Italy Panorama Photo


Guide to Italy

Where is Italy?

Italy is a country in the south of Europe with has a border with France, Slovenia and Austria to the North. Italy has a large coastline on the Mediterranean Sea with the Sardinian Sea, the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Sicilian and Ionian Sea in the South. Off the coast are Sardinia and Sicily which are the largest islands in the Mediterranean. Within Italy are San Marino and Vatican City, two of the world’s smallest independent states. 

What is Italy?

Italy is a democratic Republic with a high standard of living. For decades it was the centre of the Roman Empire, which was the most ambitious empire to date until its decline and collapse in the year 476. Today Italy is home to the Vatican State which is the spiritual centre of Catholicism and the home of the Pope. The current Italian Prime Minister is Silvio Berlusconi who has had the post three times. Despite being very popular in Italy he is accused of widespread corruption.  

Why go to Italy?

For good reason Italy is known as the beautiful country. As a focal point in the development of Western culture during the Roman Empire and the later Renaissance, the country built up a wealth of treasures. Today Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country and combined with its extensive coastline and amazing alpine resorts these constitute a powerful draw to travellers. Of course they are also drawn to a country that can claim to rival France in terms of its wine, cuisine and fashion, with many great couture houses based in Milan. The bounteous produce of Italy including grapes and olives are due to the temperate climate, though it can get very hot in the south and very cold in the north.

Who lives in Italy?

More than 60 million people live in Italy which makes it one of the most populated countries in Europe. Most are Italians including some Greek-Italians in the south and some French, German and Slovenian speaking Italians in the north. The country is home to quite a few Albanian Italians as well. 90% of the population is Roman Catholic but there are also Jews and Protestants as well as a growing Muslim population.

How do you get into Italy

All EU members can get into the Italy which is also a member of the Schengen agreement. Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Italy: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Republic of China, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

1) By Air
There are two main airports in the capital Rome but the largest of them, Fiumicino International Airport, is Italy’s main airport. It is named after the Renaissance painter and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Milan also has two airports. There are major airports in Genoa, Bologna, Naples, Pisa, Catania, Venice, Bari and Turin, as well as some smaller regional airports throughout the country. The national airline is Alitalia.

2) By Land 
You can drive or take a train to Italy from almost anywhere in Europe. There are also bus routes to Croatia, Slovenia and Sweden. The bus to Sweden goes via Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.  

3) By Sea
It is easy to connect with Eastern Europe by boat from Italy with ferries leaving the ports of Ancona, Bari, Venice and Brindisi to Croatia, Greece, Montenegro and Albania. One of the regular boat services goes from Trieste to Albania. A number of cities also run ferries to Barcelona in Spain and the French island Corsica. A ferry runs from Pozzallo in the south of Sicily to Malta.
 

What to do in Italy

Eat pizza in Napoli, this charismatic southern Italian city is the birthplace of this insanely popular dish.

Go skiing in the Italian Alps and find luxurious resorts in Val Gardena and Courmayeur. 

Take a beach holiday in Calabria, which is known as the Caribbean of Europe for its emerald waters, or alternatively head for the Amalfi Coast.

What to do in Italy

Eat pizza in Napoli, this charismatic southern Italian city is the birthplace of this insanely popular dish.

Go skiing in the Italian Alps and find luxurious resorts in Val Gardena and Courmayeur. 

Take a beach holiday in Calabria, which is known as the Caribbean of Europe for its emerald waters, or alternatively head for the Amalfi Coast.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona Rome

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast Italy

Visiting Italy?
Check out our Top Ten Things to do?

CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Rome
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Turin
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Sicily
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Naples
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Venice
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Milan
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN Italy


Quick facts
Government  Unitary parliamentary republic
King   
Prime Minister  Silvio Berlusconi
Population  60,418,711
Date Format  
Drives on the  Right
Internet TLD  .it
Dialling Code  39
Time Zone  CET
Currency  EUR - €

Italy Public Holidays

Thu
02
Republic Day
Fri
24
St. John's Day
Wed
29
St. Peter & St. Paul Day

Mon
11
St. Rosalia Day
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