Italy Politics and Law

Italy Politics and Law

As a country located in South Europe according to Countryaah, Italy includes parts of the crystalline western and central Alps (Alps) in the west and north, as far as Lake Lugano, and parts of the southern limestone Alps with the Italian Dolomites in the north and east.

At the edge of the Alps lies a moraine hill country, which closes off from the south the Alpine edge lakes created by Ice Age glaciers (e.g. Lake Maggiore), which only occasionally emerge from the Alpine valleys into the plains.

In front of the edge of the Alps, the Berici Mountains and the Euganeans were formed by volcanic (basaltic) eruptions in the Tertiary. The volcanic activity inside the Alps was mainly active in Perm (Bolzano porphyry). The Apennines, a mountain of folds and folds, begins as a continuation of the southern western Alps (Ligurian Alps).

It forms the backbone of the Apennine peninsula, reaches in the Abruzzo in the Gran Sasso d’Italia 2,912 m above sea level and continues in an arc to Sicily.

Densely populated long valleys and (karst) basins are connected between the individual ridges. The Po Valley lies between the Alps and the Apennines as the southern sub-depth of the Alps. 2,000 m thick Quaternary deposits lie above their Tertiary subsurface. On the edge of the Alps and Apennines, permeable Quaternary gravel layers stretch out, the edge of which, as a fontanilizone, is the headwaters of numerous rivers. The Apennines separates the broad, richly indented, humid west side of the peninsula with its basin landscapes (Tuscany, Umbria) from the drier, barely indented, poor and narrow east side. As a weakly folded sheet of limestone, Apulia is part of Apennine Italy. In Calabria, rocks of the crystalline basement form the Apennines.

The coasts are mostly flat, slightly creased in the west, longitudinal coasts in the east, spit coasts in the northeast. Until the end of the drainage work in the 20th century, marshy coastal plains were widespread in the Maremma, the Pontine Marshes, the Selenium lowlands and the Bay of Palermo behind beach ridges and dunes. The Sorrento peninsula and the Calabrian peninsula have rugged mountain coasts as a result of fracture tectonics.

The volcanoes, some of which are active, are also connected to the large Tyrrhenian fracture zone (Vesuvius, Stromboli; numerous extinct volcanoes from Monte Amiata to the Aeolian Islands).

Mount Etna and the extinct Monte Vulture lie on the outer edge of the Apennines. The fracture tectonics, which are still lively today, and volcanism are evident in frequent earthquakes, many warm springs and mineral springs.

The most important rivers, due to the irregular flow of water but without a market value, are the Po, Etsch, Tiber, Adda, Oglio, Tanaro, Ticino and Arno. The autumn floods of the Po are feared. In summer, the riverbeds filled with rubble lie dry (Fiume). In the north, apart from the lakes at the edge of the Alps, there are cirque lakes; the lakes of central Italy are of tectonic origin (Lake Trasimeno) or crater lakes (Lago di Bolsena, Lake Albano). The largest lake at the edge of the Alps is Lake Garda.

National symbols

The national flag is a tricolor in the colors green, white and red. It was introduced by the Cisalpine Republic of Napoleon in 1798 and declared a national flag by the Royal House of Savoy – supplemented by the Savoy coat of arms – in 1848. The coat of arms, established on May 5, 1948, shows a red-rimmed white star that lies on an iron-colored cog wheel and is heraldically entwined with oak leaves on the left and laurel leaves on the right. The banner bears the official state name »Repubblica Italiana«. The star symbolizes the unified nation, the gear wheel symbolizes work and creative power. The olive branch is a symbol of peace and commemorates the southern, the oak branch as a symbol of strength in the northern parts of the country.

National holiday: On June 2, the referendum of June 2, 1946 on the question of “republic or monarchy” and the elections to the constituent assembly, which were held at the same time, are remembered.


For civil jurisdiction, the justice of the peace (Giudice di Pace) or the regional court (tribunal) are primarily responsible, depending on the amount in dispute; The court of appeal is the regional court in relation to the justice of the peace and the court of appeal (Corte d’Appello) in relation to the regional court. At the top of civil jurisdiction is the Supreme Court of Cassation (Corte Suprema di Cassazione). This is also the highest court of criminal jurisdiction; Below this level, appellate courts and assistant courts of the appellate body, regional or assistant courts and the justice of the peace are responsible for the criminal jurisdiction. The institution of the magistrate (pretore) was abolished in 1998; the corresponding competences were essentially transferred to the regional courts.

National unification (Risorgimento) brought the unification of private law through the Codice civile of 1865 (based on the Code Napoléon of 1804). With the Codice civile of 1942, Italy received a modern codification of private law, which now includes in particular commercial law as well as labor and economic law. Since 1929, in addition to civil marriage, there has been church (concordat) marriage with effect under civil law; Since the Divorce Act of December 1, 1970, both can be divorced in the event of a breakdown. Other important codifications besides the Civil Code are the Code of Civil Procedure (Codice di Procedura civile), the Criminal Code (Codice penale), the Code of Criminal Procedure (Codice di Procedura penale) and the Law of the Sea (Codice della Navigazione). As in other EU countries, European law has a considerable influence on the legal system.

Italy Politics and Law