Italy

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Italy is a country located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. With 60.2 million inhabitants, it is the fifth most populous country in Europe, and the twenty-third most populous in the world. The land known as Italy today has been the cradle of European cultures and peoples, such as the Romans. Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the political centre of Western civilization, as the capital of the Roman Empire. Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous kingdoms and city-states, but was unified in 1861. Italy was a founding member of the European Community (EC) in 1957, which became the European Union in 1993.
 
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