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Italy: 55,551,000[1]
Italian diaspora and ancestry: c. 85 million

Italian people around the world.svg
Regions with significant populations Italy        55,551,000[1] Brazil22 - 33,000,000 (includes ancestry)[2][3] Argentina16 - 25,000,000 (includes ancestry)[3] United States15 - 17,300,000 (includes ancestry)[4] Paraguay2,492,000 (includes ancestry)[5] Colombia2,000,000 (includes ancestry)[6] Venezuela1,700,000 (includes ancestry)[7] Canada1,587,970 (includes ancestry)[8]Italian: italiani [itaˈljaːni]) are a Romance[34][35][36] ethnic group and nation native to the Italian geographical region and its neighboring insular territories. Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry and language.[37][38][39][40] Legally, Italian nationals are citizens of Italy, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence (in effect, however, Italian nationality is largely based on jus sanguinis) and may be distinguished from ethnic Italians in general or from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian peninsula without Italian citizenship.[41][42]

The majority of Italian nationals are native speakers of the country's official language, Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak a regional or minority language native to Italy, the existence of which predates the national language.[43][44] Although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy, although many are often misleadingly referred to as "Italian dialects".[45][39][46][47]

In 2017, in addition to the approximately 55 million Italians in Italy (91% of the Italian national population),[1][48] Italian-speaking autonomous groups are found in neighboring nations; about a half million are in Switzerland,[49] as well as in France,[50] the entire population of San Marino, and there are smaller groups in Slovenia and Croatia, primarily in Istria (Istrian Italians) and Dalmatia (Dalmatian Italians). Due to the wide-ranging diaspora following Italian unification, World War I and World War II, (with over 5 million Italian citizens that live outside of Italy)[51] about 150 million people around the world claim full or partial Italian ancestry,[52] which includes 56-57% of Argentina's population (Italian Argentines),[53] 1/3 of Uruguayans (Italian Uruguayans), 15% of Brazilians (Italian Brazilians, the largest Italian community outside Italy),[54] and people in other parts of Europe (e.g. Italians in Germany and Italians in the United Kingdom), the Americas (such as Italian Americans, Italian Canadians, Italian Mexicans and Italo-Venezuelans, among others), Australasia (Italian Australians and Italian New Zealanders), and to a lesser extent in the Middle East.

Italians have influenced and contributed to fields like arts and music, science, technology, fashion, cinema, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business.[55][56][57][58][59] Furthermore, Italian people are generally known for their attachment to their locale, expressed in the form of either regionalism or municipalism.[60]

Name

Hypotheses for the etymology of the Latin name "Italia" are numerous.[61] One is that it was borrowed via Greek from the Oscan Víteliú 'land of calves' (cf. Lat vitulus "calf", Umb vitlo "calf").[62] Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus,[63] mentioned also by Aristotle[64] and Thucydides.[65]

According to Antiochus of Syracuse, the term Italy was used by the Greeks to initially refer only to the southern portion of the Bruttium peninsula corresponding to the modern province of Reggio and part of the provinces of Catanzaro and Vibo Valentia in southern Italy. Nevertheless, by his time the larger concept of Oenotria and "Italy" had become synonymous and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. According to Strabo's Geographica, before the expansion of the Roman Republic, the name was used by Greeks to indicate the land between the strait of Messina and the line connecting the gulf of Salerno and gulf of Taranto, corresponding roughly to the current region of Calabria. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name "Italia" to a larger region[66] In addition to the "Greek Italy" in the south, historians have suggested the existence of an "Etruscan Italy" covering variable areas of central Italy.[67]

The borders of Roman Italy are better established. Cato's Origines, the first work of history composed in Latin, described Italy as the entire peninsula south of the Alps.[68] According to Cato and several Roman authors, the Alps formed the "walls of Italy".[69] In 264 BC, Roman Italy extended from the Arno and Rubicon rivers of the centre-north to the entire south. The northern area of Cisalpine Gaul was occupied by Rome in the 220s BC and became considered geographically and de facto part of Italy,[70] but remained politically and de jure separated. It was legally merged into the administrative unit of Italy in 42 BC by the triumvir Octavian as a ratification of Caesar's unpublished acts (Acta Caesaris).[71][72][73][74][75] The islands of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily and Malta were added to Italy by Diocletian in 292 AD.[76]

The Latin term Italicus was used to describe "a man of Italy" as opposed to a provincial. For example, Pliny the Elder notably wrote in a letter Italicus es an provincialis? meaning "are you an Italian or a provincial?".[77] The adjective italianus, from which are derived the Italian (and also French and English) name of the Italians, is medieval and was used alternatively with Italicus during the early modern period.[78]

History

Roman era

Expansion of the territory known as Italy from the establishment of the Roman Republic until Diocletian.

The Italian peninsula was divided into a multitude of tribal or ethnic territory prior to the Roman conquest of Italy in the 3rd century BC. After a series of wars between Greeks and Etruscans, the Latins, with Rome as their capital, gained the ascendancy by 272 BC, and completed the conquest of the Italian peninsula by 218 BC.

This period of unification was followed by one of conquest in the Mediterranean, beginning with the First Punic War against Carthage. In the course of the century-long struggle against Carthage, the Romans conquered Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Finally, in 146 BC, at the conclusion of the Third Punic War, with Carthage completely destroyed and its inhabitants enslaved, Rome became the dominant power in the Mediterranean.

The process of Italian unification, and the associated Romanization, culminated in 88 BC, when, in the aftermath of the Social War, Rome granted its fellow Italian allies full rights in Roman society, extending Roman citizenship to all fellow Italic peoples.[79]

From its inception, Rome was a republican city-state, but four famous civil conflicts destroyed the Roman Republic: Lucius Cornelius Sulla against Gaius Marius and his son (88–82 BC), Julius Caesar against Pompey (49–45 BC), Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus against Mark Antony and Octavian (43 BC), and Mark Antony against Octavian.

Octavian, the final victor (31 BC), was accorded the title of Augustus by the Senate and thereby became the first Roman Emperor. Augustus created for the first time an administrative region called Italia with inhabitants called "Italicus populus", stretching from the Alps to Sicily: for this reason historians like Emilio Gentile called him Father of Italians.[80]

In the 1st century BC, Italia was still a collection of territories with different political statuses. Some cities, called municipia, had some independence from Rome, while others, the coloniae, were founded by the Romans themselves. Around 7 BC, Augustus divided Italy into eleven regiones.

During the Crisis of the Third Century, the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasions, military anarchy and civil wars, and hyperinflation. In 284, emperor Diocletian restored political stability. The importance of Rome declined, because the city was far from the troubled frontiers. The seats of the Caesars became Augusta Treverorum (on the River Rhine frontier) for Constantius Chlorus and Sirmium (on the River Danube frontier) for Galerius, who also resided at Thessaloniki. Under Diocletian, Italy became the Dioecesis Italiciana, subdivided into thirteen provinces, now including Raetia.

Under Constantine the Great, Italy became the Praetorian prefecture of Italy (praefectura praetoria Italiae), and was subdivided into two dioceses. Diocesis Italia annonaria (Italy of the annona, governed from Milan) and Diocesis Italia Suburbicaria (Italy "under the government of the urbs", i.e. governed from Rome). Christianity became the Roman state religion in AD 380, under emperor Theodosius I.

The last Western emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed in 476 by a Germanic foederati general in Italy, Odoacer. His defeat marked the end of the Western Roman Empire, and the end of the political unification of Italy until the establishment of the modern Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

The Middle Ages

Theodoric, the king of another Germanic tribe, the Ostrogoths. Theodoric and Odoacer ruled jointly until 493, when Theodoric murdered Odoacer. Theodoric continued to rule Italy with an army of Ostrogoths and a government that was mostly Italian. After the death of Theodoric in 526, the kingdom began to grow weak. By 553, emperor Justinian I expelled the Ostrogoths, and Italy was included into the Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty.

Byzantine rule in Italy collapsed by 572 as a result of invasions by another Germanic tribe, the Lombards. The peninsula was now dominated by the Kingdom of the Lombards, with minor remnants of Byzantine control, especially in the south.

During the 5th and 6th centuries, the popes increased their influence in both religious and political matters in Italy. It was usually the popes who led attempts to protect Italy from invasion or to soften foreign rule. For about 200 years the popes opposed attempts by the Lombards, who had captured most of Italy, to take over Rome as well. The popes finally defeated the Lombards with the aid of two Frankish kings, Pepin the Short and Charlemagne. Using land won for them by Pepin in 756, the popes established political rule in what were called the Papal States in central Italy.

The Lombards remained a threat to papal power, however, until they were crushed by Charlemagne in 774. Charlemagne added the Kingdom of the Lombards to his vast realm. In recognition of Charlemagne's power, and to cement the church's alliance with him, Charlemagne was crowned emperor

Byzantine rule in Italy collapsed by 572 as a result of invasions by another Germanic tribe, the Lombards. The peninsula was now dominated by the Kingdom of the Lombards, with minor remnants of Byzantine control, especially in the south.

During the 5th and 6th centuries, the popes increased their influence in both religious and political matters in Italy. It was usually the popes who led attempts to protect Italy from invasion or to soften foreign rule. For about 200 years the popes opposed attempts by the Lombards, who had captured most of Italy, to take over Rome as well. The popes finally defeated the Lombards with the aid of two Frankish kings, Pepin the Short and Charlemagne. Using land won for them by Pepin in 756, the popes established political rule in what were called the Papal States in central Italy.

The Lombards remained a threat to papal power, however, until they were crushed by Charlemagne in 774. Charlemagne added the Kingdom of the Lombards to his vast realm. In recognition of Charlemagne's power, and to cement the church's alliance with him, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III in 800.[81] After Charlemagne's death in 814, his son Louis the Pious succeeded him. Louis divided the empire among his sons, and Frankish Italy became part of Middle Francia, extending as far south as Rome and Spoleto. This Kingdom of Italy became part of the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century, while southern Italy was under the rule of the Lombard Principality of Benevento or of the Byzantine Empire, in the 12th century absorbed into the Kingdom of Sicily.

From the 11th century on, Italian cities began to grow rapidly in independence and importance. They became centres of political life, banking, and foreign trade. Some became wealthy, and many, including Florence, Rome, Genoa, Milan, Pisa, Siena and Venice, grew into nearly independent city-states. Each had its own foreign policy and political life. They all resisted the efforts of noblemen and emperors to control them.

The emergence of identifiable Italian dialects from Vulgar Latin, and as such the possibility of a specifically "Italian" ethnic identity, has no clear-cut date, but began in roughly the 12th century. Modern standard Italian derives from the written vernacular of Tuscan writers of the 12th century. The recognition of Italian vernaculars as literary languages in their own right began with De vulgari eloquentia, an essay wr

The emergence of identifiable Italian dialects from Vulgar Latin, and as such the possibility of a specifically "Italian" ethnic identity, has no clear-cut date, but began in roughly the 12th century. Modern standard Italian derives from the written vernacular of Tuscan writers of the 12th century. The recognition of Italian vernaculars as literary languages in their own right began with De vulgari eloquentia, an essay written by Dante Alighieri at the beginning of the 14th century.

During the 14th and 15th centuries, some Italian city-states ranked among the most important powers of Europe. Venice, in particular, had become a major maritime power, and the city-states as a group acted as a conduit for goods from the Byzantine and Islamic empires. In this capacity, they provided great impetus to the developing Renaissance, began in Florence in the 14th century,[82] and led to an unparalleled flourishing of the arts, literature, music, and science.

However, the city-states were often troubled by violent disagreements among their citizens. The most famous division was between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. The Guelphs supported supreme rule by the pope, and the Ghibellines favoured the emperor. City-states often took sides and waged war against each other. During the Renaissance, Italy became an even more attractive prize to foreign conquerors. After some city-states asked for outside help in settling disputes with their neighbours, King Charles VIII of France marched into Italy in 1494; he soon withdrew, showing that the Italian peninsula's delicate equilibrium could be taken advantage of. After the Italian Wars, Spain emerged as the dominant force in the region. Venice, Milan, and other city-states retained at least some of their former greatness during this period, as did Savoy-Piedmont, protected by the Alps and well defended by its vigorous rulers.

Marco Polo, Italian merchant traveler who introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China

  • Christopher Columbus, early European explorer of the New World.

  • Amerigo Vespucci, geographer and traveler from whose name the word America is derived.

  • The French Revolution and Napoleon

    The French Revolution and Napoleon influenced Italy more deeply than they affected any other outside country of Europe. The French Revolution began in 1789 and immediately found supporters among the Italian people. The local Italian rulers, sensing danger in their own country, drew closer to the European kings who opposed France. After the French king was overthrown and France became a republic, secret clubs favouring an Italian republic were formed throughout Italy. The armies of the French Republic began to move across Europe. In 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte led a French army into northern Italy and drove out the Austrian rulers. Once again, Italy was the scene of battle between the Habsburgs and the French. Wherever France conquered, Italian republics were set up, with constitutions and legal reforms. Napoleon made himself emperor in 1804, and part of northern and central Italy was unified under the name of the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as king. The rest of northern and central Italy was annexed by France. Only Sicily, where the Bourbon king had taken refuge upon the French invasion of Naples, and the island of Sardinia, which had been ceded to the Alpine House of Savoy in 1720 and had remained under their rule ever since, were not under French control.

    French domination lasted less than 20 years, and it differed from previous foreign control of the Italian peninsula. In spite of heavy taxation and frequent harshness, the French introduced representative assemblies and new laws that were the same for all parts of the country. For the first time since the days of ancient Rome, Italians of different regions used the same money and served in the same army. Many Italians began to see the possibility of a united Italy free of foreign control.

    The Kingdom of Italy

    Battle of Waterloo, the reaction set in with the Congress of Vienna allowed the restoration of many of the old rulers and systems under Austrian domination. The concept of nationalism continued strong, however, and sporadic outbreaks led by such inveterate reformers as Giuseppe Mazzini occurred in several parts of the peninsula down to 1848–49. This Risorgimento movement was brought to a successful conclusion under the guidance of Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour, prime minister of Piedmont.

    Cavour managed to unite most of Italy under the headship of Victor Emmanuel II of the house of Savoy, and on 17 March 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed with Victor Emmanuel II as king. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the popular republican hero of Italy, contributed much to this achievement and to the subsequent incorporation of the Papal States under the Italian monarch. Italian troops occupied Rome in 1870, and in July 1871, this formally became the capital of the kingdom. Pope Pius IX, a longtime rival of Italian kings, stated he had been made a "prisoner" inside the Vatican walls and refused to cooperate with the royal administration. Only in 1929 did the Roman Pope accept the unified Italy with Rome as capital.

    World War I has been interpreted as completing the process of Italian unification, with the annexation of Trieste, Istria, Trentino-Alto Adig

    Cavour managed to unite most of Italy under the headship of Victor Emmanuel II of the house of Savoy, and on 17 March 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed with Victor Emmanuel II as king. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the popular republican hero of Italy, contributed much to this achievement and to the subsequent incorporation of the Papal States under the Italian monarch. Italian troops occupied Rome in 1870, and in July 1871, this formally became the capital of the kingdom. Pope Pius IX, a longtime rival of Italian kings, stated he had been made a "prisoner" inside the Vatican walls and refused to cooperate with the royal administration. Only in 1929 did the Roman Pope accept the unified Italy with Rome as capital.

    World War I has been interpreted as completing the process of Italian unification, with the annexation of Trieste, Istria, Trentino-Alto Adige and Zara. After World War I, Italy emerged as one of the four great powers after the victory of the Allies.

    In the decades following unification, Italy began creating colonies in Africa, and under Benito Mussolini's fascist regime conquered Ethiopia, founding the Italian Empire in 1936. The population of Italy grew to 45 millions in 1940 and the economy, which had been based upon agriculture until that time, started its industrial development, mainly in northern Italy. But World War II soon destroyed Italy and its colonial power.

    Between 1945 and 1948, the outlines of a new Italy began to appear. Victor Emmanuel III gave up the throne on 9 May 1946, and his son, Umberto II, became king. On 2 June Italy held its first free election after 20 years of Fascist rule (the so-called Ventennio). Italians chose a republic to replace the monarchy, which had been closely associated with Fascism. They elected a Constituent Assembly to prepare a new democratic constitution. The Assembly approved the constitution in 1947, which came into force on 1 January 1948.

    Culture

    Western culture, being the fulcrum and origin of Magna Graecia, Ancient Rome, the Roman Catholic Church, Humanism, the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Counter-Reformation, Baroque, and Neoclassicism.

    Italy also became a seat of great formal learning in 1088 with the establishment of the University of Bologna, the first university in the Western World.[83] Many other Italian universities soon followed. For example, the Schola Medica Salernitana, in southern Italy, was the first medical school in Europe.[84] These great centres of learning presaged the Rinascimento: the European Renaissance began in Italy and was fueled throughout Europe by Italian painters, sculptors, architects, scientists, literature masters and music composers. Italy continued its leading cultural role through the Baroque period and into the Romantic period, when its dominance in painting and sculpture diminished but the Italians re-established a strong presence in music.

    Italian explorers and navigators in the 15th and 16th centuries left a perennial mark on human history with the modern "discovery of America", due to Christopher Columbus. In addition, the name of the American continents derives from the geographer Amerigo Vespucci's first name. Also noted, is explorer Marco Polo who travelled extensively throughout the eastern world recording his travels.

    Due to comparatively late national unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs of the Italians 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 the Western world remain immense. Famous elements of Italian culture are its University of Bologna, the first university in the Western World.[83] Many other Italian universities soon followed. For example, the Schola Medica Salernitana, in southern Italy, was the first medical school in Europe.[84] These great centres of learning presaged the Rinascimento: the European Renaissance began in Italy and was fueled throughout Europe by Italian painters, sculptors, architects, scientists, literature masters and music composers. Italy continued its leading cultural role through the Baroque period and into the Romantic period, when its dominance in painting and sculpture diminished but the Italians re-established a strong presence in music.

    Italian explorers and navigators in the 15th and 16th centuries left a perennial mark on human history with the modern "discovery of America", due to Christopher Columbus. In addition, the name of the American continents derives from the geographer Amerigo Vespucci's first name. Also noted, is explorer Marco Polo who travelled extensively throughout the eastern world recording his travels.

    Due to comparatively late national unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs of the Italians 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 the Western world remain immense. Famous elements of Italian culture are its opera and music, its iconic gastronomy and food, which are commonly regarded as amongst the most popular in the world,[85] its cinema (with filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Mario Monicelli, Sergio Leone, Alberto Sordi, etc.), its collections of priceless works of art and its fashion (Milan and Florence are regarded as some of the few fashion capitals of the world).

    Over the ages, Italian literature had a vast influence on Western philosophy, beginning with the Greeks and Romans, and going onto Renaissance, The Enlightenment and modern philosophy.

    Italian Medieval philosophy was mainly Christian, and included several important philosophers and theologians such as St Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was the student of Albert the Great, a brilliant Dominican experimentalist, much like the Franciscan, Roger Bacon of Oxford in the 13th century. Aquinas reintroduced Aristotelian philosophy to Christianity. He believed that there was no contradiction between faith and secular reason. He believed that Aristotle had achieved the pinnacle in the human striving for truth and thus adopted Aristotle's philosophy as a framework in constructing his theological and philosophical outlook. He was a professor at the prestigious University of Paris.

    Italy was also affected by the Enlightenment, a movement which was a consequence of the Renaissance and changed the road of Italian philosophy.[86] Followers of the group often met to discuss in private salons and coffeehouses, notably in the cities of Milan, Rome and Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was the student of Albert the Great, a brilliant Dominican experimentalist, much like the Franciscan, Roger Bacon of Oxford in the 13th century. Aquinas reintroduced Aristotelian philosophy to Christianity. He believed that there was no contradiction between faith and secular reason. He believed that Aristotle had achieved the pinnacle in the human striving for truth and thus adopted Aristotle's philosophy as a framework in constructing his theological and philosophical outlook. He was a professor at the prestigious University of Paris.

    Italy was also affected by the Enlightenment, a movement which was a consequence of the Renaissance and changed the road of Italian philosophy.[86] Followers of the group often met to discuss in private salons and coffeehouses, notably in the cities of Milan, Rome and Venice. Cities with important universities such as Padua, Bologna and Naples, however, also remained great centres of scholarship and the intellect, with several philosophers such as Giambattista Vico (1668–1744) (who is widely regarded as being the founder of modern Italian philosophy)[87] and Antonio Genovesi.[86] Italian society also dramatically changed during the Enlightenment, with rulers such as Leopold II of Tuscany abolishing the death penalty. The church's power was significantly reduced, and it was a period of great thought and invention, with scientists such as Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani discovering new things and greatly contributing to Western science.[86] Cesare Beccaria was also one of the greatest Italian Enlightenment writers and is now considered one of the fathers of classical criminal theory as well as modern penology.[88] Beccaria is famous for his masterpiece On Crimes and Punishments (1764), a treatise (later translated into 22 languages) that served as one of the earliest prominent condemnations of torture and the death penalty and thus a landmark work in anti-death penalty philosophy.[86]

    Some of the most prominent philosophies and ideologies in Italy during the late 19th and 20th centuries include anarchism, communism, socialism, futurism, fascism, and Christian democracy. Both futurism and fascism (in its original form, now often distinguished as Italian fascism) were developed in Italy at this time. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Italian Fascism was the official philosophy and ideology of the Italian government led by Benito Mussolini. Giovanni Gentile was one of the most significant 20th-century Idealist/Fascist philosophers. Meanwhile, anarchism, communism, and socialism, though not originating in Italy, took significant hold in Italy during the early 20th century, with the country producing numerous significant Italian anarchists, socialists, and communists. In addition, anarcho-communism first fully formed into its modern strain within the Italian section of the First International.[89] Antonio Gramsci remains an important philosopher within Marxist and communist theory, credited with creating the theory of cultural hegemony.

    Italian literature may be unearthed back to the Middle Ages, with the most significant poets of the period being Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, and Giovanni Boccaccio. During the Renaissance, humanists such as Leonardo Bruni, Coluccio Salutati and Niccolò Machiavelli were great collectors of antique manuscripts. Many worked for the organized Church and were in holy orders (like Petrarch), while others were lawyers and chancellors of Italian cities, like Petrarch's disciple, Salutati, the Chancellor of Florence, and thus had access to book copying workshops.

    One of the most remarkable poets of the early 19th and 20th century writers was Giacomo Leopardi, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century.[90][91] One of the most remarkable poets of the early 19th and 20th century writers was Giacomo Leopardi, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century.[90][91] Italo Svevo, the author of La coscienza di Zeno (1923), and Luigi Pirandello (winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature), who explored the shifting nature of reality in his prose fiction and such plays as Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore (Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1921). Federigo Tozzi and Giuseppe Ungaretti were well-known novelists, critically appreciated only in recent years, and regarded one of the forerunners of existentialism in the European novel.

    Dante Alighieri

  • Giosuè Carducci, first Italian to receive the Giosuè Carducci, first Italian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature

  • Law and justice

    Since the Roman Empire, most western contributions to Western legal culture was the emergence of a class of Roman jurists. During the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas, the most influential western scholar of the period, integrated the theory of natural law with the notion of

    Since the Roman Empire, most western contributions to Western legal culture was the emergence of a class of Roman jurists. During the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas, the most influential western scholar of the period, integrated the theory of natural law with the notion of an eternal and biblical law.[92] During the Renaissance, Prof. Alberico Gentili, the founder of the science of international law, authored the first treatise on public international law and separated secular law from canon law and Roman Catholic theology. Enlightenment's greatest legal theorists, Cesare Beccaria, Giambattista Vico and Francesco Mario Pagano, are well remembered for their legal works, particularly on criminal law. Francesco Carrara, an advocate of abolition of the death penalty, was one of the foremost European criminal lawyers of the 19th century. During the last periods, numerous Italians have been recognised as the prominent prosecutor magistrates.

  • Enrico De Nicola

  • Science and technology

  • Galileo Galilei, the father of science and modern physics, one of the key figures in astronomy, pioneered the thermometer and made significant works in other fields of science.

    Galileo Galilei, the father of science and modern physics, one of the key figures in astronomy, pioneered the thermometer and made significant works in other fields of science.

  • Elena Cornaro Piscopia, the first woman to obtain a doctoral degree.

  • Evangelista Torricelli, the

    Evangelista Torricelli, the inventor of barometer, made various advances in optics and work on the method of indivisibles.

  • Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electrical battery and discover of methane, did substantial work with electric currents.

  • Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio and the father of the wireless communication.

  • Enrico Fermi, builder of the first nuclear reactor.

  • Mathematics

    During the Middle Ages, Leonardo Fibonacci, the greatest Western mathematician of the Middle Ages, introduced the Hindu–Arabic numeral system to the During the Middle Ages, Leonardo Fibonacci, the greatest Western mathematician of the Middle Ages, introduced the Hindu–Arabic numeral system to the Western world. He also introduced the sequence of Fibonacci numbers, which he used as an example in Liber Abaci. Gerolamo Cardano established the foundation of probability and introduced the binomial coefficients and the binomial theorem; he also invented several mechanical devices. During the Renaissance, Luca Pacioli introduced accounting to the world, publishing the first work on Double-entry bookkeeping system. Galileo Galilei made several significant advances in mathematics. Bonaventura Cavalieri's works partially anticipated integral calculus and popularized logarithms in Italy.

    Jacopo Riccati, who was also a jurist, invented the Riccati equation. Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the first woman to write a mathematics handbook, becom

    Jacopo Riccati, who was also a jurist, invented the Riccati equation. Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the first woman to write a mathematics handbook, become the first woman mathematics professor at a university. Gian Francesco Malfatti, posed the problem of carving three circular columns out of a triangular block of marble, using as much of the marble as possible, and conjectured that three mutually-tangent circles inscribed within the triangle would provide the optimal solution, which are now known as Malfatti circles. Paolo Ruffini is credited for his innovative work in mathematics, creating Ruffini's rule and co-creating the Abel–Ruffini theorem. Joseph-Louis Lagrange, who was one of the most influential mathematicians of his time, made essential contributions to analysis, number theory, and both classical and celestial mechanics.

    Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro invented tensor calculus and absolute differential calculus, which were popularized in a work he co-wrote with Tullio Levi-Civita, and used in the development of the theory of relativity; Ricci-Curbastro also wrote meaningful works on algebra, infinitesimal analysis, and papers on the theory of real numbers.[96] Giuseppe Peano, was a founder of mathematical logic and set theory; alongside John Venn, he drew the first Venn diagram. Beniamino Segre is one of the major contributors to algebraic geometry and one of the founders of finite geometry. Ennio de Giorgi, a Wolf Prize in Mathematics recipient in 1990, solved Bernstein's problem about minimal surfaces and the 19th Hilbert problem on the regularity of solutions of elliptic partial differential equations.

    Gerolamo Cardano

  • Maria Gaetana Agnesi

  • Gian Francesco Malfatti

  • Architecture

    As Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO UNESCO World Heritage Sites (51) to date and it is home to half the world's great art treasures,[97] Italians are known for their significant architectural achievements,[98] such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structures during ancient Rome, the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th centuries, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the UK, Australia and the US during the late 17th to early 20th centuries. Several of the finest works in Western architecture, such as the Colosseum, the Milan Cathedral and Florence cathedral, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the building designs of Venice are found in Italy.

    Italian architecture has also widely influenced the architecture of the world. British architect Inigo Jones, inspired by the designs of Italian buildings and cities, brought back the ideas of Italian Renaissance architecture to 17th-century England, being inspired by Andrea Palladio.[99] Additionally, Inigo Jones, inspired by the designs of Italian buildings and cities, brought back the ideas of Italian Renaissance architecture to 17th-century England, being inspired by Andrea Palladio.[99] Additionally, Italianate architecture, popular abroad since the 19th century, was used to describe foreign architecture which was built in an Italian style, especially modelled on Renaissance architecture.

    Giotto