The sovereign state of the Italian Republic is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. It has an area of 301,318 km2and is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City. With 59,429,938 residents, it is the fourth most populous EU member.
Italy is the successor of what was known as the enormous Roman Empire, that left behind a rich history and a lot of cultural attractions, what have affected Italy to become one of the top destinations in Europe. Italy is also the country that gave to the world some of the most famous scholars, artists and polymaths as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Galileo and Machiavelli.
It started the implementation of the Schengen agreement on 26 October 1997 after having signed it previously on 27 November 1990.
In 2017, it was the third Schengen state with most visa applications received (1,850,260).