Italy is one of the most popular travel destinations on Planet Earth. Some say the Italians invented tourism in the 16th century, and it is safe to say that no country has given the world more cultural icons, including fine automobiles, architecture, fashions, operas, paintings, sculptures, tenors, and food.
Italy has so much to see and do - skiing in the Alps, the Lake District of the north, the historic and stylish cities of Florence, Milan, Naples, Siena, Turin and Venice, coastal cities and quaint little villages, and of course Rome, and the Holy See (Vatican).
The world famous boot-shape peninsula of Italy, extending into the central Mediterranean Sea is a rugged, mountainous country of simply stunning scenery that also includes the popular island destinations of Sardinia and Elba to the west, and Capri, Ischia and Sicily off the southern coast.
Italy is renowned for its olive oil, pastas, people, wine, and of course sunshine, and year-round great weather. Simply stated, Italy is "la dolce vita" (the sweet life), and many people that travel to this incredible country never want to leave.
- Calling Code: 39
- Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
- Drive on the: Right
- Times to Travel: Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations, making it a perfect year-round destination. Most people visit Italy between June and August, however the best time to visit is in Spring (April-May) and Autumn (September-October) when the weather is consistently at its best. The sea is warm enough for swimming between June and September.
Most Italians take their vacation in August and many shops and restaurants are closed during this period. The ski season runs between December and April and the best time to walk in the Alps is between June and September.
- NOTE: Before making your travel plans to any worldwide destination, we strongly recommend you authenticate important details regarding all applicable health, passport and visa requirments. The people at Travel Visa Pro can answer all of your questions!
- Italy Travel Advice and Warnings
The city has one of the best preserved historic centers in the entire country and is often overlooked by visitors. The University of Bologna is located here - the oldest university in Europe - founded in the 11th century.
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CINQUE TERRE :
In Italian, Cinque means "five" and terre means "lands." The Cinque Terre is comprised of five little villages built into the rocky coastline of northern Italy. Each of the villages has its own unique character and are accessible by train. The villages include: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The towns are filled with interesting old buildings and narrow pedestrian lanes. Cars are not allowed in most areas of the villages.Expect large crowds in the summer months.
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The Renaissance of art and culture began in Florence in the 15th century, and this classic city is home to some of the world's finest art, including the original David by Michelangelo, and priceless works by Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli, to name but a few. The Ponte Vecchio bridge, or "Old Bridge" is one of the most famous landmarks of the city and is lined with jewellers and goldsmiths' shops.
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This graceful city of art, one of the oldest in all of Italy, is also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Major points-of-interest include the Piazza de Ferrari and its Opera House and Palace of the Doges. Other famous landmarks include the Old Harbor (Porto Antico) which has been transformed into a mall, the cemetery of Staglieno, known for its monuments and statues, and the Museo d'Arte Orientale which has one of the largest collections of Oriental art in Europe. The second largest aquarium in the world is here along with Genoa's landmark - the oldest working lighthouse in the world.
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The second largest city in the country is one of the world's major commercial and financial centers, and one of the wealthiest cities in the European Union. Milan is one of the world capitals of fashion and design, along with New York City, Paris, London and Tokyo. The world's oldest shopping mall, The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo is located here.
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The country's third largest city lies in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius in the Campania Region in southern Italy. It's the most prosperous city in the region and is filled with many historical churches, castles, palaces, museums and subterranean tunnels. Due to its location on the Gulf of Naples, the popular islands of Capri and Ischia as well as Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are easily reached by ferries and hydrofoils from its waterfront (shown above).
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The most famous landmark in this city is, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, the tower is just one of many remarkable structures located here. The Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), the Knights' Square where the Palazzo della Carovana is located, along with several churches and palaces make Pisa an interesting adventure.
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Founded more than 2,700 years ago, Rome is the largest open-air museum in all of Europe and very photogenic. Major attractions include The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Trastevere, the Spanish Steps, Coliseum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the views from Gianicolo Hill. The "Eternal City" is romantic, fashionable and a favorite destination for visitors from around the world.
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Located in the heart of the Tuscany Region, Siena is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Set on three hills, and drawn together by winding alleys and steep steps, it has managed to retain a medieval look and feel. The Piazza del Campo, in the center of the city, is considered to be one of the finest town squares in the entire country. Siena offers several interesting art museums and the Gothic-style Duomo is a must-see.
For more information on Siena, visit these links:VENICE :
Located in northeastern Italy, Venice is widely considered Italy's (and the world's) most beautiful and romantic city. Literally standing in a lagoon just barely above the water line, it consists of 117 islands, and the city is connected by over 400 bridges that cross its 150 canals. It's small and compact, and the traffic-free streets (no vehicles allowed) along the winding canals are great for walking and sight-seeing. There are many magnificent churches and palaces, lively piazzas and interesting shops here.
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