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Italian culture is the amalgamation of thousands of years of heritage and tradition, tracing its roots back to the Ancient Roman Empire and beyond. Italian culture is steeped in the arts, family, architecture, music and food. Home of the Roman Empire and its legendary figures such as Julius Caesar and Nero, it was also a major center of the Renaissance and the birthplace of fascism under Benito Mussolini. Culture on the Italian peninsula has flourished for centuries. Here is a brief overview of Italian customs and traditions as we know them today.

Population of Italy

According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, Italy is home to approximately 59.6 million individuals as of 1 January 2020. About 96 percent of the population of Italy are ethnic Italians according to Jen Green, author of “Focus On Italy” (Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2007), though there are many other ethnicities that live in this country. North African Arab, Italo-Albanian, Albanian, German, Austrian and some other European groups fill out the remainder of the population. Bordering countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north have influenced Italian culture, as have the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Sicily and Sardinia.

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