The Ancient peoples of pre-Roman Italy – such as the Umbrians, the Latins (from which the Romans emerged), Volsci, Oscans, Samnites, Sabines, the Celts, the Ligures, and many others – were Indo-European peoples; the main historic peoples of possible non-Indo-European heritage include the Etruscans, the Elymians and the Sicani in Sicily, and the prehistoric Sardinians, who gave birth to the Nuragic civilization.
Italy has a very high level of human development and it is sixth in the world for life expectancy.
(116,347 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate.
With around 61 million inhabitants it is the fourth most populous EU member state.
Furthermore, the Italian city-states constantly engaged one another in bloody warfare, culminating in the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries that left them exhausted, with none emerging as a dominant power.
They soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria.