Italy is a popular travel destination in South-central Europe. The capital of the country is Rome. The country is sharing its borders with Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria and France. Italy consists of Italian Peninsula and several islands which includes two largest islands such as Sardinia and Sicily. Modern human settlement dated back to Paleolithic period in Italy, i.e. around 200,000 years back. Greeks established colonies in Sicily in 7th and 8th centuries BC and south of Italian Peninsula was known in the name of Magna Graecia. Along the coasts of Sicily and Sardinia islands, the Phoenician colonies were established. Ancient Rome is known as the birth place of western civilization when it was the capital of Roman Empire.
After the decline of Roman Empire, the country was invaded by foreigners that range from Germanic tribes like Ostrogoths and Lombards, Byzantines to Normans. Italy is also the birthplace of Renaissance. Italy was divided in to several kingdoms as well as city-state, but unified in the year 1861. Italy was a colonial empire during late 19th century under the fascist dictatorship and the country ruled several other countries such as Somalia, Albania, Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, a concession of Tianjin and Dodecanese. Now, Italy is a democratic country with parliamentary system. Executive power is vested on the Council of Ministers headed by the President, and legislative power is exercised primarily by two houses of the parliament and secondarily by Council of Ministers. Judicial system is independent to both executive as well as legislative powers.
The country depends on a capitalist economy, and the people of Italy enjoy high standards of living. The major industries are tourism, communications, food processing, automobiles, machinery, commerce, chemicals, steel, textiles, footwear, ceramics and home appliances. Italy has a total population or 60.4 million. Ethnic Italians consist of about 93% of the total population. Other ethnicities of the country are Romanians, Albanians, Chinese, North Africans, Ukrainians, Asians, Latin Americans, Sub-Saharan African, and others. The official language of the country is Italian. Other languages are French, German, Slovene and Udine. Majority of the population are following Roman Catholicism. Other religions of the country are Judaism, Islam, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’i and Buddhists.
Italy is filled with tourist attractions that range from sculptures, world famous paintings, cathedrals, churches to architectural monuments. Rome is a famous for its variety of attractions such as Roman Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Churches and Basilicas, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and Castel Sant’ Angelo. Rome itself is a state which consists of Vatican City, another state. Vatican City consists of attractions such as Vatican museums, Vatican gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square and Sistine Chapel. Venice is another state of Italy where you can find innumerable tourist attractions such as St. Mark’s Square, Naval History Museum, The Lido, Doge’s Palace, Ca‘D’Oro, Caffe Florian, Rialto Bridge and Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari.
Tuscany, an Italian region is the home of Siena, Lucca, Pisa and Florence. You can find great art works of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci as well as Filippo Brunelleschi. The leaning tower of Pisa is the greatest attraction here. Uffizi Museum is situated in Florence and the museum displays the work of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Filippo Lippi, Tintoretto, Giotto, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Tiziano, Rubens, and other popular painters. Other tourist attractions of Florence city are Giotto’s Bell tower, Piazza San Giovanni, Baptistery, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Accademia Gallery, Boboli Gardens, Palatine museum, Pitti Palace and Palazzo Vecchio.