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Italy is mainly mountainous, except for the Po plain in the north, and runs from the Alps to the central Mediterranean Sea. It includes the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Elba and about 70 other smaller ones. There are two small independent states within peninsular Italy: the Vatican City in Rome, and the Republic of San Marino.
Italy has a two-chamber parliament, consisting of the Senate (Senato della Repubblica) or upper house and the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati). Elections take place every five years.
The country's main economic sectors are tourism, fashion, engineering, chemicals, motor vehicles and food. Italy's northern regions are per capita amongst the richest in Europe.
The centre of the vast Roman Empire which left a huge archaeological, cultural and literary heritage, the Italian peninsula saw the birth of medieval humanism and the Renaissance. This further helped to shape European political thought, philosophy and art via figures like Machiavelli, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo.
The list of famous Italian artists is long and includes Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio. The country has also produced opera composers such as Verdi and Puccini and film-maker Federico Fellini.
Italian cuisine is one of the most refined and varied in Europe, from the piquant flavours of Naples and Calabria to the pesto dishes of Liguria and the cheese and risotto dishes of the Italian Alps.
Why Study in Italy
The modern Italian universities were founded in the twelfth century and are the oldest in the Western world. It is owing to the reorganization of the Italian education system that the new concept of University Institutions originated in the rest of Europe.
Italy is in the vanguard in every field of higher education, and in particular in the fields of design, architecture, applied sciences, and arts.
The Italian government considers Research to be part of its strategy for maintaining high standards in the sphere of world technological development. Basic research continuously feeds technological knowhow and enables progress in international relations. Italian activity in European scientific research is highly appreciated, especially in matters regarding energy, the environment and transport.
The current Italian university order, besides differentiating the education of students on the basis of real market needs, provides them with a more natural route to the world of employment, owing to the obligatory nature of training stages durng academic studies. Studying in Italy provides many opportunities for growth and success, in academic life as well as in the world of employment.
Studying in Italy provides the possiblity of achieving a high-prestige degree in Italian universities and academies, recognized throughout Europe. In the OECD countries, education increases the probability of employment: on average, starting from 1997, unemployment rates have been directly linked to the population's average educational level. An Italian degree facilitates the search for stable employment at every level.