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Culture Italy
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Literature

'Francesco's Venice' by Francesco da Mosto
'Tuscany' by Franco Cardini
'Leonardo Da Vinci: The Flights of the Mind' by Charles Nicholl
Works by Eugenio Montale,awarded Nobel Prize in Literature.

Country guide

Frommer's Northern Italy (Frommers Complete).
The Rough Guide to Italy (Rough Guide Travel Guides).
Italy (Lonely Planet Country Guide).
Northern Italy Insight Guide (Insight Guides).
The Rough Guide to the Italian Lakes.
Florence, Venice, Milan (Access Guides).
The Rough Guide to Tuscany and Umbria (Rough Guide Travel Guides).
Tuscany and Umbria (Lonely Planet Country and Regional Guides).
Tuscany Umbria and the Marches (Cadogan Guide Tuscany, Umbria & the Marches).
Italy (Eyewitness Travel Guide).
Florence (Eyewitness Pocket Map & Guide).
Frommer's Florence, Tuscany and Umbria (Frommers Complete).
Italian Lakes Insight Pocket Guide.
Florence and Tuscany (Eyewitness Travel Guide).
Milan & the Lakes (DK Eyewitness Travel Guides).
Venice (Eyewitness Pocket Map & Guide).
Venice (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide).
Venice and the Veneto (Lonely Planet City Guides).
Italy: Hotels and Country Guesthouses For Less Than 100 (Michelin Guides).
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook.

Films

Full-length feature films
'The Sweet Life' by Fellini
The Postman by Michael Radford
'Bicycle Thieves' by Vittorio de Sica
'Rocco and his brothers' by Visconti
'Viva Zapatero' by Sabina Guzzanti

Music

The operas of Puccini and Verdi.
The concertos of Vivaldi.

historyDates

Circa 900 BC: the Etruscans settled in the centre of the country. The city of Rome was founded a century later. It first housed a monarchy, then a Republic from the 6th Century BC.
400 to 200 BC: Rome dominated and imposed the Latin language.
1st Century BC to 5th Century AD: the Republic of Rome became an empire.
10th Century: this empire was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire.
12th and 13th centuries: the rich cities reached the apex of their glory: Pisa, Genoa, Florence, Milan and Venice.
Mid 16th Century: Italy fell into decline and was dominated by its Austrian and French neighbours.
1861: the period of the 'risorgimento' (the Renaissance) led to the unity of Italy under Victor-Emmanuel II.
1922: Mussolini came to power.
1946: The Republic was proclaimed.
1958 to 1968: the Christian-democrats were in power and led the country through a decade of economic growth, otherwise known as the 'economic miracle'.
1976 to 1979: the historic compromise was reached between the Christian-democrats and the communists against a background of terrorism (the Prime Minister Aldo Moro is assassinated by the Red Brigades in 1978).
1983: Socialist Bettino Craxi became prime minister.
June 1994: Silvio Berlusconi became head of government following the victory of the 'Freedom Poll' in the legislative elections
April 1996: a centre-left coalition, the 'Olive Tree,' won the legislatives. Romano Prodi was voted president of the Council.
September 1997: an earthquake in the Assissi region caused 12 deaths.
October 1998: Massimo D'Alema was placed at the head of a new coalition government.
June 2008: Silvio Berlusconi was re-elected prime minister.
November 2011: Mario Monti replaced Berlusconi as Prime Minister

Key dates

January 1st: New Year's Day.
January 6th: Epiphany.
March: Holy Week.
April 25th: Liberation Day.
May 1st: Labour Day.
May: Ascension.
June 2nd: National Day.
August 15th: Assumption.
October 4th: Saint Francis of Assissi Day.
November 1st-2nd: All Saints Day and All Souls' Day.
December: Piazza Navona Christmas market (Rome).
December 6th: Saint Nicolas Day.
December 8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
December 24th-25th: Christmas.
December 26th: Saint Stephen's Day.
December 31st: New Year's Eve.