Introduction to Italy
Itlay is a long narrow peninsula with Alps to the north and islands to the south.
A country inhabited by Phonecians, Cathaginians and Greeks, the Latins established the Roman civilization whose Empire expanded across much of the globe. By the fifth century, the Romans began several hundred years in which they flourished as a key political and cultural leader in the Mediterranean.
Barbarian invasions and multiple invaders over the following centuries led to city-states with their own trading networks until the Renaissance.
From 1861 Italy was once again unified but became a fascist country in 1922. Following defeat in World War II it established a democracy and is a significant member of the European Union.
Etruscans, Romans and many other civilizations have left the ruins of their art and architecture sometimes seemingly piled on top of one another in this lovely country.
The Renaissance began in Italy and spread outwards. It was a period where art, literature, maths and science flourished in Italy.
Regional cuisines and cultures, in part a legacy of its city-state heritage, means that Italian culture varies between regions.