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ITALY - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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ITALY. Northern and Southern Divisions.

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Northern and Southern Divisions

Italy is a country in southern Europe. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Its cities have spectacular churches and large central plazas. Their museums contain some of the world\'s best-known art. The countryside has warm, sandy beaches; high, glacier-topped mountain peaks; and rolling hills covered with green fields and vineyards.
Italy occupies a boot-shaped peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean Sea from southern Europe. The country also includes two large islands, Sicily and Sardinia. Two independent countries lie within Italy\'s borders: the tiny Republic of San Marino, in north-central Italy, and Vatican City, which is completely within the city of Rome.
Italy\'s landscape is dominated by two mountain ranges—the Alps and the Apennines. The Alps tower across the northernmost part of Italy. The Apennines form a backbone that runs nearly the entire length of the peninsula.
The country boasts several world-famous cities. Rome, the capital and largest city of Italy, was the center of the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago. Florence was the home of many artists of the Renaissance, a period of great achievements in the arts. Venice, with its intricate canal system, attracts tourists from all over the world.
Since World War II, Italy has experienced great economic and industrial expansion. Today, northern Italy is among Europe\'s wealthiest and most modern regions, but the south of Italy remains considerably poorer.
Most of Italy\'s people live in urban areas. Italy\'s largest cities, in order of population, are Rome, Milan, and Naples. Each has more than a million people. Many of the country\'s cities are surrounded by large metropolitan areas.
Life in northern Italy differs in many ways from that in southern Italy. The north is richer, more urbanized, and more industrial than the south.
. Service industries and manufacturing and construction employ the most people in both areas. But the percentage of people who work in agriculture is much higher in the south than in the north.
Most people who live in Italy\'s urban areas reside in concrete apartment buildings. A few wealthy people live in single-family homes. The oldest sections of an Italian city consist mostly of low buildings that have apartments around a central courtyard. Newer sections of the city often have large apartment buildings. Many residents buy rather than rent their apartments. Poor neighborhoods are usually located on the outskirts of the cities.
Italians take great pride in the quality of their cooking. They traditionally eat their main meal at midday. Large meals usually consist of a pasta course, followed by a main course of meat or fish. Sometimes a course of antipasto (appetizers) is served before the pasta. The antipasto may consist of a variety of cold meats and vegetables, such as prosciutto (a type of spiced ham), salami, olives, and artichoke hearts.
Italian foods vary greatly by region. In the north, flat, ribbon-shaped pastas served with cream sauces are most popular. In the south, macaroni served with tomato-based sauces is the favorite type of pasta. Soups of all kinds may substitute for pasta as a first course. Another popular first-course dish is risotto, a rice dish with vegetables. The most popular meats are veal and pork. Cheeses are also important. They are either eaten alone or used in other dishes. Pizza is a popular snack and is also eaten as a light meal. Fresh fruit is a popular dessert. Traditionally, wine is served with every meal except breakfast.