Religion: 84% Roman Catholic, 6% Jewish, Muslim and Protestant make up the rest Official Language: Italian
Italy's Cultural Contributions Europe's Renaissance period began in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries. Literary achievements-- such as the poetry of Petrarch, Tasso, and Ariosto and the prose of Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and Castiglione--exerted a tremendous and lasting influence on the subsequent development of Western civilization
Italy's Cultural Contributions As did the painting, sculpture, and architecture contributed by giants such as Da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, and Michelangelo. contribute significantly to Western culture.
Italy's Cultural Contributions The musical influence of Italian composers Monteverdi, Palestrina, and Vivaldi proved epochal; in the 19th century, Italian romantic opera flourished under composers Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Giacomo Puccini. Contemporary Italian artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, composers, and designers contribute significantly to Western culture.
Tuscany-Florence Menu Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary Risotto with Artichokes and Fennel Pears with Orange Ricotta Venice Menu Adriatic Fish Stew with Angel Hair Pasta Gelato with Pistachios
Liguria Menu Fricasseed Rabbit with Orzo Fennel and Arugula Salad Iced Peaches Espresso or Cappuccino Rome Menu Penne Arrabbiatta Roasted Pepper Salad with Basil Baked Rice Pudding with Pears
January 1: New Year's Day** January 6: Epiphany April 17: Easter Monday (in 2006) April 25: Liberation Day May 1: Labor Day** June 2: Anniversary of the Founding of the Republic August 15: Feast of the Assumption (also known as Ferragosto)
December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 25: Christmas Day** December 26: St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day)