|Other||Etruscan, Piedmontese, Sardinian, Friulan|
|State Religion:||Vulpine paganism, Roman Catholicism|
|Chief of state:||Franco Frattini|
Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the political centre of Western civilisation as the capital of the Roman Empire. After its decline, Italy would endure numerous invasions by foreign peoples, from Germanic tribes such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths, to the Byzantines and later, the Normans, among others. Centuries later, Italy would become the birthplace of the Renaissance, an immensely fruitful intellectual movement that would prove to be integral in shaping the subsequent course of European thought.
Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous kingdoms and city-states (such as the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States), but was unified in 1861, following a tumultuous period in history known as "Il Risorgimento" ("The Resurgence"). In the late 19th century, through World War I, and to World War II, Italy possessed a colonial empire, which extended its rule to Eritrea, Somalia, Albania, Rhodes, and the Dodecanese.In the meantime, It lost the region of Venice, which in the World War II, took over almost half of the territory of Italy at the time.
Modern Italy is a constitutional monarchy. Italy enjoys a very high standard of living, and has a high nominal GDP per capita. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union and part of the Eurozone. Italy is also a member of the G8, G20 and NATO. It is also a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, the Western European Union and the United Nations.