A knife fight is a violent physical confrontation between two or more combatants in which one or more participants is armed with a knife. A knife fight is defined by the presence of a knife as a weapon and the violent intent of the combatants to kill or incapacitate each other. Knife fights may involve the use of any type of knife, though certain knives, termed fighting knives, are purposely designed for such confrontations – the dagger being just one example. During the long history of the knife as a weapon, many systems or schools of knife fighting have developed around the world; each is distinguished by region and culture of their origin. In past centuries the repeated invasion and conquest of foreign territories by invading armies resulted in the dissemination and adoption of knives and knife fighting techniques; these were in turn adapted and improved upon through long practice and drills, sometimes over hundreds of years. The Italian stiletto a purely offensive weapon used to kill an unsuspecting or wounded adversary, was embraced throughout Italy as a fighting knife for close combat confrontations.
The popularity of the stiletto in the Kingdom of Sicily resulted in the development of the scherma di stiletto siciliano. The stiletto was purely a thrusting or stabbing weapon, the scherma di stiletto siciliano accordingly taught fighting movements designed to avoid the tip of the opponent's blade. Techniques characteristic of the scherma di stiletto siciliano include sbasso, in quarto tagliata, the balzo. A person skilled in the use of a stiletto would thrust the knife deep into the victim twist the blade in various directions before retracting it, causing the sharp point to inflict severe internal damage not apparent when examining the entrance wound. In Andalusian Spain, the use of the large navaja as a fighting knife has been used by the peoples of that region since the 17th century. In that part of Spain and knife fighting techniques were taught to young men as a necessary skill passed down from father to son as a rite of passage to adulthood. In 18th- and 19th-century Spain esgrimas de navaja could be found in the major cities and throughout Andalucía in Córdoba, Málaga, Seville.
As time went on, these schools began to depart from teaching traditional sword-fighting and fencing techniques in favour of simplified attacks and defences based on the concept of deception and counterstrike. Among navaja aficionados, the gamblers or barateros of Málaga and Seville were cited as the most skilled practitioners of fighting with the navaja; the firmly-established knife-fighting tradition with the navaja in Andalusian Spain would spread to other Spanish-speaking countries, was known as el legado Andaluz, or "the Andalusian legacy". The Esgrima Criolla method of knife fighting was popularized by the South American gaucho and his large-bladed facón. Deprived of their ability to wear a sword by various edicts, Spanish gentlemen in South America adopted the facón, together with fighting techniques developed directly from el legado Andaluz, including the use of an item of clothing such as a poncho or cloak to protect the weaponless arm; the facón was universally adopted by the gaucho in Argentina and Uruguay and by men of the rural working class of those countries.
Knives similar in style and length to the facón were carried by a wide variety of South American men who were either prohibited from carrying swords or who needed a more convenient, wearable close combat weapon. In an 1828 account of the capture of Las Damas Argentinas, a pirate schooner carrying a mixed group of Spanish-speaking pirates, the carrying of knives similar to the facón is mentioned: "Amongst these, were a large number of long knives – weapons which the Spaniards use dexterously, they are about the size of a common English carving knife, but for several inches up the blade cut both sides."After the turn of the 19th century, the facón became more of a utility and ceremonial weapon, though it was still used to settle arguments "of honor". In these situations two adversaries would attack with slashing attacks to the face, stopping the fight when one of the participants could no longer see due to bleeding from shallow cuts. Arnis referred to as Eskrima and Kali, is an indigenous Philippine martial art involving the use of sticks and other bladed weapons.
Like most other knife fighting traditions, Eskrima is learned by constant practice, using sparring encounters between two or more opponents in order to hone a practitioner's physical skills and mental concentration. This martial art flourished for hundreds of years as part of a society with a blade culture, the system's impressive indigenous techniques were directly influenced by Spanish and Andalusian fencing and knife fighting systems with the introduction of the angles of attack and the use of espada y daga. Modern tactics for knife combat were developed by two British members of the Shanghai Municipal Police of the International Settlement in the 1920s. At the time, the Shanghai streets were rife with criminal activity, exacerbated by the political tensions of the time and the breakdown of social order in much of the country. Captain William E. Fairbairn and Sergeant Er
Tommaso "Tommy" Gagliano was an American mobster and boss of what U. S. federal authorities would designate as the Lucchese crime family, one of the "Five Families" of New York City. He served as a low-profile boss for over two decades, his successor was underboss, Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese. Tommaso Gagliano was born on 29 May 1883 in Sicily. Gagliano married Giuseppina "Josephine" Pomilla, from Corleone. Gagliano and his brother-in-law Nunzio Pomilla were partners in lathing and hoisting companies in the Bronx, he served as underboss to Gaetano "Tom" Reina until he became the boss of the family in 1930. The Reina family controlled a monopoloy on ice distribution in the Bronx. Gagliano along with Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese and Stefano "Steve" Rondelli were viewed as the most powerful members of the Reina family. Frank Gagliano was the son of a deported mobster, he was the cousin of mob boss Thomas Eboli's chauffeur and bodyguard, future Genovese crime family underboss Dominick Alongi who would achieve notoriety when they were among the many mobsters arrested fleeing the famous 1957 Apalachin Meeting.
He was a blood relative of mobster Joseph Gagliano, who became a childhood friend and early accomplice of future government witness Joseph Valachi. The two performed armed robberies together. During the late 1920s, a bitter gang rivalry arose in New York between Joseph "The Boss" Masseria, the most powerful mobster in New York, Salvatore Maranzano, head of the Castellammarese Sicilian clan. Masseria had demanded more money from Reina, prompting Reina to consider switching allegiance to Maranzano; when Masseria heard about Reina's plans, Masseria murdered him in February 1930. To head Reina's gang, Masseria appointed one of Joseph Pinzolo. Both Gagliano and Lucchese hated Pinzolo and resented Masseria appointing an outsider as gang leader. In September 1930, Pinzolo was killed by unknown assailants. To replace Pinzolo, Masseria appointed Gagliano as head of the Reina gang, it is speculated that Gagliano and Lucchese formed a secret alliance with Maranzano at this time while still professing loyalty to Masseria.
As the war continued, Masseria began suffering more key defections. On April 13, 1931, Masseria was assassinated at Brooklyn restaurant by several of his men; these defectors, guided by Charles "Lucky" Luciano, had made a deal with Maranzano guaranteeing their power if they switched sides. However, after Masseria's death, Maranzano started promoting himself as the "Boss of All Bosses" for all the Italian-American criminal gangs in the country. Feeling betrayed and threatened, Luciano arranged Maranzano's assassination a few months in September 1931. During this period of instability, Gagliano remained in control of the Reina gang. After Maranzano's death, Luciano restructured all the Italian-American criminal gangs into several crime families regulated by a Commission of family bosses; the aim of this restructuring was to settle disputes without bloody gang wars. The New York City gangs were divided into five crime families. Gagliano took with Lucchese as his underboss; as a boss, Gagliano became a member of the Commission.
Gagliano steered the family through a period of high tension between the Five Families. In 1936, Luciano was sent to prison and in 1946, deported to Italy. With Luciano's absence, power on the Commission was held by an alliance of bosses Vincent Mangano, Joe Bonanno, Stefano Magaddino and Joe Profaci. Gagliano had to be careful in the face of this alliance, was keen to keep a low profile while furthering the business interests of his section of Cosa Nostra, in industries such as gasoline rationing and black market sugar, he issued his orders through his close allies Lucchese, who served as the family's public face and de facto street boss. As a result little is known about Gagliano between 1932 and his death from natural causes in the 1950s; the actual date of Gagliano's death is still uncertain. In 1951, Lucchese stated during the Senate hearings on organized crime that Gagliano died on 16 February 1951. However, many historians believe Gagliano died in 1953, it has been speculated that Gagliano retired in 1951 and turned leadership over to Lucchese, but kept this information secret to prevent law enforcement or media scrutiny.
Tommy Gagliano is interred in a private mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, New York. In 2014, Eldorado the last episode of the final season of Boardwalk Empire, Tommy Gagliano is played by actor Salvatore Inzerillo, he has a small speaking role and is seen sitting at the table as Lucky Luciano gathers the country's most powerful crime bosses and forms The Commission. Gaetano Gagliano: The Quiet Don by Allan May Lucchese Crime Family Epic: Descent into Darkness Tommy Gagliano at Find a Grave
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Five Families are the five major New York City organized crime families of the Italian American Mafia. The term was first used in 1931, when Salvatore Maranzano formally organized the warring gangs into what are now known as the Bonanno, Gambino and Lucchese crime families, each with demarcated territory, organizationally structured in a now-familiar hierarchy, having them reporting up to the same overarching governing entity. Maranzano intended each family's boss to report to him as the capo di tutti capi, but this led to his assassination and by September the role was replaced by The Commission, which continues to govern American Mafia activities in the United States and Canada; the crime families originated out of New York City Sicilian Mafia gangs. Salvatore Maranzano formally organized them in the summer of 1931, after the April 15 murder of Giuseppe Masseria, in what has become known as the Castellammarese War. Maranzano introduced the now-familiar Mafia hierarchy: boss, advisor, captain and associate.
By declaring himself boss of all bosses, Maranzano was breaking the deal he had made with Lucky Luciano in which the gangsters agreed that they would be equals, in exchange for Luciano agreeing to help murder Masseria. For reneging, Maranzano was murdered on September 1931, on Luciano's orders; the boss of all bosses position was eliminated in favor of The Commission. The Commission would consist of the head of each of the Five Families, plus the heads of the Buffalo crime family and the Chicago Outfit; the council would serve as the governing body of the American Mafia, settling disputes, including demarcating territory among the warring factions and would govern all activities in the United States and Canada. By 1963, when they were publicly disclosed in the Valachi hearings, the family names had changed and were based on their bosses at the time, Joseph Bonanno, Carlo Gambino, Vito Genovese, Tommy Lucchese and Joseph Profaci; the crime families operated throughout the New York Metropolitan area, but within New York City.
In the state of New York the gangs have increased their criminal rackets on Long Island and the counties of Westchester and Albany. They maintain a strong presence in the state of New Jersey; the Five Families are active in South Florida, Las Vegas, Massachusetts. The Bonanno crime family operates in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island; the family maintains influence in Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester County, New Jersey and Florida, have ties to the Montreal Mafia in Quebec. The Bath Avenue Crew operated in the Bensonhurst section of New York; the Colombo crime family operates in Brooklyn and Long Island. The family maintains influence in Staten Island, The Bronx, New Jersey, Florida; the Gambino crime family operates in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island. The family maintains influence in The Bronx, New Jersey, Westchester County, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Los Angeles; the Ozone Park Boys operate in Queens and Long Island The Genovese crime family operates in Manhattan, The Bronx and New Jersey.
The family maintains influence in Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Connecticut and Florida. 116th Street Crew operates in Upper Manhattan and The Bronx Greenwich Village Crew operates in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan Genovese crime family New Jersey faction operates throughout the state of New Jersey The Lucchese crime family operates in The Bronx, Manhattan and New Jersey. The family maintains influence in Queens, Long Island, Staten Island, Westchester County, Florida. Cutaia Crew operates in Brooklyn and Long Island Lucchese crime family New Jersey faction operates throughout New Jersey The Tanglewood Boys was a "recruitment gang" that operated in Westchester County, The Bronx, Manhattan. Most members were Castellammarese. 1908 – Salvatore "Don Turridru" Bonanno, Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno's father, arrives in the United States and takes control of a gang of immigrants from Castellamare del Golfo in Williamsburg. 1911 – Salvatore Bonanno is forced to return to Italy after noticing that his gang is facing problems with rivals back home in Castellamare del Golfo.
Vito Bonventre, his cousin and underboss, becomes boss. 1921 – Nicola "Cola" Schiro is promoted to boss, though he was seen as a figurehead for powerful members like Vito Bonventre, on, Salvatore Maranzano. 1925 – Salvatore "Caesar" Maranzano, a recent arrival from Castellamare del Golfo, becomes the boss while Vito Bonventre steps down to become underboss. Nicola Schiro, the nominal head of the family since 1921, is in fact a front boss to Maranzano. 1930 – Nicola Schiro abruptly "disappears" after paying tribute to Masseria. Joe Bonanno is promoted to underboss. 1931 – Maranzano is murdered at the end of the Castellamarese War, underboss Joe Bonanno takes over his family. 1964-1968 – Joe Bonanno is kidnapped by gunmen from the Buffalo crime family in October 1964, after his plot to take over The Commission was exposed. The Commission names Gaspar DiGregorio as the new boss, but he is opposed by Bonanno's son Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno, splitting the family into rival factions. Little to no action takes place until a sit-down between Bonanno and DiGregorio in early 1966 turns out to be an
Gambino crime family
The Gambino crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominate organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia. The group, which went through five bosses between 1910 and 1957, is named after Carlo Gambino, boss of the family at the time of the McClellan hearings in 1963, when the structure of organized crime first gained public attention; the group's operations extend from the eastern seaboard to California. Its illicit activities include labor and construction racketeering, loansharking, money laundering, fraud, pier thefts, fencing; the family was one of the five families that were founded in New York after the Castellammarese War of 1931. For most of the next quarter-century, it was a minor player in organized crime, its most prominent member during this time was its underboss Albert Anastasia, who rose to infamy as the operating head of the underworld's enforcement arm, Inc. He remained in power after Murder, Inc. was smashed in the late 1940s, took over his family in 1951—by all accounts, after murdering the family's founder Vincent Mangano.
The rise of what was the most powerful crime family in America for a time began in 1957, when Anastasia was assassinated while sitting in a barber chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. Experts believe that Anastasia's underboss Carlo Gambino helped orchestrate the hit to take over the family. Gambino partnered with Meyer Lansky to control gambling interests in Cuba; the family's fortunes grew through 1976, when Gambino appointed his brother-in-law Paul Castellano as boss upon his death. Castellano infuriated upstart capo John Gotti, who orchestrated Castellano's murder in 1985. Gotti's downfall came in 1992, when his underboss Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano decided to cooperate with the FBI. Gravano's cooperation brought down Gotti, along with most of the top members of the Gambino family. Beginning in 2015, the family was headed by Frank Cali until his murder outside his Staten Island home on March 13, 2019; the origins of the Gambino crime family can be traced back to the faction of newly transplanted mafiosi from Palermo, Sicily who were led by Ignazio Lupo.
When he and his partner by business and marriage, Giuseppe Morello, were sent to prison for counterfeiting in 1910, Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila, one of Lupo's chief captains, took over. D'Aquila was an influential emigrant from Palermo. Founded in the 1900s, the Lupo Mano Nera gang was one of the first Italian criminal groups in New York. Lupo was partner in many ventures with Morello, the original capo di tutti capi, a title that would be coveted by D'Aquila; as other gangs formed in New York, they acknowledged Morello as their boss of bosses. In 1906, D'Aquila's name first appeared on police records for running a confidence scam. In 1910, Giuseppe Morello and Ignazio Lupo were sentenced to 30 years in prison for counterfeiting. With the Morello family weakened, D'Aquila used the opportunity to establish the dominance of what was now his own Palermitani family in East Harlem. D'Aquila used his ties to other Mafia leaders in the United States to create a network of influence and connections and was soon a powerful force in New York.
By 1910, more Italian gangs had formed in New York City. In addition to the original Morello gang in East Harlem and D'Aquila's own, now growing gang in East Harlem, there were other organizations forming. In Brooklyn, Nicolo "Cola" Schirò established a second gang of Sicilian mafiosi from Castellammare del Golfo, west of Palermo, in Sicily. A third Sicilian gang was formed by Alfred Mineo in Brooklyn. Another Morello captain, Gaetano Reina, had broken away in the Bronx, ruling that area with impunity. In south Brooklyn, first Johnny Torrio Frankie Yale were leading a new and rising organization. There were two allied Neapolitan Camorra gangs, one on Coney Island and one on Navy Street in Brooklyn, that were run by Pellegrino Morano and Alessandro Vollero. In 1916 the Camorra had assassinated head of the Morello gang. In response, D'Aquila allied with the Morellos to fight the Camorra. In 1917, both Morano and Vollero were sentenced to life in prison. With their leadership gone, the two Camorra gangs disappeared and D'Aquila and the Schiro family in Brooklyn took over many of their rackets in Brooklyn.
Soon after, D'Aquila absorbed the Mineo gang. D'Aquila now controlled the largest and most influential Italian gang in New York City, it was about this time that Joe Masseria, another former Morello captain, began asserting his influence over the Lower East Side's Little Italy and began to come into conflict with D'Aquila's operations there, as Prohibition approached. In 1920, the United States outlawed the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, creating the opportunity for an lucrative illegal racket for the New York gangs. By 1920, D'Aquila's only significant rival was Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria. Masseria had taken over the Morello family interests, by the mid-1920s, had begun to amass power and influence to rival that of D'Aquila. By the late 1920s, D'Aquila and Masseria were headed for a showdown. On October 10, 1928, Masseria gunmen assassinated Salvatore D'Aquila outside his home. D'Aquila's second-in-command, Alfred Mineo, his right-hand man, Steve Ferrigno, now commanded the largest and most influential Sicilian gang in New York City.
In 1930, the Castellammarese War started between Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano, the new leader of Cola Schirò's C
Automobile repair shop
An automobile repair shop is an establishment where automobiles are repaired by auto mechanics and technicians. Automotive garages and repair shops can be divided into following categories: The auto parts stores or motor-factors that maintain service operations; this is not common in the United Kingdom but more common in the US. Automobile repair workshops that are independently operated businesses; these may include regional or national chains and franchises including OEM car dealership sites. In the United States, these sites are certified by their respective manufacturer to perform warranty and recall repairs by that manufacturer or distributor. Independent automobile repair shops in the US may achieve certification through manufacturer sponsored programs. European Union law permits motorists more flexibility in selecting. Maintenance and service work does not have to be done by the main dealer providing the garage uses Original Equipment'Matching Quality' parts follows the manufacturer's service schedules.
The Block Exemption Regulation covers service and maintenance during the warranty period and prohibits vehicle manufacturers’ warranties from including restrictive conditions. Specialty automobile repair shops are shops specializing in certain parts such as brakes and exhaust systems, body parts, automobile electrification, automotive air conditioner repairs, automotive glass repairs and installation, wheel alignment or those who only work on certain brands of vehicle or vehicles from certain continents of the world. There are automotive repair shops that specialize in vehicle modifications and customization. Oftentimes, various specialized auto repair shops will have varied infrastructure and facilities, as well as technicians and mechanics with different qualifications. Online automobile repair shops providing doorstep repair services and home delivery of new and used auto parts of different late model and classic cars whose parts are not available in the market. In countries such as the UK, the mobile car body repair sectors has experienced high growth by way of mobile SMART Repair companies providing mobile car body repair services, such as Bumper Repairs, auto body repair, paintless dent repair and paintwork defect repairs to private and commercial consumers within the industry framework of refinishing vehicle damage on a localised basis, where the area of damage being repaired is not in excess of an A4 sheet of paper.
Some repair shops offer both bodywork repair. Automotive repair shops that specialize in bodywork repair are known as body shops, they offer paintwork repairs to scratches and dents, as well as repairs to the bodies of vehicles damaged by collisions. Many body shops now offer paintless dent repair. Other repair shops offer auto glass repair. Automotive repair shops that specialize in auto glass repair are known as auto glass repair shops, they offer auto glass repairs to chips and shattered glass. The types of glass they repair include car windows, quarter glass and rear windows; this type of damage is caused by hail, wild animals, fallen trees, automobile theft and vandalism. Automotive Service Excellence Breakdown Preventive maintenance Reliability centered maintenance Service Labor Time Standards
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot 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's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection