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By the mid-19th century, a rising movement in support of Italian nationalism and independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval.After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1871, creating a great power.Ultimately the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean basin and became the leading cultural, political and religious centre of Western civilisation.

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During the Early Middle Ages, Italy suffered sociopolitical collapse amid calamitous barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.

These mostly independent statelets, acting as Europe's main spice trade hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoyed a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin and Spanish conquests of the region.

In one of countless ex-pat wedding parties around the globe, British residents of Rome gathered to watch events on a giant TV screen and eat specially-made Sicilian chocolates decorated with images of the couple. The Iranian state news channel groused that the “people of this monarchical country” were having to pay for the "most expensive" royal wedding in British history at a time of “economic stagnation”.

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City.

Other ancient populations being of undetermined language families and of possible non-Indo-European origin include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni, known for their rock carvings.

Between the 17th and the 11th centuries BC Mycenaean Greeks established contacts with Italy and in the 8th and 7th centuries BC a number of Greek colonies were established all along the coast of Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula, that became known as Magna Graecia.

Aided by squads of British analysts, they provided American viewers with advice on such crucial etiquette questions as who will now courtesy to whom as well as the inevitable minute dissections of the wedding dress.

The ABC network even found their own all-American William and Kate to marry on air.

However, the presenters on the American morning talk show The View marred the celebrations with controversial comments.

But despite complaints from L’Express newspaper that ‘not one Frenchie is invited to the wedding of the century’, the Gallic media gave the wedding top billing with all major TV channels providing live coverage.

Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoils, became a major advanced country.