Italy - is a boot-shaped peninsula that juts out of southern Europe into the Adriatic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Mediterranean Sea and other waters. Its location has played an important role throughout its history. The sea surrounds Italy, and mountains crisscross the interior, dividing the land into regions. The Alps cut across the top of the country and are streaked with long, thin glacial lakes. From the western end of the Alps, the Apennines mountains stretch south down the entire peninsula. Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a largely temperates seasoned and Mediterranean climate . With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth -most populous EU member state and the most populous in southern Europe.