Italy is officially known as the Italian Republic.
Vatican City and San Marino are very small independent states located inside Italy.
Campione d'Italia is part of Italy but located within the borders of Switzerland.
Italy belongs to the continent of Europe. Countries that border Italy are Austria, France, Vatican City, San Marino, and Switzerland.
Rome is the capital city of Italy. Other major cities include Milan, Naples, Turin, and Palermo.
Rome was the home to the Ancient Romans, a civilization that grew into a huge empire. Western civilization as we know today is based on many Ancient Roman principles.
Italy has many earthquakes and volcanoes due to the conflict between the Eurasian and the African tectonic plates. The volcanoes Etna and Vesuvius are a constant danger to humans due to their closeness to big cities.
Around 60.2 million people live in Italy as of 2023.
Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which was a period of great cultural achievements in poetry, painting and architecture. Famous artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo Da Vinci were part of the Renaissance.
The Italian city of Venice is built on 118 small islands that are linked together by hundreds of bridges.
Italian is the main language in Italy. German, French and Slovene are also spoken in certain areas.
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are well known Italian car manufacturers.
Italians drive on the right-hand side of the road.
The most popular sport in Italy is football (soccer). Italy has won four men's World Cups, the last one being in 2006.
Rome hosted the 1960 summer Olympic Games, the only time it has been held in Italy. The winter Olympics has been held in Italy three times.
Italian cuisine is popular around the world. Dishes such as pizza, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and risotto all come from Italy.
Many famous scientists and mathematicians were born and raised in Italy. Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Alessandro Volta, and Fibonacci to name just a few.
Italy has played a large role in the history of architecture, discovering important building techniques such as the arch and the dome. Buildings such as the Colosseum, Pantheon and the Leaning Tower of Pisa are examples of such architecture.
For more information, check out maps of Italy or take a closer look at the Italian flag.