Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is politically a region of Italy, whose official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna, enjoys some degree of domestic autonomy granted by a specific Statute, it is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city, with Cagliari being the region's capital and its largest city. Sardinia's indigenous language and the other minority languages spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy "equal dignity" with Italian. Due to the variety of its ecosystems, which include mountains, plains uninhabited territories, rocky coasts and long sandy beaches, the island has been defined metaphorically as a micro-continent. In the modern era, many travelers and writers have extolled the beauty of its untouched landscape, which houses the vestiges of the Nuragic civilization; the name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *srd- romanised as sardus.
It makes its first appearance on the Nora Stone, where the word Šrdn testifies to the name's existence when the Phoenician merchants first arrived. According to Timaeus, one of Plato's dialogues and its people as well might have been named after a legendary woman going by Sardò, born in Sardis, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia. There has been speculation that identifies the ancient Nuragic Sards with the Sherden, one of the Sea Peoples, it is suggested that the name had a religious connotation from its use as the adjective for the ancient Sardinian mythological hero-god Sardus Pater, as well as being the stem of the adjective "sardonic". In Classical antiquity, Sardinia was called a number of names besides Sardò or Sardinia, like Ichnusa and Argirofleps. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 24,100 square kilometres, it is situated between 8 ° 8' and 9 ° 50' east longitude. To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea.
The nearest land masses are the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, the Balearic Islands, Provence. The Tyrrhenian Sea portion of the Mediterranean Sea is directly to the east of Sardinia between the Sardinian east coast and the west coast of the Italian mainland peninsula; the Strait of Bonifacio is directly north of Sardinia and separates Sardinia from the French island of Corsica. The coasts of Sardinia are high and rocky, with long straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast; the island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone. Its rocks date in fact from the Palaeozoic Era. Due to long erosion processes, the island's highlands, formed of granite, trachyte, basalt and dolomite limestone, average at between 300 to 1,000 metres; the highest peak is part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Other mountain chains are Monte Limbara in the northeast, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano running crosswise for 40 kilometres towards the north, the Monte Albo, the Sette Fratelli Range in the southeast, the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas.
The island's ranges and plateaux are separated by wide alluvial valleys and flatlands, the main ones being the Campidano in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliari and the Nurra in the northwest. Sardinia has few major rivers, the largest being the Tirso, 151 km long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas and the Flumendosa. There are 54 artificial dams that supply water and electricity; the main ones are Lake Coghinas. The only natural freshwater lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km of the coastline; the climate of the island is variable from area to area, due to several factors including the extension in latitude and the elevation. It can be classified in two different macrobioclimates, one macrobioclimatic variant, called Submediterranean, four classes of continentality, eight thermotypic horizons and seven ombrotypic horizons, resulting in a combination of 43 different isobioclimates. During the year there is a major concentration
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, artistic legacy, its influence on high culture, it is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Lucca, Versilia and Chianti; the village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val d'Orcia are internationally renowned and popular spots among travellers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals. Triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche to the northeast, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast; the comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca' Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna. Tuscany has a western coastline on the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, among, the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of 22,993 square kilometres. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, with few plains, the region has a relief, dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the region's total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, mountains, a further 25%, or 5,770 square kilometres.
Plains occupy 8.4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the Arno. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa; the climate is mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer, giving the region a soil-building active freeze-thaw cycle, in part accounting for the region's once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks; the Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture in the late second millennium BC who had trading relationships with the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in the Aegean Sea. Following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before "Orientalization" occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose.
The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in the area of Etruria well into prehistory; the civilization grew to fill the area between the Arno and Tiber from the eighth century BCE, reaching its peak during the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. succumbing to the Romans by the first century BCE. Throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, Rome, influenced the civilization to a great extent. One reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, ensured peace.
These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, the construction of many buildings, both public and private. However, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather; the Roman civilization in the West of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the region fell to barbarians migrating through the Empire from Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Goths was re-conquered by the revived Eastern Roman Empire under the strong Emperor Justinian. In the years following 572, the Lombards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their subsequent Tuscia. Pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France brought wealth and development during the medieval period; the food and shelter required by the
Abruzzo is a region of Southern Italy with an area of 10,763 square km and a population of 1.2 million. It is divided into four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo and Chieti, its western border lies 80 km east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, the Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically, Abruzzo is divided into a mountainous area in the west, which includes the Gran Sasso d'Italia, a coastal area in the east with beaches on the Adriatic Sea. Abruzzo is considered a region of Southern Italy in terms of its culture, language and economy, although geographically it may be considered central; the Italian Statistical Authority deems it to be part of Southern Italy because of Abruzzo's historic association with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Abruzzo is known as "the greenest region in Europe" as half of its territory, the largest in Europe, is set aside as national parks and protected nature reserves. There are three national parks, one regional park, 38 protected nature reserves.
These ensure the survival of 75% of Europe's living species, including rare species such as the small wading dotterel, the golden eagle, the Abruzzo chamois, the Apennine wolf and the Marsican brown bear. Abruzzo is home to Calderone, Europe's southernmost glacier; the visiting nineteenth-century Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi said that the adjectives "forte e gentile" best describe the beauty of the region and the character of its people. "Forte e gentile" has since become the motto of its inhabitants. Abruzzo is divided into four administrative provinces: Human settlements in Abruzzo have existed since at least the Neolithic times. A skeleton from Lama dei Peligni in the province of Chieti dates back to 6,540 BC under radiometric dating; the name Abruzzo appears to be derivative of the Latin word "Aprutium". In Roman times, the region was known as Picenum, Sabina et Samnium, Flaminia et Picenum, Campania et Samnium; the region was known as Aprutium in the Middle Ages, arising from four possible sources: it is a combination of Praetutium, or rather of the name of the people Praetutii, applied to their chief city, the old Teramo.
Many cities in Abruzzo date back to ancient times. Corfinio was known as Corfinium when it was the chief city of the Paeligni, was renamed Pentima by the Romans. Chieti is built on the site of the ancient city of Teate, Atri was known as Adria. Teramo, known variously in ancient times as Interamnia and Teramne, has Roman ruins which attract tourists. After the fall of the Roman Empire, there were a string of invasions and rulers in the region, including the Lombards, Byzantines and Hungarians. Between the 9th and 12th centuries, the region was dominated by the popes. Subsequently, the Normans took over, Abruzzo became part of the Kingdom of Sicily the Kingdom of Naples. Spain ruled the kingdom from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries; the French Bourbon dynasty took over in 1815, establishing the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, ruled until Italian unification in 1860. Until 1963, Abruzzo was part of the Abruzzi region with Molise; the term Abruzzi derives from the time. The territory was administered as Abruzzo Citeriore and Abruzzo Ulteriore I and II from Naples, the capital of the kingdom.
Abruzzo Citeriore is now Chieti province. Teramo and Pescara provinces now comprise what was Abruzzo Ulteriore I. Abruzzo Ulteriore II is now the province of L'Aquila. In the twentieth century, war had a great impact on the region. During the Second World War, Abruzzo was on the Gustav Line, part of the German's Winter Line. One of the most brutal battles was the Battle of Ortona. Abruzzo was the location of two prisoner of war camps, Campo 21 in Chieti, Campo 78 in Sulmona; the Sulmona camp served as a POW camp in World War 1. Geographically, Abruzzo is located in central Italy and southern Italy, stretching from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea, includes mountainous and wild land; the mountainous land is occupied by a vast plateau, including Gran Sasso, at 2,912 metres the highest peak of the Apennines, Mount Majella at 2,793 metres. The Adriatic coastline is characterized by long sandy beaches to the North and pebbly beaches to the South. Abruzzo is well known for its landscapes and natural environment and nature reserves, characteristic hillside areas rich in vineyards and olive groves, one of the highest densities of Blue Flag beaches.
The Abruzzo region has two types of climate that are influenced by the Apennine Mountains, dividing the climate of the coastal and sub-Apennine hills from the interior's high mountain ranges. Coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters and rainy hills with a sublittoral climate where temperatures decrease progressively with increasing altitude and precipitation with altitude. Precipitation is strongly affected by the presence of the Apennines mountain ridges of the region; the Adriatic coast are sidelined rainfall from the west to the barrier effect of the Apennines undergoing the action of gentle winds descending from it. The minimum annual rainfall, however, is found in some inland vall
Basilicata known by its ancient name Lucania, is a region in Southern Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, Calabria to the south. It has two coastlines: a 30-km stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania and Calabria, a longer coastline along the Gulf of Taranto between Calabria and Apulia; the region can be thought of as the "instep" of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the "toe" and Apulia the "heel". The region covers about 10,000 km2 and in 2010 had a population under 600,000; the regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Matera. Basilicata is an emerging tourist destination, thanks in particular to the city of Matera, whose historical quarter I Sassi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, has been designated European Capital of Culture 2019; the New York Times ranked Basilicata third in its list of "52 Places to Go in 2018", defining it "Italy’s best-kept secret". The name derives from "basilikos", which refers to the basileus, the Byzantine emperor, who ruled the region in the 9th–11th centuries.
Others argue that the name may refer to the Basilica of Acerenza which held judicial power in the Middle Ages. During the Greek and Roman Ages, Basilicata was known as Lucania, named after the tribes which populated the region in the Iron Age. Basilicata covers an extensive part of the southern Apennine Mountains between Ofanto in the north and the Pollino massif in the south, it is bordered on the east by a large part of the Bradano river depression, traversed by numerous streams and declines to the southeastern coastal plains on the Ionian Sea. The region has a short coastline to the southwest on the Tyrrhenian Sea side of the peninsula. Basilicata is the most mountainous region in the south of Italy, with 47% of its area of 9,992 km2 covered by mountains. Of the remaining area, 45% is hilly, 8% is made up of plains. Notable mountains and ranges include Monte Alpi, Monte Carmine, Dolomiti lucane, Monti Li Foj, Toppa Pizzuta and Monte Vulture. Geological features of the region include the volcanic Monte Vulture and the seismic faults in the Melfi and Potenza areas in the north and around Pollino in the south.
Much of the region was devastated in the 1857 Basilicata earthquake. More there was another major earthquake in 1980; the combination of the mountainous terrain combined with the rock and soil types makes landslides prevalent. While the lithological structure of the substratum and its chaotic tectonic deformation contribute to the cause of landslides, this problem is compounded by the lack of forested land; this area, similar to others in the Mediterranean region, while abundant with dense forests, was stripped and made barren during the time of Roman rule. The variable climate is influenced by three coastlines and the complexity of the region's physical features; the climate is continental in Mediterranean along the coasts. The first traces of human presence in Basilicata date to the late Paleolithic, with findings of Homo erectus. Late Cenozoic fossils, found at Venosa and other locations, include elephants and species now extinct such as a saber-toothed cat of the genus Machairodus. Examples of rock art from the Mesolithic have been discovered near Filiano.
From the fifth millennium, people stopped living in caves and built settlements of huts up to the rivers leading to the interior. In this period, anatomically modern humans lived by cultivating cereals and animal husbandry. Chalcolithic sites include the grottoes of Latronico and the funerary findings of the Cervaro grotto near Lagonegro; the first known stable market center of the Apennine culture on the sea, consisting of huts on the promontory of Capo la Timpa, near to Maratea, dates to the Bronze Age. The first indigenous Iron Age communities lived in large villages in plateaus located at the borders of the plains and the rivers, in places fitting their breeding and agricultural activities; such settlements include that of Anglona, located between the fertile valleys of Agri and Sinni, of Siris and, on the coast of the Ionian Sea, of Incoronata-San Teodoro. The first presence of Greek colonists, coming from the Greek islands and Anatolia, date from the late eighth century BC. There are no traces of survival of the 11th-8th century BC archaeological sites of the settlements: this was caused by the increasing presence of Greek colonies, which changed the balance of the trades.
In ancient historical times the region was known as Lucania, named for the Lucani, an Oscan-speaking population from central Italy. Their name might be derived from Greek leukos meaning lykos, or Latin lucus. Or more Lucania, as much as the Lucius forename derives from the Latin word Lux, meaning "light", is a cognate of name Lucas. Another etymology proposed is a derivation from Etruscan Lauchum meaning "king", which however was transferred into Latin as Lucumo. Starting from the late eighth century BC, the Greeks established a settlement first at Siris, founded by fugitives from Colophon. With the foundation of Metaponto from Achaean colonists, they started the conquest of the whole Ionian coast. There were indigenous Oenotrian foundations on the coast, which exploited the nearby presence of Greek settlements, such as Velia and Pyxous, for their maritime trades
Marche, or the Marches, is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. Marche is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with the finest and most luxurious Italian footwear being manufactured in this region; the region is located in the Central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the west, Umbria to the southwest and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Except for river valleys and the very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. A railway from Bologna to Brindisi, built in the 19th century, runs along the coast of the entire territory. Inland, the mountainous nature of the region today, allows little travel north and south, except by twisting roads over the passes; the Umbrian enclave of Monte Ruperto is surrounded by the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, which constitutes the northern part of the region.
Urbino, one of the major cities of the region, was the birthplace of Raphael, as well as a major center of Renaissance history. Marche extends over an area of 9,694 square kilometres of the central Adriatic slope between Emilia-Romagna to the north and Umbria to the west, Lazio and Abruzzo to the south, the entire eastern boundary being formed by the Adriatic. Most of the region is mountainous or hilly, the main features being the Apennine chain along the internal boundary and an extensive system of hills descending towards the Adriatic. With the sole exception of Monte Vettore, 2,476 metres high, the mountains do not exceed 2,400 metres; the hilly area covers two-thirds of the region and is interrupted by wide gullies with numerous – albeit short – rivers and by alluvial plains perpendicular to the principal chain. The parallel mountain chains contain deep river gorges, the best known being those of the Furlo, the Rossa and the Frasassi; the coastal area is 173 kilometres long and is flat and straight except for the hilly area between Gabicce and Pesaro in the north, the eastern slopes of Monte Conero near Ancona.
Climate is temperate. Inland, in the mountainous areas, is more continental with cold and snowy winters. Precipitation varies from 1000–1500 mm. per year inland and 600–800 mm. per year on the Adriatic coast. Marche was known in ancient times as the Picenum territory; the Picens or Picentes were the Italic tribe. Many artefacts from their time are exhibited in National Archaeological Museum of the Marche Region in Ancona. In the fourth century BC, the northern area was occupied by a tribe of Gauls; the Battle of Sentinum was fought in Marche in 295 BC. Ascoli was a seat of Italic resistance during the Social War. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was invaded by the Goths. After the Gothic War, it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. After the fall of the Exarchate, it was in the possession of the Lombards, but was conquered by Charlemagne in the late eighth century. In the ninth to eleventh centuries, the marches of Camerino and Ancona were created, hence the modern name.
Marche was nominally part of the Papal States, but most of the territory was under local lords, while the major cities ruled themselves as free communes. In the twelfth century, the commune of Ancona resisted both the imperial authority of Frederick Barbarossa and the Republic of Venice, was a maritime republic on its own. An attempt to restore Papal suzerainty by Gil de Albornoz in the fourteenth century was short-lived. During the Renaissance, the region was fought over by rival aristocratic families, such as the Malatesta of Rimini, Pesaro and the house of Montefeltro of Urbino; the last independent entity, the Duchy of Urbino, was dissolved in 1631, from on, Marche was part of the Papal States except during the Napoleonic period. This saw the short lived Republic of Ancona, in 1797–98. After Napoleon's defeat, Marche returned to Papal rule until 4 November 1860, when it was annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy by a plebiscite. After the referendum of 2006, 7 municipalities of Montefeltro were detached from the Province of Pesaro and Urbino to join the Province of Rimini on 15 August 2009.
The municipalities are Casteldelci, Novafeltria, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria and Talamello. Towns in Marche were devastated by the 2016 Central Italy earthquake which occurred on 24 August 2016. Prior to the 1980s, Marche was considered a rather poor region, although economically stable in some sectors, thanks to its agricultural output and to the contribution of traditional crafts. Today the contribution of agriculture to the economy of the region is less significant and the gross value generated by this sector remains above the national average. Marche has never suffered from the extremes of fragmented land ownership or'latifondo'. Diffused in the past, the sharecropping never produced an extreme land fragmentation; the main products are cereals, animal products and grapes. Truffle hunting is popular.
Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium, is a region in Southern Italy. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro; the Regional Council of Calabria is based at the Palazzo Campanella in the city of Reggio Calabria. The region is bordered to the north by the Basilicata Region, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the east by the Ionian Sea; the region has a population of just under 2 million. The demonym of Calabria is calabrese in Calabrian in English. In ancient times the name Calabria referred, not as in modern times to the toe, but to the heel tip of Italy, from Tarentum southwards, a region nowadays known as Salento. Starting in the third century BC, the name Calabria was given to the Adriatic coast of the Salento peninsula in modern Apulia. In the late first century BC this name came to extend to the entirety of the Salento, when the Roman emperor Augustus divided Italy into regions; the whole region of Apulia received the name Regio II Calabria. By this time modern Calabria was still known as Bruttium, after the Bruttians who inhabited the region.
In the seventh century AD, the Byzantine Empire created the Duchy of Calabria from the Salento and the Ionian part of Bruttium. Though the Calabrian part of the duchy was conquered by the Longobards during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, the Byzantines continued to use the name Calabria for their remaining territory in Bruttium; the modern name Italy derives from Italia, first used as a name for the southern part of modern Calabria. Over time the Greeks started to use it for the rest of the southern Italian peninsula as well. After the Roman conquest of the region, the name was used for the entire Italian peninsula and the Alpine region too; the region is known as the “toe” of the “boot” of Italy and is a long and narrow peninsula which stretches from north to south for 248 km, with a maximum width of 110 km. Some 42% of Calabria's area, corresponding to 15,080 km2, is mountainous, 49% is hilly, while plains occupy only 9% of the region's territory, it is surrounded by the Tyrrhenian seas.
It is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, where the narrowest point between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Punta Pezzo in Calabria is only 3.2 km. Three mountain ranges are present: Pollino, La Sila and Aspromonte. All three mountain ranges are unique with their own fauna; the Pollino Mountains in the north of the region are rugged and form a natural barrier separating Calabria from the rest of Italy. Parts of the area are wooded, while others are vast, wind-swept plateaus with little vegetation; these mountains are home to a rare Bosnian Pine variety and are included in the Pollino National Park. The Pollino National Park has the distinction of being the largest national park in Italy and covers about 1,925.65 square kilometres. La Sila, referred to as the "Great Wood of Italy", is a vast mountainous plateau about 1,200 metres above sea level and stretches for nearly 2,000 square kilometres along the central part of Calabria; the highest point is Botte Donato. The area boasts dense coniferous forests.
La Sila has some of the tallest trees in Italy which are called the "Giants of the Sila" and can reach up to 40 metres in height. The Sila National Park is known to have the purest air in Europe; the Aspromonte massif forms the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula bordered by the sea on three sides. This unique mountainous structure reaches its highest point at Montalto, at 1,995 metres, is full of wide, man-made terraces that slope down towards the sea. In general, most of the lower terrain in Calabria has been agricultural for centuries, exhibits indigenous scrubland as well as introduced plants such as the prickly pear cactus; the lowest slopes are rich in citrus fruit orchards. The Diamante citron is one of the citrus fruits. Moving upwards and chestnut trees appear while in the higher regions there are dense forests of oak, pine and fir trees. Calabria's climate is influenced by mountains; the Mediterranean climate is typical of the coastal areas with considerable differences in temperature and rainfall between the seasons, with an average low of 8 °C during the winter months and an average high of 30 °C during the summer months.
Mountain areas have a typical mountainous climate with frequent snow during winter. Erratic behavior of the Tyrrhenian Sea can bring heavy rainfall on the western slopes of the region, while hot air from Africa makes the east coast of Calabria dry and warm; the mountains that run along the region influence the climate and temperature of the region. The east coast has wider temperature ranges than the west coast; the geography of the region causes more rain to fall along the west coast than that of the east coast, which occurs during winter and autumn and less during the summer months. Below are the two extremes of climate present in Calabria, both the warm mediterranean subtype on the coastline and the highland climate of Monte Scuro; when describing the geology of Calabria, it is considered as part of the "Calabrian Arc", an arc-shaped geographic domain extending from the southern part of the Basilicata Region to the northeast of Sicily, including the Peloritano Mountains. The Calabrian area shows basement of Paleozoic
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