Food and DrinkItalian food diversity began after the Roman Empire ended. This was because individual states started showing their own ways of cooking and preparing food. There are many foods that are present in Italy. One of the most famous is pasta. Pasta is a rediscovery of a food item eaten during the Etruscan and Roman times. It is believed that the first pasta in Italy was made by cooking it in an oven instead of boiling it like what we do today. Different types of bread and pasta were made depending on the region. This was shown through how the South had hard boiled spaghetti, while the north preferred the soft egg noodle. In Italy, there is still a difference of food between the north and south, showing their previous culture and customs. Rise which is the base of risotto, polenta, and potatoes are the most common sources of carbohydrates in north Italy. Pasta and pizza are the most common sources of carbohydrates in the south. Grains like barley and spelt are eaten throughout Italy. In the north, they developed Tuscan beef while the south developed provolone and mozzarella cheeses. The food in North Italy is mainly based on meat with vegetables. In general, the food in the south is based fish and lamb with vegetables. In central Italy, their food is based on Roman cuisine which consisted of red meat dishes.Italy is one of the leading producers of wine because of the high acidity which means that it pairs better with most food. Most of the wine is medium bodied which means that it doesn’t have an overwhelming alcohol content so again, it pairs better with most foods. There is also a diversity of the wines throughout Italy’s regions. Some wines in Italy are made with grapes that are native to Italy because the Italian climate is very good for growing grapes. Most wines in Italy are made from grapes that are found throughout the world. Limoncello is another popular drink in Italy which is a lemon liqueur. Limoncello is produced in south Italy. It is made of lemon zest, alcohol, water, sugar. It is yellow in color but is not sour because it is not made of lemon juice, only zest. One of the most famous drinks in Italy is Campari. Campari is bright red and is made with herbs. Other drinks in Italy include aperitifs, cocktails, digestives, and sweet dessert wines. Overall, Italy as a whole likes mostly alcoholic drinks to go well with their food, and dessert.MusicMusic has always been a part of Italian culture. Italian music comes in all different forms. These forms include opera, folk music, and classical music and more. Italian folk music is very diverse as it has several different branches. They are monophonic, polyphonic, responsorial song, choral, instrumental music, vocal music, and other styles of music. Italian opera music is an important part of Italy’s musical culture. It started in the 1500s and is still loved by many Italians today. Italian classical music started in the 1500s also but sometimes is hard to differentiate between opera because many artists sang both opera and classical music. Italians made a lot of breakthroughs when it came to music. Italian composers created the first symphonies, defined the eight-note octave, modified the string quartet and innovated musical scales and harmony. Italian terms like adagio, piano, legato, etc. are still used today. Italians also created the bassoon, harpsichord, piano, and violin. Italian folk music is a very important piece to the puzzle of Italian music. Italian folk music has many styles, instruments, and history of language. Italian folk music has always been a way to show what life was like and talk about political issues along with social issues. Also, it shows the diversity and history of the different regions throughout Italy. Opera is a big part of Italian music. Opera was and still is loved in Italy for its balances of poetry and music combined with drama. Opera often tended to show a dramatic way of singing and dancing topped off with very elegant sets. Italy created opera and gave other countries the inspiration to do opera. Classical Italian music was a big part of Italian music but has become less popular throughout the years. This is because the new music has abandoned the ways of the classical music and classical music is just liked less than the new music. Although the styles of music may have changed, music is still a big part of Italy’s culture. ReligionItaly is a Christian country. Around 75 percent of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic church, but only around a third of these regard themselves as active Roman Catholics, which means that they go to church and practice Roman Catholicism regularly. Roman Catholicism is a branch of Christianity. There are many branches that fall under Christianity and they can be different. Basically, all Christian religions believe that there is a God, that God has a son named Jesus, that the bible is the word of God, that Jesus has a mother named Mary, there is such thing as sin, and several other things. These are the basic beliefs of Christianity but specifically Roman Catholicism. Although Italy is mostly Roman Catholic, there are many other religions. These religious groups consist of Islam, Eastern Orthodox Christian (a branch of Christianity), Evangelical Protestant, Judaism, Jehovah’s Witness, and many other smaller groups. Roman Catholicism originated in the Italy province of Judea. The headquarters of Roman Catholicism is located in Vatican City.Vatican City is the world’s smallest country in the world. It is located in Rome, Italy. It is 109 acres or roughly just under 0.2 square miles. Vatican City is home to Roman Catholicism along with the Pope. The Pope is the leader of Roman Catholicism. The Pope’s job is to spread the word of God to people. Vatican City has a population of around 900 people. Although there are only around 900 people in Vatican City, it has its own TV and radio stations, newspaper, post office, issues stamps, and has a coin mint. Every town in Italy has at least one Catholic church. Even though only around a third of Italians regularly attend church, 95 percent of Italians have been baptized. Also, religious festivals, saints days, and first communions are popular among most Italians even if they don’t regularly practice Roman Catholicism or regularly go to church. GovernmentOne of the first groups who lived in Italy were the Etruscans. They lived on the west coast of Italy, which is current day Tuscany. The Etruscans flourished for several hundred years. The Etruscans pioneered many mining techniques throughout those several hundred years. By 509 BC, Romans overthrew the Etruscan leader. Some political principles developed in the Roman Republic are still used today. An example of this is in the U.S Constitution. The Roman Republic spanned over 450 years until it transitioned into the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar became “perpetual dictator” in 44 BC and his nephew which he adopted to be his son, Gaius Octavius became the first official emperor of Rome in 57 BC. This helped the Roman Empire progress dramatically and flourish for 200 years. This phase was called the “Pax Romana” or Roman Peace. By second century CE, the Roman Empire covered over 2 million square miles. It encircled the Mediterranean Sea with a population of 60-70 million people. The Roman Empire grew so rapid that Emperor Diocletian divided it in two in 285 CE. They were called the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire continued to speak Latin, but the Western Roman Empire spoke Greek. Emperor Constantine then changed the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium which is present-day Istanbul, Turkey. Constantine’s move signaled a power shift which the ended up weakening the west. This and the fact that the west had an ununited military, caused the west to be invaded very easily. In 476 CE, a Germanic soldier named Odoacer overtook the Empire and became the first king of Italy. This marked the unofficial end of the Western Roman Empire. Art Renaissance art can be traced back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The Proto-Renaissance period was the foundation for the Renaissance. This time period was full of Italian scholars and artists returning to ancient Rome and Greece culture. These people wanted to bring back languages, values and traditions of the Roman Empire. Giotto was a painter in the Proto-Renaissance and was one of the most famous artists of the Proto-Renaissance. Some other famous artists of the Proto-Renaissance were Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio. Petrarch was a writer and Giovanni Boccaccio was also a writer. The Proto-Renaissance occurred in Italy but was in mostly Northern Italy. The Proto-Renaissance changed the way that people thought. People started looking at the world differently than they previously had. The Proto-Renaissance period was the start of the actual Renaissance period. The Renaissance was a period of time almost exactly like the Proto-Renaissance that followed right after the Proto-Renaissance. The Renaissance took place in the 14th,15th, and 16th centuries. The point of the Renaissance art was to capture the pure beauty and mystery of the natural world. This period was full of iconic artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello. Another famous artist was named Masaccio. He was a famous painter known for his frescoes in the church of Santa Maria Novella and the church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Masaccio only painted for less than six years, but was well known because of the intellectual nature and naturalism of his work. The Catholic Church absorbed most of the Renaissance arts from monasteries and popes which were commissioned by wealthy people, civil government, and courts. Florence was considered the center of Renaissance art. The Medici family controlled Florence throughout most of the Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael dominated the period during the Renaissance known as the high Renaissance which took place from the 1490s to the 1520s. Leonardo da Vinci was known for his interest, intellect, and expression of humanist values. Leonardo is known for several paintings which include the “Mona Lisa”, “The Virgin of the Rocks”, and “The Last Supper”. Michelangelo Buonarroti was a renounced sculptor and painter of the Renaissance. He is known for his sculpture “The David”, “The Pietá”, his fresco that covered the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and completing various scenes from Genesis. Raphael Sanzio was taught by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Raphael was known for his painting. “The School of Athens” was one of his most well-known paintings along with several others. Oil painting was another way to paint and it became popular because it gave artists a way to rework an image. Over the 15th and 16th centuries, the Renaissance spread from Italy to France, Northern Europe, and Spain. The entire Proto-Renaissance through the Renaissance period lasted around four centuries from the 13th century through the 17th century.