Portal:Italy
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Portal:Italy

The Italy portal
Portale Italia

Flag Italy
Location of Italy within Europe

Italy (Italian: Italia [i'ta:lja] ), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [re'pub:lika ita'lja:na]), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and several islands surrounding it. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and is also considered part of Western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with Rome as its capital and largest city, 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 enclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-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 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. (Full article...)

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Early, tinted 20th-century photograph of the Palazzo Pitti, then still known as La Residenza Reale following the residency of King Victor Emmanuel II between 1865 and 1871, when Florence was the capital of Italy.

The Palazzo Pitti (Italian pronunciation: [pa'lattso 'pitti]), in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance, palace in Florence, Italy. It is situated on the south side of the River Arno, a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio. The core of the present palazzo dates from 1458 and was originally the town residence of Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker.

The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry and luxurious possessions. (Full article...)

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A classic Italian aperitivo.

Italian cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine consisting of the ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques developed across the Italian Peninsula since antiquity, and later spread around the world together with waves of Italian diaspora.

Significant changes occurred with the colonization of the Americas and the introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, maize and sugar beet - the latter introduced in quantity in the 18th century. Italian cuisine is known for its regional diversity, especially between the north and the south of Italy. It offers an abundance of taste, and is one of the most popular and copied in the world. It influenced several cuisines around the world, chiefly that of the United States. (Full article...)

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