Italian

Is a Romance language, the closest to Latin in terms of vocabulary. It is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City and Istria (in Slovenia and Croatia). Italian used to have official status in Albania, Malta and Monaco, all countries where it is still widely spoken, and in former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, regions where the language plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and by small minorities in areas such as Crimea, Corsica and Montenegro.[7] Many speakers are native bilinguals of both standardised Italian and other regional languages.

Italian is a major European language, being one of the official languages of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe. Italian is the third most widely spoken first language in the European Union with 65 million native speakers (13% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 14 million EU citizens (3%). Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland and Albania) and on other continents, the total number of speakers is around 85 million.

Italian is the main working language of the Holy see, serving as the lingua franca in the Catholic hierarchy, as well as the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Italian is known as the language of music because of its use in musical terminology and opera. Its influence is also widespread in the arts and in the luxury goods market. Italian has been reported as the fourth or fifth most frequently taught foreign language in the world.

Source: Wikipedia