INTRODUCTION


Italy is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. Ask any person on the street to name an old and artistic country and they will answer Italy. It got its name from the ancient Romans. They called the southern peninsula Italia that meant land of oxen or grazing land. It is well known for its art, literature, culture, sculpture, music, and religion.
Most of Italy is a peninsula that leads onto the Mediterranean Sea. It is also well known for the shape if a boot kicking a rock. That rock is Sicily. The most southern tip of Sicily is less then 100 miles or 160 kilometers from Tunisia, which is a northern African nation.
Many of the world’s most famous artists, sculptors, writers, musicians, and scientists came from Italy. Probably the best known was Leonard Da Vinci. He is famous for his art, sculptures, inventions, and scientific discoveries. He drew the Mona Lisa, which is the most famous painting in the world. The real life Mona Lisa was the wife of an officer in Renaissance Italy. He also made prerequisites to the helicopter, tank, and sub marine among other things. He also invented the crane and an early day cannon, which he never made public because of the vile applications. Other artists such as Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which was one of his greatest works. Galileo Galilei who was an astrologer made many sky maps, and discovered nebulas and created the theory that the earth rotates around the sun. Dante Alighier who is know for his many great works, and Giacomo Puccini which were the most revered musicians at the time.









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ITALY IN THE ANCIENT TIMES


Ancient Italy was a time of life, death, and rebirth. Italy was a big trading post for the Roman Empire with the rest of Europe and the world. Since Italy is a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, it was easy for many European, North African, and Middle Eastern countries to come by boat and trade. This was one of the biggest reasons why the Roman Empire became one of the most feared and powerful of its time.
In the Middle Ages, the black plague hit Europe. It was not known what this disease was, so people were scared and panicked. This plague killed millions of people throughout all of Europe. Much of Italy was also infected and thus killed. It took many years for Europe’s population to get back where it once was.
The Renaissance came in the 1400’s, and lasted through the 1600’s. In Latin the word Renaissance means rebirth. As I told in the introduction, it was a time of prosperity for many of Italy’s people. Many artists and other Renaissance professions prospered the most. The people of Italy were enjoying this change from middle age daily routine to invention and artistic expression.
















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PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CLIMATE.


Italy has many physical features that make it stand out against the rest of Europe. It is one of the biggest peninsulas in the world. One of its mountain ranges is the Alps. This is one of the biggest mountain ranges in the world. It includes huge mountain landscapes and deep valleys. Forests of beech oak, and chestnut trees grow at the lower levels of the mountains.1 The Alps are a popular ski resort.
The Po Valley is also called the North Italian Plain. It's a broad plain that stretches between the Alps in the North and the Apennine Mountains in the south.2
The Adriatic Plain is a large infertile plain because the limestone plateau is bad for farming. The plains eastern half is known as the Carso.
The Apennines stretches through most of Europe. One of the most famous mountains in the Apennines is Mounts Vesuvius which erupted on Pompeii in 79 AD. A lot of this mountain range is forest.
Other geographical features include the Apulia and the southeastern plains and the western uplands and plains.
The climate of Italy is described as “sunny”, but this is not always true. During the spring, summer, and fall, the climate is generally warm and sunny. However, during the wintertime, it is very cold and snowy. North Italy is able to raise more crops because it receives 30 inches of rain a year during the summer months.










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RELIGION


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