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Image: Pure gold pin for space testing

Although this pure gold pin is not much bigger than the tip of a pencil, it is the "pulsing heart" of ESA's Low Earth Orbit Facility, LEOX. Part of the Agency's Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory, based at ESA's ...

Po River dries up

The Po River, the longest river in Italy, is hitting record low water levels after months without heavy rainfall. This Copernicus Sentinel-2 animation shows a part of the Po Valley, near Piacenza, and reveals how the river ...

Italy's Po Valley rations water amid record drought

Italy's rich northern Lombardy region prepared to declare a state of emergency Thursday over a record drought which is threatening crops and has forced towns in the Po Valley to ration water.

Italy to kill 1,000 pigs in swine fever outbreak

A thousand pigs will be slaughtered after two cases of swine fever were detected on a farm in Rome's Lazio region, officials said Friday, spurring fears of a blow to the country's pork industry.

Black death mortality not as widespread as believed

The black death, which plagued Europe, West Asia and North Africa from 1347 to 1352, is the most infamous pandemic in history. Historians have estimated that up to 50 percent of Europe's population died during the pandemic ...

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Italy

Italy /ˈɪtəli/ (help·info) (Italian: Italia), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana), is a country located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italy shares its northern, Alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within the Italian Peninsula, and Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland.

The land known as Italy today has been the cradle of many European cultures and peoples, such as the Etruscans and the Romans, and later was the birthplace of the University, the Renaissance that began in Tuscany and spread all over Europe, Vitruvian Man, modern science and astronomy, heliocentrism and opera. Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the center of Western civilization. Italy possessed a colonial empire from the second half of the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.

Today, Italy is a democratic republic and a developed country with the eighth-highest quality of life index rating in the world. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union, having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957, and it is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is a member of the G8, having the world's seventh-largest nominal GDP, and is also a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Council of Europe, the Western European Union, and the Central European Initiative. Italy is a Schengen state. It has the world's seventh-largest defence budget and shares NATO's nuclear weapons. On 1 January 2007, Italy began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA