Italian F1 Grand Prix

06.09.2020 | Monza - Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Important notice: Date is subject to confirmation by the FIA.


Key Facts

Location: 12.491979

Area:

301,340 sq km (116,348 sq miles).



59,801,004 (UN estimate 2016).



201 per sq km.



Capital:

Rome.



Government:

Republic.



Geography:

Italy is a boot-shaped country situated in southern Europe. Jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea, it shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia in the mountainous north, which contains some of the highest peaks in Europe.

In central Italy, Tuscany has a diverse landscape composed of fertile rolling hills, lush river valleys, minor mountain ranges and a long sandy coastline. To the east is Umbria, known as the ‘green heart of Italy' - hilly with broad plains, olive groves and pines, and Le Marche – a region of gentle mountains, rivers and small fertile plains.

Further south lies Rome, Italy's capital city. Within its precincts lies Vatican City, the world's smallest country (by landmass). The south of the country is hotter, wilder and much drier than the north, characterised by dry sierras, rocky mountain ranges and volcanic outcrops, including three of Europe’s most active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli.

Puglia, the ‘heel of the boot', is a mixed landscape of fertile plateaus, expansive olive groves and flat, ochre-coloured plains. The islands of Sicily and Sardinia lie offshore to the southwest and west respectively.



Language: Religion:

80% Roman Catholic with Muslim and Protestant minorities.



Time: Social Conventions:

The social structure is heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church and, generally speaking, family ties are stronger than in most other countries in Western Europe. Normal social courtesies should be observed. Dress is casual but smart in most places, and beachwear should be confined to the beach. Conservative clothes are expected when visiting religious buildings and smaller, traditional communities. Formal wear is usually indicated on invitations. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, transport and cinemas.

When visiting an Italian home for dinner, bring a small gift of sweets or chocolate, and dress well. Let your host lead when sitting and starting the meal. Take a small portion of what is offered as you will surely be cajoled into having another helping. If you do not want more wine, leave your glass full so it cannot be refilled.



Electricity:

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs either have two round pins or three pins in a row.



Head of Government:

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte since 2018.



Head of State:

President Sergio Mattarella since 2015.



Recent History:

Five centuries before the Roman Republic conquered the Italian peninsula, the Etruscans and Greeks were tussling for control of Italian ports and fertile farming land. Despite the increasing power of the Greek states in Italy, the growing might of the Roman Empire overwhelmed them by the 2nd century BCE. By 100 CE, Rome was the most powerful city in the Mediterranean.

While the capital prospered, poverty was rife in the provinces and by 400 CE the unwieldy Empire was divided in two, with a second capital established at Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 330. When the Germans and the French Lombards overran Northern Italy, the Papacy established itself as a spiritual and secular force in Rome.

While the south tended towards centralised rule, supporting the Papacy, powerful port cities such as Genoa, Pisa and Venice increasingly ignored edicts from Rome, while rich power centres like Milan, Florence, Bologna and Verona resisted Roman meddling in internal affairs, developing their own forms of government between the 12th and 14th centuries.

These powerful city-states had both the wealth and independence to usher in a dynamic age of thinking known as the Renaissance. Despite the advances of this era, subsequent decades of war and plague were to fatally weaken the ruling dynasties. In 1797, Napoleon conquered Venice ending 700 years of independence and creating the first Kingdom of Italy in 1805.

Inspired by the success of the French Revolution, Italians began to agitate for a fully independent, unified nation, and finally won national independence in 1861. 

At the dawn of the 20th century, Italy was embroiled in a devastating, although ultimately successful, territorial skirmish with Austria in WWI. Around 600,000 men died and the country was reduced to poverty. Frustrated by the peace settlement at Versailles, Benito Mussolini and the Fascist Party rose to power on a tide of discontent. The following alliance with the German Nazis in 1940, which brought Italy into WWII, ultimately left the country shut out of any power positions in the latter half of the 20th century.

Despite decades of political turbulence, Italy grew into one of the world’s leading economies in the 1980s. High unemployment, corruption and increasing national debt, however, culminated in crisis in 2008 and three years later Silvio Berlusconi was finally toppled from office. In February 2014, 39-year-old Matteo Renzi, the youngest Italian prime minister in history, was sworn in. He was replaced by Paolo Gentiloni in December 2016.

Did you know?
• Tourists fling an estimated €3,000 (£2,540) into the Trevi Fountain every day. This money is collected and donated to charity.
• Italy is home to three active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius. Etna is among the world’s most active volcanos and has been erupting on and off for the past 3,500 years.
• With 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to its name, Italy has more than any other country in the world.



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