The Italian Republic is a Southern European nation, positioned on a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. With its capital in Rome, Italy consists of 20 regions with their own governments: Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Trentino-Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto. The country is also divided into provinces. The Italian Republic is symbolized in the President, who is Head of State, elected by an electoral college. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, who is referred to as the President of the Council of Ministers, or the Cabinet. Legislation is the jurisdiction of the Parlamento, a bicameral parliament consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and Senate.
On March 17, 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed by King Victor Emmanuel. However, Italy was not finally unified until 1870. In the 1920s, Benito Mussolini dissolved the King's parliament and declared himself dictator and formed an axis with Germany's Adolf Hitler. Upon the defeat of the axis, a democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946. Today, it is one of the leading members of the European Union.