Italian is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people in Italy and parts of Switzerland. Modern standard Italian was adopted by the Italian government after the unification of Italy in about 1871 and has its roots in the region of Tuscany, in central Italy. There are many dialects of Italian spoken throughout the Italian peninsula. Dialects are generally not used for purposes of mass communication and are usually spoken in local, informal contexts by native speakers. Most all Italians speak a dialect (Venetian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, etc.), but they can easily switch to standard Italian.