You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Italy.
Italy is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and several islands surrounding it. Italy is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, in Southern Europe, and is also often considered part of Western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with Rome as its capital and largest city, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial enclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union.
Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed.
During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured the fall of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through trade, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and other foreign conquests of the region. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of foreign meddling and conquest and the rivalry and infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left Italy politically fragmented, and it was further conquered and divided among multiple foreign European powers over the centuries.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861 following a war of independence, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, mainly in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the four main allied powers in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of the Italian fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the Italian Resistance, the country abolished their monarchy, established a democratic Republic, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, and became a highly developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the world's eighth-largest economy by nominal GDP (third in the European Union), sixth-largest national wealth and third-largest central bank gold reserve. It ranks very highly in life expectancy, quality of life, healthcare, and education. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs; it is both a regional power and a great power, and is ranked the world's eighth most-powerful military. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, the Group of Seven, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more. The source of many inventions and discoveries, the country has long been a global centre of art, music, literature, philosophy, science and technology, and fashion, and has greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields including cinema, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy has the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites (58), and is the fifth-most visited country.
Foods in Italy :
(1) Pizza :
Though a slab of flat bread served with oil and spices was around long before the unification Italy, there’s perhaps no dish that is as common or as representative of the country as the humble pizza. Easy, cheap, and filling, pizza has long been a common snack or meal, especially in Naples where tomato sauce was first added. When the Italian Queen Margherita came through the bustling city on a tour of her kingdom in 1889 she asked to try this dish that she saw so many of her subjects eating. A local entrepreneur served her the now legendary combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, creating (or more likely, branding) the Margherita pizza. Whether by coincidence or design, the Margherita also displays the colors of the Italian flag.
Today, there are essentially two types of pizza to choose from in Italy: Neopolitan-style pizza, or Roman-style pizza (though to be honest, many delivery places exist that is a happy medium between the two). Neapolitan-style pizza has a thick, fluffy crust. It tends to be a little smaller in diameter because the dough hasn’t been rolled out as far and it’s more filling. Roman-style pizza is has a paper-thin crust and just the slightest crunch (you don’t want it to be soggy!) It’s larger in diameter but typically lighter and less of a gluten bomb.
Because of Naples’ history with Queen Margherita, the city claims to be the birthplace of modern pizza, although the point is debated throughout Italy. Whatever the case may be, the general rule for ordering pizza in Italy is to shoot for fewer toppings. You should also be skeptical of any pizzerias that load the toppings onto their pies – this can often be a tactic used to cover up the use of poor ingredients. Fewer toppings are a sign of confidence in the product because each topping has to be exemplary. Whichever pizza you might favor, the other rule of thumb is: When in Rome, do as the Romans do, i.e., eat Roman style pizza. When in Naples, naturally, do as the Neapolitans do.
(2) Bottarga :
Smoked eggs from the rat of the sea. Wait, what? Don’t be put off by this rough description on an Italian delicacy because the other way to describe bottarga is “Sicilian Caviar”. In August and September southern Italians take the roe from grey mullets, salt it, press it, and then leave it to air dry for six months. The result is a solid hunk of eggs the color of amber and blood oranges that, when sliced and eaten or grated over pasta, blossoms into a gloriously savory, smoky, and briny bouquet. Though essentially a poor man’s answer to preserving seafood in the days before refrigeration, it is now considered one of the most sought after and luxurious foodstuffs in Italy, right up there with truffles (more on those later). We recommend it grated over pasta, or simply sliced thinly and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
(3) Lasagna :
Lasagna is a wide, flat pasta noodle, usually baked in layers in the oven. Like most Italian dishes, its origins are hotly contested, but we can at least say that’s its stronghold is in the region of Emilia-Romagna, where it transformed from a poor man’s food to a rich meal filled with the ragù, or meat sauce.Traditionally lasagna wasn’t made with tomatoes (remember, those came over from the New World in the 16th century); only ragù, béchamel sauce, and cheese, usually mozzarella or Parmigiano Reggiano or a combination of the two. Even today, only a bit of tomato or tomato sauce is used in a traditional ragu, unlike most Italian-American dishes, which are basically swimming in tomato sauce. This concentrates the flavor of the meat but sometimes is a little jarring for American palates.Though you can find lasagna throughout all of Italy, there’s nothing like trying the hearty dish in Emilia Romagna with homemade noodles, fresh ragù, and a generous dollop of regional prideIf you want to replicate the delicious dish at home you can check out our lasagna recipe.
(4) Fiorentina Steak :
A bistecca fiorentina, or Florentine T-bone steak, covers all of the characteristics of Italy’s best dishes: a specific cut of meat from a specific cow prepared in a very specific way all within the confines of a specific region.In the case of the enormous bistecca fiorentina, it’s a T-bone steak cut thick (at least 5 centimeters) from the loin of a Chianina cow raised in Tuscany. It’s cooked for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness, until the outside is cooked and the inside remains very rare. No sense in asking for a medium-well done steak here, the meat is too thick to even think about it! Despite all the dogma, there are some variations on the Florentine steak. For one, the meat isn’t always from a Chianina cow these days. Many Florentines are okay with the addition of new breeds but others swear that the enormous size and muscle of the Chianina makes for the best t-bones. If in doubt, simply ask. Also, the Florentines tend to prefer the higher cuts, nearer to the rib cage, which contain the fillet known as bistecca nella costola, whereas beyond Florence in Tuscany you’ll likely get a bistecca nel filetto, a lower cut that tends to be smooth and more melt-in-your-mouth. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the better, though. The Florentines argue that the bistecca nella costola comes from a more used muscle, meaning it’s more flavorful.Whichever cut you get, this is a dish to be eaten exclusively in Tuscany – either in Florence or the countryside. It’s also meant to be shared! When ordering, remember that bistecca alla fiorentina is priced by weight; for two people you’re typically looking at 1-2 kg (or nearly 2-4 pounds).
(5) Ribollita :
While on the topic of Tuscany, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention this hearty soup which has become so popular Campbells makes a (not amazing) version. With roots in the peasant cooking of the region, this vegetable soup is thickened with bread instead of meat, because that is what was cheaper and more readily available for hundreds of years in the desperately poor Italian countryside. In Tuscany, the dish is considered a special treat in the autumn, when the taste of the harvest vegetables is at its most vibrant and the soup explodes with an intense savoriness despite the absence of meat (at least in the traditional versions). Often eaten as a first course instead of pasta in the trattorie of Florence, this is one hearty stew that shows off the immense, and often untapped power of great produce.
Weather & geography in Italy :
The country experiences varied weather specifically between the northern and southern parts, with central parts both geographically and temperature-wise acting as a middle ground. The north is known for a harsher climate with particularly cold winters and very hot, usually humid, summers.Italy is located in the southern part of Central Europe and comprises the long, famously boot-shaped Italian Peninsula, the southern side of the Alps, the large plain of the Po Valley and a few islands, including Sicily and Sardinia. Jutting far out into the Mediterranean, the extension of land has forced the creation of individual bodies of water, namely the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea. Thus, Italy boasts an incredible 7600 km coastline (including its islands). Inland, the country is bordered by Switzerland, France, Austria and Slovenia. San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within the country.In the northernmost part, the rugged Alps boasts some scenic wonders which overlook the Alpine lakes and glacier-carved valleys stretching down to the Po River, where you find some of Italy’s most fertile land, the Padan Plain. This northern Lake District boasts the impressive Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. Another prominent collection of mountains, the Apennines, runs along the length Italy into the peninsula, almost 2000 km, and close to Rome widens to stretch almost the entire width of the country. This area also includes the only glacier in Italy, Calderone, the southernmost in Europe. South of Rome, the capital city, this Apennines range narrows and is flanked by two wide coastal lowland plains, facing the Tyrrhenian Sea on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. Mountains cover almost a third of the country and plains only about a quarter. The coastlines are largely hilly and rocky, with some incredible crescent beaches. The Adriatic coast offers flatter coasts, through terraced hills dominate the skyline just inland.
Renowned for some of the most paradise-esque islands, which are largely volcanic in origin, there is much to explore off the mainland. Some prominent ones are Sardinia and Sicily and the smaller Capri, Elba and Ischia. Did you know that much of Italy is, in fact, volcanic in origin and that a number of still active volcanoes exist? This includes Sicily’s Mt. Etna and Mt. Vesuvius near Naples.The country experiences varied weather specifically between the northern and southern parts, with central parts both geographically and temperature-wise acting as a middle ground. The north is known for a harsher climate with particularly cold winters and very hot, usually humid, summers. Centrally, the extremes lessen and a milder winter and a longer summer are prominent. In the south, as well as on most of the islands, the temperatures are considerably warmer and as a general rule the eastern coast is usually drier and colder than the western coast. The extreme difference across the country are shown by how, on one winter’s day, it can be −2 °C and snowing in Milan, 8 °C in Rome and 20 °C in Palermo. For this reason it is best to check the weather patterns of the specific places you may be going to be sure. In San Remo, where our Dolphin & Whale Research volunteer project is based, the weather is usually warm and dry from May to September, which allows for ideal cetacean research conditions for volunteers.
Per day Cost in Italy :
Bottom line, a trip to Italy costs about a $1,000 per day for a family of four (give or take.) Keep in mind that there are ways to do this for less including: using points for airfare, staying in Airbnbs/vacation rentals, taking small group tours, cooking your own meals, and limiting your extra spending.
History of Italy :
The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical antiquity, ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, Etruscans, and Celts have inhabited the Italian Peninsula, with various Italic peoples dispersed throughout Italy alongside other ancient Italian tribes and Greek, Carthaginian, and Phoenician colonies. In antiquity, Italy was the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the Roman Empire. Rome was founded as a Kingdom in 753 BC and became a Republic in 509 BC, when the monarchy was overthrown in favor of a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic then unified Italy at the expense of the Etruscans, Celts, and Greeks of the peninsula. Rome led the federation of the Italic peoples, and later dominated Western Europe, Northern Africa, and the Near East.
The Republic saw its fall after the assassination of Dictator Julius Caesar. The Roman Empire later dominated Western Europe and the Mediterranean for many centuries, making immeasurable contributions to humanity. Some of these led to the development of Western philosophy, science and art, that remained central during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. After the fall of Rome in AD 476, Italy was fragmented in numerous city-states and regional polities, and, despite seeing famous personalities from its territory and closely related ones (such as Dante Alighieri, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Niccolò Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei or even Napoleon Bonaparte) rise, it remained politically divided to a large extent. The maritime republics rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce, and banking, acting as Europe's main port of entry for Asian and Near Eastern imported goods and laying the groundwork for capitalism. Central Italy remained under the Papal States, while the southern part remained largely feudal due to a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Spanish, and Bourbon crowns. The Italian Renaissance spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration, and art with the start of the modern era. Italian explorers (including Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci) discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the Age of Discovery, although the Italian States had no occasions to found colonial empires outside of the Mediterranean Basin.By the mid-19th century, the Italian unification (led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, backed by the Kingdom of Sardinia) led to the establishment of an Italian nation-state. The new Kingdom of Italy, established in 1861, quickly modernized and built a colonial empire, controlling parts of Africa, and countries along the Mediterranean. However, the southern Italy remained rural and poor, originating the Italian diaspora.
In World War I, Italy completed the unification by acquiring Trento and Trieste, and gained a permanent seat in the League of Nations's executive council. Nevertheless, Italian nationalists considered World War I a mutilated victory because Italy did not have all the territories promised by the Treaty of London (1915) and that sentiment led to the rise of the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini in 1922. The subsequent participation in World War II with the Axis powers, together with Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, ended in military defeat, Mussolini's arrest and escape (aided by the German dictator Adolf Hitler), and an Italian Civil War between the Italian Resistance (aided by the Kingdom, now a co-belligerent of the Allies) and a nazifascist puppet state known as "the Italian Social Republic". Following the liberation of Italy, the fall of the Social Republic and the killing of Mussolini at the hands of the Resistance, the country abolished the monarchy with a referendum, reinstated democracy, enjoyed an economic miracle, and founded the European Union, NATO, and the Group of Six (later G7 and G20). It remains a strong economic, cultural, military and political factor in the 21st century.
Language in Italy :
Italian language, Italian Italiano, Romance language spoken by some 66,000,000 persons, the vast majority of whom live in Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia). It is the official language of Italy, San Marino, and (together with Latin) Vatican City.
Culture of Italy :
Italy is considered one of the birthplaces of western civilization and a cultural superpower. Italy has been the starting point of phenomena of international impact such as the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, the Romanesque, the Renaissance, the Scientific revolution, the Baroque, the Neo-classicism, the Risorgimento, Fascism and the European integration. During its history, the nation has given birth to an enormous number of notable people.Italy was home to many well-known and influential civilizations, including the Etruscans, Samnites and the Romans, while also hosting colonies from important foreign civilizations like the Phoenicians and Greeks, whose influence and culture had a large impact through the peninsula. Etruscan and Samnite cultures flourished in Italy before the emergence of the Roman Republic, which conquered and incorporated them. Phoenicians and Greeks established settlements in Italy beginning several centuries before the birth of Christ, and the Greek settlements in particular developed into thriving classical civilizations. The Greek ruins in southern Italy are perhaps the most spectacular and best preserved anywhere.
For more than 2,000 years Italy experienced migrations and invasions and was divided into numerous independent states until 1861 when it became a nation-state. Due to this comparatively late unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs that are now recognized as distinctly Italian can be identified by their regions of origin. Despite the political and social isolation of these regions, Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe and the world remain immense.The famous elements of Italian culture are its art, music, style, and iconic food. Italy was the birthplace of opera, and for generations the language of opera was Italian, irrespective of the nationality of the composer. Popular tastes in drama in Italy have long favored comedy; the improvisational style known as the Commedia dell'arte began in Italy in the mid-16th century and is still performed today. Before being exported to France, the famous Ballet dance genre also originated in Italy.
The country boasts several world-famous cities. Rome was the ancient capital of the Roman Empire, seat of the Pope of the Catholic Church, capital of reunified Italy and artistic, cultural and cinematographic centre of world relevance. Florence was the heart of the Renaissance, a period of great achievements in the arts at the end of the Middle Ages. Other important cities include Turin, which used to be the capital of Italy, and is now one of the world's great centers of automobile engineering. Milan is the industrial and financial capital of Italy and one of the world's fashion capitals. Venice, former capital of a major financial and maritime power from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, with its intricate canal system attracts tourists from all over the world especially during the Venetian Carnival and the Biennale. Naples, with the largest historic city centre in Europe and the oldest continuously active public opera house in the world . Bologna is the main transport hub of the country, as well as the home of the oldest university in the world and of a worldwide famous cuisine.Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (58) to date, and according to one estimate the country is home to half the world's great art treasures. Overall, the nation has an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, cathedrals, archaeological sites, houses and statues).
Place to visit in Italy :
(4) Italian Lake District
(6) Cinque Terre
Hotel in Italy :
(1) Grand Hotel Tremezzo
(2) Aman Venice
(3) Hotel Bellevue Syrene
(4) Grotta Palazzese
How to reach in Italy :
Most people prefer air travel as it's the easiest and fastest way to reach Italy. There are international airports in all major cities such as Rome, Florence, Milan and Sicily. Within Italy too, travelling by air is convenient as the cities are connected and you can reach your destination sooner.
Travel Guide for Italy : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).