Italy is a country in southern Europe extending from the Alps in the north into the Mediterranean sea, consisting of the Italian peninsula and of the two largest islands in the Mediterranean sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italy has been settled since the Palaeolithic period around 200000 years ago. Greek colonies were established in the 8th and 7th centuries BC in southern Italy. Subsequently the Roman empire emerged and over the centuries became the dominant power in the western world. Following the fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century BC, a number of states and kingdoms developed in the Italian territory. Italy was finally unified as a kingdom in the 1861 and has been a republic since 1946. In 2008 Italy was the seventh-largest economy in the world. The north of the country is highly developed, while the south is less developed. Italy has a large number of small and medium size companies. Due to its impressive cultural heritage tourism is a very significant sector the Italian economy: with 43.7 million international tourist arrivals and total receipts of $42.7 billion in 2008, Italy is the fifth major tourist destination in the world.

Sirmione photo gallery  - 29 pictures of Sirmione
Rome photo gallery  - 212 pictures of Rome
Florence photo gallery  - 77 pictures of Florence
Pisa photo gallery  - 30 pictures of Pisa
Milan photo gallery  - 51 pictures of Milan
29 photos of Sirmione, a small picturesque city in northern Italy, on the shore of lake Garda
212 photos of the ancient Rome with the Colosseum and Roman forum, the Vatican with St. Peter's basilica, the Trevi fountains, churches, squares and more.
77 photos of Piazza della Signoria, the cathedral, Palazzo Pitti, panoramic views and more.
30 photos of the leaning tower, Campo dei Miracoli with the cathedral and downtown Pisa with the Normale university
51 photos of Milan, the second largest city in Italy and a major world centre of design and fashion
Verona photo gallery  - 44 pictures of Verona
Trentino South Tyrol photo gallery  - 56 pictures of Trentino South Tyrol
Sicily photo gallery  - 336 pictures of Sicily
44 photos of Verona, a city in northwestern Italy with a rich cultural heritage
56 Photos of Trentino South Tyrol, an autonomous region in northern Italy
336 photos of Sicily, a large island in the south of Italy
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