Determinative articles (IL, LO, LA, I, GLI, LE, L') before name of countries in Italian.
In Italian we usually use an article before the name of the country, as in the following examples:
L'Italia è un bel Paese.
LA Francia confina con LA Spagna.
GLI Stati Uniti e IL Canada sono grandi.
However we have (obviously!) some exceptions (most of them are islands):
Cipro, Cuba, Haiti, Israele, Malta, Taiwan.
Remember we don't need the article when we use the preposition IN:
Sono nata IN Italia, ma vivo IN Messico.
Vado spesso IN Francia e IN Germania.
But, if the country needs an article because it's plural (the US, the Netherlands...), then we use the “preposizione articolata” to express IN + the required article:
Vado NEGLI (IN+GLI) Stati Uniti.
NEI (IN + I) Paesi Bassi ci sono molte biciclette.
Moreover, if we only would like to indicate a specific area of the country (northern, southern, or something else), we need the article again. For example:
NELL'Italia (IN + L') del nord gli inverni possono essere freddi. (In northern Italy).
NELLA (IN + LA) Francia del sud ci sono città molto belle. (In southern France).
I hope my explanations were clear. If so and if you would like to learn Italian with me, please feel free to book a Trial Class!