Albanìa (in Albanian: Shqipëria; historically Arbëria ), officially the Republic of Albania (in Albanian: Republika and Shqipërisë, AFI: [ɾepublika e ʃcipəˈɾisə]), is a state located in the Balkan peninsula. It borders Montenegro to the north-west, Kosovo to the north-east , North Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. Its coasts overlook the Adriatic Sea (the Otranto Channel) and the Ionian Sea. The country, with its borders, has an area of 28756 km² and a population of 2.8 million inhabitants.
Cradle of the Illyrian civilization, it was united in the Kingdom of Epirus with Pyrrhus, underwent the Greek-ancient colonization on the coast and in the classical age was part of the Roman Empire, becoming one of the cultural and religious centers of the Byzantine Empire in 1190 (Principality of Arbanon). Subsequently invaded by the barbarians (Slavs, Avars, Bulgarians), it had the military penetration of the Kingdom of Sicily (with the Sovereigns of the Altavilla, Swabian and Aragon dynasties) and the commercial penetration of the Republic of Venice. In the Middle Ages the battle of Kosovo (1389) brought the Turco-Ottomans to Albania who, initially contained by the League of Albanian peoples, or League of Lezhë, created in 1444 by Giorgio Castriota known as “Scanderbeg”, had the better of the death of these ( 1467). The Principality of Albania was the only country in the Balkans that in the 15th century resisted – for well over two decades – the attacks of the Ottomans. Albania was divided into small autonomous principalities subjected for four and a half centuries to the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire.
In the nineteenth century popular revolts for independence were accentuated, including that of Epirus which managed to make itself independent (1820-1822). The League of Prizren (1878) promoted the idea of an Albanian national state, also in defense of the borders from Serbian-Montenegrin and Greek pressures, and established the modern Albanian alphabet. On November 28, 1912, it declared its independence from the Turks, later recognized by the Conference of Ambassadors in London in 1913, the year in which the first provisional government was born in the midst of the Balkan wars, the Kingdom of Albania. Briefly became an Italian Protectorate at the end of the First World War, it was again occupied and annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1939. During the Second World War, parts of the territories of the so-called ethnic Albania were incorporated, including only the territories of the north-west and ethnic Albanian settlements left beyond the borders of the state. From 1944 to 1990 Albania was an extremely isolationist, Stalinist and anti-revisionist Communist state. Since 1998 Albania has been a parliamentary republic.
Albania is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Since 24 June 2014, Albania is officially a candidate for membership of the European Union  after having formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009. Free market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, in particular in the development of energy and transport infrastructures. It is among the emerging countries of Europe and, thanks to the numerous historical and natural beauties, among the new tourist destinations of the Balkan Peninsula and the Mediterranean basin.
The capital of Albania is Tirana. Other major urban centers are Durres, Valona, Shkodra and Gjirokastra. Albanian is the official language; Albanians call themselves shqiptarë.