Boat-shaped Italy, which covers 116,303 square miles, forms a bridge across the center of the Mediterranean sea from Europe almost to Africa. Italy is compared in size to Georgia and Florida. The full country name is Italian Republic. The population is 57.6 million with the capital city of Rome having 2.6 million people. Most Italians speak standard Italian, but other languages include German, French, and Solvene. The majority of Italians are of Roman Catholic faith as many as 85%, with only about 5% Jewish and Protestant. The major industries include, engineering, textiles, chemicals, food processing, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, with tourism being the number one industry. Dubbed the worlds ‘living art gallery,’ Italy has more ‘culture’ than you can shake a baton, paintbrush, quill or chisel at. Italy is at its best in the spring and autumn.

During these seasons, the scenery is beautiful, the temperatures are pleasant. Italys multitude of festivals and traditional events make it a very popular tourist attraction today. There was little Italian emigration to the United States before 1870. However, Italy was one of the most overcrowed countries in Europe, and many began to consider the possibility of leaving Italy to escape low wages and high taxes. During the period 1820 and 1920 over 4,190,000 people emigrated from Italy to the United States. By the Second World War there were more people of Italian stock living in New York city than in Rome. An investigation in 1978 revealed that since 1820 over 5,294,000 people emigrated to the United States from Italy. have found the reasons each group emigrated in North America varied.

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Some Individuals emigrated simply for adventure or for personal reasons. But most immigrants came to escape harsh conditions in their homeland. The Italians were no slouches when it came to music, a Italian invented the piano. The piano built by Bartolomeo Cristofori, of Florence, Italy , is generally credited with inventing the piano. A piano sound comes from striking a string held under tension with some form of a hammer. The date of Cristoforis first piano is unclear. Italy has a centuries old history of desserts and cakes associated with special holidays. Panettone is among the best known examples of this tradition. The Panettone means simply big or strong bread. This sweet wonderful bread of unusual size with a top shaped like a church dome, has become a Italian Christmas Bread Tradition.


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