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
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of automobiles for competition. Auto racing has existed since the invention of the automobile. Races of various sorts were organised, with the first recorded as early as 1867. Many of the earliest events were reliability trials, aimed at proving these new machines were a practical mode of transport, but soon became an important way for competing makers to demonstrate their machines. By the 1930s, specialist racing cars had developed. There are now each with different rules and regulations; the first prearranged match race of two self-powered road vehicles over a prescribed route occurred at 4:30 A. M. on August 30, 1867, between Ashton-under-Lyne and Old Trafford, a distance of eight miles. It was won by the carriage of Isaac Watt Boulton. Internal combustion auto racing events began soon after the construction of the first successful gasoline-fueled automobiles; the first organized contest was on April 28, 1887, by the chief editor of Paris publication Le Vélocipède, Monsieur Fossier.
It ran 2 kilometres from Neuilly Bridge to the Bois de Boulogne. On July 22, 1894, the Parisian magazine Le Petit Journal organized what is considered to be the world's first motoring competition, from Paris to Rouen. One hundred and two competitors paid a 10-franc entrance fee; the first American automobile race is held to be the Thanksgiving Day Chicago Times-Herald race of November 28, 1895. Press coverage of the event first aroused significant American interest in the automobile. With auto construction and racing dominated by France, the French automobile club ACF staged a number of major international races from or to Paris, connecting with another major city, in France or elsewhere in Europe. Brooklands, in Surrey, was the first purpose-built motor racing venue, opening in June 1907, it featured a 4.43 km concrete track with high-speed banked corners. One of the oldest existing purpose-built automobile racing circuits in the United States, still in use, is the 2.5-mile-long Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
It is the largest capacity sports venue of any variety worldwide, with a top capacity of some 257,000+ seated spectators. NASCAR was founded by Bill France, Sr. on February 21, 1948, with the help of several other drivers of the time. The first NASCAR "Strictly Stock" race was held on June 19, 1949, at Daytona Beach, Florida. From 1962, sports cars temporarily took a back seat to GT cars, with the FIA replacing the World Championship for Sports Cars with the International Championship for GT Manufacturers. From 1972 through 2003, NASCAR's premier series was called the Winston Cup Series, sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarette brand Winston; the changes that resulted from RJR's involvement, as well as the reduction of the schedule from 48 to 31 races a year, established 1972 as the beginning of NASCAR's "modern era". The IMSA GT Series evolved into the American Le Mans Series, which ran its first season in 1999; the European races became the related Le Mans Series, both of which mix prototypes and GTs.
Turismo Carretera is a popular touring car racing series in Argentina, the oldest car racing series still active in the world. The first TC competition took place in 1937 with 12 races, each in a different province. Future Formula One star Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1940 and 1941 editions of the TC, it was during this time that the series' Chevrolet-Ford rivalry began, with Ford acquiring most of its historical victories. The two most popular varieties of open wheel road racing are the IndyCar Series. Formula One is a European-based series that runs only street race tracks; these cars are based around technology and their aerodynamics. With the highest speed record set in 2005 by Juan Pablo Montoya hitting 373 kph; some of the most prominent races are the Monaco Grand Prix, the Italian Grand Prix, the British Grand Prix. The season ends with the crowning of the World Championship for constructors. In single-seater, the wheels are not covered, the cars have aerofoil wings front and rear to produce downforce and enhance adhesion to the track.
In Europe and Asia, open-wheeled racing is referred to as'Formula', with appropriate hierarchical suffixes. In North America, the'Formula' terminology is not followed; the sport is arranged to follow an international format, a regional format, and/or a domestic, or country-specific, format. In the United States, the most popular series is the National Championship, more known as the IndyCar Series and known as CART; the cars have traditionally been similar though less technologically sophisticated than F1 cars, with more restrictions on technology aimed at controlling costs. While these cars are not as technologically advanced, they are faster because they compete on oval race tracks, being able to average a lap at 388 kph; the series' biggest race is the Indianapolis 500, referred to as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" due to being the longest continuously run race and having the largest crowd for a single-day sporting event. The other major international single-seater racing series is Formula 2.
Regional series include Formula Nippon and Formula V6 Asia, Formula Renault 3.5, Formula Three, For