Italy

Italy i/ˈɪtəli/ (Italian: Italia ), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana), is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe. To the north, it borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia along the Alps. To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia–the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea–and many other smaller islands. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers some 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.8 million inhabitants, it is the fifth most populous country in Europe, and the 23rd most populous in the world.

Rome, the capital of Italy, has for centuries been a political and religious centre of Western civilisation as the capital of the Roman Empire and site of the Holy See. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Italy endured numerous invasions by foreign peoples, from Germanic tribes such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths, to the Byzantines and later, the Normans, among others. Centuries later, Italy became the birthplace of Maritime republics and the Renaissance. Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous city and regional states (such as the Republic of Venice and the Church State), but was unified in 1861. In the late 19th century, through World War I, and to World War II, Italy possessed a colonial empire.

Modern Italy is a democratic republic. It has been ranked as the world's 24th most-developed country and its Quality-of-life Index has been ranked in the world's top ten in 2005. Italy enjoys a very high standard of living, and has a high GDP per capita. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union and part of the Eurozone. Italy is also a member of the G8, G20 and NATO. It has the world's third-largest gold reserves, eighth-largest nominal GDP, tenth highest GDP (PPP) and the sixth highest government budget in the world. It is also a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, the Western European Union and the United Nations. Italy has the world's ninth-largest defence budget and shares NATO's nuclear weapons.

Italy plays a prominent role in European and global military, cultural and diplomatic affairs. The country's European political, social and economic influence make it a major regional power. The country has a high public education level and is a highly globalised nation.

Read more about Italy:  Etymology, Geography, Politics, Economy, Demographics, Culture

Other articles related to "italy":

Etruscan Civilization
... name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Latium ... that is identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 800 BC approximately over the range of the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture ... in Magna Graecia, the Hellenic civilization of southern Italy ...
Ezra Pound
... He moved to Italy in 1924, where throughout the 1930s and 1940s, to his friends' dismay, he embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler and ... of which he was arrested for treason by American forces in Italy in 1945 ... While in custody in Italy, he had begun work on sections of The Cantos that became known as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library ...
European Men's Handball Championship - History - 1998 Championship
... Host Italy In 1998 the Championship was held in Italy, whose appearance at the 1997 World Championship was their first (and to date, only) at the ... opponents Sweden had won the first four games before becoming the first team to lose to hosts Italy ...
Italy - Culture - Cuisine
... Italian cuisine is characterized by its extreme simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients ... Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation ...

Famous quotes containing the word italy:

    the San Marco Library,
    Whence turbulent Italy should draw
    Delight in Art whose end is peace,
    In logic and in natural law
    By sucking at the dugs of Greece.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    When intimacy followed love in Italy there were no longer any vain pretensions between two lovers.
    Stendhal [Marie Henri Beyle] (1783–1842)

    In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed—they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock!
    Orson Welles (1915–84)