Italy is a large country in Southern Europe acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashions, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its many beautiful coasts, alpine lakes and mountains. No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel paese (beautiful country). Italy is largely a peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. The country, which is boot-shaped, is surrounded by the Liguria Sea, the Sardinian Sea, and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, the Sicilian and Ionian Sea in the South, and Adriatic Sea in the East.