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 Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a Southern European country, situated on the western side of the European continent. It comprises the Italian peninsula, the Po River valley, and two large islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia, and shares its northern alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The country also shares a sea border with Croatia. The independent countries of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italian territory.

For more than 3,000 years Italy witnessed many migrations and invasions from Germanic, Celtic, Frankish, Byzantine Greek, Saracen, Norman, and the French Angevin, and Lombard peoples. Italy was also home to many well-known and influential civilisations, including the Etruscans, Greeks and the Romans.

carte italie régions Clickable map

Italy is called Belpaese (Italian for beautiful country) by its inhabitants, due to the beauty and variety of its landscapes and for having the world's largest artistic patrimony; the country is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (40 as of January 1, 2006).

Presently, Italy is a highly developed country with the 6th highest GDP in 2004, a member of the G8 and a founding member of what is now the European Union, having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

Inhabitants of Italy are referred to as Italians (Italian: Italiani). There exist several theories concerning the origin of the name "Italia", but the most widely accepted etymology is that it is derived from the ancient Greek word italos (bull). It is notable that Italians are identifying themselves using a word given to them by Greeks, and Greeks are also identifying themselves as Greeks(Γραικοί) or Romans(Ρωμιοί), names given to them by Italians.

 

 

 


 

Abruzzo
Basilicata
Calabria
Campania
Emilia-Romagna
Friouli-Venezia Giulia
Latium
Liguria
Lombardy
Marche
Molise
Umbria
Piedmont
Apulia
Sardinia
Sicily
Tuscany
Trentino-South Tyrol
Aosta Valley
Veneto

 

 

 

 

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