Albania ( ( listen) a(w)l-BAY-nee-ə; Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria; Gheg Albanian: Shqipni/Shqipnia or Shqypni/Shqypnia), officially the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë, pronounced [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːsə]), is a country in Southeastern Europe. The country spans 28,748 square kilometres (11,100 square miles) and had a total population of 3 million people as of 2016. It is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic with the capital in Tirana, the country's most populous city and main economic and commercial centre. The country's other major cities include Durrës, Vlorë, Sarandë, Shkodër, Berat, Korçë, Gjirokastër and Fier. Albania lies in the southwestern portion of the Balkan Peninsula bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. Most of the country is mountainous, including the Albanian Alps in the north, the Korab Mountains in the east, the Ceraunian Mountains in the south and the Skanderbeg Mountains in the center. The country's coast touches the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest that forms the Albanian Riviera. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy across the Strait of Otranto, which connects the Adriatic to the Ionian. Previously in classical antiquity, Albania has been populated by various Illyrian, Thracian and Greek tribes, as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast. In the third century BC, the region was annexed by the Roman Empire and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Illyricum.
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