Italy tours

Italy is known for the art, music, fashion, wine, food, opera, architecture, breathtaking sights - it’s difficult to decide what is the ‘secret sauce’ that makes it as special as it is. Starting from Veneto on the north, via Emilia Romana in the central part to Puglia and Sicilia on the south - each region, out of 20 there are, has differences in language, history, food and mentality. According to UNESCO, two thirds of world’s historic and cultural heritage is in Italy. Geographically, Italy is divided on Northern, Central and Southern Italy and the islands.

Rome is the capital and the biggest city in the country. It has 2.7 million of people and is known as cultural and touristic center. But Italy is much more than just Rome, all its other cities and towns are touristic delights - just think of Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Genova, Bologna, Florence, Venice.

Guided tours of Italy

Overview

Population 60,150,000
Capital city Rome
Internet domain .it
Area code +39
Driving side on the right
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time Zone UTC +1 (CET) i UTC +2 (CEST)
Electricity 220V, European standard

Italy was named by Greeks living in Calabria in the 8th century BC. It is the crib of great Etruscan and Roman civilizations and also the center of the first and the biggest empire in Europe, North Africa and Middle East - Roman Empire.

Europe has three active volcanoes all of them are located on the South of Italy - Etna, Stromboli, Vesuvio. Two smallest countries in the Europe, Vatican and San Marino are geographically part of Italy. Southern Italy has a long tradition as the country of emigrants so now around the world lives about 60 million of Italians, just as many as in the country itself.

Around 40 million of people visits Italy each year putting it on the 4th place of the most visited countries in the world.

Many famous world painters originate from Italy: Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael and many others. The first violin, viola, cello and piano are made in Italy. Some of the greatest baroque composers Albinoni, Vivaldi, Monteverdi. Mechanical clock, barometer, thermometer, glasses and phone are invented in Italy.

Trivia

  • Enrico Fermi is Italian who invented nuclear reactor.
  • The biggest Christian church in the world is in Rome - St. Peter’s Church. Building of the church lasted for 120 years (1506-1626).
  • European renaissance started in Italy in the 14th century.
  • The oldest european university, University of Bologna, is still working and it’s founded in 1088.
  • The oldest bank in the world, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, is founded in Italy in 1472 and it still operates today.
  • Film festival in Venice is the oldest film festival in the world, it was organized since 1932.
  • Roman Colosseum is the biggest construction of the old Roman times devoted to entertainment.
  • Roman catacombs are 13 km long and some of them have about 40 thousand tombs. In the underground there is the oldest figure of Holy Mother (dating from 2nd century).
  • Italy has more fashion designers than any other country in the world.
  • Ferrari is the oldest and the most successful team driving in Formula 1 since 1948.
  • It is estimated that Italy has the biggest black market in Western Europe.

Food in Italy

There are indications of some types of pizzas and pastas dating back to the Roman Empire era. However, the first real pizzeria is opened in Naples in 1830 - Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba. There are officially 140 types of pasta and probably even more. On average, Italians consume about 25 kg of pasta per year per person. Italy is also known for its desserts and the most famous one is tiramisu, made in 1970s for the first time and metaphorically means make me happy.

When to visit Italy

If you want to enjoy mild Italian weather and avoid the crowds April, May, June and late September to October are the best months to do so.

Italy climate

Winters in the Alpes are usually cold and snowy, while summers are short and fresh, however there are some exceptions to this rule. Lots of sun makes the lower temperatures on the higher altitudes much more bearable.

Northern plains separated from Ligurian Sea by Ligurian Alps is characteristics for the long and warm summer, being ideal for the farming. Further away, down the south, climate is mediterranean, with warm sunny summers and mild winters. In the higher altitudes there are three times more rain than in lower parts where are possible longer summer droughts.

Places to visit in Italy

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Photos of Italy