Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a nation made up of a continental portion bordered by the Alps, a peninsula, and numerous islands. Italy is a country in Southern Europe that is also a part of Western Europe. The country has a land boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. It is a unitary parliamentary republic with Rome as its capital. It occupies a total area of 301,340 km2 and shares land boundaries with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. In Switzerland, Italy has a federal enclave and a coastal exclave in Tunisian waters. Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union, with a population of about 60 million people. Italy has traditionally been home to a diverse range of peoples and cultures due to its central geographic position in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. In addition to the numerous ancient peoples scattered throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most prominent being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, starting in the classical period, Phoenicians and Carthaginians established colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks settled in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, and Etruscans and Celts settled in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Et In the eighth century BC, an Italic tribe known as the Latins founded the Roman Kingdom, which gradually evolved into a republic with a Senate and People's government. The Roman Republic annexed and assimilated its Italian peninsula neighbors at first, gradually spreading and occupying parts of Europe, North Africa, and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire had established itself as the dominant force in the Mediterranean Basin and had established itself as a major cultural, political, and religious center, ushering in the Pax Romana, a period of over 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy remained the Romans' homeland and the empire's metropole, with its legacy visible in the global distribution of history, states, Christianity, and the Latin alphabet. Despite the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions during the Early Middle Ages, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, primarily in Italy's northern and central regions, rose to great prosperity through trade, commerce, and banking, laying the foundation for modern capitalism. These frequently autonomous statelets acted as Europe's main trading centers with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a higher level of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating in Europe; nevertheless, part of central Italy was under the rule of the theocratic Papal States, while southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partly as a result of the occlusion of the Holy Roman Empire.