Italy is officially referred to as the Italian Republic. It is a peninsula in Southern Europe. Two of its largest islands are Sicily and Sardinia which are in the Mediterranean Sea. Italy has been the home of many different cultures and the Roman Culture is one. The city of Rome itself is the catholic stronghold, and over history has been the main point of western civilization. Italy can now claim to be a democratic republic form of government, and since January 1, 2007, is a part of the United Nations Security Council. Yet it is a non-permanent position.
Italy’s contribution to Europe, culturally speaking, has been enormous. Some areas of it's contributions are in the following fields: Visual arts, literature, sports, science and music. Italy is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. This time period brought back ideas that had once been dead to all of Europe. Renaissance art is to be found everywhere.
Italy has been around for hundreds of years, but it was never the country of Italy until its unification on March 17, 1861. It became a republic on the second of June 1946. Italy has had to deal with many different governing styles. From republic, to fascism, and it has ended now with a whole new republic.