Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km² and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). With around 61 million inhabitants it is the 4th most populous EU member state.
Italy has the 3rd largest nominal GDP in the Eurozone and the 8th largest in the world. As an advanced economy the country also has the 6th worldwide national wealth and it is ranked 3rd for its central bank gold reserve. Italy has a very high level of human development and it is 6th in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs, and it is both a regional power and a great power. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and the member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus and many more. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 53 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the 5th most visited country.
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Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and the historic centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.View destination
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the Serchio, in a fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital of the Province of Lucca. It is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. The walls encircling the old town remain intact, even as the city expanded and modernized, unusual for cities in the region. Initially built as a defensive rampart, once the walls lost their military importance they became a pedestrian promenade, the Passeggiata delle Mura Urbane, a street atop the walls linking the bastions.View destination
Pisa is a city in the Tuscany region of Central Italy straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city's cathedral), the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces and various bridges across the Arno.View destination
Pistoia is a city and comune in the Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 kilometres west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno. It is a typical Italian medieval city, and it attracts many tourists, especially in the summer. The city is famous throughout Europe for its plant nurseries.View destination
Rome is the capital of Italy and a special comune (named Comune di Roma Capitale). It is the fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of 2 states.View destination
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls, form "an unforgettable skyline". The "Historic Centre of San Gimignano" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.View destination
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.View destination