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    The Italian government on Tuesday lowered its forecast for the economy this year and said GDP would rise by only 0.1%, compared to 0.5% predicted in June. GDP in 2009 would climbed by 0.5%, as opposed to the previous forecast of 0.9%, the government added. The new government GDP forecast is in line with September predictions from the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September said Italy's GDP will see no growth in 2008 while Italy's industrial employers' association Confindustria predicted last week that GDP will shrink this year by 0.1%. The government on Tuesday left unchanged its predictions for the deficit and debt, which should respectively be 2.5% and 103.9% of GDP in 2008 and 2% and 102.7% in 2009.
(ANSA) - Rome, September 23

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      1st EDITION of "Puglia & Basilicata" Travel Guide 2008
Paula Hardy (Coordinating Author) wrote about us on the 1st EDITION of "Puglia & Basilicata" Travel Guide 2008 at page 163. It was a very pleasure for all of us to meet and help Paula in Otranto in the summer 2007.



      Country profile: Italy

  • Full name: Italian Republic
  • Population: 58.9 million (UN, 2007)
  • Capital: Rome
  • Area: 301,338 sq km (116,346 sq miles)
  • Major language: Italian
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 78 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 euro = 100 cents (dollar)
  • Main exports: Machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, clothes, wine
  • GNI per capita: US $30,010 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .it
  • International dialling code: +39
events and curiosities about italian culture

25th April

      Festa della Liberazione
This is a national holiday to celebrate the liberation of Italy from Fascism and the occupying German forces at the end of the Second World War. The squares of small towns fill with people marching to remember the Italian partisans and the English and American troop who helped liberate Italy. Shops will be closed



      (ANSA) - Rome, April 18
Happy couples in Italy are forking out the equivalent of two years' salary to pay for their wedding day, a report by consumers' association Federconsumatori revealed on Friday. As this year's wedding seasons kicks off, the price of tying the knot in Italy has increased by 40% in the last seven years to an average of 27,000 euros.
Federconsumatori said it based its calculations on around 100 guests attending ''a normal, tasteful ceremony without any extravagances, including an excellent meal and a beautiful dress''. But couples opting for a full Hollywood-style bash were stumping up around 47,900 euros, the association added. ''Despite profound social changes, marriage still retains its fascination,'' the association said.


The Castle of Otranto

      A 1764 novel by Horace Walpole
The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Charles Robert Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, and Daphne du Maurier

The Castle of Otranto

Mamma li Turchi

      Mamma mia, the Turks are coming!
This exclamation was coined differently at the height of the might of the Ottoman Empire, constantly pushing its borders to the west. The Ottoman armies were roaming central Europe and its navy was threatening Mediterranean ports, including those of Italy. Ottoman forces approaching as close as Otranto led Italian townspeople to exclaim, “Mamma mia, the Turks are coming!”

Mamma mia, the Turks are coming!

 NEWS OF 2007

      What happened in 2007 ?
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