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During the Early Middle Ages , Italy suffered sociopolitical collapse amid calamitous barbarian invasions , but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics , mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, laying down the groundwork for modern capitalism. [13] These mostly independent statelets, acting as Europe's main spice trade hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoyed a greater degree of democracy and wealth in comparison to the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe at the time, though much of central Italy remained under the control of the theocratic Papal States , while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine , Arab , Norman , Angevin and Spanish conquests of the region. [14]

The word giallo is Italian for " yellow ". [2] The term derives from a series of cheap paperback mystery novels with yellow covers that were popular in post-fascist Italy. [3]

Italy (/ ˈ ɪ t ə l iː / I-tə-lee; Italian: Italia ( listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana), is a unitary parliamentary republic ...


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