|Location of Italia|
|Official Language||Latin (100%)|
|Other Languages||Greek (51%); Coptic (12%); Aramaic (4%); Phoenician (4%); Other (22%)|
|Religion||Christian (96%); Judaic (4%)|
|Population Density||354.5 hab/km2|
|Bureaucratic Representation||95 Senatores|
|Imperial Annexation||338 BCE|
|Currency||Aureus et Denarius Romanus|
|Territory||OTL Italy minus 80 km region around Rome.|
Italy (Latin: Italia) is the heartland of the Roman Empire, the land that gave birth to the Latin people. The influence of the city expanded shortly after the descendants of Aeneas settled here around 753 BCE. Soon the Etruscans, Sabines, Umbrians and Samnites fell under the yoke of Roman power. The territory was conclusively assimilated into the Republic in 338 BCE with the conclusion of the latest Social War between Rome and the Socii allies. Now all people of Italian descent are considered ethnically Roman.
As the center of the Empire, Italy is one of its richest provinces. Only Thrace exceeds it in pure volume of wealth. More importantly, Italy is more populated than any other province, with a population that challenges some countries. Geographically it is one of the most fertile regions in the world and the heart of the Empire's wine cultivation. Furthermore, its ports are busy enough to supply the entire beef, grain and rice demands of 100 million people.
Politically it is one of only two provinces that is not governed by a Praetor because it is already under full Roman control. Instead, the Emperor and Consul Italii run the state and manage its internal affairs. Laws are in place to ban non-citizens from entering Italy or Rome so ethnic diversity is somewhat thin compared to other parts of the Empire. Nearly 84% of Italian residents trace their origins back to the original people of Italy, though substantial Egyptian and Greek populations exist in the south as well.
The origin of the name Italia can be traced to two possible sources. The first is the Oenotrian king Italus who supposedly taught the Southerners the practice of agriculture. The other possibility is that it comes from the Oscan word Víteliú',' which has become the Latin vitulus (young calf). During the early Social Wars the bull was a symbol of Southern independence against Rome; it was often depicted goring a she-wolf in battle flags. Since that time the meaning of the word has largely died out and Italia has come to be applied to the whole peninsula and not just the South.