Portal:Italy

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Location of Italy within Europe

Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and it is also considered a part of western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with its capital in Rome, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union.

Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the empire, whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.

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Pietro Vermigli, by Hans Asper, 1560

Peter Martyr Vermigli (8 September 1499 – 12 November 1562) was an Italian-born Reformed theologian. His early work as a reformer in Catholic Italy and his decision to flee for Protestant northern Europe influenced many other Italians to convert and flee as well. In England, he influenced the Edwardian Reformation, including the Eucharistic service of the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. He was considered an authority on the Eucharist among the Reformed churches, and engaged in controversies on the subject by writing treatises. Vermigli's Loci Communes, a compilation of excerpts from his biblical commentaries organised by the topics of systematic theology, became a standard Reformed theological textbook.

Born in Florence, Vermigli entered a religious order and was appointed to influential posts as abbot and prior. He came in contact with leaders of the Italian spirituali reform movement, and read Protestant theologians such as Martin Bucer and Ulrich Zwingli. Through reading these works and studying the Bible and the Church Fathers, he came to accept Protestant beliefs about salvation and the Eucharist. To satisfy his conscience and avoid persecution by the Roman Inquisition, he fled Italy for Protestant northern Europe. He ultimately arrived in Strasbourg where he taught on the Old Testament of the Bible under Bucer. English reformer Thomas Cranmer invited him to take an influential post at Oxford University where he continued to teach on the Bible. He also defended his Eucharistic beliefs against Catholic proponents of transubstantiation in a public disputation. Vermigli was forced to leave England on the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary. As a Marian exile he returned to Strasbourg and his former teaching position. Vermigli's beliefs regarding the Eucharist and predestination clashed with those of leading Lutherans in Strasbourg, so he transferred to Reformed Zürich where he taught until his death in 1562. Read more...
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Spaghetti alla carbonara

Carbonara (Italian: [karboˈnaːra]) is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with egg, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. The dish arrived at its modern form, with its current name, in the middle of the 20th century.

The cheese is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a combination of the two. Spaghetti is the most common pasta, but fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini are also used. Normally guanciale or pancetta are used for the meat component, but lardons of smoked bacon are a common substitute outside Italy. Read more...

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