Greece and Italy
History, Culture, and
Was first made up of independent city-states.
Would eventually become part of the Roman
Empire until the empire divided.
Greece was the eastern half of this empire that
split. This empire was known as the Byzantine
Most spoke Greek and followed the eastern
traditions of Christianity – Greek Orthodox Church
1453: Byzantine Empire conquered by Ottoman
Turks, who were Islamic
During the late 1700s, the Greeks were gaining
nationalism and liked the idea of independence
as they began to develop a high level of interest
and pride of their Greek history.
1829: Greece claims independence and formed a
1967: Military officials took over the government.
The government would fail in 1975
Since 1975: Parliamentary Democracy
Most speak Greek and are apart of the Greek
Every major town has a patron saint, where
townspeople celebrate their saint every year
through a festival.
2/3 of people live in cities with many people living
in Athens, Greece’s capital.
Blend of old sections with narrow streets and
newer areas that have shopping centers and high
rise apartments. Coffee houses can be found
here where friends often meet.
President does ceremonial duties
Prime Minister and his/her cabinet along with
Parliament governs the country
Voting is compulsory (mandatory) as failure to
vote is against the law.
Has fewer high-tech and service jobs than other
countries in Western Europe
Agriculture, tourism, shipping, and fishing are
Was once apart of the Western Roman Empire
(prior to the late 400s when this Empire fell).
When the Empire split, the Italian Peninsula was
split into small kingdoms and city-states.
In 1796, France controlled much of this peninsula
and helped improved conditions here
Better roads, common currency, new laws were
Italians saw the benefits of unity and wanted the
Italian patriots unified Italy in 1861.
Giuseppe Garibaldi and Camillo Cavour were 2 major
Benito Mussolini – promoted fascism in Italy when he
took over the government in 1920
Fascism – a political system based on fierce nationalism
and strong central government led by a dictator.
Mussolini was able to gain the trust of the Italians for his
style of government as he promised the return of a
powerful Roman Empire.
Mussolini would face harsh defeats in World War II and
tried to escape Italy. He was captured and killed while the
government was replaced with a democracy.
Speak Italian (official language). This is known as
one of the romance languages.
Romance Languages – come from Latin and are
spoken in places that used to be part of the
Most are catholic as church leaders and the
government were very tight.
The Vatican is in Italy, the political and religious
center of the Catholic Church. It is an
independent country and it’s the smallest country
in the world.
More Italian Culture
Agricultural/Rural modern, urban society
Becoming more diverse as of late
Northern and Southern Italy are very different from
Northern: richer with more people working in
manufacturing and different styles of food (risotto-
Southern: more people work in agriculture and
pasta with tomato sauce food here
All of Italy is heavy in sports as many enjoy
watching race car driving, cycling, and soccer
Parliamentary Democracy where voters elect ¾ of
¼ of Parliament is selected through a complex
system that has all of the political parties
represented in Parliament
Prime Minister is head of government and is
selected from the Political party that receives the
most votes in Parliament.
Due to the large number of political parties, some
group together for a common purpose (coalition).
This is often temporary and allows for Italian
government to always be changing.
Prosperous industrial nation today but was mostly
an agricultural nation in the past.
Famous for fashionable clothing, shoes, and
EU member, helped Italy’s economy grow.
Due to EU membership, Italy was able to open
new markets for its products.
Northern Italy benefited the most as Southern Italy
still remains largely farmland.
Still working on bringing better prosperity to the