People don’t speak Standard Greek but an endemic Greek dialect, we don’t know if they speak it from ancient Greece or since Byzantine times. Finally, still in the south of Italy, there are Albanian communities, the Arbëresh who are descendants of Albanians arrived at the Renaissance. After ethnically, Southern Italy would be much more varied than that since the territory has been conquered by the Greeks, the Arabs, the Normans and the Spaniards. The North has been populated by Germanic peoples. As for religion, if we omit recent immigration, the territory is entirely Catholic. Speaking of immigration, Italy has long been a land of emigration.
It is believed that 30 million Italians have left their country between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the XX century. The main country to have welcomed Italians is Brazil. There was also internal migration, lots of southern Italians simply went north, Turin is notably famous to have a very large southern community. Turin is sometimes nicknamed as the third largest city in southern Italy after Naples and Palermo. More recently still, Italy has become a land of immigration. The two main communities are Romanians and Albanians. The Romanian community in Italy is the largest outside of Romania, and that is due to the linguistic proximity that both countries have.
The south of Italy is also a place of passage illegal immigration. Recently, many villages in the South, depopulated by emigration are again filled thanks to the immigration of refugees. As for birth rates, they have not been sufficient since the 1970s, Italy is therefore an aging country. The median age is 45, it is therefore the third country with the oldest population in the world after Japan and Germany. At the same time, the Italian population also a very good life expectancy. Network: Italy is a long country, its network is shaped like a T. There is a North-South axis but above all a West-East axis. Let’s take a closer look at the West-East network which is the most important.
There are several large cities: Turin, Milan, Verona and Venice. We can even add slightly more secondary towns such as Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Vicenza and Padua. This area is called Padania or the Po Plain. It is the economic heart of Italy. However we can also add Genoa, the main port. Turin, Milan and Genoa form the Italian Industrial Triangle. Now let’s look at the road network. The A4 motorway is the industrial axis, it connects Turin to Trieste. It is the most trafficked highway in the country, it is also a must for those who come from the Iberian Peninsula and must go to the Balkans. It is therefore above all a passing highway for road transport.
The other major axis is the A1 motorway which starts from Milan and goes to Naples. There is also a highway between Bologna and Bari, creating a parallel axis on the eastern coast. Otherwise there are highways all over the country, except in Sardinia where there is a network of expressways instead. Okay now let’s go to the train railways, they are everywhere even in Sardinia. However, there is notably a high speed line, a line that goes from Turin to Salerno, south of Naples. A line between Milan and Venice is also planned. In summary, we can say that Padania forms a dense network in transport network. The remainder is then more isolated on a North-South axis. And the South is far away.
Reggio Calabria, in the extreme south of the country, is 1200 kilometers away. Italy is a small country in size but with rather large distances between the main towns. Large enough for a domestic air network could develop. Most trafficked airline is the line between Milan and Rome. In fact, Italy has many lines between North and South. There are flights between the North and Rome, flights between North and South. Flights between Rome and the South. And flights between Sardinia and the North and Rome. The country’s main airport is Fiumicino in Rome and it is also the main airport conurbation, in front of Milan. These two cities each handle around 40 million passengers at their various airports. The other main airports are Venice, Catania (which suddenly is the main airport in the South), Bologna, Naples and Palermo.
They exceed every 5 million annual passengers. If we look at Italian cities a little closer. It’s old. Rome for example, it is a city of antiquity, Everyone knows it. It has a few metro lines, but the problem, it is that each time a gallery is dug, we make archaeological discoveries that delay continuation. Naples, gigantic city, very densely populated, is near the volcano of Vesuvius. In fact, Vesuvius is surrounded by urbanization. The ruins of Pompeii are a few kilometers away, the city is famous for being buried in the year 79 of the first century AD.
There are more recent cities, for example Latina, built from the 1930s. Now a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants. Or even Messina, since this city was razed by a tidal wave in 1908, the city was rebuilt in a checkerboard pattern. Economy: Come on, let’s get down to the economy. Italy is one of the world’s economic powers. In 2016 she was in eighth place of countries by GDP. It is also a developed country. However, we can say that there are two worlds within Italy. Rich Northern Italy and southern Italy, poor. You can practically say that the whole economy revolves in Padania and that Milan is the economic capital of the country. It is even dubbed the moral capital of Italy. There is the Italian Stock Exchange and most large companies have their headquarters in this city. Northern Italy has also developed small business culture.