Information on Italy
Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
Destination Italy, a virtual guide to “Bella Italia” – beautiful Italy, how many Italians love to call their country. Italy is located in southern Europe on the Apennine Peninsula. Its distinct shape, resembling a kicking boot, makes it easy to recognise it on maps or even from space.
The peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in east, the Sea of Sicily in south, the Ionian Sea in southeast, the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in west, all of them are parts of the Mediterranean Sea.
Italy has international borders with Austria, France, the Holy See (Vatican City), San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland. It shares maritime borders with Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Spain, and Tunisia.
Two of the largest Mediterranean islands belong to Italy: Sardinia in west and Sicily in south.
The country covers an area of 301,318 km² (116,340 sq. mi.), this is about 80% the size of Japan or slightly larger than the U.S. state of Arizona.
- Italy Main Page
- Italy Becomes a Unified Peninsula
- The Rise and Fall of Mussolini
- Italy Moves to Stabilize Its Economy
- Berlusconi Proves to Be Resilient and Persistent
- Italy Faces Challenges and Berlusconi Faces Charges
- Mario Monti Helps to Stabilize Economy
- Berlusconi Removed from Senate
- Matteo Renzi Becomes Italy’s Youngest Prime Minister
Photos of Italy:
Italy, slightly larger than Arizona, is a long peninsula shaped like a boot, surrounded on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the east by the Adriatic. It is bounded by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north. The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula’s backbone; the Alps form its northern boundary. The largest of its many northern lakes is Garda (143 sq mi; 370 sq km); the Po, its principal river, flows from the Alps on Italy’s western border and crosses the Lombard plain to the Adriatic Sea. Several islands form part of Italy; the largest are Sicily (9,926 sq mi; 25,708 sq km) and Sardinia (9,301 sq mi; 24,090 sq km).
Italy is a republic.
The migrations of Indo-European peoples into Italy probably began about 2000 B.C. and continued until 1000 B.C. From about the 9th century B.C. until it was overthrown by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C., the Etruscan civilisation was dominant. By 264 B.C., all Italy south of Cisalpine Gaul was under the leadership of Rome. For the next seven centuries, until the barbarian invasions destroyed the western Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., the history of Italy is largely the history of Rome. From 800 on, the Holy Roman Emperors, Roman Catholic popes, Normans, and Saracens all vied for control over various segments of the Italian peninsula. Numerous city-states, such as Venice and Genoa, whose political and commercial rivalries were intense, and many small principalities flourished in the late Middle Ages. Although Italy remained politically fragmented for centuries, it became the cultural centre of the Western world from the 13th to the 16th century.