Both countries are members of the EU, NATO and the eurozone. There is also a strong cultural tie between the countries and cross-cultural exchange with a number of entertainers from Italy working in Spain.
Spain is Italy's 3rd most important export partner, taking 7% of Italy's exports.
The Romans invaded the Iberian peninsula in 218 BCE and gave it the name, Hispania (from which the modern name is derived). Spain remained a Roman province until the collapse of Rome around 400.
Latin was spoken and this evolved into modern day Spanish.
Between 1923 - 1930 relations between the Mussolini and Spain were good. From 1930 - 1936 relations became strained and when the Spanish Civil War took place Mussolini intervened significantly on the side of Franco and the Nationalists. Italy provided more support, relatively speaking, than Hitler at this time with some 75,000 Italians fighting in Spain. During the Second World War relations between the two countries remained good; on the fall of Mussolini relations between the two countries did not get resetablished until Spain moved away from the right wing.
In the 1934 World Cup there was particularly nasty play between the two teams in the quarter finals, which Spain lost. In the 1994 World Cup they also met again and once more there was rough play and Spain lost.
Notable Italian/Spanish People
- Christopher Columbus - Italian seafarer and founder of the New World on behalf of Spain
- Lucia Bosé - Italian actress, wife of Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín
- Miguel Bosé - Spanish/Italian son of Lucia Bosé
- Raffaella Carrà - Italian dancer and television presenter popular in Spain
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