301,323 sq km (116,341 sq miles).
Rome. Population: 2,638,842 (2012).
Italy is situated in Europe and attached in the north to the European mainland. To the north the Alps separate Italy from France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
Italian is the official language. Dialects are spoken in different regions. German and Ladin are spoken in the South Tyrol region (bordering Austria). French is spoken in all the border areas from the Riviera to the area north of Milan (border with France and Switzerland). German is spoken around the Austrian border. English, German and French are also spoken in the biggest cities and in tourism and business circles.
Roman Catholic with Protestant minorities.
220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Full IDD service available. Country code: 390 (followed by 6 for Rome, 2 for Milan, 11 for Turin, 81 for Naples, 41 for Venice and 55 for Florence). Outgoing international code: 00. Telephone kiosks now only accept phonecards, which can be purchased at post offices, tobacconists and certain newsagents.
GSM 900 and 1800 networks.
Some hotels have facilities.
ISPs include Telecom Italia Net (website: www.tin.it). Public access is available in Internet Corner Kiosks operated by Telecom Italia. Kiosks have been installed at airports, major hotels and in other public places. Access costs L200 per minute, and phonecards can be used. There are also cybercafés in all main towns.
The Italian postal system tends to be subject to delays. Letters between Italy and other European countries usually take a week to ten days to arrive. Letters intended for Poste Restante collection should be addressed to Fermo Posta and the town. Stamps are sold in post offices and tobacconists. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0800/0830-1200/1230 and 1400/1430-1730/1800; Saturday mornings only.