Photo: Campania in Italy has the picturesque Amalfi Coast
Italy brings images of Rome, rural mountainous landscapes and traditional villages along the coast. It also evokes the wonderful regional cuisines of this European peninsula as well as the traditionally but well known pastas, pizzas, fish and meat dishes.
Separated in the north from the rest of Europe by the Alps, the Italian peninsula and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia sit squarely in the centre of the Mediterranean. With the Adriatic Sea to the north and the Tyrrhanian Sea between the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, the Italian ’Boot’ is split between in two by the Appenine Mountains.
The north of Italy has been its economic engine, putting the country in the top economies of Europe, while in the south, the pace is more relaxed. Although the south was very much a cradle of civilisation, it has been influenced by the the recent economic woes of the continent as well as the invasions over the millenia, including the Greek, Carthiginians, Visigoths and the Normans.
Italy’s culture spans more than 2000 years and although becoming an unified state only in the last 100 years, it has over 100,000 culturally significant sites. It is difficult to fund all those properly, so a number of museums and sites are closed to the public.
This is slowly changing. Tourism is of course very important to the economy of the country. Aside from the many places to visit in Italy important to the arts, architecture, history and culture, you will also find throughout Italy enchanting and enthralling local festivals.
Clothing, fashion, jewelry and accessories standards are amongst the highest in the world. Much of it handmade, the Made in Italy label still stands out. Italian cars, too, are world famous, certainly their supercars made by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani Zonda and Alfa-Romeo.
Rome, once the centre of an empire that had a major impact over the millenia on Western culture is home to some of mankind’s greatest artworks and buildings. The food is great too.
Some of the many places of interest in Rome; St. Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Navona, the Vatican and Trastevere, the Capitoline Museums, the Colosseum, San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore and the Pantheon. More about Rome.
Venice brings visions of canals and gondolas, but there is so much more. Great art, wonderful buildings and history make it one of Europe’s jewels.
Campania, in the south of Italy, has Naples, Baia, Salerno and the Amalfi Coast, Caserta, Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
Tuscany, with its long history, has glorious scenery as well as being home to famous places such as Pisa and Florence. More about: Tuscany.
Travel between the different parts of Italy is not difficult, although during holiday seasons both rail and roads can be crowded at times. Rome to the north is connected to Naples further south by a hi speed train system. Roads and transport in the north of Italy is well served, like the rest of Western Europe and travel from other European countries is also easy.
Italy has many charming and delightful islands to visit. There are good ferry services to many of them though not all ferries to the smaller islands can carry vehicles.
If you wish to drive here, you will need your drivers license, car registration papers and insurance documentation for your car. Vehicle rental companies, of course, provide the last two for car rentals, keep them with you.
You can find choices in accommodation in Italy from resort hotels, serviced apartments to bed & breakfasts.
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Photo: Campania in Italy has the picturesque