Italy is a country in Europe. Today, about ninety-four per cent of the people in Italy are Italian, and most people speak the Italian language. But this has not always been true. The Italy we know today became one country only in modern times. Mountains cover two-thirds of Italy, so the people were divided by their country's geography. Italy has a rich history of empires and great thinkers, and has been a centre for Western culture for thousands of years. Italian art, fashion and food are extremely popular with the rest of the world, and tourists love to visit the exciting cities and beautiful countryside. There is something for everybody, from opera to architecture, to sunny beaches and skiing. Italians are very proud of their country, and in this book we invite you to discover why. Welcome to Italy!