Italy 2012
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Capital Of Italy: RomePopulation Of Italy: 60,626,442
Culture is a way of life. It includes foods, dating and marriage, religion, language, leisure activities and more!


Social Groups/Family:
Families in Italy are very closely knit together. The whole extended family spends more time with each other European country and the United States. This leads to the common Italian saying that a family is "like a fort." Part of this is also that grandparents take care of the children while the parents are away at work, this helps grow a bond between the children and their grandparents. But, even thought the entire family is staying together, Italian households are smaller than the ones here in the United States, but the families seem to be getting smaller as time goes along. And even if families are so close, it is that Italians essentially have a family reunion every Sunday afternoon, meeting up either at a relative's house, or arrange a meeting at some alternative place. Over all the families in Italy are very close together.
(Kalman, B. (2001). Italian families. Italy: The People (pg. 14-150). New York, New York; Crabtree Publishing)




external image wedding_ring.jpg Dating and Marriage:

In the past, Italian wedding engagements were usually arranged by the families of the bride and groom. Lineage and your ancesty was a principle of most importance when you considered who you married. Between the families of the couple, if the bride's father had any doubts about the husband, negotiaions would be stopped in their tracks.


In other cases, a matchmaker sent a message, called a masciata, to the prospective bride's family from the man who hoped to marry their daughter. If her family found the groom's proposal acceptable, there would be a wedding! Ever since the 1400s, diamond engagement rings have been popular with Italian brides because Italians believe that diamond are created by the flames of love.


In preparation for a wedding, the bride gathers a trousseau, or wedding gifts, consisting of household items, clothing's, and sometimes even clothing for her future husband. Her family provides her with a present, usually money, and possibly other goods. This tradition is still relevant in the from of a bridal shower.
(http://worldweddingtradtions.com/locations/west_europe_tradtiongs/italian_traditions.htm)




Religion:
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Roman Catholics are 85% of Italy's main religion. Jehoval wittnesses from the second-largest denomintation among native-born Italian citizens, with about 400,00 adherents.If immigrants are counted the second largest is Islam with about a million followers. There are about 100,000 scientologist, 60,000 are Buddhist, 30,000 are Waldensian,30,000 Jews, and 20,000 Mormons. The Orthodox and Protestant churches have small communities. Hinduisms also represented.www.nationsencylopedia.com/Europe/Italy-RELIGIONS.html



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The main language in Italy is Italian, it is a Romance Language, one of several languages that come from Latin. Few communities in Italy does not have the first main language, Italian. Other languages that are spoken are Germany, French, Slovenian, and Ladin. Southern Italy has a few Greek and Albanian speaking communities.
Book, Inc. The World Book encyclopedia 2012. [2012 ed. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc., 2012. Print.




Cultural Patterns/Traditions:

Christmas is a huge holiday in Italy. Nine days before Christmas Eve, bagpipes are played from dawn to dusk in the middle of the streets. Just a few days before Christmas, a nativity called a presepio is set up in the living room. Some family's presepios are so large they litterally take up half of the living room.And twelve days after Christmas, people exchange gifts on a day that is called the "Feast of Epiphany".

Twice a year, Italians have a small horse race called Palio. The days starts out with a parade with the riders and the horses march down the streets in medieval armor. Then the horses are going to run around the small town square. Due to the breakneck speeds and the nintey-degree turns, often time the jockey is thrown off of the horse. But,the first horse to cross the finish line wins. Regardless of whether or not the rider is still on.
(Stein, R.C. (1984). Italy. Chicago: Children's Press)


Leisure Activities

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Things the Italians do for fun are; skiing, sailing, horse back-riding, golfing, walking, hiking, trekking, biking, ballooning, snorkeling, and diving.
__http://www.understandingitaly.com/activities.html_










Arts and Music:

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In Italy, the arts are very important to everyone. The arts have been important to Italians since the early Middle Ages. The greatest works of arts came during the Renaissance, the cultural movement that began in the early 1300s and ended around the 1600s. During that time period, the greatest painters, sculptors, composers, and architects were produced. Renaissance Sculpture developed during the 1400s and 1500s. Michelangelo produced many great works including his famous statue of Moses, shown above. Some other famous artist names from Italy are Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael.
Book, Inc. The World Book encyclopedia 2012. [2012 ed. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc., 2012. Print.
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Italy is home of opera music. Opera music was created in Italy in the 17th century by Italian music composer Claudio Monteverdi, which is the man in the picture above. Italy also houses some of the best venues for perfuming opera music in the world. Some examples of fantastic opera houses in Italy can be found in Milan, Venice, Naples, and Verona. The most famous names in the contemporary world of Italian opera music are probably Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli who are both singers of opera music. Classical also came along in the same time period of opera music. Other genres of music like rock, pop, and rap music often takes cues from the USA and changes itself some what different, to have its own style to it.
"Interesting Facts & Information: tourism, travel, culture, language, business, people. » Blog Archive » Italian Culture Guide: Music in Italy." Professional Translation Services | Interpreters | Intercultural Communication | Cross Cultural Training. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. <http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/italy/Italian-Culture-Guide-Music-in-Italy/295>.



Food:
In Italy, food is one of the cornerstones of their culture and if life is more frantic and times are changing, Italians still find time to take pleasure in food. It is important for them to be able to sit at a table, in a home or restaurant and sharing a good meal together. (Life in Italy, http://www.lifeinitaly.com/food )

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Italy is comprised of 20 regions, each known for its distinct culinary specialties. Most of the regions make the same dish, though it is different in many ways. Every town and village has its proudest specially. These cooking traditions define the Italian's identities just as much as their language and customs.

These regional culinary specialties are shaped by geographic, historical, and climatic differences. Some regions are landlocked or mountainous while others have the sea constantly by their side. Some regions have taken up Arab or Greek influences and others have been marked by the French or Austrians. Despite Italy's small size, it also has some regions living under the Mediterranean sun most of the year, and others have cold winters, snow, fog, and harsh winds. (Rustico Cooking, http://www.rusticocooking.com/regions.htm)
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