italy 3: italy and the italian … young country in an ancient nation

That and this about Italy

Surrounded on three sides by the seas [Tyrrhenian, Adriatic and the Mediterranean aka the water between the lands] and shielded by the Alps in the north, Italy is a land of mountains with the Apennine range cutting through it lengthwise. Sicily and Sardinia, Italy’s two major islands, together with a number of smaller ones cluster around the mainland. Covering an area of 301,338 sq. kilometres, the country has a population of 57 million people, with 4 million living in Roma.

Italy completely encloses two independent countries—the Vatican and San Marino—the two smallest nations in the world. The latter, a mere 60 sq. kilometres in area and with a population of 21,000, was founded by Marino, a stone-cutter in the 4th Century and has been an independent republic since the 9th Century. The Vatican City, an independent papal State constituted in 1929 as an enclave in Rome, includes the Vatican [the papal residence consisting of a group of buildings] and St. Peter’s Basilica. It covers an area of 0.438 sq. kilometres and has a population of 1,000. Continue reading