Italy is a parliamentary republic In Southern Europe. To the north, Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. To the south, it consists of the Italian Peninsula and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and many other smaller islands. The sovereign states of San Marino and the Vatican are enclaves within Italy. Italy has a largely temperate climate. With 61 million inhabitants, Among the world’s most developed countries, Italy has the 4th-largest economy in the European Union.
With the development of diverse cultures, Italy’s capital and largest commune, Rome, has for centuries been the leading political and religious centre of Western civilization, serving as the capital of both the Roman Empire and Christianity. During the Dark Ages, Italy endured cultural and social decline in the face of repeated invasions by Germanic tribes, Byzantines, Muslims and Normans.