GENERAL INFORMATION on ITALY
Italy is situated on the southern border of Europe and her peninsula, with surrounding islands, reaches almost to the coast of Africa. Just because of this geographical position, Italy has direct contact with the main ethnic and cultural areas of the Old World (neo-Latin, Germanic and Slav-Balkan) as well as, through the North Africa countries, with the world of Arab-Islamic civilization.
Consequently, while remaining firmly anchored in the world of western or European civilization, which was the direct heir of the Graeco-Roman culture that developed and flourished on this very peninsula for over a millennium, Italy seems to stretch out na turally towards the opposite shore of the Mediterranean, practically dividing its western and eastern basins. Thus Italy can be considered the most logical link between Europe and the peoples of Africa and Asia, bordering as they do on the same sea and sh aring over many centuries both historical events and cultural influences.
Still today, with the present international situation of unrest and open conflict in some Mediterranean areas, Italy, with her renewed productivity and a policy of peaceful co-existence with all countries, provides a source of stability and moderation wit hin the political context of this part of the Old World.