Intro to Italy
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Ciao a tutti!
That is how Italians will greet you when you visit this beautiful Mediterranean country. And, there’s definitely a lot to see. Italy is home to many artworks such as Renaissance paintings, marble sculptures, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Baroque architectural masterpieces that will leave you breathless.
Art in Italy
Italy is the world capital of art, with excellent museums and galleries where you can see the most outstanding masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and other famous medieval artists. You will be delighted by the cathedrals in Rome, Siena, Florence and, of course, Milan’s Duomo, which are among the world’s most beautiful religious buildings.
Top Attractions in Italy
Italy is also home to world-famous attractions such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum. And that’s not all: a gondola ride in Venice or a visit to the ancient city of Pompeii will undoubtedly stay in your memory for a long time.
Piedmont, Tuscany and Umbria are famous wine regions, where you can find top Italian wines such as Chianti, Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino. Puglia is a region known for its centuries-old olive trees, while Calabria boasts its 500-miles-long coastline and natural beauties tucked away in three national parks. And if you are a true hedonist, don’t miss the Emilia-Romagna region featuring its famous pasta specialties, Parmesan cheese and delicious wines.
Whether you decide to take a Venetian gondola ride, enjoy the Tuscan wine land or visit the most picturesque places in the country – Liguria’s Cinque Terre and stops along the Amalfi Coast – the choice is entirely up to you. Whatever you choose, it will be worth the trip. And if all this is not enough, know that Italians are masters at preparing pizzas, pasta, cheese and gelato desserts.
When it comes to population size, Italy is the fifth-largest European country, with approximately 60 million inhabitants. The country’s capital, Rome, is also the most populous, with over 2 million inhabitants. Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Genoa and Bologna are also among the biggest cities. Microstates of San Marino and the Vatican are located within Italy.
All About Italy
Actually, the Vatican is located within the Italian capital Rome. This tiny city-state is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. And, when in Rome, make sure you toss a coin in the beautiful Trevi Fountain because it is believed to bring you happiness.
The Italians are lively; they speak loudly and gesture with their hands. When you order coffee in a cafe, you’ll get a cup of espresso. Italians also know fashion well and dress nicely. You will often see them riding a Vespa or passionately watching football (soccer) matches. Italians also make top cars. Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini belong to the top classes of the automotive industry.
In addition, you can discover some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe on the Italian Riviera, in Sardinia and Sicily. Italy is so rich in cultural and historical sights and natural beauties that you will have to return several times to see all its magnificence.
Find tours, skip-the-line tickets and more activities to book for your trip here!
Plan Your Trip to Italy
Where is Italy?
Italy is located on the southern edge of central Europe, bordered by France and Austria at the top of the boot-shaped country. Italy has picturesque coastlines, smaller islands and a stretch of the Alps.
Getting Around Italy
With international flights from Rome, Milan and Bergamo, Italy is well connected with other countries. You can also travel by plane from northern to southern Italy.
You can travel by bus or train between most cities. Car rental is a good choice if you want to explore specific regions, such as Umbria or Tuscany. You won’t need a car inside the cities, because sights are usually near one another, so you can visit them on foot. On some routes, such as Genoa to Sardinia, or Naples to Capri, you can travel by ferry.
The official language in Italy is Italian. Almost half the population also speaks some of the regional dialects. English is spoken mainly by younger people and in popular tourist localities. Older people in less urban areas do not speak English. Interestingly, Italian is also spoken in some parts of France, Switzerland, Slovenia and Croatia.
Since 1999, the official currency in Italy is the euro. You can exchange money at exchange offices or a bank. Keep in mind that they do not accept payment cards in some places, so keep 50-100 euros in cash with you just in case.
When is the Best Time to Visit Italy?
During July and August, the famous tourist spots are crowded. In summer, temperatures in southern Italy are high, and winters in the northern part of Italy are often cold and snowy or rainy. Therefore, the best times to visit Italy are spring and autumn. The temperatures are ideal for a stroll, and the prices are a bit lower compared to the summer.
What to Pack When Visiting Italy?
Check the weather forecast for the specific regions you plan to visit a few days before departure. Temperatures in the different regions can vary greatly.
For a daily tour of the cities, bring comfortable footwear for all-day walking, a T-shirt, pants and a thin jacket. That will be enough unless you plan a visit to the Dolomites or other parts of the Alps. Italians dress nicely, so you can bring some fine outfits for an evening out. Since you will be walking a lot every day, take a small backpack for basic things.
Top Destinations in Italy
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