Italy, including Sardinia and Sicily covers an area of 301,230 square kilometers. The country is divided into 20 administrative regions most of which enjoy full autonomy in all that is connected with local legislation. The regions (in alphabetical order):
Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Remagna, Friuli-Venezia, Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Trentino-Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto.
Two regions, Sardinia and Sicily are islands. Italy itself is surrounded on three sides by sea. France lies on its northwestern border, Switzerland and Austria to the north and Slovenia to the northeast.
The population of Italy numbers 57.6 million of which 98% are Roman Catholics.
The natural population growth is negligible, and at less than 0.1% per annum is scarcely noticeable from one year to the next.
The official language and the language of business are Italian. A small minority living in the north speaks German, French and Slovenian.
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