France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Body of water
A body of water or waterbody is any significant accumulation of water on a planet's surface. The term most refers to oceans and lakes, but it includes smaller pools of water such as ponds, wetlands, or more puddles. A body of water contained. Most are occurring geographical features, but some are artificial. There are types. For example, most reservoirs are created by engineering dams, but some natural lakes are used as reservoirs. Most harbors are occurring bays, but some harbors have been created through construction. Bodies of water that are navigable are known as waterways; some bodies of water collect and move water, such as rivers and streams, others hold water, such as lakes and oceans. The term body of water can refer to a reservoir of water held by a plant, technically known as a phytotelma. Bodies of water are affected by gravity, what creates the tidal effects on Earth. Note that there are some geographical features involving water that are not bodies of water, for example waterfalls and rapids.
Arm of the sea – sea arm, used to describe a sea loch. Arroyo – a dry creek bed or gulch that temporarily fills with water after a heavy rain, or seasonally. See wadi. Artificial lake or artificial pond – see Reservoir. Barachois – a lagoon separated from the ocean by a sand bar. Bay – an area of water bordered by land on three sides, similar to, but smaller than a gulf. Bayou – a slow-moving stream or a marshy lake. Beck – a small stream. Bight – a large and only receding bay, or a bend in any geographical feature. Billabong – an oxbow lake in Australia. Boil – see Seep Brook – a small stream. Burn – a small stream. Canal – an artificial waterway connected to existing lakes, rivers, or oceans. Channel – the physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks. See stream bed and strait. Cove – a coastal landform. Earth scientists use the term to describe a circular or round inlet with a narrow entrance, though colloquially the term is sometimes used to describe any sheltered bay.
Creek – a small stream. Creek – an inlet of the sea, narrower than a cove. Delta – the location where a river flows into an ocean, estuary, lake, or reservoir. Distributary or distributary channel – a stream that branches off and flows away from a main stream channel. Drainage basin – a region of land where water from rain or snowmelt drains downhill into another body of water, such as a river, lake, or reservoir. Draw – a dry creek bed or gulch that temporarily fills with water after a heavy rain, or seasonally. See wadi. Estuary – a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, with a free connection to the open sea Firth – a regional term of Scotland used to denote various coastal waters, such as large sea bays, estuaries and straits. Fjord – a narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs or steep slopes. Glacier – a large collection of ice or a frozen river that moves down a mountain. Glacial pothole – a kettle Gulf – a part of a lake or ocean that extends so that it is surrounded by land on three sides, similar to, but larger than a bay.
Headland – an area of water bordered by land on three sides. Harbor – an artificial or occurring body of water where ships are stored or may shelter from the ocean's weather and currents. Impoundment – an artificially-created body of water, by damming a source. Used for flood control, as a drinking water supply, ornamentation, or other purpose or combination of purposes. Note that the process of creating an "impoundment" of water is itself called "impoundment." Inlet – a body of water seawater, which has characteristics of one or more of the following: bay, estuary, fjord, sea loch, or sound. Kettle – a shallow, sediment-filled body of water formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters. Kill – used in areas of Dutch influence in New York, New Jersey and other areas of the former New Netherland colony of Dutch America to describe a strait, river, or arm of the sea. Lagoon – a body of comparatively shallow salt or brackish water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank, coral reef, or similar feature.
Lake – a body of water freshwater, of large size contained on a body of land. Lick — a small watercourse or an ephemeral stream Loch – a body of water such as a lake, sea inlet, fjord, estuary or bay. Mangrove swamp – Saline coastal habitat of mangrove trees and shrubs. Marsh – a wetland featuring grasses, reeds, typhas and other herbaceous plants in a context of shallow water. See Salt marsh. Mediterranean sea – a enclosed sea that has limited exchange of deep water with outer oceans and where the water circulation is dominated by salinity and temperature differences rather than winds Mere – a lake or body of water, broad in relation to its depth. Mill pond – a reservoir built to provide flowing water to a watermill Moat – a deep, broad trench, either dry or filled with water and protecting a structure, installation, or town. Ocean – a major body of salty water that, in totality, covers about 71% of the Earth's surface. Oxbow lake – a U-shaped lake formed when a wide meander from the mainstem of a riv
Province of Sassari
The Province of Sassari is a province in the autonomous island region of Sardinia in Italy. Its capital is the city of Sassari; as of 2017, the province had a population of 493,357 inhabitants. In ancient times, between 1600 and 1500 BC, the Nuraghi civilization was at its peak in this area. During the Roman domination, the Logudoro region was one of the main grain suppliers of the Western Roman Empire, was the seat of several legions. In the Middle Ages, the Logudoro region was the center of one of the four quasi-kingdoms in which Sardinia was divided, the Giudicato di Torres or Logoduro, the first capital being Ardara replaced by Sassari; the numerous countryside Romanesque basilicas date from this period. After the conquest by the House of Aragon, Logoduro declined, but under the House of Savoy rule as part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, it grew in significance. In the 20th century the construction of roads and railways brought more prosperity, but at the same time destroyed the large forest heritage of the region.
The Province of Sassari was founded in 1859 before the unification of Italy in 1861, with an area which until 1927 included the entire head of the island, making it the largest province in the country at the time. The modern University of Sassari dates to around the same time. Since 1878 the province has been administered from the Palazzo della Provincia in Sassari. Facing the Sardinian Sea to the north and west, the Province of Sassari is bordered to the south by the provinces of Nuoro and Oristano and east by the Province of Olbia-Tempio, it has an area of 4,282 square kilometres, a total population of 334,413. There are 66 municipalities in the province, the largest of which are Sassari, Porto Torres, Ozieri and Sennori. Another town of note, Pattada, is known for its handmade knives. In the province is the only natural lake in Sardinia, Lake Baratz, one of the largest artificial lakes, Lake Coghinas in the western part, which forms the boundary with the province of Olbia-Tempio. In this territory is one of the largest plains in Sardinia, Nurra.
The province contains some of the most famous resorts of Sardinia including Castelsardo, Porto Torres, the Riviera del Corallo and others. Stintino is located on the peninsula of the same name, running from the Nurra plain to the Asinara Island, part of the Asinara National Park. Among the notable beaches of the Province of Sassari is Balai in Porto Torres, Pelosa Beach in Stintino, others such as Alghero il Lido, Maria Pia and Mugoni; the inner part of the province in the traditional Logoduro region is characterized by a hilly and mountainous landscape, with soft volcanic terrains. The town of Ozieri is its most important center for culture and history away from the coast, noted for its production of tools and pottery from ancient times; the province includes 92 comuni. The largest by population are Sassari and Alghero. Official website
Sardinia and Corsica
The Province of Sardinia and Corsica was an ancient Roman province including the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. The Nuragic civilization flourished in Sardinia from 1800 to 500 BC; the ancient Sardinians known as Nuragics, traded with many different Mediterranean peoples during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age with the Myceneans and the Cypriots. Sardinians built many coastal settlements, like Nora and Tharros, the characteristic tower buildings the island is known for, the nuraghes. A similar civilization developed in Southern Corsica, where several torri were built; the ancient Sardinians had reached a high level of cultural complexity, building large federal sanctuaries, where the Nuragic communities gathered to participate in the same rituals during festivities. The Nuragic people were able to organize themselves and accomplish several complex projects, such as building refined temples, hydraulic implants like fountains and aqueducts, creating life sized statues despite the lack of an elite and lacking any degree of social stratification.
The Phoenicians established several commercial stations in the coast of Sardinia, the Sardinians and Phoenicians coexisted in urban centers across the coasts. Along with them went the Greeks, who founded the colonies of Alalia in Corsica, Olbia in Sardinia; the Carthaginians a Phoenician dependency, conquered Alalia in 535 BC with the Etruscans' help. After Corsica part of Sardinia came under the control of the Carthaginians. Though Rome had drawn up an earlier treaty with Carthage following the First Punic War, a complete disregard to this agreement led them to forcibly annex Sardinia and Corsica during the Mercenary War. In 238 BC, the Carthaginians, accepting defeat in the First Punic War, surrendered Corsica and Sardinia, which together became a province of Rome; this marked the beginning of Roman domination in the Western Mediterranean. The Romans ruled this area for 694 years; the Nuragic Sardinians and Corsicans however rebelled against the Roman rulers. A revolt broke out in 235 BC, but it was violently suppressed by Manlius Torquatus who celebrated a triumph over the Sardinians.
Other revolts arose in 233 BC, were repressed as well by the consul Carvilius Maximus, who celebrated with a triumph the same year. In 232 BC the Sardinians were defeated again, this time by the consul Manlus Pompilus, granted the honor of celebrating a triumph. In 231 BC, in light of the widespread tensions, a consular army was sent to deal with each island: one against the Corsicans, commanded by Papirius Maso, the other one against the Sardinians, led by Marcus Pomponius Matho. However, the consuls did not manage to report a triumph. A mass revolt, known as Bellum Sardum, broke out during the Second Punic War in 216 BC: a massive Sardinian rebellion led by the landowner Hampsicora, a native of the city of Cornus, who commanded an army of natives and allied Carthaginians with the title of Dux Sardorum, aided the Sardinian army with 15,000 foot soldiers and 1,500 knights; the Roman and the Sardo-Punic army fought at the battle of Decimomannu. The 2nd century BC was a period of turmoil in the province.
In 181 BC the Corsi, a population living in Southern Corsica and North East Sardinia, rebelled against the Romans: the revolt was stopped by Marcus Pinarius Posca, who killed 2,000 rebels and enslaved a number of them. In 177/176 BC, in order to quell the rebellion of the Sardinian tribes known as the Balares and the Ilienses, the Senate sent the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus to be in charge of two legions, it is estimated. Livy reports the inscription on the temple of the goddess Mater Matuta, in Rome, where the winners exhibited a commemorative plaque that said: Under the command and the auspices of the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, the legion and the army of the Roman people subjugated Sardinia. More than 80,000 enemies were captured in the province. Conducting things in the happiest way for the Roman State, freeing the friends, restoring the income, he brought back the army safe and sound and rich in booty. In memory of these events, he dedicated this panel to Jupiter. In 174 BC, another revolt broke out in Sardinia, resulting in a Roman victory by Titus Manlius Torquatus with a strage et fuga Sardorum, leaving an estimated 80,000 Sardinians dead on the battlefield.
The following year another uprising occurred in Sardinia, the island's praetor Atilius Servatus was defeated and forced to take refuge on the other island. Atilius asked Rome for reinforcements. Cicerius, vowing to Juno Moneta to build a temple in case of success, reported a victory, killing 7,000 Corsi and enslaving 1,700 of them. In 163 BC, Marcus Juventhius Thalna quashed another revolt, without further details about the expedition, it is recorded that, upon hearing of the mission accomplished in Sardinia, the Roman Senate announced public prayers. However, the rebellion must have resumed shortly after, since Scipio Nasica was sent to pacify the
Metropolitan City of Cagliari
The Metropolitan City of Cagliari is a metropolitan city in Sardinia, Italy. Its capital includes 17 comuni, it was replaced the Province of Cagliari. The current president is the mayor of Massimo Zedda; the resident population is 432,000. This figure can rise due to commuting into the functional urban area to 477,000 The Metropolitan City of Cagliari extends over the southern part of the Campidano plain, between two mountain ranges; the Sulcis Range is to the west and includes Monti Arcosu, Monte Serpeddi, Punta Sebera. To the east is the Monte Linias Range, including Punta Serpeddì and Sette Fratelli; these mountains are composed of Ordovician shale and Carboniferous granite and do not exceed 1,000 m. An exception is Monte Is Caravius, 1,116 m; the Metropolitan City of Cagliari has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry Summers and mild Winters. It is unusual for Summer temperatures to rise above 40 °C with high humidity, while in winter, the record lows are below zero. Heavy snowfalls occur rarely.
January is the coldest month with an average temperature of about 10 °C. August is the warmest month with an average temperature of that of about 25 °C. African anticyclone activity can cause heat waves starting in June. From mid-June to mid-September rain appears in afternoon storms; the rainy season starts in September, but the first cold days come in December the wettest month. Winds are frequent the mistral and sirocco. On the surrounding mountains, the climate is different with plentiful average rainfall, cold winters, mild warm summers; as 470 km2 are covered by forests, lagoons and salt marshes, the populated area is 777.8 km2. So the real population density rises to 553 inhabitants/km2. In 1861, the municipalities of the current metropolitan city had 67,063 inhabitants, while the city proper had 33,491. Since the city had a population growth of 461%, while the metropolitan municipalities as an all had an increase of 644%. In that year Cagliari had a population, the 50% of the metropolitan area, while now it is only the 36%.
According to 2014 data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the per capita income of the residents of Cagliari was 122% of the national average. The 26% of the island population that lives in Cagliari Metropolitan City produces 31% of the island's GDP and the urban-area income is greater than that of the rest of Sardinia. According to Eurostat in 2009 the metropolitan area of Cagliari had a per capita purchasing power standard of 21.699 euros, 92.4% of the European Union data. The Metropolitan City has an unemployment rate of 17.7%. This is higher than the national rate of 12.2% and higher than the regional unemployment rate of 17.5%. The traditional economy was based on agriculture: the cultivation of wheat, olive groves and vineyards and orchards wherever there was plenty of water in the dry Summers; the mountains were exploited for coal that were sold in Cagliari. There were mines the Iron mine of San Leone in the territory of Assemini; the large salt pans east and west of Cagliari were exploited.
The capital city holds most of the administrative offices, the retail trade, financial services, professional offices, health services. Industry and major shopping centers are concentrated in the other municipalities of the metropolitan area. Tourism is concentrated along the coast. In 2014, the Cagliari-Sarroch port system was the third largest in Italy, as measured by amount of goods transferred; the Macchiareddu-Grogastru area between Cagliari and Capoterra, in conjunction with the Port of Cagliari, is the most important industrial area of Sardinia. The port includes the Cagliari International Container Terminal at Giorgino, which had an annual traffic capacity of 1,000,000 Twenty-Foot equivalent units in 2002. Multinational corporations like Coca-Cola, Unilever and Eni Group have factories in this area. Within the metropolitan area at Sarroch there is one of the six oil refinery supersites in Europe, called Saras; the communications provider, has its headquarters in the boroughs of Cagliari.
There are religious buildings in the metropolitan area that date back to the beginnings of the Christian presence in Sardinia. The crypts of the churches of Santa Restituta and Saint Ephysius in Cagliari are examples of cave churches officiated in the first centuries of the Christian era; the first church built after the Edict of Thessalonica of Theodosius I, who made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, was the church of Saint Saturninus in Cagliari. Little now remains of the Byzantine period: the only building that survives, is the small church of San Giovanni in Assemini. However, there are many Romanesque churches, including the church of Saint Mary in Uta, Baroque churches, such as the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria. In the metropolitan area there are ruins of neolithic and chalcolithic villages, several domus de Janas. There are many nuraghes. A deep, sacred well is located in Settimo San Pietro and a giants' grave, Is Concias, in the territory of Quartucciu. In the city of Nora, there are ruins of the Punic and
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island. While being part of Metropolitan France, Corsica is designated as a territorial collectivity by law; as a territorial collectivity, Corsica enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than other French regions. The island formed a single department until it was split in 1975 into two historical departments: Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud, with its regional capital in Ajaccio, the prefecture city of Corse-du-Sud. Bastia, the prefecture city of Haute-Corse, is the second largest settlement in Corsica; the two departments, the region of Corsica, merged again into a single territorial collectivity in 2018. After being ruled by the Republic of Genoa since 1284, Corsica was an Italian-speaking independent republic from 1755, until it was ceded by the Republic of Genoa to Louis XV as part of a pledge for debts and conquered in 1769.
Napoleon Bonaparte was born the same year in Ajaccio, his ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is today a significant visitor attraction and museum. Due to Corsica's historical ties with the Italian peninsula, the island retains to this day many Italian cultural elements: the native tongue is recognized as a regional language by the French government; the origin of the name Corsica remains a mystery. To the Ancient Greeks it was known as Kalliste, Cyrnos, Cernealis, or Cirné. Of these Cyrnos, Cernealis, or Cirné derive from the most ancient Greek name of the island, "Σειρηνούσσαι", the same Sirens mentioned in Homer's Odyssey. Corsica has been occupied continuously since the Mesolithic era, it acquired an indigenous population, influential in the Mediterranean during its long prehistory. After a brief occupation by the Carthaginians, colonization by the ancient Greeks, an only longer occupation by the Etruscans, it was incorporated by the Roman Republic at the end of the First Punic War and, with Sardinia, in 238 BC became a province of the Roman Republic.
The Romans, who built a colony in Aléria, considered Corsica as one of the most backward regions of the Roman world. The island produced sheep, honey and wax, exported many slaves, not well considered because of their fierce and rebellious character. Moreover, it was known for its cheap wines, exported to Rome, was used as a place of relegation, one of the most famous exiles being the Roman philosopher Seneca. Administratively, the island was divided in pagi, which in the Middle Ages became the pievi, the basic administrative units of the island until 1768. During the diffusion of Christianity, which arrived quite early from Rome and the Tuscan harbors, Corsica was home to many martyrs and saints: among them, the most important are Saint Devota and Saint Julia, both patrons of the island. Corsica was integrated into Roman Italy by Emperor Diocletian. In the 5th century, the western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, the island was invaded by the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. Recovered by the Byzantines, it soon became part of the Kingdom of the Lombards.
This made it a dependency of the March of Tuscany. Pepin the Short, king of the Franks and Charlemagne's father, expelled the Lombards and nominally granted Corsica to Pope Stephen II. In the first quarter of the 11th century and Genoa together freed the island from the threat of Arab invasion. After that, the island came under the influence of the republic of Pisa. To this period belong the many polychrome churches which adorn the island, Corsica experienced a massive immigration from Tuscany, which gave to the island its present toponymy and rendered the language spoken in the northern two-thirds of the island close to the Tuscan dialect. Due to that began the traditional division of Corsica in two parts, along the main chain of mountains going from Calvi to Porto-Vecchio: the eastern Banda di dentro, or Cismonte, more populated and open to the commerce with Italy, the western Banda di fuori, or Pomonte deserted and remote; the crushing defeat experienced by Pisa in 1284 in the Battle of Meloria against Genoa had among its consequences the end of the Pisan rule and the beginning of the Genoese influence in Corsica: this was contested by the King of Aragon, who in 1296 had received from the Pope the investiture over Sardinia and Corsica.
A popular revolution against this and the feudal lords, led by Sambucuccio d'Alando, got the aid of Genoa. After that, the Cismonte was ruled after the Italian experience; the following 150 years were a period of conflict, when the Genoese rule was contested by Aragon, the local lords, the comuni and the Pope: in 1450 Genoa ceded the administration of the island to its main bank, the Bank of Saint George, which brought peace. In the 16th century, the island entered into the fight between Spain and France for the supremacy in Italy. In 1553, a Franco-Ottoman fleet occupied Corsica, but the reaction of Spain and Genoa, led by Andrea Doria, reestablished the Genoese supremacy on the island, confirmed by the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis; the unlucky protagonist of this episode was Sampiero di Bastelica, who would come to be considered a hero of t
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