Cruising in Italy
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed.
Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.
Current Weather Report
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central
Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with 20% unemployment. Most raw materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported.
Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Unions and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. The current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. Italy has moved slowly, however, on implementing needed structural reforms, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italy's rigid labor market and over-generous pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labor unions.
But the leadership faces a severe economic constraint: the budget deficit has breached the 3% EU ceiling. The economy experienced almost no growth in 2005, and unemployment remained at a high level.
Airports: 135 (2005)
2,400 km; note: used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail (2004)
Total: 571 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,781,338 GRT/11,194,627 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Augusta, Genoa, Livorno, Melilli Oil Terminal, Ravenna, Taranto, Trieste, Venice
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
Albania - Algeria - Bulgaria - Croatia - Cyprus - Egypt - France - Georgia - Gibraltar - Greece - Israel - Italy - Lebanon - Libya - Malta - Monaco - Morocco - Romania - Serbia and Montenegro - Slovenia - Spain - Syria - Tunisia - Turkey - Ukraine