The Culture of Italy
Italy is one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, having cultivated relationships with cultures from around the world. This diversity can be seen in its cuisine, music and language – all reflecting elements from its long and rich history.
Spain has produced some of the greatest masterpieces in art history. Add to that breathtaking architecture, operas and films, and you have an enthralling array of experiences to enjoy.
Italy has produced some of the world’s greatest artists, writers, philosophers, musicians and chefs. Its cultural legacy dates back thousands of years to Rome’s Empire and the Renaissance period in Italy.
The country of Italy is divided into seven regions or states. Its shape resembles a boot and it lies along the Mediterranean Sea.
History begins with the Etruscans, a Bronze Age civilization that settled between Arno and Tiber rivers in central Italy around 800 bc. However, they were ultimately replaced by Romans in the 3rd century bc, who built an expansive and powerful empire spanning across much of ancient history.
In the Middle Ages, Italian cities such as Venice and Genoa were dominant in Europe’s trade in Eastern wares and spices. The Renaissance began with Florence in Florence around 1300 and spurred on the growth of powerful city-states across Italy; it also saw artistic breakthroughs from Michelangelo, Giuseppe Verdi, and Dante that would later influence other cultures around the world.
Italy is a country located in Southern Europe on a peninsula bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to its west and Alps to its east. It shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
Italy’s population is predominantly Romance-speaking, though other languages are spoken as well. Italians feel a strong affinity to their homeland and take great pride in it.
Most Italians are born and raised within Italy, though some have moved away for work or family reasons. With one of Europe’s lowest birth rates, and an aging population, Italy’s demographics are somewhat unique.
Italy’s population is predominantly ethnic Italian, though there are pockets of French-Italians, German-Italians, and Slovene-Italians as well. Additionally there are a few Italian-speaking Albanians and Greek-Italians but these cannot be understood by people from other ethnic groups. Despite this diversity, Italy remains highly tolerant with a strong sense of national identity and culture. Additionally it is part of both the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Italian culture places great value on food and it often becomes a shared experience between family members and friends. Large extended families will come together for special celebrations or religious holidays to share this joy.
Italian family dinner traditions have evolved around saint’s days and festivals, often featuring fresh tomatoes, doughy salted breads, perfectly cured meats and creamy mozzarella.
Italians during the Middle Ages followed a strict diet of bread and legumes to abstain from excess and temptation while also remembering that eating too much meat could trigger unclean desires.
As Italy became more prosperous, food once again became a symbol of luxury and pleasure. The Renaissance brought with it an age of exploration and experimentation that introduced new ingredients to Italian cooking.
Italian culture is the result of Italy’s diverse heritage in art, history, religion, cuisine and fashion. It has earned universal acclaim and had a major influence on Western cultural practices.
Italy is predominantly Roman Catholic, with most Italians adhering to the church’s teachings. Many Italians celebrate most Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter with gusto.
At these gatherings, family members gather to eat delectable pastries, drink wine and play music. Baptisms are also highly celebrated in Italy.
Family is the cornerstone of Italian society, providing emotional and financial security for its members. Politicians often stress the significance of strong ties to family in their speeches.