The land of luscious pizza, scrumptious pasta and delectable wine, Italy is a beautiful basket filled with wonders and an expanse blessed with spell-binding presence. No wonder the country has remained one of the preferred destinations for millions of tourists for decades. Visit this picturesque peninsula and converse with supreme spectacles. Gaze at a heaven-like setting marked by gorgeous landscapes and roam around peacefully feeling the essence of calmness. Read through ancient sites and monuments and the intriguing past of the country. Get acquainted with a unique culture and learn about its beautiful traditions and customs. Italy offers innumerable opportunities. Hence, the country always delivers a great deal of surprise.
USEFUL INFO. ABOUT Italy
OFFICIAL NAME: Italian Republic
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Parliamentary Republic
Capital City: Rome
Largest City: Rome
POPULATION: 60.4 Million (As of 2020)
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE(S): Italian
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Italian, English, Spanish, Albanian, French
ETHNICITY: 91.5% Italians and 8.5% others
CURRENCY: Euro € (EUR)
AREA: 301, 340 Sq Km
Area: 301, 340 Sq Km
Lowest Point: Mediterranean Sea 0 M
Highest Point: Mont Blanc 4807 M
Coastline: 7600 Km
NEIGHBOURING PLACES: Slovenia| Austria| Switzerland| France
FAMOUS FOR: Italian Cuisine (Pizza and Pasta) | Beautiful Shores | Architecture | Art | Wine | Colourful Streets | Ancient Culture |Rome | Gelato | World Travellers like Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus | Leonardo da Vinci
THE NATIONAL SYMBOL: National Flag | National Emblem | Strawberry Tree | Stella d'Italia | National Colours of Italy | National Anthem
TIME ZONE: Italy (GMT +1)
Ethnicity: : 91.5% Italians and 8.5% others
DRIVING SIDE: Right
AIRPORTS in Italy :
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport | Milan Malpensa Airport | Venice Marco Polo Airport | Orio al Serio International Airport | Naples International Airport | Catania Airport | Bologna Airport
The earliest traces of human history in the present-day Italy date back to the Old Stone Age about 850,000 years ago. Numerous archaeological excavations at Monte Poggiolo have proved the existence of humans in the Palaeolithic Era. Hence, Italy has a very long history of evolution. During the pre-Roman Italy, Umbrians, Latins, Oscans and a number of other groups dominated the region.
However, by the 8th century BCE, the kingdom of Rome was founded on the banks of the river Tiber. Gradually, its continuous development turned it into one of the most significant cultural, economic and political centers in the world. Within a few decades, the Roman Kingdom became one of the most powerful and largest empires across the globe.
Later on, during the Middle Ages, with the decline of the Roman Empire, numerous foreign powers took over the control of the country. The Ostrogoths, the Lombards, the Frankish Empire and more ruled numerous parts across Italy.
Later on, during the early modern period, the Italian Renaissance happened, which led to the extensive development of the country in terms of art, science, and craft. By the mid 19th century, the Italian peninsula had become a monarchy with the birth of the Kingdom of Italy.
The Monarchical period lasted for about 6 decades before the fascist regime of the country overtook the power. Benito Mussolini served as the leader during this time. However, after a referendum was passed in 1946, Italy became a republic country.
Since then, it has been progressing drastically. Today, Italy is one of the most popular and most frequented nations on the globe. People from every corner of the world aspire to visit it and experience its charm.
Surrounded by beautiful hills and blessed with the presence of plains, ponds, and rivers, Italy boasts of an amazing topographical landscape. The country is located in the southern region of Europe and that's the reason why it has been successful in grabbing the attention of tourists from different countries.
Several rivers and small streams flow through the country. The presence of the Alps and gorgeous small islands beautifies the charm of the country. Spread over an area of 301,340 sq Km, Italy engulfs every kind of natural body. It has forests, water-bodies, hills and more within its boundaries. The land makes for about 97% of the total area.
Being a peninsula, Italy is surrounded by waters on three sides. Hence, tourists get wonderful shores to look forward to. Visit the country and welcome the dancing waves of the Mediterranean Sea crashing on serene beaches. The lowest and the highest points in Italy are the Mediterranean Sea at 0 m and Mont Blanc Mountain at 4807 m respectively. The country borders with neighboring nations of Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, and France.
Art and Music
Italian art and folk music are significant parts of the country's indigenous culture. The Italian renaissance that took place several centuries ago changed the face of Italian art and architecture. Also, with the invention of numerous musical modern instruments, the local music also witnessed several modifications.
Visit the ancient buildings and monuments of the country to catch a glimpse of traditional artworks displayed on walls, domes and more. Age-old statues across the country define the prominence of art in Italy back in the day. Today, the country is known beyond boundaries for its interesting art and traditional music. From folk to classical and pop to jazz, everything is loved in Italy today.
Food and Drink
Italian cuisine is popular all over the world for its luscious delicacies. Pizza, pasta, lasagne, and more rules the cafes and restaurants across the globe. Go to any country and you would find people loving them to the core. Italian Cuisine is mostly recognized for its everlasting tastes. One finds a variety of dishes characterized by quality ingredients and simplicity. People in Italy also love to drink while enjoying their favorite meals. Wine, coffee, and tea are the most popular beverages consumed in the country.
Aperitivo, Negroni, Campari, Bellini, Americano, Spritz and Grappa
Italians are known for their hospitality. Once you are out in the streets, you get to witness a rare culture and learn beautiful traditions. You are greeted with a large smile. Locals in Italy sincerely take care of their guests. Hence, do not wonder if you are invited to someone's house for lunch or dinner. People in the country are generous and kind. They are helpful and understanding.
Loiter around age-old Roman ruins and learn in detail about the bygone era of the country.
Sail through soothing waters of Venice and watch the magnificent architecture of Italy.
Relish the authentic taste and flavors of pasta and pizza and other popular Italian dishes.
Go on a memorable tour of wineries and gulp down the most flavorsome wine of your life.
Explore some of the most beautiful beaches in the world as you sip your favorite cocktail.
Take beautiful snaps of picture-perfect villages of Italy and learn about their unique cultures.
Plan weekend trips to dazzling lakes surrounded by mountains and have a great time with your family and friends.
Capture snow-laden peaks with the stunning blue backdrop and hike up towering mountains
Visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Rome, Naples, Florence, and more.
Scrutinize peerless art and witness the masterpieces by the world's greatest artists at museums and galleries.
Get drenched in the charm of colorful festivities and indulge in attending traditional events.
Italy experiences a very diverse climate for having a large expanse across different longitudes. In the country, one would find a humid subtropical climate as well as a humid continental climate. Italy has hills, mountains, plains and shores and hence, it gets different climatic conditions at different places at the same time. When in the summers, the shores of Italy experiences a humid and hot weather, the hilly regions get a comfortable environment with optimum climatic conditions.
While in the winters, when the Alps records a temperature of 0 Degree Celsius, the Sicily region gets about 12 Degree Celsius. Hence, it can be said that Italy always hosts a number of places that are comfortable to explore during a certain period in a year. However, if you are looking forward to witnessing the beauty of cities like Roma, Venice, and Pisa, then the best time to book your tickets is from April to June and September to October.
June, July and August are the hottest months in Italy, while December and January are the coldest months.
April to June and September to October
This is the best time to visit Italy in a year as during this period the climatic conditions are quite favorable. One can roam within the country and explore its beauty comfortably.
Visit Italy with Family
Kick off your wonderful journey at the ruins and ancient sites of Rome
Visit beautiful cathedrals and spend a day worshipping the almighty God
Take a day off at the wonderful shores of Sicily and other places
Sail down the beautiful waterways of Venice and listen to boatman crooning regional songs
Take selfies at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and have happy memories
Visit Italy as a Couple
Cherish romantic moments while sitting idle and watching colorful horizon on the beautiful beaches of Italy
Go for a supper and relish flavorsome wine together
Explore the natural beauty of the Italian islands as you walk through hidden trails
Plan a day trip to the beautiful settlement of Cinque Terre
Listen to the calm waters of Lake Como and capture its heaven-like surroundings
Visit Italy with Friends
Take an adventurous route and climb up the towering Mount Vesuvius
Learn about the history of ancient Rome at Colosseum
Enjoy great artworks at popular museums and galleries across the country
Spend a day acknowledging the charm of Amalfi Coast
What to Buy?
Hand-made Murano Glass
Rome, the capital of Italy features an exquisite blend of culture and history. While it holds a very important place in the history of human civilization featuring masterpieces of Roman art and architecture, it is also known for its equally vibrant street life, fine wine, culture, and tradition.
Florence is one of the most magnificent cities in central Italy, which is rightfully called the cradle of the Renaissance. This Italian city of culture boasts of some of the finest art treasures in the world amidst the mesmerizing cathedrals, palaces and museums, and gourmet Tuscan cuisines
Pisa, one of the major maritime republics of Italy, is famous for its Bell Tower, also known as 'the leaning tower'. Besides that, one can also delve into other architectural geniuses or relax by the banks of Arno River. Pisa is not only one of the most visited tourist places in Italy but also in the world.
TKnown for their profound isolation, Cinque Terre at the Italiana River features exquisite ruggedness of the villagers. Consisting of five villages, it offers a beautiful understanding of Italian village culture and lifestyle with beautiful trails and vineyards.
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, also known as the floating city of Italy. Everything from its canals to gondolas and the architecture is sure to sweep any visitors off their feet. Get on a gondola and sail through beautiful waterways as you catch a glimpse of wonderful architecture.
Another place that is set to soothe you to the core, Naples is one of the most visited and largest cities in Italy. It has a history of more than 2000 years and hence, it has been a priority for history buffs from various corners of the globe. Promenade along the shore or walk past ancient sites, sip on some wine, there is a lot to do here.
You just can't miss out on expiring this wondrous beauty while in Italy. Amalfi coast is popular for its steep cliffs, beautiful cathedrals, and wonderful cafes. No wonder it is on the bucket list of millions of international travelers. Come here and delve deep into a world of retirement.
The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is a beauty descended from heaven. The kind of nature and history it hosts is unmatchable. You have great shores, mountains and canals on one side and intriguing remains from the past on the other side. Visit it and confront awe-inspiring beauties at every step.
One of the major ancient cities of Italy, Pompeii holds grave importance bearing the most significant proof of the Roman civilization. The city provides vivid and tangible excavation and information on art, culture and trade systems during the Roman civilization. Due to its significance, it is one of the most preserved cities in Italy. Visit it and time travel to the ancient era.
Once the capital of the Western Roman Empire, Milan is one of the largest and most populous cities in Italy. It has innumerable sites on display. Though it is an alpha global city and is an important center of politics, trade, and education, it is mainly noted for art and historical monuments. From Dreamland castles to ravishing cathedrals, there is a lot to witness here.
Other Places of Importance in Italy:
Carnevale is one of the most awaited festivals in Italy and is celebrated across the country with full fervor and zest. The towns and cities get decorated and public processions and parades are held. During the festival, people dress up modestly and partake in numerous cultural events and activities. The festival is so popular that it has gained the attention of international travelers too. Time: February
II Palio di Siena
Another festival in Italy that sets the mood of the country is the popular II Palio di Siena festival. This is the occasion when several horse race competitions are organized. People indulge in participating in these races to win the Palio. The audience cheer up for their favorite contestants. Tourists from neighboring nations visit the country during the festivity to watch beautiful events taking place. Time: July and August
Festa Della Madonna Bruna
An interesting procession that one would die to see is Festa Della Madonna Bruna. Characterized by wonderful fireworks and great lighting across the streets of Matera, the festival holds a significant place for locals here. It provides an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the Matera city. If you are looking forward to learning about the unknown customs and traditions of Italy, do not miss attending this carnival. Time: July
L'Ardia di San Costantino
Races, food stalls, colorful sights and a lot more to enjoy at L'Ardia di San Costantino. The Festival is observed in the loving memory of Constantine's triumph at Milvian Bridge in the early 4th century. Since then, the festival has been a great part of Italian culture. Today, it is attended by thousands of locals and participants. Watch wonderful races and savor delectable meals. Time: July
Other festivals celebrated in Italy
San Biagio Festival
To visit Italy or any other country of the European Union, you need to obtain a valid visa unless you belong to a visa-exempt country. As per the visa policy of the Schengen Area, the following countries have the complete freedom of movement to/from Italy.
European Union Citizens
Citizens of countries from the EU single market
Below-given is the list of all the countries that also do not need to apply for a tourist visa to enter the boundaries of Italy. However, with this, they can only stay for a maximum period of 90 days.
Albania, Andorra, Antigua, and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela and British Nationals without "Freedom of Movement".
Above visa-exempt policies apply to all EU nationals except Ireland.
Ireland has its own rules and regulations and completely operates as per its own visa policy.
Italy has a well-managed bus system for both within the city and inter-city tours. Tickets must be purchased before boarding the bus. However, the buses are limited during Sundays and holidays.
Italy has one of the cheapest train/metro systems in Europe. One can book the tickets online. However, the names of the cities will be mentioned in Italian, so it's essential to know the Italian name of the city in order to purchase the ticket. Train service is available at all the important cities and towns of the country.
Undoubtedly, one of the most convenient means of transport! Taxis are available at all the tourist spots in Italy. While you're getting a taxi or a cab, make sure that it is registered to avoid getting into problems. Also, always opt to go by the inbuilt-meter to avoid paying extra.
Via Air Route
Italy is served by numerous international airports including Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Venice Airport, and Milan Airport. Hence, the country is greatly connected to all the major cities of the world by air.
Leonardo da Vinci Airport and Milan Airport are some of the busiest airports in the country and are accessible from their respective city centers. Once you have reached the airport, you can either hire a direct cab or take a local bus to reach your destination.
Via Rail Route
Reaching Italy by train is quite fun as the journey is easy and convenient. The country has great connectivity to the other parts of Europe via rail. If you belong to a country of the European Union and are looking for a thrilling ride to Italy, then you must go with this option. Via Road Route
As Italy shares its border with a number of countries, it can be easily accessed via road. You can take international buses from nearby Switzerland and Austria to reach the country. You can also hire a car or rent any other vehicle to reach Italy from nearby nations.
Via Water Route
Venice, Ancona, Brindisi, and Bari are the most popular and busiest ports in Italy. Several cruise ships and ferries ply between Italy and other port countries on a regular basis. You can also use the beautiful waterways of Italy to explore its islands. TRAVEL TIPS
Head to unexplored Italian islands to discover the hidden natural beauty of the country away from the tourist crowd.
Cappuccino is a breakfast drink in Italy and hence, do not order it with lunch or at dinner unless you want people to frown.
Tipping is not mandatory and it has never been in Italy. However, a token of appreciation in exchange for a great service is always appreciated.
It is a Visit the popular sites like Colosseum early in the morning to avoid long queues at the ticket window.
Cards are accepted at most restaurants and shopping complexes in Italy and hence, use them wherever necessary.
Places like Terracina in Italy have some of the unexplored white sandy beaches. Do check them out.
You can also book your tickets online for the popular sites of Italy. This way you would be able to skip standing in queues.
Trains are the best options if you want to explore different cities and towns at a minimum timeframe.
Gelato, an Italian name for ice cream, is available at almost every corner and street in Italy. Do not forget to savor its everlasting flavors.
You want to relish the best steaks in the world? Head to Tuscany!.
Haggle with gondoliers for a cheaper ride. Otherwise, a 30-minute ride in the waters of Venice is going to cost you a lot.
Get a local guide along if you are taking an offbeat road trip in the remote regions of Italy.
While exploring around crowded places, do keep a check on your belongings.
Always carry a copy of your passport and a hotel card while excreting out to help you in case of emergencies.
Save your drinks from getting spiked in the public. Do not leave your food unattended, especially in crowded tourist places.
Do not flaunt your valuables in the public, especially at crowded tourist spots. Always leave them in your hotel room.
Stay away from traveling through poorly-lit streets.
Consult your doctor and get required vaccination for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, measles, polio, chickenpox, pneumonia, and rabies.
Get your journey insured to help you in case of medical emergencies.
Tap water is quite safe in Italy and hence, you need not rely on bottled water.
Keep insect repellent with you while exploring out in the remote parts of the country.
Always eat at cafes and restaurants that are popular amongst locals.
WHAT TO PACK?
Sunscreen and Sunglasses
Light summer clothes
Flip-flops and sandals
DRESS CODE & ETIQUETTE
Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing and must cover their head and shoulders while visiting churches and other religious sites.
Always greet people with a happy smile and wish each other a great day ahead.
Smoking is not allowed in public places in Italy and hence, refrain from doing so.
While visiting someone's house, do not forget to bring along flowers or wine or chocolates as a gift.
Do not bring anything edible into a church or any other place of religious prominence.
Enclosed within the artistic boundaries of Rome, the capital city of Italy, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world and is spread across an area of not more than 0.5 sq km. Hence, it makes for a perfect weekend getaway. With wide squares, towering cathedrals and early-modern architecture, the country offers a wondrous trail to explore. Visit the marvelous Vatican museums and time travel to the Medieval Era.
Another European delight that sets the mood right with its cityscapes, natural expanses, and gorgeous streams. Slovenia is also recognized for its diverse culture that is marked by interesting traditions. The country hosts snow-capped mountains, beautiful cliffs and awe-inspiring seashores. Come here and get lost in its natural magnificence or explore the street culture.
While in Italy, if you are looking for a neighboring place that could make your journey an everlasting experience, then you shouldn't miss out on planning an excursion to the paradisal land of Switzerland. Try skiing and snowboarding above high altitudes, capture the grandeur of lush green valleys, take a long walk through colorful walkways or witness the majesty of the Swiss Alps.
France has everything a traveler looks forward to. The country offers great art and architecture and also, history and nature. It has Paris, the city of Romance as well as the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of love. The country has a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore. Loiter peacefully on sandy shores or explore the vibrant nightlife of Europe. Shop for your fashion style or revel in the world-renowned French cuisine.
Italy is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world with an influx of more than 40 million travelers every year.
The capital city of Rome boasts of being one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on the planet. It has a history of more than 3000 years.
Though Italy is the largest exporter of wine in the world, it is the second-largest producer of the beverage after France.
Italy is popular across the world for being the land of pizza and pasta. There are over 130 types of pasta that are consumed across different regions in the country.
All the three active volcanoes of Europe are located in Italy. They are Etna, Vesuvius, and Stromboli.
A wide variety of cheese is used across Italy. The country excels in the preparation of more than 2500 traditional kinds of cheese.
Italy is also far-famed for its revolutionary inventions. The first-ever ice-cream cone, Jacuzzi and the espresso machine were all invented by the Italians.
Italians are crazy about wine and no wonder, the country consumes about 50 bottles of wine per year per capita.
World-famous artists and authors like Leonardo da Vinci, Dante, and Michelangelo hail from Italy.
Italy has plenty of historical places to explore. The country has a history of more than 10,000 years and hence, it houses innumerable ancient sites.
Italians believe in a number of superstitions. As per their beliefs, one shouldn't put a hat on the bed. One shouldn't cross the path of a cat too. All these things bring in bad luck.
General emergency number: 112 Local Police: 113 Fire: 115 Medical emergencies:118
Euro is the legal currency in Italy and has been in use for decades now. However, in the past (From 1861 to 2002), the country used Italian Lira as its official currency. Today, Euros dominates the markets of Italy and other countries of the European Union and has been used extensively for exchanging goods and services. Also, the Euro is one of the strongest and most-traded currencies in the global market.
Symbol: € Code: EUR
1 EURO = 100 paise
1 Euro EUR = 4.10 United Arab Dirham AED (As of 4th March 2020)
Euro banknotes are found in the denomination of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500
Euro bank coins are found in the denomination of 1, 2, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents and 1 cent.
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