From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Italy, officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana), is a unitary parliamentary
republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia,
San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate; due to its shape,
it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state.
Since classical times, ancient Carthaginians, Phoenicians, and Greeks established settlements in the south of Italy, with Etruscans and Celts
inhabiting the centre and north of Italy respectively and various different Italic tribes and peoples dispersed throughout the country. The Italic tribe
known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. Rome ultimately
emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean basin, conquering much of the ancient world and becoming the leading cultural, political, and religious
centre of Western civilisation. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the global distribution of civilian law, republican
governments, Christianity and the Latin script.