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The Italian language is a Romance language. It is spoken by about 70 million peopled and it is also one of the official languages of Switzerland and is the second official language in Vatican City. Italian forms part of the Indo-European family of languages. The history of the Italian language is quite complex but the modern standard of the language was largely shaped by relatively recent events. Italian was first formalized in the first years of the 14th century through the works of Dante Alighieri, who mixed southern Italian languages, especially Sicilian, with his native Tuscan in his epic poems known collectively as the Commedia.