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( Italy Italian: Italia ), officially the [i'ta:lja] Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana ), is a [re'pubblika ita'lja:na] European 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. 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 third-most populous member state of the European Union. The capital and largest city is Rome; other major cities are Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Genoa, Bologna, Florence and Venice.
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 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 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.
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is the painting of the period beginning in the late 13th century and flourishing from the early 15th to late 16th centuries, occurring in the Italian peninsula, which was at that time divided into many political states, some independent but others controlled by external powers. The painters of Renaissance Italy, although often attached to particular courts and with loyalties to particular towns, nonetheless wandered the length and breadth of Italy, often occupying a diplomatic status and disseminating artistic and philosophical ideas.
Italian Renaissance painting
The city of
is renowned as the birthplace of the
, and in particular of Renaissance painting, although later in the era Rome and Venice assumed increasing importance in painting. A detailed background is given in the companion articles
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Did you know... -
...that , the main character in the Poliphilo Renaissance book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, was said to have felt "extreme delight," "incredible joy," and "frenetic pleasure and cupidinous frenzy" when he saw the buildings depicted in the book? Selected fare or cuisine -
changed greatly over the duration of the civilization's existence. Dietary Ancient Roman cuisine habits were affected by the political changes from kingdom to republic to empire, and the empire's enormous expansion, which exposed Romans to many new provincial culinary habits and cooking methods.
In the beginning, dietary differences between Roman social classes were not great, but disparities developed with the empire's growth.
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The following are images from various Italy-related articles on Wikipedia.
Italian Lombard kingdom (781-1014).
Physician attire for protection from the Bubonic plague or Black death, 1656.
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 states (1815-1859).
Ancient Greek colonies and their
groupings in Southern Italy.
NW Greek Achaean Doric
Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy for almost ten years between 1994 and 2011.
Secondary, widely spoken or understood.
Understood by some due to former colonisation.
Map of Etruscan civilisation.
Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, elected on 3 February 2015.
Imperial ambitions of Fascist Italy in Europe, 1936.
Giacomo Matteotti was murdered a few days after he openly denounced Fascist violence during the 1924 elections.
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.
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.
Mussolini and Hitler in June 1940.
gelato ice cream dessert.
Italian prisoners in El Alamein, November 1942.
mosaic depicts some of the Gladiators entertainments that would have been offered at the games.
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.
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.
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.
Giuseppe Verdi, one of Italy's greatest opera composers. Portrait by
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, possibly one of the most famous and iconic examples of Italian art
From left to right, Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Italian Foreign Minister
Count Ciano at the signing of Munich Agreement.
Umberto II, the last King of Italy, was exiled to Portugal.
Mussolini reviewing adolescent soldiers, late 1944.
Prada shop in Singapore.
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".
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.
The signing ceremony of the
Treaty of Rome on 25 March 1957, creating the EEC, forerunner of the present-day EU.
Italy has been a home for innovation in
science in the centuries since Galileo formulated his theories of planetary movement.
Commedia dell'arte troupe in a late 16th-century Flemish painting.
the EUR in Rome is a perfect example of modern Italian architecture
Fiat 600, iconic middle-class dream car and status symbol of the 1950-60s.
Insurgents celebrating the liberation of Naples after the
Four days of Naples (27-30 September 1943).
Attack of the far-right terrorist group NAR at the Bologna railway station on 2 August 1980, which caused the death of 85 people.
Italy and the nearby islands in the 1st century BCE.
Regional seat of
RAI in Cosenza.
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.