Italy comprises the boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea as well as Sicily, Sardinia, and a number of smaller islands.
Of all European countries, Italy is perhaps the hardest to classify. It is a modern, developed nation. It is fashion in style, it leading the way with each season's fashions. But it is also, to an equal degree, a Mediterranean country, with all that that implies.Rome is Italy's capital.Pizza and lasagna is the world famous food .
Italy Tourist Attractions
More than three-fourths of Italy is mountainous or highland country.
The Alps stretch from east to west along Italy's northern boundary, and the Apennines stretch southward the length of the peninsula. Most of the country's lowlands lie in the valley of its major river, the Po.
Three tectonic plates conve rge in southern Italy and Sicily, creating intense geologic activity, southern Italy's four active volcanoes include Mount Vesuvius and Mount Etna.
Sixty million Italians share a peninsula 800 miles long by about 100 miles wide (75% of the size of California). Rome is at about the same latitude as New York City, but the surrounding Mediterranean results in milder winters.
About 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly, and roughly 20% of the country is forested. There are narrow strips of low-lying land along the Adriatic coast and parts of the Tyrrhenian coast. In addition to Rome, other important italy travel cities include Milan, Naples, Turin, Genoa, Palermo, Bologna, Florence, Catania, Venice, Bari, Trieste, Messina, Verona, Padua, Cagliari, Taranto, Brescia, and Livorno.
Northern Italy, made up largely of a vast plain that is contained by the Alps in the north and drained by the Po River and its tributaries, comprises the regions of Liguria, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta (see Aosta, Valle d'), Lombardy, Trentino–Alto Adige, Venetia, Friuli–Venezia Giulia, and part of Emilia-Romagna (which extends into central Italy). It is the richest part of the country, with the best farmland, the chief port (Genoa), and the largest industrial centers. Northern Italy also has a flourishing tourist trade on the Italian Riviera, in the Alps (including the Dolomites), on the shores of its beautiful lakes (Lago Maggiore, Lake Como, and Lake Garda), and in Venice. Gran Paradiso (13,323 ft/4,061 m), the highest peak wholly situated within Italy, rises in Valle d'Aosta.
The Italian peninsula, bootlike in shape and traversed in its entire length by the Apennines (which continue on into Sicily), comprises central Italy (Marche, Tuscany, Umbria, and Latium regions) and southern Italy (Campania, Basilicata, Abruzzi, Molise, Calabria, and Apulia regions). Central Italy contains great historic and cultural centers such as Rome, Florence, Pisa, Siena, Perugia, Assisi, Urbino, Bologna, Ravenna, Rimini, Ferrara, and Parma. The major cities of S Italy, generally the poorest and least developed part of the country, include Naples, Bari, Brindisi, Foggia, and Taranto.
Except for the Po and Adige, Italy has only short rivers, among which the Arno and the Tiber are the best known. Most of Italy enjoys a Mediterranean climate; however, that of Sicily is subtropical, and in the Alps there are long and severe winters. The Italy tourism country has great scenic beauty—the majestic Alps in the north, the soft and undulating hills of Umbria and Tuscany, and the romantically rugged landscape of the S Apennines. The Bay of Naples, dominated by Mt. Vesuvius, is one of the world's most famous sights.
The great majority of the population speaks Italian (including several dialects); there are small German-, French-, and Slavic-speaking minorities. Nearly all Italians are Roman Catholic. There are numerous universities in Italy, including ones at Bari, Bologna, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Turin, Padua, Palermo, and Rome.
Above all Italy provokes reaction. Its people are volatile, rarely indifferent to anything, and on one and the same day you might encounter the kind of disdain dished out to tourist masses worldwide, and an hour later be treated to embarrassingly generous hospitality. If there is a single national characteristic, it's to embrace life to the full: in the hundreds of local festivals taking place across the country on any given day, to celebrate a saint or the local harvest; in the importance placed on good food; in the obsession with clothes and image; and above all in the daily domestic ritual of the collective evening stroll or passeggiata - a sociable affair celebrated by young and old alike in every town and village across the country.
Italy only became a unified state in 1861 and, as a result, Italians often feel more loyalty to their region than the nation as a whole - something manifest in different cuisines, dialects, landscape and often varying standards of living. There is also, of course, the country's enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world Italy attractions; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably of course in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world's richest.
Yet there's no reason to be intimidated by the art and architecture. If you want to lie on a beach, there are any number of places to do it: development has been kept relatively under control, and many resorts are still largely the preserve of Italian tourists. Other parts of the coast, especially in the south of the country, are almost entirely undiscovered. Beaches are for the most part sandy, and doubts about the cleanliness of the water have been confined to the northern part of the Adriatic coast and the Riviera. Mountains, too, run the country's length - from the Alps and Dolomites in the north right along the Apennines, which form the spine of the peninsula - and are an important reference-point for most Italians. Skiing and other winter sports are practised avidly, and in the five national parks, protected from the national passion for hunting, wildlife of all sorts thrives.
The main problem with Italian tourism is that while you are there trying to soak up medeival atmosphere and Roman history, 60 million Italians are trying to ignore it. You were just enjoying an arch over a narrow medeival street when three of the ubiquitous motorbikes come roaring through, shattering your eardrums. You were trying to imagine how Marcus Aurelius felt as he surveyed the forum when a herd of noisy schoolchildren are herded through on a mandatory trip, oblivious to their guide. If you want to Italy travel experience Italy as it once was, you have to either go to a town so small they don't have motorbikes (if you find one, let me know) or a place where cars are impractical (Venice and Capri).
The standard tour of Italy starts in Rome with the Vatican and the ancient buildings from the Empire. One then proceeds to Florence to admire the flowers of the Renaissance and finishes up in Venice for the atmosphere and more art. Still, I think my friend Stephen had the best trip to Italy. He went to Vicenza with his wife and lived like an unemployed Italian for a week, mostly sitting in cafes. You'll never see it all so you might as well enjoy the Italian lifestyle.