Italy is part of Southern Europe and is a long narrow country jutting out into the middle of the Mediterranean sea. A long and characteristic boot-like shape, it is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia in the north. The rest of the long peninsula is surrounded by the Mediterranean sea, with Africa to the south, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East to East, and Spain and France to the west. This makes Italy strategically well-positioned in the Mediterranean basin and was part of the reason Rome could build such an extensive empire from their base in the city of Rome.
For our US visitors, Italy is about the same size as the state of Arizona. If you're from the UK, Italy is actually around 20% larger than the UK. It's also a fith of the size of Iran, and a third of the size of Egypt, and eleven times smaller than India.
For more interesting size comparisons, have a look at Map Fight!
Today Rome is still the capital of Italy, and, together with Milan, has one of the two main intercontinental airports. To find out more about where to fly to to visit italy, have a look at our 'Map of Airports in Italy'.
Italy has two large islands, Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily has an active volcano, Etna, and the main airports are Catania and Palermo, while the main airport for Sardinia is Cagliari.
Distances to Rome from different cities around the world
|Rio de Janeiro
Italy is divided into 20 regions, each of which has a regional capital. Each region is then further divided into provinces, each of which also has a provincial capital.