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Italy, officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana), is a country in Southern Europe with a population of about 60.8 million. Its official language is Italian. Its capital and largest city is Rome. Two smaller independent states -- San Marino and the Vatican City -- are enclaves within Italy. It is a member of the European Union, United Nations and NATO.

Italy's capital, Rome, has been a political and religious hub of Western civilization for centuries, having served as the capital of the Roman Empire (27 BC-5th century AD) and the site of the Holy See. It was the birthplace of many maritime republics and the Renaissance (14th-17th century). Italy's post-Roman history saw the land being invaded by numerous foreign powers, including Germanic tribes, the Byzantines and the Normans. It was also fragmented into several city and regional states before unification in 1861. Italy also ruled a colonial empire in the 19th and 20th centuries, and fought on the Axis side in World War II under the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini before it was defeated by the Allies.

Italy is now governed by a democratic republic, with the President as the head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of government. It is a highly developed country with high standards of living and education, and has the eighth largest economy in the world. It plays a prominent role in military, cultural and diplomatic affairs in Europe and around the world.

Spanking in Italy[edit]

a scene in Naples depicting a mother spanking her child for breaking the vase, photo by Giorgio Conrad (1880).
Il castigo dei fanciulli a scuola, drawing by Bartolomeo Pinelli (1810).

Spanking in parenting and education was common in Italy up to the early 20th century, although Italian parents have a reputation of being comparatively less strict than, for example, French, English, German, or Russian parents.

In the old days, Italians would sometimes use dried fish as a paddle for spanking, called baccalà, from which the word baccalà got a second, idiomatic meaning.

Italian spanking art[edit]

Contemporary Italian spanking artists include Milo Manara, Danilo and Paolo (see Italian Spanking Art Pages), and Leone Frollo.

See also[edit]