Italy to know, seems almost impossible. Too varied the cultural and landscape offerings. Still today we see the distinctive north-south divide, this is also the result of the relatively late foundation of the state. Similar to Germany and in contrast to nations such as France, the parts of Italy came together only in the second half of the 19th Century.
What remain are the dialects, also a parallel with Germany. These rather divide into three the country between north, center and south. Add to this South Tyrol with its German-speaking percentage, not to mention the there also usual Ladin. There is the Lega North, which would prefer to limit Italy to the north. One expects to have more prosperity soon as one is released from the retarding south.
In the current debate slightly is forgotten the formerly tenth position within the industrial nations and one rather fear Italy as the first patient for money transfers from the former founders of the EU, then still called the EEC. After all, these contracts have been signed in Rome. No, the former economic importance is a little faded.
What remains is a highly questionable export, the Mafia, the today, acts European or still rather global, long been outgrown its roots in Calabria. And still Italy is home to the Vatican and remain probably intimately connected with it. Whether practicing or not, the Italians are Roman Catholic in their large majority. 07/12