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
The Gironde is a navigable estuary, in southwest France and is formed from the meeting of the rivers Dordogne and Garonne just downstream of the centre of Bordeaux. Covering around 635 km2, it is the largest estuary in western Europe; the Gironde is 80 km long and 3–11 km wide and the French département Gironde is named after it. The Gironde is subject to strong tidal currents and great care is needed when navigating the estuary by any size or type of boat. In December 1942, during the Second World War, Operation Frankton took place with the goal of destroying shipping moored at the docks in Bordeaux; these German blockade runners were causing havoc in the Western approaches. The raid was carried out by a small unit of Royal Marines known as the Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment, part of Combined Operations, led by Herbert'Blondie' Hasler. Within the estuary between the Pointe de Grave at the seaward end and the Bec d'Ambès are a series of small islands; the Île de Patiras is 200 ha in size with a lighthouse to aid navigation in the estuary.
Vines and maize are grown there. The Île Sans-Pain and Île Bouchaud are now joined due to progressive silting and are referred to as the Ile Nouvelle, they total about 265 ha and are owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral and managed by the Department of the Gironde. The Île Paté is about 13 ha and in 2006 was owned; the island has a historic fort built between 1685 and 1693 as part of the national fortification program masterminded by Vauban. The building is oval in shape, about 12 metres high and was equipped with about 30 cannon. Fort Paté, together with Fort Médoc and the ancient citadelle of Blaye, defended the estuary and Bordeaux. During the French Revolution the fort was used as a prison for priests. In 2006, the Conseil General decided to make the island a ZPENS. ZPENS status protects the island from development. If the owner wishes to sell the island the Department has a pre-emptive right. After two months the Conservatoire National du Littoral has the next pre-emptive right and after another 2 months the town of Blaye has a final pre-emptive right to acquire the island.
The Île Verte, Île du Nord and Île Cazeau comprise about 800 ha and because of their natural state provide a fine stopping off place for migrating birds. The Île Margaux is 25 ha and in 2005 had 14 ha devoted to vines and is part of the world famous Médoc wine region; the information relating to the protected status of Île Paté and the general information relating to the other islands is public domain information, summarised as part of an article in the regional'Sud Ouest' newspaper dated 3 October 2006
Modern architecture, or modernist architecture was based upon new and innovative technologies of construction the use of glass and reinforced concrete. It emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II until the 1980s, when it was replaced as the principal style for institutional and corporate buildings by postmodern architecture. Modern architecture emerged at the end of the 19th century from revolutions in technology and building materials, from a desire to break away from historical architectural styles and to invent something, purely functional and new; the revolution in materials came first, with the use of cast iron, plate glass, reinforced concrete, to build structures that were stronger and taller. The cast plate glass process was invented in 1848, allowing the manufacture of large windows; the Crystal Palace by Joseph Paxton at the Great Exhibition of 1851 was an early example of iron and plate glass construction, followed in 1864 by the first glass and metal curtain wall.
These developments together led to the first steel-framed skyscraper, the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built in 1884 by William Le Baron Jenney. The iron frame construction of the Eiffel Tower the tallest structure in the world, captured the imagination of millions of visitors to the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. French industrialist François Coignet was the first to use iron-reinforced concrete, that is, concrete strengthened with iron bars, as a technique for constructing buildings. In 1853 Coignet built the first iron reinforced concrete structure, a four-story house in the suburbs of Paris. A further important step forward was the invention of the safety elevator by Elisha Otis, first demonstrated at the Crystal Palace exposition in 1852, which made tall office and apartment buildings practical. Another important technology for the new architecture was electric light, which reduced the inherent danger of fires caused by gas in the 19th century; the debut of new materials and techniques inspired architects to break away from the neoclassical and eclectic models that dominated European and American architecture in the late 19th century, most notably eclecticism and Edwardian architecture, the Beaux-Arts architectural style.
This break with the past was urged by the architectural theorist and historian Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. In his 1872 book Entretiens sur L'Architecture, he urged: "use the means and knowledge given to us by our times, without the intervening traditions which are no longer viable today, in that way we can inaugurate a new architecture. For each function its material; this book influenced a generation of architects, including Louis Sullivan, Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, Antoni Gaudí. At the end of the 19th century, a few architects began to challenge the traditional Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles that dominated architecture in Europe and the United States; the Glasgow School of Art designed by Charles Rennie MacIntosh, had a facade dominated by large vertical bays of windows. The Art Nouveau style was launched in the 1890s by Victor Horta in Belgium and Hector Guimard in France. In Barcelona, Antonio Gaudi conceived architecture as a form of sculpture. In 1903–1904 in Paris Auguste Perret and Henri Sauvage began to use reinforced concrete only used for industrial structures, to build apartment buildings.
Reinforced concrete, which could be molded into any shape, which could create enormous spaces without the need of supporting pillars, replaced stone and brick as the primary material for modernist architects. The first concrete apartment buildings by Perret and Sauvage were covered with ceramic tiles, but in 1905 Perret built the first concrete parking garage on 51 rue de Ponthieu in Paris. Henri Sauvage added another construction innovation in an apartment building on Rue Vavin in Paris. Between 1910 and 1913, Auguste Perret built the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, a masterpiece of reinforced concrete construction, with Art Deco sculptural bas-reliefs on the facade by Antoine Bourdelle; because of the concrete construction, no columns blocked the spectator's view of the stage. Otto Wagner, in Vienna, was another pioneer of the new style. In his book Moderne Architektur he had called for a more rationalist style of architecture, based on "modern life", he designed a stylized ornamental metro station at Karlsplatz in Vienna an ornamental Art Nouveau residence, Majolika House, before moving to a much more geometric and simplified style, without ornament, in the Austrian Postal Savings Bank.
Wagner declared his intention to express the function of the building in its exterior. The reinforced concrete exterior was covered with plaques of marble attached with bolts of polished aluminum; the interior was purely functional and spare, a large open space of steel and concrete where the only decoration was the structure itself. The Viennese architect Adolf Loos began removing any ornament from his buildings, his S
Abzac is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern Metropolitan France. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
Casino Royale (2006 film)
Casino Royale is a 2006 spy film, the twenty-first in the Eon Productions James Bond film series, the third screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1953 novel of the same name. Directed by Martin Campbell and written by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Paul Haggis, it is the first film to star Daniel Craig as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond, was produced by Eon Productions for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures, making it the first Eon-produced Bond film to be co-produced by the latter studio. Following Die Another Day, Eon Productions decided to reboot the series, allowing them to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. Casino Royale takes place at the beginning of Bond's career as Agent 007, as he is earning his licence to kill; the plot sees Bond on an assignment to bankrupt terrorist financier Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game. The film begins a story arc that continues in Quantum of Solace. Casting involved a widespread search for a new actor to succeed Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.
Location filming took place in the Czech Republic, The Bahamas and the United Kingdom with interior sets built at Barrandov Studios and Pinewood Studios. Casino Royale premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square on 14 November 2006, it received an overwhelmingly positive critical response, with reviewers highlighting Craig's reinvention of the character and the film's departure from the tropes of previous Bond films. It earned $600 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing James Bond film until the release of Skyfall in 2012. MI6 agent James Bond gains his licence to kill and status as a 00 agent by assassinating the traitorous MI6 section chief Dryden and his contact. In Uganda, the mysterious Mr. White introduces Steven Obanno, high-ranking member of the Lord's Resistance Army, to Le Chiffre, a private banker to terrorist groups around the globe. Obanno entrusts Le Chiffre with a large sum of money to invest safely for him. In Madagascar, Bond pursues bomb maker Mollaka to an African embassy, shooting him dead and blowing up the building.
In London, MI6 chief M admonishes Bond for both violating international law, ignoring her orders to capture Mollaka alive for questioning. She sternly advises him to be dispassionate in his new role, to keep his ego in check. Clues from Mollaka point to corrupt Greek official Alex Dimitrios. Bond finds Dimitrios in the Bahamas and, after seducing his wife Solange, pursues him to Miami. Bond follows his henchman to the airport, he thwarts the destruction of Skyfleet's airliner, costing Le Chiffre his entire investment, totaling $101,206,000. To recoup the money, Le Chiffre sets up a high-stakes Texas hold'em tournament at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. MI6 enters Bond in the tournament, believing a defeat will force Le Chiffre to seek asylum with the British government, which they will grant in exchange for information on his clients. On the train to Montenegro, Bond meets Vesper Lynd, a British Treasury agent there to protect the government's $10 million buy-in. In Montenegro, they meet René Mathis.
At the start of the game, Bond gains the upper hand by deducing Le Chiffre's tell. During a break, enraged by the loss of his funds, ambushes Le Chiffre in his suite. Strangling the banker with a cord and threatening to amputate his girlfriend Valenka's arm with a machete, the warlord allows Le Chiffre to continue with his plan win back the money; as Obanno leaves, his bodyguard spots Bond and shoots at him. Bond throws the minion over a stair railing. Vesper is traumatised by the encounter; when the tournament resumes, Bond loses his initial stake due to Le Chiffre being tipped off to the tell, Vesper refuses to fund further playing. Frustrated, Bond is about to kill Le Chiffre when he meets Felix Leiter, a fellow player and CIA agent who agrees to stake Bond to continue playing in exchange for allowing Le Chiffre to be taken into American custody. Bond rebuilds his position until Valenka poisons Bond's martini with digitalis. Bond escapes to his Aston Martin DBS V12 to save himself with an antidote and a defibrillator, but passes out until Vesper arrives to rescue him.
Bond returns to the game as Leiter is eliminated, continuing the tournament until it culminates in a $115 million hand in which the remaining players, including Bond and Le Chiffre, go all in. Le Chiffre trumps the other players. Bond and Vesper share a celebratory dinner. Bond pursues them in his Aston Martin but sees Vesper tied up and lying in the middle of the road, swerves violently to avoid her, is taken captive. Le Chiffre brings Bond and Vesper to an abandoned ship, separates them, tortures Bond by whipping his genitals with a knotted rope, demanding the password to the account containing the winnings. Bond refuses to give in; as Le Chiffre prepares to castrate Bond, Mr. White enters and shoots Le Chiffre in the head, killing him. Bond awakens in an MI6 hospital. Bond decides to resign from MI6, he and Vesper run away together to Venice, engaging in a passionate love affair; when M calls Bond to tell him the money was never deposited, Bond realizes it was Vesper who betrayed him. He follows her to a handoff of the money, where a fir
Quantum of Solace
Quantum of Solace is a 2008 British spy film, the twenty-second in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, directed by Marc Forster and written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. It is the second film to star Daniel Craig as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond; the film stars Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench. In the film, Bond seeks revenge for the death of his lover, Vesper Lynd, is assisted by Camille Montes, plotting revenge for the murder of her own family; the trail leads them to wealthy businessman Dominic Greene, a member of the Quantum organisation, who intends to stage a coup d'état in Bolivia to seize control of their water supply. Producer Michael G. Wilson developed the film's plot while the previous film in the series, Casino Royale, was being shot. Purvis and Haggis contributed to the script. Craig and Forster had to write some sections themselves due to the Writers' Strike, though they were not given the screenwriter credit in the final cut.
The title was chosen from a 1959 short story in Ian Fleming's For Your Eyes Only, though the film does not contain any elements of that story. Location filming took place in Mexico, Chile, Italy and Wales, while interior sets were built and filmed at Pinewood Studios. Forster aimed to make a modern film that featured classic cinema motifs: a vintage Douglas DC-3 was used for a flight sequence, Dennis Gassner's set designs are reminiscent of Ken Adam's work on several early Bond films. Taking a course away from the usual Bond villains, Forster rejected any grotesque appearance for the character Dominic Greene to emphasise the hidden and secret nature of the film's contemporary villains; the film was marked by its frequent depictions of violence, with a 2012 study by the University of Otago in New Zealand finding it to be the most violent film in the franchise. Whereas Dr. No featured 109 "trivial or violent" acts, Quantum of Solace had a count of 250—the most depictions of violence in any Bond film—even more prominent since it was the shortest film in the franchise.
Quantum of Solace premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square on 29 October 2008, gathering mixed reviews, which praised Craig's gritty performance and the film's action sequences, but felt that the film was less impressive than its predecessor Casino Royale. As of September 2016, it is the fourth-highest-grossing James Bond film, without adjusting for inflation, earning $586 million worldwide, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of 2008. James Bond is driving from Lake Garda to Siena, with the captured Mr. White in the boot of his Aston Martin DBS V12. After evading pursuers Bond delivers White to M, who interrogates him regarding his organisation, Quantum. M's bodyguard, Craig Mitchell, is a double agent and he attacks M, enabling White to escape. Bond kills him. Bond and M return to London and search Mitchell's flat, discovering Mitchell had a contact in Haiti, Edmund Slate. Bond learns Slate is a hitman sent to kill Camille Montes at the behest of her lover, environmentalist entrepreneur Dominic Greene.
Observing her subsequent meeting with Greene, Bond learns Greene is helping exiled Bolivian General Medrano, who murdered Camille's family, to overthrow his government and become the new president, in exchange for a barren piece of desert. After rescuing Camille from Medrano, Bond follows Greene to a performance of Tosca in Bregenz, Austria. Meanwhile, the head of the CIA's South American section, Gregg Beam, strikes a noninterference deal with Greene for access to putative stocks of Bolivian oil. Bond infiltrates Quantum's meeting at the opera, identifying members of Quantum's executive board, a gunfight ensues. A Special Branch bodyguard working for Quantum member Guy Haines, is killed by one of Greene's men after Bond throws him off a roof. M assumes Bond killed him, has Bond's passports and credit cards revoked. Bond convinces his old ally René Mathis to accompany him to Bolivia, they are greeted by Strawberry Fields, a consular employee who demands Bond return to the UK immediately. Bond seduces her and they attend a fundraising party Greene holds that night.
At the party, Bond again rescues Camille from Greene. Leaving and Camille are pulled over by Bolivian police working for Medrano, they had earlier put his body in Bond's car to frame Bond. In the ensuing struggle and the cops are killed; the following day and Camille survey Quantum's intended land acquisition by air. They skydive into a sinkhole, discover Quantum is damming Bolivia's supply of fresh water to create a monopoly. Back in La Paz, Bond meets M and learns Quantum killed Fields by drowning her in crude oil. Bond meets CIA Agent Felix Leiter, who discloses Greene and Medrano will meet in the Atacama Desert to finalise their agreement. Warned by Leiter, he evades the CIA's Special Activities Division. At an eco hotel in the desert, Greene tells Medrano that now he controls the majority of Bolivia's water supply, Medrano must accept a new contract that makes Greene Planet Bolivia's sole water utility company at higher rates. Bond infiltrates the complex, kills the chief of police for betraying Mathis, single-handedly assaults the hotel.
After killing the security detail, he confronts Greene. Meanwhile, Camille kills Medrano; the struggle leaves the hotel destroyed by fire. Bond captu
Apéritif and digestif
Apéritifs and digestifs are drinks alcoholic, that are served before or after a meal. An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, is therefore dry rather than sweet. Common choices for an apéritif are vermouth. An apéritif may be an hors d'oeuvre or amuse-bouche preceding a meal, such as crackers, cheese, pâté, quiche or olives. Apéritif is a French word derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means "to open"; the French slang word for apéritif is apéro, although in France an apéro is food eaten in the late afternoon or early evening. The 5th-century Christian ascetic Diadochos of Photiki says, "People who wish to discipline the sexual organs should avoid drinking those artificial concoctions which are called'aperitifs'—presumably because they open a way to the stomach for the vast meal, to follow." So apéritifs were in use in the 5th century. In 1796, Turin distiller Antonio Carpano invented modern vermouth; the apéritif was introduced in France in 1846 when a French chemist, Joseph Dubonnet, created his eponymous wine-based drink as a means of delivering malaria-fighting quinine.
The medicine was a bitter brew, so he developed a formula of herbs and spices to mask quinine's sharp flavor, it worked so well that the recipe has remained well-guarded since. French Foreign Legion soldiers made use of it in mosquito-infested Northern Africa. Dubonnet's wife was so fond of the drink that she had all her friends try it, its popularity spread. Apéritifs were widespread in the 19th century in Italy, where they were being served in fashionable cafés in Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice. Apéritifs became popular in Europe in the late 19th century; the popularity in Europe crossed the Atlantic and by 1900, they were commonly served in the United States. The apéritif recrossed the Atlantic in the 1970s: the habit of a substantial food offering with the purchase of a drink during "Happy Hour" in the United States pushed the development of a more food-heavy apéritif in Italy as well. In Spain and in some countries of Latin America, apéritifs have been a staple of tapas for centuries. There is no single alcoholic drink, always served as an apéritif.
Fortified wine and dry champagne are the most common choices. Because it is served before dining, the emphasis is on dry rather than sweet, as a general guideline. In France, the apéritif varies from region to region: pastis is popular in the south of France, Calvados brandy in the Normandy region, Crémant d'Alsace in the eastern region. Champagne wine or Cognac may be served. Kir called Blanc-cassis, is a common and popular apéritif-cocktail made with a measure of crème de cassis topped up with white wine; the word Kir Royal is used. A simple glass of red wine, such as Beaujolais nouveau, can be presented as an apéritif, accompanied by amuse-bouches. In Italy, vermouth or wine may be served as the apéritif. Martini, Aperol Spritz and Campari with soda are popular aperitivo drinks of choice. In Greece, ouzo is a popular choice, except on Crete, where it is common to take some raki after a meal. In the Eastern Mediterranean, arak is served with meze. In Britain and Ireland sherry and dry madeira are traditional apéritifs.
A digestif is an alcoholic beverage served after a meal. When served after a coffee course, it may be called pousse-café. Digestifs are taken neat. Common kinds of digestif include: Brandy Eaux de vie Pomace brandy Fortified wines Liqueurs bitter or sweet Distilled liquors Liquor cocktails Bitter digestifs contain carminative herbs, which are thought to aid digestion. In many countries, people drink alcoholic beverages at dinner. Studies have found that when food is eaten before drinking alcohol, alcohol absorption is reduced and the rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the blood is increased; the mechanism for the faster alcohol elimination appears to be unrelated to the type of food. The mechanism is food-induced increases in alcohol-metabolizing enzymes and liver blood flow. Bitters Hors d'oeuvre