Italy is a country located in Southern Europe comprising 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 proximity to Western Europe across the Adriatic Sea. 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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