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( Italy Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (), officially the ) listen Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana ), is a [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna] European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in Southern Europe, and it is sometimes considered as part of Western Europe. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km 2 (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 the Tunisian Sea ( Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
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 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 of Magna Graecia 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 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.
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, often referred to as the Italian Wars Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a long series of wars fought between 1494 and 1559 in Italy during the Renaissance. The Italian peninsula, economically advanced but politically divided between several states, became the main battleground for European supremacy. The conflicts involved the major powers of Italy and Europe, in a series of events that followed the end of the 40-years long Peace of Lodi agreed in 1454 with the formation of an Italic League.
The collapse of the alliance in the 1490s left Italy open to the ambitions of
Charles VIII of France, who invaded the Kingdom of Naples in 1494 on the ground of a dynastic claim. The French were however forced to leave Naples after the Republic of Venice formed an alliance with Austria and Spain. In 1499, Louis XII of France initiated a second campaign against Naples by first taking control of the Duchy of Milan thanks to Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI and for Louis XII, marking an open alliance between the Papacy and France. The second war ended in 1503, when the King of Spain condottiero Ferdinand of Aragon (already ruler of Sicily and Sardinia) captured the Kingdom of Naples from Louis XII.
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Did you know... -
...that in 2002, hundreds of former mobsters incarcerated in eight jails across Italy, supposedly having no way to contact one another, joined a hunger strike to protest against of the Italian Penitentiary Act? article 41-bis Selected cuisine -
, sometimes referred to as Testaroli , is a type of testarolo pasta or bread in Italian cuisine that is prepared using water, flour and salt, which is sliced into triangular shapes. A common dish in the Lunigiana region and historical territory of Italy, it is an ancient pasta originating from the Etruscan civilization of Italy. Testaroli has been described as "the earliest recorded pasta." It is also a native dish of the southern Liguria and northern Tuscany regions of Italy.
Testaroli is prepared from a
batter that is cooked on a hot flat surface, after which it may be consumed. It is traditionally cooked on a testo, a flat terra cotta or cast iron cooking surface from which the food's name is derived. It is sometimes cooked further in boiling water and then served. Testaroli is sometimes referred to as a bread, similar to focaccia in composition, and is sometimes referred to as a crêpe. It may be dressed with pesto sauce or other ingredients such as olive oil, Pecorino cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and garlic. Falsi testaroli al ragu is a similar dish prepared using sliced pasta dough and a ragù sauce.
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General images -
The following are images from various Italy-related articles on Wikipedia.
Colosseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.
Physician attire for protection from the Bubonic plague or Black death, 1656.
Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, which has the biggest brick dome in the world, and is considered a masterpiece of Italian architecture and world architecture.
Insurgents celebrating the liberation of Naples after the
Four days of Naples (27–30 September 1943).
gelato ice cream dessert.
Italy has been a home for innovation in
science in the centuries since Galileo formulated his theories of planetary movement.
Attack of the far-right terrorist group NAR at the Bologna railway station on 2 August 1980, which caused the death of 85 people.
Ancient Greek colonies and their
groupings in Southern Italy.
NW Greek Achaean Doric
Italian Lombard kingdom (781–1014).
Roman Forum, the commercial, cultural, and political center of the city and the Republic which housed the various offices and meeting places of the government.
St. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest Christian church. It is the second church to stand above the crypt (tomb) believed to hold the body of Saint Peter, the first pope.
Italy and the nearby islands in the 1st century BCE.
Imperial ambitions of Fascist Italy in Europe, 1936.
Map of Etruscan civilisation.
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, possibly one of the most famous and iconic examples of Italian art
Regional seat of
RAI in Cosenza.
Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, elected on 3 February 2015.
Ötzi the oldest mummy in the world discovered in the southern Alps (region of Trentino-Alto Adige) with extremely sophisticated equipment to that time. 4th millennium BCE.
Giuseppe Verdi, one of Italy's greatest opera composers. Portrait by
mosaic depicts some of the Gladiators entertainments that would have been offered at the games.
Commedia dell'arte troupe in a late 16th-century Flemish painting.
Roman Empire provided an inspiration for the medieval European. Although the Holy Roman Empire rarely acquired a serious geopolitical reality, it possessed great symbolic significance.
the EUR in Rome is a perfect example of modern Italian architecture
Secondary, widely spoken or understood.
Understood by some due to former colonisation.
Spanish Republican poster against "the Italian invader".
From left to right, Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Italian Foreign Minister
Count Ciano at the signing of Munich Agreement.
Sheets with the iconic picture of
Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, exposed as a sign of protest against Italian Mafia. They read: "You did not kill them: their ideas walk on our legs".
Prada shop in Singapore.
Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy for almost ten years between 1994 and 2011.
Fiume cheering D'Annunzio and his Legionari, September 1919. At the time, Fiume had 22,488 (62% of the population) Italians in a total population of 35,839 inhabitants.
Fiat 600, iconic middle-class dream car and status symbol of the 1950-60s.
Italian states (1815–1859).
Giacomo Matteotti was murdered a few days after he openly denounced Fascist violence during the 1924 elections.
Umberto II, the last King of Italy, was exiled to Portugal.
espresso comes from the Italian esprimere, which means "to express," and refers to the process by which hot water is forced under pressure through ground coffee.
Italian prisoners in El Alamein, November 1942.
Mussolini reviewing adolescent soldiers, late 1944.
The signing ceremony of the
Treaty of Rome on 25 March 1957, creating the EEC, forerunner of the present-day EU.
Mussolini and Hitler in June 1940.