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Location of Italy within Europe

Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a country located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, in Southern Europe; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy 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 301,230 km2 (116,310 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. With over 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 culture, such as the Italic peoples, the Etruscans, the Celts and the Ligures, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, and the Carthaginians. 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. (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.
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: [paˈlattso ˈpitti]), 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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Carlo Orelli
Carlo Orelli

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Acquacotta soup (cropped).jpg
Acquacotta soup
Acquacotta (pronounced [ˌakkwaˈkɔtta]; Italian for "cooked water") is a hot broth-based bread soup in Italian cuisine that was originally a peasant food. Its preparation and consumption dates back to ancient history, and it originated in the coastal area known as the Maremma in southern Tuscany and northern Lazio. The dish was invented in part as a means to make hardened, stale bread edible. In contemporary times, ingredients can vary, and additional ingredients are sometimes used. Variations of the dish include aquacotta con funghi and aquacotta con peperoni. (Full article...)

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