July 6, 2022

Italy (Italian, Italia, pronounced /i'talja/ ( listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian, Repubblica Italiana pronounced /re'pub:lika ita'ljana/), is a transcontinental sovereign country, member and founder of the European Union, constituted in a parliamentary republic composed of twenty regions, integrated these, in turn, by 111 provinces.[8] Italy is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, in southern Europe. It occupies the Italian peninsula, as well as the Padana plain, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and around eight hundred smaller islands, among which the Tremiti Islands in the Adriatic Sea, the Campano and Toscano archipelagos in the Tyrrhenian Sea, or the Pelagies in North Africa, among others. In the north, it is surrounded by the Alps and borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The micro-states of San Marino and Vatican City are enclaves within Italian territory. In turn, Campione d'Italia, is a municipality that forms a small Italian exclave in Swiss territory.[9] Due to its central location in the Mediterranean Sea, Italy received, during Antiquity,[10][11] various influences from foreign Mediterranean civilizations, such as the Phoenicians and Carthaginians in its larger islands[12][13] and of the ancient Greeks in the so-called Magna Graecia,[14][15] as well as being the home of many different cultures of their own, such as the Nuragic civilization, the Etruscans and the Latins, the latter being the ones who gave life to Roman civilization,[16][17] and witnessed the birth of the Republic and the later Roman Empire.[18][19] After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Byzantines, Lombards and Muslims disputed the control over the Italian territory,[20][21] thus breaking its previous political unity.[22][23] Starting from the High Middle Ages, Italy was the cradle of maritime republics such as Venice, Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi, of the Papal States and also of humanism, the Renaissance and the Baroque movement, in among other States and cultural movements.[24]​[25]​ In the course of the 19th century, through the historical process known as Risorgimento, the various Italian territories managed to unify under the same State: the Kingdom of Italy.[26]​ [27] The capital of Italy, Rome, has been for centuries the political and cultural center of Western civilization. In addition, it is the holy city for the Catholic Church, the pope being the bishop of Rome and the micro-state of the Vatican being within the city. The country's cultural significance is reflected in all its World Heritage Sites, as it has 58,[28] the country with the largest number in the world.[29] It is the third country in Europe that receives the most tourists per year,[30] being Rome the third most visited city on the continent.[31] Other important cities are: Milan, center of finance and industry, and, according to the Global Language Monitor, the capital of Fashion;[32] Naples, important port in the Mediterranean, historical capital and most populous city of the Mezzogiorno;[33] Turin, center of the automobile industry and industrial design. Italy is a democratic republic, is part of the G7 or group of the seven largest advanced nations in the world and is a developed country with a very high quality of life,[34] finding itself in 2005 among the top seven in the world.[35] ]​ It is the 28th country (report 2017) in terms of high human development index.[36] It is a regional and world power,[37][38][39][40] a founding member of the Union Union, signatory to the Treaty of Rome in 1957. It is also a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a member of the Fifth NATO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Cons