Italy is comprised of two independent states: The Vatican City in Rome and the Republic of San Marino. Italy borders to France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. Italy consists of the Italian Peninsula and the two largest Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It also consists of around 68 smaller islands. The Italian Peninsula will often be quoted looking like a lady’s shoe. As of 2012, the most important areas of Italy’s economy were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (20.6 %) and industry (18.4 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (16.9 %). Main export partners of Italy are Germany, France and the US, while their main import partners are Germany, France and China.
301 336 km2
59 394 207 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population
11.8 % (2012)
€ 1.567 billion (2012)
Official EU language(s)
EU member country since
25 March 1957
Seats in the European Parliament
Eurozone member since: 1 January 1999
Schengen area member
Yes, Schengen Area member since 27 November 1990
Presidency of the Council
Italy has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 12 times between 1959 and 2014.