The Italian Republic is partly located on the European Continent and partly on the boot-shaped Italian Peninsula surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. It covers an area of 301.338 km² and has 60.054.511 inhabitants. Its capital is Rome. In ancient times the core region of the Roman Empire was the area of today’s Italy, also with Rome as the capital. During the Renaissance period Tuscany formed the Italian core region.
The largest islands of the Mediterranean, Sicily and Sardinia as well as the Lipari and the Aegadian Islands are part of the Italian State. Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia as well as the enclaves of San Marino and Vatican City. Some of the biggest Italian cities are Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo and Genoa.
The Apennine Mountains traverse the entire peninsula. The greatest part of the Alps is in Northern Italy with the highest peak at the French border (Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc, 4.810 m). The Italian east coast stretches from Trieste (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) in the north to Salento (South Apulia) in the south and is called the Adriatic Coast.