Italian culture dating
Sicily had many invaders, including Saracens, Normans, and Aragonese. The most important of the islands are Sicily in the south and Sardinia in the northwest.In 1720, Austrians ruled Sicily and at about the same time controlled northern Italy. The Mediterranean Sea is to the south, and the Alps to the north.A chain of mountains, the Apennines, juts down the center of the peninsula. It accounts for 21 percent of the total area; 40 percent of Italy's area, in contrast, is hilly and 39 percent is mountainous.The climate is generally a temperate Mediterranean one with variations caused by the mountainous and hilly areas.There are pockets of German, Slovene, French, and other speakers. Italian patriotism is largely a matter of convenience.Old loyalties to hometown have persisted and the nation is still mainly a "geographic expression" (i.e., there is more identity with one's home region than to the country as a whole) to many Italians.Since World War II, many Italians have turned away from rural occupations to engage in the industrial economy.Rome was a natural choice for the national capital in 1871 when the modern state was united after the annexation of the Papal States.
The population growth rate is .08 percent with a death rate of 10.18 per 1,000 and a birthrate of 9.13 per 1,000. Population growth declined quickly after World War II with the industrialization of the country.Mediterranean peoples (Greeks, North Africans, and Phoenicians) entered the south.The Byzantine Empire ruled the southern part of the peninsula for five hundred years, into the ninth century. It consists of a peninsula shaped like a high–heeled boot and several islands, encompassing 116,300 square miles (301,200 square kilometers).Three features in particular from this period solidified the notion of a unified culture.The first was the maturing of the economic development that had originated in the earlier centuries.