Italy is a parliamentary constitutional republic located towards the south of Europe, with Rome being its capital and largest city. While the country is surrounded by France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia in the north, the entire south is surrounded by the Italian peninsula and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.
The history of Italy dates way back beyond the Roman Empire, to 800-600 BC when the Etruscans, Greeks and Byzantines settled in Italy, until Rome was founded in 753 BC, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire. Around 500 BC, the monarchy was overthrown and Rome became a republic. The Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance (14th-16th Century) had a lasting impact on Italy, and let to major cultural changes and development. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Spain and France fought over Italy. Napoleon was ultimately defeated in 1815, resulting in Italy being unified and finally emerging as a nation-state in 1861.
Almost 90% of the country comprises of Roman Catholics, with other minor communities like Protestants, Jews and Muslims are also sparsely found. Italian is the national and most widely-spoken language, while the locals also speak German, French and Slovene in other parts of Italy.
Owing to its geographical location, the climate varies from north to south. The north has harsh, cold winters with heavy rainfall, while summers are pleasant. Central Italy sports a milder and wetter climate, whereas the south has extremely hot summers and dry temperatures.
Italy boasts of having a perfect combination of history, fashion, culture, art, good food and diverse natural beauty. From snow-covered peaks to lush vineyards, volcanoes to breath-taking lakes, isles to beaches and ski resorts, Italy has plenty to entice tourists. The most famous cities of Italy include Rome, Naples, Tuscany, Venice and Florence. Italy is home to world-renowned attractions like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Colosseum, Pompeii, Sistine Chapel, Florence Cathedral and many more.
Italy is a parliamentary constitutional republic located towards the south of Europe, with Rome being its capital and largest city. While the country is surrounded by France, Switzerland, Austria a...