Culture Of Italy
From antiquity until the mid-17th century, Italy was considered as the central place of Western culture and the starting point of worldwide phenomena such as the Roman Empire, Roman Catholic Church, cultural and educational reform and new beginning. During this period, Italy gave birth to a number of famous painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, mathematical and architects those created a niche of their own in history.
Both the internal and external facets of Western culture were born on the Italian peninsula, whether one looks at the history of the Christian faith, civil institutions (such as the Senate), education, philosophy, law, art, science, or social customs and culture. Furthermore, the country played a leading role in the fight against the death penalty.
Italy was home to many well-known and influential civilizations, including the Etruscans, Greeks, and the Romans. For more than 2,000 years Italy experienced migrations, invasions and was divided into many independent states until 1861 when it became a nation-state. Due to this comparatively late unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs that are now recognized as distinctly Italian can be identified by their regions of origin. Despite the political and social isolation of these regions, Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe remain immense.
The famous elements of Italian culture are its art, music, fashion, and iconic food. Italy was the birthplace of opera, and for generations the language of opera was Italian, irrespective of the nationality of the composer. Popular tastes in drama in Italy have long favored comedy; the improvisational style known as the Commedia dell'arte began in Italy in the mid-16th century and is still performed today. Before being exported to France, the famous Ballet dance genre also originated in Italy.
The country boasts several world-famous cities. Rome was the ancient capital of the Roman Empire and seat of the pope of the Catholic Church. Florence was the home of many artists of the Renaissance, a period of great achievements in the arts. Other important cities are Turin, which used to be the capital of Italy, is now one of the world's great centers of automobile engineering. Milan is the industrial, commercial and financial capital of Italy. Venice, with its intricate canal system, attracts tourists from all over the world.
Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (47) to date, and one estimate says that the country is home to half the world's great art treasures. According to the Court of Auditors, Italy has 3,430 museums, 409 of which are in Tuscany, 380 in Emilia-Romagna, 346 in Lombardy and 302 in Lazio. Then there are 216 archaeological sites, 10,000 churches, 1,500 monasteries, 40,000 assorted castles, towers and fortresses, 30,000 stately homes, 4,000 gardens, 1,000 major historic town centres and more besides.
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Famous quotes containing the words culture of, italy and/or culture:
“Sanity consists in not being subdued by your means. Fancy prices are paid for position, and for the culture of talent, but to the grand interests, superficial success is of no account.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“the San Marco Library,
Whence turbulent Italy should draw
Delight in Art whose end is peace,
In logic and in natural law
By sucking at the dugs of Greece.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“The hard truth is that what may be acceptable in elite culture may not be acceptable in mass culture, that tastes which pose only innocent ethical issues as the property of a minority become corrupting when they become more established. Taste is context, and the context has changed.”
—Susan Sontag (b. 1933)