Italy, with 61 million inhabitants, it is the fifth most populous country in Europe, and the 23rd most populous in the world.
Rome, the capital of Italy, has for centuries been a political and religious center of Western civilization
as the capital of the Roman Empire and site of the Vatican. Italy became the birthplace of Maritime republics and the Renaissance.
Italy was unified as a democratic republic in 1861.
Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world with more than 43 million visitors a year (2010).