Italy is a Mediterranean country located in southern Europe. It is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the east coast, the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west or Mediterranean coast, and the Ionian Sea to the south. In the north Italy is bordered by the countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia.
The Italian mainland is a long peninsula that resembles a boot, so the country is often referred to as "the boot," with the Puglia region in the southeast being the "heel of the boot" and the Calabria region in the southwest being the "toe of the boot."
Italy only became a unified country in 1861, although the peninsula has several thousand years of history before that.
Italy is known for its Mediterranean climate, which is found mainly on the coast. Inland it is generally cooler and wetter but usually hotter during the summer. Southern Italy has a fairly hot and dry climate while the north has more of an Alpine climate, getting lots of snow in winter.