Italy, in southern Europe, is bordered on the north by Switzerland and Austria; on the east by Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea; on the south by the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea; on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea; and on the north-west by France. It comprises, in addition to the Italian mainland, the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea; Elba in the Tyrrhenian Sea; and many lesser islands. Enclaves within mainland Italy are the independent countries of San Marino and Vatican City; the latter is a papal state mostly enclosed by Rome, the capital of Italy. The area of Italy is 301,323 sq km.
The population of Italy (2000) is 56,686,568 people (67% urban), with an overall density of approximately 188 people per sq km.
Italy was first settled by Ligurian people and later by Etruscans (before 800 B.C.), who were supplanted by the Latin Romans by 270 B.C. The Roman Empire ruled almost the entire known world at the time and made tremendous advances in science and art, pursuing the course set by the Greeks. After the fall of the Roman Empire (A.D. 476), Italy was ruled by various barbarian tribes, local families, and popes. A new era of prosperity came after the Middle Ages when the country stood in the forefront of European nations culturally, having pioneered the great revival of learning and the arts known as the Renaissance. Italy became one country when it was finally unified under king Victor Emmanuel II in 1870.
Administratively, Italy is divided into 20 regions, each of which is subdivided into provinces and communes.
Salsomaggiore Terme (pop. 14,800), is a spa town in the region of Emilia-Romagna. It lies 26 km west of Parma and 118 km southeastern of Milan, just off Autostrada del Sol, the highway connecting Rome and Milan.
The area around Salsomaggiore Terme is exceedingly rich in mineral waters which have turned the town into a world-famous spa. Salsomaggiore rises at the feet of the green hills of the Appennines to 160 meters above sea level, in a suggestive and picturesque geographical position far from the big industrial centers. A temperated climate in each season and the natural surrounding environment always makes pleasant the stay in Salsomaggiore.
Venue - Palazzo dei Congressi
Palazzo dei Congressi is a beautiful building in Liberty and Déco style. Inside there are ancient and fascinating salons with admirable frescos, as well as modern rooms that are perfect for congresses, meetings and events of different kind. The Palazzo is spread mainly over three floors.
Salsomaggiore is well known to bridge players. In recent years it has become the center of Italian bridge, since almost all major national tournaments are held there. Non-Italians are also familiar with Salsomaggiore and the Palazzo. It was here that the European Junior Championship (1982), the European Teams Championships (1985), the European Pairs Championships (1989) and the World Team Olympiad (1992) took place.