Italy

Article

November 28, 2021

Italy (/ iˈtalja /,), officially the Italian Republic, is a state located in central-southern Europe, whose territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic and has a population of approximately 59.3 million inhabitants, making it the third in the European Union by number of inhabitants. The capital is Rome. The continental part, bounded by the Alpine arc, borders to the north, from west to east, with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia; the rest of the territory, surrounded by the Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Adriatic seas, extends into the Mediterranean Sea, occupying the Italian peninsula and numerous islands (the largest are Sicily and Sardinia), for a total of 302068.26 km². The states of the Vatican City and San Marino are enclaves of the Republic, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave. Crossroads of archaic cultures and cradle of European civilization, ancient Italy was unified by the Roman Republic and became the absolute administrative, economic, cultural and political center of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, medieval Italy was subjected to invasions and dominations by barbarian populations, losing its centuries-old political unity. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, with the spread of humanism and the Renaissance, it again became the cultural center of the Western world and also the battlefield of the major European powers during the wars of Italy. The peninsula then experienced the Counter-Reformation, the Baroque, and the Neoclassicism. After the Napoleonic interlude, the Italians fought for national unification and independence during the Risorgimento, until, after the second war of independence and the expedition of the Thousand, in 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was born, which obtained victory in the first world war (1918), completing the process of national unification. In 1946, after the Fascist period (1922-1943), the defeat in the Second World War, and the definitive war of liberation, following an institutional referendum, the Italian state became a republic. In 2020, Italy, eighth economy in the world and third in the European Union, is a country with a high standard of living: the human development index is very high, 0.883, and life expectancy is 83.4 years . He is a founding member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe and the OECD; adheres to the UN and the Schengen Convention. Italy is also a member of the G7 and G20, participates in NATO's nuclear sharing project, ranks ninth in the world for military spending, and is a regional and world power. It is the fourth most visited country in the world and boasts the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (58).

Etymology of the name

The proper name "Italy" was born as a toponym. Its origin, the subject of studies by both linguists and historians, is controversial. However, etymologies in the strict sense are not always suggested, but hypotheses that are based on considerations extraneous to the specific linguistic reconstruction of the name or that refer to unproven traditions (such as the existence of King Italo) or unlikely (such as the correlation of the name with screw).

History

Prehistory

The population of the Italian territory dates back to about 700,000 years ago, a period of which the archaeological site of the lower Paleolithic of Isernia La Pineta inhabited by Homo erectus is preserved. Also in southern Italy the Acheulean culture developed, to which the first bifacial and the first stable settlements date back, moreover during the Riss glaciation Homo neanderthalensis also appeared here. The Middle Paleolithic saw the arrival of the first Homo sapiens and their coexistence with the Neanderthals, sites of this period are especially the caves such as the Paglicci cave, the Grotta del Cavallo or the Guattari cave where more c

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