Italy

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Italian Republic

Repubblica Italiana (it)
Flag of
Flag
Coat of arms of
Coat of arms
Anthem: Il Canto degli Italiani
(The Song of the Italians)
Location of Italy
Location of Italy
Capital
and largest city
Rome
Official languages Italian (national)
Demonym(s) Italian
Government Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
• President

Ernesto di Maggio (

PSI)
Sandra Milano (PSI)
Legislature Parliament Nacional
Senate of the Republic
Chamber of Deputies
History
• Italian Unification
17 March, 1861
• Republic
14 December 1921
• Current Constitution
28 January, 1995
Population
• 2020 estimate
60,317,116[2
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.443 trillion
• Per capita
$40,470
HDI (2020) 0.883
very high
Currency TBD
Time zone Central European Time and Western European Time
Driving side right

Italy (Italian: Italia), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana) is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and it is also considered a part of western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with its capital in Rome, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa).

Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the empire, whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.

During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured the fall of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through trade, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and other foreign conquests of the region. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of rivalry and infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left Italy fragmented and several Italian states were conquered and further divided by multiple European powers over the centuries.

By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, namely in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora.

Divisions between the rich and poor only grew deeper as economic collapse preceded a violent uprising by syndicalist and landonist groups, exiling the King and many members of the bourgeoisie. Declaring a republic, these groups solidified into the Democratic Republic of Italy.