Italy officially the Italian republic. Is a parliamentary republic in Europe. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. Since ancient times, Greeks, Etruscans and Celts have inhabited the south, centre and north of the Italian Peninsula respectively. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the global distribution of civilian law, Republican governments, Christianity and the latin script.

During the Dark Ages, Italy suffered sociopolitical collapse amid calamitous barbarian invasions.

During the Renaissance, a period of renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art, Italy and the rest of Europe entered the modern era. The Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, artists, and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy would remain politically fragmented and fall prey to occupation, colonization, conquest, and general foreign domination by European powers such as France, Spain, and later Austria.