Bobsleigh or bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four teammates make timed runs down narrow, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sleigh. The timed runs are combined to calculate the final score; the various types of sleds came several years before the first tracks were built in St. Moritz, where the original bobsleds were adapted upsized luge/skeleton sleds designed by the adventurously wealthy to carry passengers. All three types were adapted from boys' delivery toboggans. Competition followed, to protect the working class and rich visitors in the streets and byways of St Moritz, bobsledding was banned from the public highway. In the winter of 1903/1904 the Badrutt family, owners of the historic Kulm Hotel and the Palace Hotel, allowed Emil Thoma to organise the construction of the first familiarly configured'half-pipe' track in the Kulm Hotel Park, ending in the village of Cresta, it is still in use today. International bobsleigh competitions are governed by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation known as FIBT from the French Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing.
National competitions are governed by bodies such as the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. The name is derived from the action some early competitors adopted of bobbing back and forth inside their sleds to increase speed. Although sledding on snow or ice had long been popular in many northern countries, the origins of bobsleighing as a modern sport are recent, its foundation began when hotelier Caspar Badrutt convinced some English regulars to remain through the entire winter at his hotel in the mineral spa town of St. Moritz, Switzerland. Keeping them entertained with food and activities, he established the concept of "winter resorting". Badrutt has done it because he was annoyed his regular English clientele were only staying at his hotel during the summer months, it only took a couple of years for wintering at Badrutt's St Moritz hotel to become fashionable in Victorian Britain. But increased numbers led some guests to search for new diversions. In the early 1870s some adventurous English guests began adapting boys' delivery sleds for recreational purposes.
However, they soon began colliding with pedestrians in the icy lanes and roads of St Moritz. Guests soon began to invent "steering means" for the sleds; this led to the development of the bobsleigh: two cresta's attached together with a board that had a steering mechanism at the front. However, the impetus to steer the sleds permitted longer runs through the town. Longer runs meant higher speeds on curves. Local sentiments varied about these informal competitions but complaints grew so vociferous that Badrutt was forced to take action, his solution was to build a basic natural ice run for his guests near the town. Badrutt had worked hard to popularize wintering in the mountain resort and was worried customers would stop coming due to boredom, he did not want to make enemies in the town from locals injured by bobsleds. He opened the world's first natural ice half-pipe track in the late 1870s. Formal competitions started down the natural ice Cresta Run in 1884, built in an annual partnership between guests and local people.
The run, still in operation as of 2014, has served as a host track for skeleton at two Winter Olympics. As one of the few natural weather tracks in the world, it does not use artificial refrigeration, it is not known how much the original track evolved in the early years as the three sports matured and stabilized. The first club formed in 1897, the first purpose-built track for bobsleds opened in 1902 outside St Moritz. Over the years, bobsleigh tracks evolved from straight runs to turning tracks; the original wooden sleds gave way to streamlined fiberglass and metal ones. The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation was founded in 1923. Men's four-man bobsleigh appeared in the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, the men's two-man bobsleigh event was added in 1932. Though not included in the 1960 Winter Olympics, bobsleigh has featured in every Winter Olympics since. Women's bobsleigh competition began in the US in 1983 with two demonstration races in Lake Placid, New York, one held in February and the second held during the World Cup races in March 1983.
Women's two-woman bobsleigh made its Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Bobsleigh is contested at American and World Cup championships. Germany and Switzerland have proven the most successful bobsleighing nations measured by overall success in European, World Cup, Olympic championships. Since the 1990s Germans have dominated in international competition, having won more medals than any other nation. Italy, United States and Canada have strong bobsleigh traditions. Bobsleighs can attain speeds of 150 km/h, with the reported world record being 201 km/h."Bobsleigh competitors are noble". The World Fair Play Trophy was awarded to an Italian bobsleigh competitor, Eugenio Monti, 1964 30 years to an Australian bobsleigh competitor, Justin McDonald, 1994. Modern tracks are made of concrete, coated with ice, they are required to have one labyrinth. Ideally, a modern track should have at least fifteen curves. Speeds may exceed 120 kilometres per hour, some curves can subject the crews to as much as 5 g.
Some bobsleigh tracks are used for luge and skeleton competiti
Innsbruck is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria and the fifth-largest city in Austria. It is in the Inn valley, at its junction with the Wipp valley, which provides access to the Brenner Pass some 30 km to the south. Located in the broad valley between high mountains, the so-called North Chain in the Karwendel Alps to the north, the Patscherkofel and Serles to the south. Innsbruck is an internationally renowned winter sports center, hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics as well as the 1984 and 1988 Winter Paralympics. Innsbruck hosted the first Winter Youth Olympics in 2012; the name translates as "Inn Bridge". The earliest traces suggest initial inhabitation in the early Stone Age. Surviving pre-Roman place names show that the area has been populated continuously. In the 4th century the Romans established the army station Veldidena at Oenipons, to protect the economically important commercial road from Verona-Brenner-Augsburg in their province of Raetia; the first mention of Innsbruck dates back to the name Oeni Pontum or Oeni Pons, Latin for bridge over the Inn, an important crossing point over the Inn river.
The Counts of Andechs acquired the town in 1180. In 1248 the town passed into the hands of the Counts of Tyrol; the city's arms show a bird's-eye view of the Inn bridge, a design used since 1267. The route over the Brenner Pass was a major transport and communications link between the north and the south of Europe, the easiest route across the Alps, it was part of a medieval imperial road under special protection of the king. The revenues generated by serving. Innsbruck became the capital of all Tyrol in 1429 and in the 15th century the city became a centre of European politics and culture as Emperor Maximilian I resided in Innsbruck in the 1490s; the city benefited from the emperor's presence. Here a funeral monument for Maximilian was planned and erected by his successors; the ensemble with a cenotaph and the bronze statues of real and mythical ancestors of the Habsburg emperor are one of the main artistic monuments of Innsbruck. A regular postal service between Innsbruck and Mechelen was established in 1490 by the Thurn-und-Taxis-Post.
In 1564 Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria received the rulership over Tirol and other Further Austrian possessions administered from Innsbruck up to the 18th century. He had Schloss Ambras built and arranged there his unique Renaissance collections nowadays part of Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum. Up to 1665 a stirps of the Habsburg dynasty ruled in Innsbruck with an independent court. In the 1620s the first opera house north of the Alps was erected in Innsbruck. In 1669 the university was founded; as a compensation for the court as Emperor Leopold I again reigned from Vienna and the Tyrolean stirps of the Habsburg dynasty had ended in 1665. During the Napoleonic Wars Tyrol was ceded to ally of France. Andreas Hofer led a Tyrolean peasant army to victory in the Battles of Bergisel against the combined Bavarian and French forces, made Innsbruck the centre of his administration; the combined army overran the Tyrolean militia army and until 1814 Innsbruck was part of Bavaria. After the Vienna Congress Austrian rule was restored.
Until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy, head of the district of the same name, one of the 21 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Tyrol province. The Tyrolean hero Andreas Hofer was executed in Mantua. During World War I, the only recorded action taking place in Innsbruck was near the end of the war. On February 20, 1918, Allied planes flying out of Italy raided Innsbruck, causing casualties among the Austrian troops there. No damage to the town is recorded. In November 1918 Innsbruck and all Tyrol were occupied by the 20 to 22 thousand soldiers of the III Corps of the First Italian Army. In 1929, the first official Austrian Chess Championship was held in Innsbruck. In 1938 Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in the Anschluss. Between 1943 and April 1945, Innsbruck suffered heavy damage. In 1996, the European Union approved further cultural and economic integration between the Austrian province of Tyrol and the Italian autonomous provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino by recognizing the creation of the Euroregion Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino.
Innsbruck has a humid continental climate, since it has larger annual temperature differences than most of Central Europe due to its location in the centre of the Continent and its position around mountainous terrains. Winters are very cold and snowy, although the foehn wind sometimes brings pronounced thaws. Spring is brief. Summer is variable and unpredictable. Days can be cool 17 °C and rainy, or sunny and hot, sometimes hitting 34 °C. In summer, as expected for an alpine-influenced climate, the diurnal temperature variation is very high as nights remain cool, being 12 °C on average, but sometimes dipping as low as 6 °C; the average annual temperature is 9 °C. Innsbruck is divided into nine boroughs that were formed from previo
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
West Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, its capital was the city of Bonn. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Eastern blocs. Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin; the Federal Republic of Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Empire. It took the line. Though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not fair. From the West German perspective, the GDR was therefore illegitimate.
Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state. While not part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the Allied Control Council, West Berlin politically-aligned itself with West Germany and was represented in its federal institutions; the foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full alignment with NATO rather than neutrality, he not only secured a membership in NATO but was a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union. When the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification. East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990, its five post-war states were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land. They formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany; the reunion did not result in a brand-new country. The expanded Federal Republic retained West Germany's political culture and continued its existing memberships in international organisations, as well as its Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like UN, NATO, OECD and the European Union; the official name of West Germany, adopted in 1949 and unchanged since is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In East Germany, the terms Westdeutschland or westdeutsche Bundesrepublik were preferred during the 1950s and 1960s.
This changed once under its 1968 constitution, when the idea of a single German nation was abandoned by East Germany, as a result West Germans and West Berliners were considered foreigners. In the early 1970s, starting in the East German Neues Deutschland, the initialism "BRD" for the "Federal Republic of Germany" began to prevail in East German usage. In 1973, official East German sources adopted it as a standard expression and other Eastern Bloc nations soon followed suit. In reaction to this move, in 1965 the West German Federal Minister of All-German Affairs Erich Mende issued the Directives for the appellation of Germany, recommending avoiding the initialism. On 31 May 1974, the heads of West German federal and state governments recommended always using the full name in official publications. From on West German sources avoided the abbreviated form, with the exception of left-leaning organizations which embraced it. In November 1979 the federal government informed the Bundestag that the West German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF had agreed to refuse to use the initialism.
The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code of West Germany was "DE", which has remained the country code of Germany after reunification. ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are the most used country codes, the "DE" code is notably used as country identifier extending the postal code and as the Internet's country code top-level domain.de. Accordingly the less used ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country code of West Germany was "DEU", which has remained the country code of reunified Germany; the now deleted codes for East Germany, on the other hand, was "DD" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and "DDR" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-3. The colloquial term "West Germany" or its equivalent was used in many languages. "Westdeutschland" was a widespread colloquial form used in German-speaking countries without political overtones. On 4–11 February 1945 leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union held the Yalta Conference where future arrangements as regards post-war Europe and strategy against Japan in the Pacific were negotiated.
The conference agreed that post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones: a French Zone in the far west.
Cortina d'Ampezzo referred to as Cortina, is a town and comune in the heart of the southern Alps in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Situated on the Boite river, in an alpine valley, it is a winter sport resort known for its skiing trails, accommodation and après-ski scene, for its jet set and aristocratic European crowd. In the Middle Ages Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420 it was conquered by the Republic of Venice, it spent much of its history under Austrian rule undergoing some territorial changes under Napoleon, before being returned to Austria, who held it until 1918. From the nineteenth century, Ampezzo became a notable regional centre for crafts; the local handmade products were appreciated by early British and German holidaymakers as tourism emerged late nineteenth century. Among the specializations of the town were crafting wood for furniture, the production of tiled stoves and iron and glass items. Today, the local economy thrives on tourism during the winter season, when the population of the town increases from about 7,000 to 40,000.
The Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo was built between 1769 and 1775 on the site of two former thirteenth and sixteenth-century churches. The town contains the Rinaldo Zardini Palaeontology Museum, established in 1975, the Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum, the Regole of Ampezzo Ethnographic Museum. Although Cortina was unable to go ahead with the scheduled 1944 Winter Olympics because of World War II, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and subsequently a number of world winter-sports events; the town is home to SG Cortina, a top league professional ice hockey team, Cortina is the start and end point of the annual Dolomites Gold Cup Race. Several films have been shot in the town notably The Pink Panther, For Your Eyes Only and Cliffhanger; the discovery in 1987 of a primitive tomb at Mondeval de Sora high up in the mountains to the south of Cortina testifies to the presence of Mesolithic man in the area as far back as the 6th millennium B. C. In the 6th century B. C. Etruscan writing was introduced in the province of Cadore, in whose possession is remained until the early 15th century.
From the 3rd century B. C. the Romans assimilated the Veneti people, giving the area the name of Amplitium, today's Ampezzo. No historical information exists on the Cadore region from the fall of the Roman Empire until the Lombard period, it is assumed that during the Barbarian invasions, the inhabitants fled to the Fassa, Badia and Ampezzo valleys. In the Middle Ages, Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420, the village was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1508 it was conquered by Habsburgs, by 1511 people of Ampezzo swore loyalty to the Emperor Maximilian, that area was subsequently adjoined to the region of Pusterthal. In 1797, when the Treaty of Campo Formio was signed, Napoleon permitted Habsburg Empire to retain it, but in 1810 he added Ampezzo to the Department of Piave, following an attack on the town in which it was burned by the French, it was short-lived. The town gained a reputation as a health resort. In 1874 the Ampezzo forest became the property of the Carnic Woods Consortium.
Although remaining Austrian possession until 1920, aside from being home for an ethnic German-speaking minority, Ampezzo never became a German-speaking territory and conserved its original language, Ladin, a Rhaeto-Romance language. When Italy entered World War I in 1915, most of the male inhabitants were fighting for Austria-Hungary on the Russian front. 669 male inhabitants tried to fight the Italian troops. Outnumbered by the Italians, they had to retreat. After the Austrian recovery in 1917, the town was occupied again by the Tyrolean Standschützen. Following Italy's victory in World War I, Ampezzo was definitively ceded to Italy in 1920. Three years it was separated from Tyrol and incorporated into the province of Belluno, itself part of Veneto region. After the war the city was renamed "Cortina d'Ampezzo", adopting the name of one of the six villages that made up the territory of Ampezzo, located in the middle of the Ampezzo valley. An elite destination for the first British tourists in the late 18th and early 20th century, after World War I Cortina d'Ampezzo became a resort for upper-class Italians too.
Cortina d'Ampezzo was chosen as the venue of the 1944 winter Olympics, which did not take place due to World War II. Thanks to hosting the winter Olympics in 1956, Cortina grew into a world-famous resort, with a substantial increase in tourists. With a resident population of 6,150 people in 2008, Cortina has a temporary population of around 50,000 during peak periods such as the Christmas holidays and mid-August; the Ford Cortina, the UK's best-selling car of the 1970s, was named after Cortina d'Ampezzo. The town voted in October 2007 to secede from the region of Veneto and join the neighbouring region, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol; this was motivated by improved cultural ties with the small Ladin-speaking community in South Tyrol and the attraction of lower tax
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
St. Moritz is a high Alpine resort town in the Engadine in Switzerland, at an elevation of about 1,800 metres above sea level, it is Upper Engadine's major village and a municipality in the district of Maloja in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. St. Moritz lies on the southern slopes of the Albula Alps below the Piz Nair overlooking the flat and wide glaciated valley of the Upper Engadine and eponymous lake: Lake St. Moritz, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948. Votive offerings and needles from the Bronze Age found at the base of the springs in St. Moritz indicate that the Celts had discovered them. St. Moritz is first mentioned around 1137–39 as ad sanctum Mauricium; the village was named after Saint Maurice, an early Christian saint from southern Egypt said to have been martyred in 3rd century Roman Switzerland while serving as leader of the Theban Legion. Pilgrims traveled to Saint Mauritius to the church of the springs, where they drank from the blessed, bubbling waters of the Mauritius springs in the hopes of being healed.
In 1519, the Medici pope, Leo X, promised full absolution to anyone making a pilgrimage to the church of the springs. In the 16th century, the first scientific treatises about the St. Moritz mineral springs were written. In 1535, the great practitioner of nature cures, spent some time in St. Moritz. Although it received some visitors during the summer, the origins of the winter resort only date back 154 years ago to September 1864, when St. Moritz hotel pioneer Caspar Badrutt made a wager with four British summer guests: they should return in winter and, in the event that the village was not to their liking, he would reimburse their travel costs. If they were to find St. Moritz attractive in winter, he would invite them to stay as his guests for as long as they wished; this marked not only the start of winter tourism in St. Moritz but the start of winter tourism in the whole of the Alps; the first tourist office in Switzerland was established the same year in the village. St. Moritz developed in the late nineteenth century.
The first European Ice-Skating Championships were held at St. Moritz in 1882 and first golf tournament in the Alps held in 1889; the first bob run and bob race was held in 1890. By 1896, St. Moritz became the first village in the Alps to install electric trams and opened the Palace Hotel. A horse race was held on snow in 1906, on the frozen lake the following year; the first ski school in Switzerland was established in St. Moritz in 1929. St. Moritz hosted the 1928 Winter Olympics, the stadium still stands today, again in 1948, it has hosted over 20 FIBT World Championships, three FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and over 40 Engadin Skimarathons since 1969. It has hosted many other events since, including some unlikely ones on the frozen lake in the 1970s and 1980s such as a golf tournament, a polo tournament and cricket. St. Moritz has been the venue for many Sailing and Windsurfing World Championships. Since the early 1980s St. Moritz is promoted and known as Top of the World; the expression was registered as a trademark by the tourist office in 1987.
Between 9–12 June 2011, St. Moritz was the site of the Bilderberg Group conference, an annual, invitation-only conference of 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence. St. Moritz had an area, of 28.69 km2. Of this area, about 26.3 % is used for agricultural purposes. Of the rest of the land, 9.0% is settled and 44.8% is unproductive land. In the 2004/09 survey a total of 160 ha or about 5.6% of the total area was covered with buildings, an increase of 23 ha over the 1985 amount. Over the same time period, the amount of recreational space in the municipality increased by 3 ha and is now about 1.15% of the total area. Of the agricultural land 149 ha is fields and grasslands, 643 ha consists of alpine grazing areas. Since 1985 the amount of agricultural land has decreased by 37 ha. Over the same time period the amount of forested land has increased by 33 ha. Rivers and lakes cover 91 ha in the municipality; the highest summit in the Eastern Alps is Piz Bernina at 4,048.6 m, located 15 km southeast of the village.
Before 2017, the municipality was located in the Oberengadin sub-district of the Maloja district, after 2017 it was part of the Maloja Region. It consists of the settlements of St. Moritz-Dorf, Champfèr, the village section of Suvretta. St. Moritz has been a resort for winter sport vacations since the 19th century. Students from Oxford and Cambridge went there to play each other. St. Moritz was the host city for the Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and 1948, one of three cities to host twice, along with Innsbruck and Lake Placid in the United States, it hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1934, 1974, 2003, 2017. Additionally, St. Moritz has hosted the FIBT World Championships a record 21 times. Since 1985, it has hosted polo tournaments played on snow, featuring many of the world's finest team and played on a specially-marked field on the