Portal:Italy

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Location of Italy within Europe

Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a sovereign country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and is considered part of western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with Rome as its capital, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (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 Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). With around 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 Merranean, 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 Magna Graecia of 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 Merranean 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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Overview of the stages:
route from Venice to Rome covered by the riders on the bicycle (red)
and distances between stages (green).

The 2009 Giro d'Italia was the 92nd running of the Giro d'Italia, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It was held from 9 to 31 May 2009, and marked the 100th year since the first ion of the race. Starting in Venice and finishing in Rome, 22 teams competed over 21 stages.

The Giro was raced on a unique path through Italy, taking the peloton to some historic cities and towns in Italian cycling. Though the route lacked any well-known, storied climbs, the many intermediate and mountain stages in the second and third weeks of the race proved deceptively difficult. The 10th and the 16th stages were both called the race's queen stage, as both contained multiple difficult mountain climbs. Read more...
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Some typical Italian gastronomic products in a window display in Imola.

Italian cuisine is a Merranean cuisine consisting of the ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques developed across the Italian Peninsula since the antiquity, and later spread around the world together with waves of Italian diaspora.

Significant changes occurred with the colonization of the Americas and the introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, maize and sugar beet, this last introduced in quantity in the 18th century. Italian cuisine is known for its regional diversity, especially between the north and the south of the Italian peninsula. It offers an abundance of taste, and is one of the most popular and copied in the world. It influenced several cuisines around the world, chiefly that of the United States. Read more...

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