European Travel Destinations

Italy

General Information about Italy

Main Square in Florence

Italy is a peninsula country on the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas with France to its West, Switzerland to the North and Austria and Slovenia to the East. It also has a number of islands the main ones being Sardinia and Sicily. It also has two independent states within its borders, that of San Marino and the Vatican City. Its population is 57 million and has several cities over 1 million people, one of those being Rome its capital. Italy's climate is influenced by its terrain and varies considerably from the mild winters of the coastline to the to snow and wet of the high altitudes.

According to UNESCO, more than half of the world's historical and artistic heritage is found in Italy. Apart from the numerous museums throughout Italy much of this history can be found in villages, archaeological ruins, its monasteries and churches. Italy has over 500 National and Regional Parks, and Nature Reserves for those visitors who wish to visit unspoiled natural resources. The Italian Alps provides both summer and winter entertainment with summer hiking and climbing and winter skiing with both seasons visitors enjoying Italian village hospitality.

There is a range of accommodation available throughout Italy from the five star hotels to rooms in private homes, with hostels, bed and breakfasts, to accommodation like farm houses, student accommodation not required by current students to a number of religious establishments like monasteries and convents who rent out accommodation. Something for every visitor.

Italy Destinations

Travel Guides for Destinations in Italy

Italy Photo Gallery (6 of 200 Photos)

Climate

Learn about the Climate in Italy

The temperate prominence of the sea and the added protection of the Alpine barrier from the cold north winds join to offer Italy with a temperate climate. The winter can be very cold and foggy in the Alps to mild and even warm on the Ligurian coast, the Neapolitan coast and in Sicilia. Skiing is ideal in the mountain areas in winter and in the summer for hiking and excursions in the summer months. The best times to visit is in the Spring (April-May) and Autumn (September-October).

Economy

Find out about the economy in Italy

In comparison to other European nations Italy began to industrialize slower and it wasn't until World War II that it became known for its agricultural development. By the 1990s the industry had contributed approximately 35% of the annual gross of domestic product and 4% of the agriculture industry. They mainly farm fruits, sugar beets, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, grain, olives and olive oil not to mention livestock and wine throughout the country. They have limited mineral resources with the main produce being petroleum especially in Sicily. They also produce iron ore, iron pyrites, bauxite, sulfur, mercury and marble. The Mafia exerts a strong influence in Italy with its deceptive strength of the economy that exists outside the governments controls

Geography

Learn more about the Geography of Italy

Italy is well known for its being shaped like a boot that extends into the Mediterranean Sea. The landscape has huge mountains and deep valleys. The highest mountaintops have just glaciers and rocks. The two main islands of Sicily and Sardinia creates a distinct body of water such as the Adriatic Sea to the north-east, the Ionian Sea to the south-east. The Apennine mountains form the backbone of the peninsula heading north-west where they join the Alps mountain ranges that forms an arc enclosing Italy from the north. Italy is famous for its two major volcanoes the dormant Vesuvius near Naples and the still active Etna on Sicily.

Festivals and Events

Discover some of the Festivals of Italy

Italy offers hundreds of events celebrating everything from food to history. The whole country celebrates the religious period of Lent within early February to early March. The Venetian carnival is very popular and is held in the watery city for ten days leading up to Ash Wednesday. Venice is home to the famous Cannes festival which is held each year between late August and early September and has been running on and off since 1932. Films are shown constantly during the festival and members of the public are able to attend the screenings seating permitting at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Venetian Island of Lido.

Apartments in Italy

Attractions, Activities and Tours in Italy

Car Rentals in Italy

Guesthouses in Italy

Hostels in Italy

Hotels in Italy