Italy: Introduction

Italy is a country located in Southern Europe comprised of the boot-shaped Italian peninsula and a number of islands including Sicily and Sardinia. Neighboring countries include Austria, France, Holy See, San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Italy has a strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe. The government system is a republic. The chief of state is the President and the head of government is the Prime Minister. Italy has a diversified industrial economy, which is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south. Italy is a member of the European Union (EU).

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