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Italy Travel Guide

Introducing Italy

The Italian republic is a boot-shaped peninsula country located in Southern Europe. The Italian republic is headed by its capital Rome. Italy is the fifth most populous country in the world with 61 million inhabitants. It is home to the largest number of UNESCO heritage sites in the world. Italy is also the largest producer of wine in the world. Some other interesting facts about this country are that Italy is home to the oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna that was founded in 1808. Also, the birth of the fork was in Italy, mainly because of the pasta. Lastly one amazing fact; in a study, it was also revealed that more than one-third of the Italian population has never used the Internet. Tourism has been a major contributor to the growth of the Italian economy since the last decade. Italy has opened its arms to welcome more than 40 million tourist and guests from all around the globe. With a population close to 60 million, Italy has been very famous for its unique fashion, art, history, cuisine, and culture. The beautiful coastline and pristine beaches, ancient mountain ranges and priceless monuments are one of the best in the world and form an integral part of the Italian culture.

Italy History, Language, and Culture

The history of Italy is rich and colorful. The country has been home to many great civilizations such the Etruscans and the Romans. Also, the great and renowned Renaissance movement started off in Italy. In fact, Rome has been part of several Western civilizations. The Vatican City is the center/headquarters of the Catholic fraternity. The middle age civilizations finally gave birth to nationalist movements in the 19th century with the unification achieved at the turn of the century. Italian is the most common and official language spoken in Italy. German, French, and Slovene are also spoken in some parts of Italy. The Italian tradition has traditionally been very rich and active in sports. Italy has been part of many international sporting events. Soccer and cycling are one of the most popular sports played in Italy. The Italian soccer team has won 4 world cup titles, which is second in the world after Brazil. Even in cycling championships, Italy is second on the list of world titles won after Belgium. Italy is one of the main basketball nations in Europe. It has won the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics held in 2004. The famous Ferrari F1 racing team has been founded by Enzo Ferrari has been one of the most successful F1 teams in the world. The volleyball team (both men and women) has won several world titles.

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Italy Weather, Climate, and Geography

ForItaly faces a diverse climate from the north to the south. The northern part of the country is between the Alps and the Apennines, and due to this, it faces harsh cold winters and very hot humid summers. The climate is somewhat milder in central Italy, they experience a much longer summer season, and there is not much difference in the temperatures in the summer and winters. The southern part of the country experiences spring and autumn temperatures all through the year. The boot-shaped peninsula has an area of 116,347 square miles peninsula, which is surrounded on the east by the Adriatic and on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea. To the north Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, and France surround it with the famous Apennine Mountains. The larger lakes like Garda, the Po starts from the Alps on Italy’s border. Several large islands in the southern peninsula are part of Italy. One of the largest islands is the Mediterranean are Sicily and Sardinia. The two independent states San Marino and the Vatican City are considered to be a part of the Italian peninsula. The list mentioned above is just a brief about Italy, as it is not possible to cover this beautiful country in one article. But this would definitely act as an Italy travel guide to give you the best experience of Italian tourism.

Currency & Economy

Italy, through its rich history and culture, has been home to many famous civilizations. Today Italy is one of the most developed and stabilized economies in the world. It has the 7th highest GDP, the 8th highest quality of life index, and highest human development index rating in the world. A founding member of the European Union, and a member of the G8, the Western European Union, the Council of Europe, and the Central European Initiative. With effect from January 1st, 2007, Italy is now a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. One of the amazing facts about Italy is that the Italian mafia contributes to 7 percent to the national GDP. The currency used in Italy is the Euro.

Italy Public Holidays

S.No Date Holiday Name Type of Holiday
1 Jan 1 New Year’s day National Holiday
2 Jan 6 Epiphany Season
3 Mar 21 March Equinox Observance
4 Apr 19 Good Friday National Holiday
5 Apr 21 Easter Day National Holiday
6 Apr 25 Liberation Day National Holiday
7 Apr 25 Feast of St. Mark Local Holiday
8 May 1 Labor Day/May Day National Holiday
9 Jun 2 Republic Day National Holiday
10 Jun 21 June solstice Season Holiday
11 Jun 24 The Feast of St. John (Florence, Genoa, Turin) Local holiday
12 Jun 29 The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (Rome) Local holiday
13 Aug 15 Assumption of Mary / Ferragosto National Holiday
14 Sep 19 The Feast of Saint Januarius (Naples) Local Holiday
15 Sep 23 September Equinox Season Holiday
16 Nov 1 All Saint’s Day National Holiday
17 Dec 7 The Feast of St. Ambrose (Milan) Local Holiday
18 Dec 8 Feast of Immaculate Conception National Holiday
19 Dec 22 December Solstice Season
20 Dec 25 Christmas National Holiday
21 Dec 26 St. Stephen’s Day National Holiday
22 Desc 31 New Year’s Eve Observance

Top Things to See & Do in Italy

Italy, which forms a beautiful Mediterranean coastline, is home to some of the most amazing beaches and structures. Italy is home to one of the most beautiful monuments and ancient structures, which carry their own charm. There are several sightseeing tours arranged. You should definitely take out a day for visiting these magnificent buildings. The Vatican museums, the Galleria Degli Uffizi, St. Peter’s Basilica offer amazing viewpoints and deep insights about the culture and history of Italy. The Palatino, Roman Forum, Colosseum are some of the gladiatorial structures built during the famous civilizations which form an integral part of the Italian tradition. Walk in Caesar’s footsteps in Rome and experience the marvelous structures of Rome. There are several other amazing structures and museums which inherit the beautiful history and culture of Italy. A night ride on the Vaporetto in Venice is truly a mesmerizing ride. You will be in awe at the beauty scenario with the beautiful lit city during the night. If you are a true lover of art, then visiting Milan should be your top priority. Leonardo’s masterpiece of The Last Supper will truly amaze you. There are several others beautiful pieces of artwork, which will truly make you, fall in love with this place. Italy boasts of some beautiful coastlines and a drive along the Amalfi Coast is definitely worth every bit. So you can indulge in some beach sports or just relax and sunbathe on the Smeralda coast. The view is simply stunning. The beauty of the pristine white sandy beaches surrounded by blue waters is definitely going to blow you off your feet. The Roman theater is one thing, which every tourist should experience. Sitting in a Roman Amphitheatre in Verona is a grand spectacle, which will give you a feel of the Italian culture. You should definitely go check out a game of soccer in Italy. People in Italy are football fanatic and are crazy about the game. You can feel the passion and intensity sitting in the stands itself. Do research well through various sources, before finalizing your itinerary to get the best experience of the Italian tourism.

Shopping & Nightlife

Italy is home to some of the most famous brands in the world. Shop for perfumes & fragrances, Leather goods, and items, shoes, ceramics, etc. The work done on the clothing, shoes, and accessories is simply the best in business. You can even shop for some Italian seasoning and garnishing like hard cheese, vinegar, candies, oils, or even canned food. If you love purchasing antique items, then the glass and vintage items collection will be hard to resist. This would be a shopping festival for you. Get authentic Italian collection as you can choose to shop till you drop. Do keep your pockets full as these are going to cost you a good amount.

Italy Food and Drink

Italian cuisine boasts of mixtures of several cultures, which gives it a totally diverse cuisine and a unique taste. No matter where you are in Italy, you got to eat two scoops of gelato daily. Italian gelato is prepared with just milk and cream plays no role in the gelato. So you can keep aside your excuses of excess calorie intake and enjoy this delicious delicacy. Other mouthwatering dishes worth experiencing are Pizza and pasta. The two dishes were born in Italy and experience these authentic Italian dishes at almost every corner of Italy.

Italy Events

Italy has an unrivaled art and musical heritage, which are displayed in theaters, opera houses, and at outdoor festivals. Italians celebrate their festivals and events with great intensity and passion. Some of the prestigious Italian events and festivals is the Venice carnival, Opera and ballet at Teatro dell’ Opera in Rome. Among the music and dance festivals worth checking out is the Opera season in Verona, Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago, Verdi Festival in Parma, Rossini Opera Festival, etc.