorded.

The number of unregistered Romanians is difficult to estimate, but the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network suggested in that there might have been half a million or more. The distribution of immigrants is largely uneven in Italy: According to the first article of the framework law no. Standardisation was further expanded in the s and s due to economic growth and the rise of mass media and television the state broadcaster RAI helped set a standard Italian.

Twelve historical minority languages are formally recognised by the framework law no. French in the Aosta Valley — although Franco-Provencal is more commonly spoken there; [] German in South Tyrol , and Ladin as well in some parts of the same province and in parts of the neighbouring Trentino ; and finally, Slovene in the province of Trieste , Gorizia and Udine.

Because of recent immigration influx, Italy has sizeable populations whose native language is not Italian, nor a regional language. According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics , Romanian is the most common mother tongue among foreign residents in Italy: Other prevalent mother tongues are Arabic spoken by over , people; Roman Catholicism is, by far, the largest religion in the country, although since no longer officially the state religion.

The Holy See , the episcopal jurisdiction of Rome , contains the central government of the entire Roman Catholic Church , including various agencies essential to administration. Diplomatically, it is recognised by other subjects of international law as a sovereign entity, headed by the Pope , who is also the Bishop of Rome , with which diplomatic relations can be maintained.

Ambassadors are officially accredited not to the Vatican City State but to "the Holy See", and papal representatives to states and international organisations are recognised as representing the Holy See, not the Vatican City State. In , there were an estimated 1. One of the longest-established minority religious faiths in Italy is Judaism , Jews having been present in Ancient Rome since before the birth of Christ.

Italy has for centuries welcomed Jews expelled from other countries, notably Spain. Soaring immigration in the last two decades has been accompanied by an increase in non-Christian faiths.

There are more than , followers of faiths originating in the Indian subcontinent with some 70, Sikhs with 22 gurdwaras across the country, []. The Italian state, as a measure to protect religious freedom, devolves shares of income tax to recognised religious communities, under a regime known as Eight per thousand Otto per mille.

Donations are allowed to Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu communities; however, Islam remains excluded, since no Muslim communities have yet signed a concordat with the Italian state. Education in Italy is free and mandatory from ages six to sixteen, [] and consists of five stages: Primary education lasts eight years.

The students are given a basic education in Italian, English, mathematics, natural sciences, history, geography, social studies, physical education and visual and musical arts. Secondary education lasts for five years and includes three traditional types of schools focused on different academic levels: In , the Italian secondary education has been evalued as slightly below the OECD average, with a strong and steady improvement in science and mathematics results since ; [] however, a wide gap exists between northern schools, which performed significantly better than the national average among the best in the world in some subjects , and schools in the South , that had much poorer results.

Tertiary education in Italy is divided between public universities , private universities and the prestigious and selective superior graduate schools , such as the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. The university system in Italy is generally regarded as poor for a world cultural powerhouse, with no universities ranked among the world best and only 20 among the top The Italian state runs a universal public healthcare system since The public part is the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale , which is organised under the Ministry of Health and administered on a devolved regional basis.

Healthcare spending in Italy accounted for 9. Life expectancy in Italy is 80 for males and 85 for females, placing the country 5th in the world for life expectancy. For centuries divided by politics and geography until its eventual unification in , Italy has developed a unique culture, shaped by a multitude of regional customs and local centres of power and patronage.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, a number of magnificent courts competed for attracting the best architects, artists and scholars, thus producing a great legacy of monuments, paintings, music and literature. Despite the political and social isolation of these courts, Italy's contribution to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe and the world remain immense.

The country has had a broad cultural influence worldwide, also because numerous Italians emigrated to other places during the Italian diaspora.

Furthermore, the nation has, overall, an estimated , monuments of any sort museums, palaces, buildings, statues, churches, art galleries, villas, fountains, historic houses and archaeological remains. Italy has a very broad and diverse architectural style, which cannot be simply classified by period, but also by region, because of Italy's division into several regional states until This has created a highly diverse and eclectic range in architectural designs.

Italy is known for its considerable architectural achievements, [] such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structures during ancient Rome , the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the lateth to 16th centuries, and being the homeland of Palladianism , a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture , and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the UK, Australia and the US during the late 17th to early 20th centuries.

Several of the finest works in Western architecture, such as the Colosseum , the Milan Cathedral and Florence cathedral , the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the building designs of Venice are found in Italy.

The Leaning Tower and the Duomo of Pisa. The Royal Palace of Caserta. Temple of Concordia in the Valley of the Temples , Agrigento.

Italian architecture has also widely influenced the architecture of the world. British architect Inigo Jones , inspired by the designs of Italian buildings and cities, brought back the ideas of Italian Renaissance architecture to 17th-century England, being inspired by Andrea Palladio.

The history of Italian visual art is one of the most important parts of Western painting history. Roman art was influenced by Greece and can in part be taken as a descendant of ancient Greek painting.

However, Roman painting does have important unique characteristics. The only surviving Roman paintings are wall paintings, many from villas in Campania , in Southern Italy. Panel painting becomes more common during the Romanesque period, under the heavy influence of Byzantine icons.

Towards the middle of the 13th century, Medieval art and Gothic painting became more realistic, with the beginnings of interest in the depiction of volume and perspective in Italy with Cimabue and then his pupil Giotto. From Giotto on, the treatment of composition by the best painters also became much more free and innovative. They are considered to be the two great medieval masters of painting in western culture.

The Italian Renaissance is said by many to be the golden age of painting; roughly spanning the 14th through the midth centuries with a significant influence also out of the borders of modern Italy. In Italy artists like Paolo Uccello , Fra Angelico , Masaccio , Piero della Francesca , Andrea Mantegna , Filippo Lippi , Giorgione , Tintoretto , Sandro Botticelli , Leonardo da Vinci , Michelangelo Buonarroti , Raphael , Giovanni Bellini , and Titian took painting to a higher level through the use of perspective , the study of human anatomy and proportion, and through their development of an unprecedented refinement in drawing and painting techniques.

Michelangelo was an active sculptor from about to , and his great masterpieces including his David , Pietà , Moses. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the High Renaissance gave rise to a stylised art known as Mannerism. In place of the balanced compositions and rational approach to perspective that characterised art at the dawn of the 16th century, the Mannerists sought instability, artifice, and doubt.

The unperturbed faces and gestures of Piero della Francesca and the calm Virgins of Raphael are replaced by the troubled expressions of Pontormo and the emotional intensity of El Greco. Subsequently, in the 18th century, Italian Rococo was mainly inspired by French Rococo, since France was the founding nation of that particular style, with artists such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Canaletto. Italian Neoclassical sculpture focused, with Antonio Canova 's nudes, on the idealist aspect of the movement.

In the 20th century, with Futurism , primarily through the works of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla , Italy rose again as a seminal country for artistic evolution in painting and sculpture.

Futurism was succeeded by the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico , who exerted a strong influence on the Surrealists and generations of artists to follow. Italian literature began after the founding of Rome in BC. Latin literature was, and still is, highly influential in the world, with numerous writers, poets, philosophers, and historians, such as Pliny the Elder , Pliny the Younger , Virgil , Horace , Propertius , Ovid and Livy.

The Romans were also famous for their oral tradition, poetry, drama and epigrams. Francis of Assisi was considered the first Italian poet by literary critics, with his religious song Canticle of the Sun. Another Italian voice originated in Sicily. At the court of emperor Frederick II, who ruled the Sicilian kingdom during the first half of the 13th century, lyrics modelled on Provençal forms and themes were written in a refined version of the local vernacular.

The most important of these poets was the notary Giacomo da Lentini , inventor of the sonnet form, though the most famous early sonneteer was Petrarch.

Guido Guinizelli is considered the founder of the Dolce Stil Novo , a school that added a philosophical dimension to traditional love poetry. This new understanding of love, expressed in a smooth, pure style, influenced Guido Cavalcanti and the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri , who established the basis of the modern Italian language ; his greatest work, the Divine Comedy , is considered among the foremost literary statements produced in Europe during the Middle Ages ; furthermore, the poet invented the difficult terza rima.

The two great writers of the 14th century, Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio , sought out and imitated the works of antiquity and cultivated their own artistic personalities. Petrarch achieved fame through his collection of poems, Il Canzoniere. Petrarch's love poetry served as a model for centuries.

Equally influential was Boccaccio's The Decameron , one of the most popular collections of short stories ever written.

Italian Renaissance authors produced a number of important works. Another important work of the period, Ludovico Ariosto 's Orlando Furioso , continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo 's unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato , is perhaps the greatest chivalry poem ever written. Baldassare Castiglione 's dialogue The Book of the Courtier describes the ideal of the perfect court gentleman and of spiritual beauty.

The lyric poet Torquato Tasso in Jerusalem Delivered wrote a Christian epic, making use of the ottava rima , with attention to the Aristotelian canons of unity. Giovanni Francesco Straparola and Giambattista Basile , which have written The Facetious Nights of Straparola — and the Pentamerone respectively, printed some of the first known versions of fairy tales in Europe.

The Baroque period also produced the clear scientific prose of Galileo as well as Tommaso Campanella 's The City of the Sun , a description of a perfect society ruled by a philosopher-priest. At the end of the 17th century, the Arcadians began a movement to restore simplicity and classical restraint to poetry, as in Metastasio 's heroic melodramas.

In the 18th century, playwright Carlo Goldoni created full written plays, many portraying the middle class of his day. The Romanticism coincided with some ideas of the Risorgimento , the patriotic movement that brought Italy political unity and freedom from foreign domination.

Italian writers embraced Romanticism in the early 19th century. The works by Alessandro Manzoni , the leading Italian Romantic, are a symbol of the Italian unification for their patriotic message and because of his efforts in the development of the modern, unified Italian language; his novel The Betrothed was the first Italian historical novel to glorify Christian values of justice and Providence, and it has been called the most famous and widely read novel in the Italian language.

In the late 19th century, a realistic literary movement called Verismo played a major role in Italian literature; Giovanni Verga and Luigi Capuana were its main exponents. In the same period, Emilio Salgari , writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction, published his Sandokan series. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti wrote Manifesto of Futurism , called for the use of language and metaphors that glorified the speed, dynamism, and violence of the machine age.

Modern literary figures and Nobel laureates are Gabriele D'Annunzio from to , nationalist poet Giosuè Carducci in , realist writer Grazia Deledda in , modern theatre author Luigi Pirandello in , short stories writer Italo Calvino in , poets Salvatore Quasimodo in and Eugenio Montale in , Umberto Eco in , and satirist and theatre author Dario Fo in Italian theatre can be traced back to the Roman tradition. The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of Plautus 's broadly appealing situation comedies, to the high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies of Seneca.

Although Rome had a native tradition of performance, the Hellenization of Roman culture in the 3rd century BCE had a profound and energising effect on Roman theatre and encouraged the development of Latin literature of the highest quality for the stage.

As with many other literary genres, Roman dramatists was heavily influenced or tended to adapt from the Greek.

For example, Seneca's Phaedra was based on that of Euripides , and many of the comedies of Plautus were direct translations of works by Menander. During the 16th century and on into the 18th century, Commedia dell'arte was a form of improvisational theatre , and it is still performed today. Travelling troupes of players would set up an outdoor stage and provide amusement in the form of juggling , acrobatics and, more typically, humorous plays based on a repertoire of established characters with a rough storyline, called canovaccio.

Plays did not originate from written drama but from scenarios called lazzi , which were loose frameworks that provided the situations, complications, and outcome of the action, around which the actors would improvise. The characters of the commedia usually represent fixed social types and stock characters , each of which has a distinct costume , such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado.

The main categories of these characters include servants, old men, lovers, and captains. Carlo Goldoni , who wrote a few scenarios starting in , supersed the comedy of masks and the comedy of intrigue by representations of actual life and manners through the characters and their behaviours.

He rightly maintained that Italian life and manners were susceptible of artistic treatment such as had not been given them before. The Teatro di San Carlo in Naples is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in the world, opening in , decades before both the Milan's La Scala and Venice's La Fenice theatres.

From folk music to classical , music has always played an important role in Italian culture. Instruments associated with classical music, including the piano and violin, were invented in Italy, [] [] and many of the prevailing classical music forms, such as the symphony , concerto, and sonata , can trace their roots back to innovations of 16th- and 17th-century Italian music.

Modern Italian composers such as Berio and Nono proved significant in the development of experimental and electronic music. While the classical music tradition still holds strong in Italy, as evidenced by the fame of its innumerable opera houses, such as La Scala of Milan and San Carlo of Naples the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in the world , [] and performers such as the pianist Maurizio Pollini and tenor Luciano Pavarotti , Italians have been no less appreciative of their thriving contemporary music scene.

Italy is widely known for being the birthplace of opera. La Scala operahouse in Milan is also renowned as one of the best in the world. Introduced in the early s, jazz took a particularly strong foothold in Italy, and remained popular despite the xenophobic cultural policies of the Fascist regime. Today, the most notable centres of jazz music in Italy include Milan, Rome, and Sicily.

In the early s, the first star to emerge from the Italian hip hop scene was singer Jovanotti. Italy was also an important country in the development of disco and electronic music , with Italo disco , known for its futuristic sound and prominent usage of synthesisers and drum machines , being one of the earliest electronic dance genres, as well as European forms of disco aside from Euro disco which later went on to influence several genres such as Eurodance and Nu-disco.

By the latter half of the s, a subgenre of Eurodance known as Italo dance emerged. Taking influences from Italo disco and Italo house, Italo dance generally included synthesizer riffs, a melodic sound, and the usage of vocoders. Producers such as Giorgio Moroder , who won three Academy Awards and four Golden Globes for his music, were highly influential in the development of electronic dance music.

The history of Italian cinema began a few months after the Lumière brothers began motion picture exhibitions.

The Italian film industry was born between and with three companies: Other companies soon followed in Milan and in Naples. In a short time these first companies reached a fair producing quality, and films were soon sold outside Italy. After the war, Italian film was widely recognised and exported until an artistic decline around the s. The mids to the early s was the heyday of neorealist films , reflecting the poor condition of post-war Italy.

As the country grew wealthier in the s, a form of neorealism known as pink neorealism succeeded, and other film genres , such as sword-and-sandal followed as spaghetti westerns , were popular in the s and s. Actresses such as Sophia Loren , Giulietta Masina and Gina Lollobrigida achieved international stardom during this period.

Erotic Italian thrillers, or giallos , produced by directors such as Mario Bava and Dario Argento in the s, also influenced the horror genre worldwide. In recent years, the Italian scene has received only occasional international attention, with movies like Life Is Beautiful directed by Roberto Benigni , Il Postino: The aforementioned Cinecittà studio is today the largest film and television production facility in continental Europe and the centre of the Italian cinema, where a large number of biggest box office hits are filmed, and one of the biggest production communities in the world.

In the s, the number of international productions being made there led to Rome's being dubbed " Hollywood on the Tiber ". More than 3, productions have been made on its lot, of which 90 received an Academy Award nomination and 47 of these won it, from some cinema classics to recent rewarded features such as Ben-Hur , Cleopatra , Romeo and Juliet , The English Patient , Gladiator , The Passion of the Christ , and Gangs of New York.

The most popular sport in Italy is, by far, football. Italy's top-flight club football league is named Serie A and ranks as the third best in Europe and is followed by millions of fans around the world. Other popular team sports in Italy include volleyball , basketball and rugby. Italy's male and female national volleyball teams are often featured among the world's best.

The Italian national basketball team 's best results were gold at Eurobasket and EuroBasket , as well as silver at the Olympics in Lega Basket Serie A is widely considered one of the most competitive in Europe.

Rugby union enjoys a good level of popularity, especially in the north of the country. Italy ranks as a tier-one nation by World Rugby. The men's volleyball team won three consecutive World Championships in , , and and earned the Olympic silver medal in , , and Italy has a long and successful tradition in individual sports as well.

Bicycle racing is a very familiar sport in the country. The Giro d'Italia is a cycling race held every May, and constitutes one of the three Grand Tours , along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España , each of which last approximately three weeks. Alpine skiing is also a very widespread sport in Italy, and the country is a popular international skiing destination, known for its ski resorts. Tennis has a significant following in Italy, ranking as the fourth most practised sport in the country.

Italian professional tennis players won the Davis Cup in and the Fed Cup in , , and Motorsports are also extremely popular in Italy. Italian Scuderia Ferrari is the oldest surviving team in Grand Prix racing, having competed since , and statistically the most successful Formula One team in history with a record of wins.

Historically, Italy has been successful in the Olympic Games , taking part from the first Olympiad and in 47 Games out of Italian sportsmen have won medals at the Summer Olympic Games , and another at the Winter Olympic Games , for a combined total of medals with golds, which makes them the fifth most successful nation in Olympic history for total medals.

The country hosted two Winter Olympics in and , and one Summer games in Italian fashion has a long tradition , and is regarded as one most important in the world. Milan, Florence and Rome are Italy's main fashion capitals.

Also, the fashion magazine Vogue Italia , is considered one of the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world. Italy is also prominent in the field of design, notably interior design, architectural design , industrial design and urban design. The country has produced some well-known furniture designers, such as Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass , and Italian phrases such as "Bel Disegno" and "Linea Italiana" have entered the vocabulary of furniture design.

The city of Milan hosts Fiera Milano , Europe's largest design fair. The Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BC.

Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan , ancient Greek , ancient Roman , Byzantine , and Jewish. The Mediterranean diet forms the basis of Italian cuisine, rich in pasta , fish, fruits and vegetables and characterised by its extreme simplicity and variety, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients.

A key factor in the success of Italian cuisine is its heavy reliance on traditional products; Italy has the most traditional specialities protected under EU law. Gelato , [] tiramisù [] and cassata are among the most famous examples of Italian desserts, cakes and patisserie. Public holidays celebrated in Italy include religious, national and regional observances.

The Saint Lucy's Day , which take place on 13 December, is very popular among children in some Italian regions, where she plays a role similar to Santa Claus.

There are many festivals and festivities in Italy. The prestigious Venice International Film Festival , awarding the " Golden Lion " and held annually since , is the oldest film festival in the world.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Italy disambiguation. For other uses, see Italia disambiguation. Show map of Europe. German is co-official in South Tyrol ; French is co-official in the Aosta Valley ; Slovene is co-official in the province of Trieste and the province of Gorizia ; Ladin is co-official in South Tyrol, in Trentino and in other northern areas; Sardinian is co-official in Sardinia.

The euro is accepted in Campione d'Italia but its official currency is the Swiss franc. Etruscan fresco in the Monterozzi necropolis , 5th century BC. Matera , which dates from Palaeolithic, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Colosseum in Rome, built c. The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, AD.

Italy in the Middle Ages. History of the Italian Republic. Dolomites in the Italian alps. Undulating landscape in Tuscany. Rabbit Beach in the island of Lampedusa. List of rivers of Italy and List of lakes of Italy. List of national parks of Italy and List of regional parks of Italy. Fauna of Italy and Flora of Italy. Sergio Mattarella President of Italy since Giuseppe Conte Prime Minister of Italy since Law of Italy and Judiciary of Italy.

Law enforcement in Italy. Foreign relations of Italy. Water supply and sanitation in Italy. Science and technology in Italy. Languages of Italy , Italian language , and Regional Italian. Secondary or non-official language. Italy is home to many of the world's largest, oldest and opulent churches. Florence Cathedral , which has the biggest brick dome in the world; [] [] St.

Peter's Basilica , the largest church of Christendom ; [] Milan Cathedral , the largest Italian church and the third largest in the world; [] and St Mark's Basilica , one of the best known examples of Italo- Byzantine architecture [].

Religion in Italy [2] Catholicism. The city of Venice , built on islands. Theatre of ancient Rome. Italian fashion and Italian design. Public holidays in Italy and Italian festivals.

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