Italy as Part of the Larger Mediterranean World

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Italy has a rich history. No one could deny this. Rome is known as the eternal city, and Roman ruins are tourist sites across nearly the entire continent of Europe. Italy was a founding member of the European Union. Europe and Italy remain essential to the identity of the other.

While Italy remains central to the Western identity, we should not forget the historical and current connections between Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean world. This cultural community includes Northern Africa and the other parts of the Middle East.

Let’s look into these connections and how you can most enjoy them!

The Roman Empire Spread Across Continental Divides

The Roman Empire is often seen as the cornerstone of European culture and traditions. This is a very special role that Italy should be proud of. What we sometimes miss in this telling of history is that the Roman Empire was based more so around the Mediterranean Sea than on the continent of Europe.

The Roman Empire spread across what is now Morocco, through Tunisia, and Egypt, going up through the Levantine area and including Turkey and more. Many of these places are often considered outside of Western culture. This ignores the historical and current connections between these places.

The Roman Empire and its diversity even functioned as a bridge between these continents. Archeologists have found an increase in skeletons of African origin in Iberia with the expansion of the Roman Empire. African people and culture was an integral part of the Roman Empire.

In a similar vein, studies of the genetic makeup of Rome through the centuries have uncovered an incredible diversity. They are able to trace waves of migration from Ukraine, Iran, Anatolia, and more.

Malta is a Case Study

These findings may come as a surprise to many, but we can also find examples of this mixture alive and well. If we look at Malta, for example, we can see how Italian and Arab cultures mix and thrive together.

In Malta, the official languages are Maltese and English. Italian is spoken widely across the island, while Maltese is directly derived from Arabic. It is on the African tectonic plate, while also being one of the nations in the European Union. It is an interesting place that shows how porous the boundary between Africa and Europe is.

While we do not need to leave Italy to find this mixture, it is so evident in Malta, it can serve as a great example. The mixture is so explicit and prized, that we can learn more about the essence of culture on the Italian peninsula by examining it.

Tourism Between Italy and the Arab World

On top of the cultures that are currently thriving across Southern Europe, many people from Italy visit the Middle East, and many tourists from the Middle East visit Italy. This cultural exchange also exerts its influence. If you have never been to the Middle East, you might be wondering how to do so safely.

One way is to make sure you are using the right websites. If you are traveling to the Middle East, check out Arabian Betting to finding the best online casinos in the region. They will direct you to safe and fun sites with the best casino games across the Arab world. They recommend the best sites with live dealers and generous bonuses.

There are so many places to visit across the Arab world that it is a good idea to prepare for a diversity of trips. Of course, there is plenty of Arab culture across Italy as well. While we normally want to visit Roman ruins and eat Italian food, we have learned that Arab and African influences are an essential part of Italian culture.

Rethinking Cultural Boundaries

We are so accustomed to the current political boundaries that it is sometimes hard to see how connected all of these seemingly disparate places really are. We can immediately rethink our idea of Italy, Africa, and the Middle East by recognizing the foundational role they have played for each other. In many ways, the cultural region of the Mediterranean Sea is a meaningful way to see the world.

Featured image: pixabay

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