Until the 13th century and Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia, there was no particular language understood to be the standard Italian. In this epic poem, Date combined southern Italian dialects with his Tuscan one, thus formulating the language we recognize as Italian today. About sixty-three million people speak Italian, most of them in Italy and Switzerland where Italian is the official language. Italian is also a Romance language and is closely related to Latin.

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