This amazing country Italy has always been graced with the attention of tourists. And for good reason. In addition to a rich historical heritage, it offers its guests the beach and ski holidays, exciting shopping and some of the most delicious food in the world.
All roads in all eras have always led to Rome. And today a trip to this country is like a wonderful and exciting journey through time. There is no other place in the world where history and modernity intertwined so harmoniously.
Italy is the cradle of civilization, which gave our planet the most talented scientists, famous artists and the best tenors. Here, centuries ago, fair laws were invented, by which the civilized world still lives today.
Here are the most sights that make up the Golden Fund of World Heritage and it must be said that God has bestowed this land with a truly magical beauty. One may recall the fabulously beautiful alpine meadows and magnificent highland heaths, an intricate network of rivers and small lakes of the Padan lowlands.
Rocky, sandy and pebbly beaches. And the sea – so different, but warm and gentle. Here are some of the most famous volcanoes, Vesuvius and Etna, as well as the largest islands in the Mediterranean, called Sardinia and Sicily.
Photo: Bert Kaufmann / Wikimedia Commons
And all this is in one country! The full name of the state is the Italian Republic. Geographically, the country is located in southern Europe. Its capital and largest city is Rome.
Its population is 2,875,000 people. Rome ranks eighth in the ranking of Europe’s largest cities by population. It is worth noting that during the heyday of the Roman Empire in the early 2nd century B.C. the city’s population exceeded 1 million people.
Even then it was the true capital of the world, where people from all over the world flocked in search of a better life. Now it is not only a political and economic center, but also a huge monument of antiquity.
Photo: Antuang / Wikimedia Commons
And many landmarks have been preserved in many locations in Italy. If you list the other major cities, they are Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Genoa and Bologna.
The most common version of the origin of the name “Italy” says that it originated from the name of the Southern Italian tribes “vituli”, which came from the name of the animal “vitulus”, meaning “young bull”.
The Greek form of the word sounded like “Itali”. Most likely, it was taken as the basis. Already from VI-II centuries BC the Romans were active on the peninsula and eventually conquered all the Italian tribes, as well as those who lived on the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica.
Photo: stnmonroe / pixabay.com
Subsequently, the languages of the tribes conquered by Rome became the basis for the dialectal features of Latin, which further developed into dialects of the Italian language. Rome subsequently became the strongest power in the Mediterranean, conquering the lands of Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor.
Subsequent economic and historical development conditioned the growth of cities, the formation of the Italian people, its culture, the development of the merchant and artisan bourgeoisie, and the growth of cities.
The country’s population is 60,795,612 inhabitants and Italy ranks 23rd in the world for this indicator. In terms of population density it ranks 43rd.
Photo: StockSnap / pixabay.com
If we talk about religion, most residents are Catholics, but there are also Muslims (over 1 million), Buddhists (about 120,000), Protestants (about 50,000), Jews (about 40,000), and some small representatives of other branches of religion.
The whole Italy is like one big open-air museum. Therefore, you can go around every city for weeks, and still do not have time to see all its features. Still, what sights in the country stand out the most?
Photo: schmidmatthieu / pixabay.com
Milan Cathedral – really striking for its size. Made in the style of the flaming Gothic and from its roof you have an incredible view of the city. The tower of Pisa is quite small and its height at its highest point is only 56.7 meters.
And if not for its deviation from its axis, it probably would have remained unnoticed. The Colosseum in Rome is the city’s calling card and its construction began in 72 AD. Perhaps the best way to experience Venice is on a riverboat ride along the famous Grand Canal.
Colorful houses and passing gondolas will not leave any tourist indifferent. Santa Maria del Fiore is the main cathedral of Florence. Familiar to many from the movie “Inferno” and therefore will be recognized at a glance. Cinque Terre is a national park that includes several settlements made up of colorful houses that are built on the cliffs.
Italian cuisine is incredibly famous all over the world, and its calling card is pizza and pasta. But these dishes are not the only ones that this state is known for. You can eat in Italy not only in restaurants, but also in trattorias – these are institutions with a limited set of dishes, mostly home cooking and informal atmosphere.
Photo: ubik123 / pixabay.com
Another option is to eat in an osteria, where there is a national flavor. Usually in such establishments there are no printed menus, but also the cost of dishes is relatively low. Speaking about prices, on average, pizza costs 6-10 euros, coffee – 1,5-3 euros, lasagna – 7-10 euros.
- Risotto is a dish of rice with vegetables and seafood.
- Lasagna – a puff pastry with layers of vegetables and meat on top, sprinkled with cheese.
- Frittata – an omelet baked with stuffing.
- Gazpacho – soup made of grated vegetables.
- Panna cotta – dessert made of cream and gelatin.
- Trippa – a dish of roasted tripe.
- Limoncello – Italian liqueur flavored with lemon.
Home of all the classics.
Italy is the home of all the classics. In the minds of art connoisseurs we associate the word “opera” with it. This most complex form of musical art was born here and it should be noted that in different centuries Italian composers have given unsurpassed masterpieces. Performing on the stage of La Scala is a cherished dream and a great honor for every opera performer.
Photo: Mentor_Henry / pixabay.com
It must be said that of the seven major theaters in Europe, two are in Italy. And they top the list: the Royal San Carlo Theater in Naples and the famous La Scala in Milan.
The top of world cultural heritage is considered to be Italian painting and this country is the cradle of fine arts. The masterpieces of the Renaissance masters affirm the view of the high destiny of man.
They are truly astonishing and simply unmatched. The greatest shrines of the Christian world are concentrated here. And there is even an entire state called the Vatican City. And a romantic evening in Venice?
Photo: josepons / pixabay.com
They also make great movies here and many of the films of Italian directors are included in the Golden Collection of twentieth-century cinematography. Many Italian actors and actresses are models of style and beauty for many fans.
You can also find the oldest international Venice Film Festival. Pop singers bring joy to pop music lovers with their sweet, inimitable voices.
With such a love for the arts, it’s no wonder that every Italian is a bit of an artist in his own right. Italians top the lists of the most talented people of all times and eras, and they’re more open to conversation than many other Europeans. Cordial, laid-back and hospitable.
Their southern hot temperament doesn’t evoke a fraction of the negativity. But note that Italians are more emotional than other nations.
They have an inherent personality, they prefer free style in clothes, and in food they are real gourmets. Inhabitants of this sunny and cheerful state do what they like without infringing on the interests of others and, above all, visitors to their country.
All the best in one place
And there are always a lot of guests here, because Italy attracts tourists like a magnet. If we talk about recreation in Italy, there is no such diversity anywhere else. You want to go to the sea – welcome! You like history – go on excursions! Appreciate the art – enjoy the best masterpieces of the world! And what a cuisine in Italy!
Photo: kirkandmimi / pixabay.com
Not for nothing is it considered the best cuisine on the planet. And the wine… In addition, Milan and Naples are constantly hosting shows of new clothing collections. After all, they have been trendsetters for centuries and we agree that it’s fair to say that the status of Paris as the fashion capital of the world is not quite true.
Italy has one of the oldest stages of Formula 1, and the country’s soccer clubs lead the world rankings. Italy is a recognized center of tourism, accounting for about 6% of the world tourism market.
More than 50 million people visit the country every year and most of them try to come back again. After all, one or even two or three trips are not enough to see, feel and experience at least a small fraction of what can give this wonderful, hospitable and sunny country.
Italy is not a country of high seismic danger, yet earthquakes occur here with a certain regularity. In April 2009, there was an earthquake in the Central area that killed more than three hundred people. In 2016, another earthquake struck near the town of Norcia and killed 295 people.
It should be said that there are quite a few volcanoes in the area. Some of them are active, some are considered extinct. The most famous volcano – Etna, is located on the east coast of Sicily and its last eruption is dated February 27, 2017.
Most freeways are tolled and you can rent a car here if you are 21 or older. It is also necessary to have a bank card and a driver’s license, which is valid for at least a year.
Photo: StuporesMundi / Wikimedia Commons
The railroads are mainly served by the state company Trenitalia. It should be said that buses run regularly and you can take them almost anywhere in the country.
The state language is Italian, but it is as varied as the inhabitants themselves. There are so many dialects that linguists, language lovers and collectors of folklore is a lot of work, because Italian is not in vain among the most melodious.
German is the second official language in Bolzano and South Tyrol. Trieste and Gorizia give Slovenian the status of a regional language, and the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Aosta Valley speak French.
In terms of external debt, Italy is the 8th largest in the world, and its GDP per capita is $30.594, which is 27. It is divided into 20 regions, 5 of which are autonomous, meaning they have a special status and additional official languages besides Italian.
Italy is home to the most Unesco World Heritage sites, with a total of 155 monuments. In our next article we will tell you about the history of Italy, where you will learn about the most important events that took place in the life of this state.
Italy – country description
Italy – description of the country. Where is it, basic information, the capital, population, flag. State structure of Italy, major cities, the main attractions – in the review Eurotraveler.ru.
They say that Italy is not a country, but for the tourist it is rather a diagnosis. 90% of those who have been there, dream to return again. To plunge back into the atmosphere of happiness, nice weather, cozy old towns with the leisurely pace of life and the cheerful impatience of Italians.
Fortunately, the Russians to do this relatively easy. After all, drawing up a Schengen visa to Italy – though time-consuming, but quite feasible for anyone operation. And the lion’s share of stamps in the passport of Russians today provides for non-recurring entry. Enjoy your travels: with or without a car!
Italy is located in the south of Europe, entirely occupying the Apennine Peninsula, because of its shape is often called the “Italian boot”. The Padana Plain, adjacent to the Alps, is also part of the country. As well as islands in the Mediterranean Sea:
- Aeolian Islands
- La Maddalena archipelago.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and the largest area in Italy (25 830 km2). The landmark of Sicily is the largest active volcano Etna in Europe. However, tourists also do not mind to look at Palermo and Catania, to sunbathe in resorts like Cefalu or Taormina.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the country. It is popular mainly as a resort destination. Sandy beaches, lush southern nature, mild climate allows local hostelers not to dump prices! And that is why holidays here can be afforded at least by middle-income people.
Italy is located east of France, south of Switzerland and Austria, west of Slovenia. The narrow Strait of Sicily, a width of 160 km, separates Italy from the coast of Africa.
From the Balkan Peninsula, the country is separated by the Adriatic Sea. The minimum distance (the Strait of Otranto) is 71 km. Italy is connected to Croatia, Albania and Greece by ferries.
The country’s coast is washed by five seas! Ligurian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea proper.
Population and capital
In 2018, 60.5 million people lived in Italy. Urbanization is high: 20% prefer to live in the agglomerations of four major cities: Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin. And they do not want to go to the countryside.
If you offer an Italian not only to see Sicily, but also to work there, he will think he is being sent into exile. In general, from the point of view of those living in the north of Italy, the south is somewhat underdeveloped economically and even culturally.
Ethnically the population is homogeneous: over 90% of the residents are Italians. About 83% profess Christianity (the vast majority are Catholics), about 10-12% consider themselves atheists.
In recent years, the country has been increasingly flooded with migrants from Africa. People from the “Black Continent” are often found on the streets of Italian cities. They live illegally and are often forced to beg.
Curiously, this does not lead to a spike in crime. This is probably because Africans do not stay long in Italy. They go to the more prosperous north of Europe, to Germany or even further, to Sweden.
The capital of Italy is Rome. Interestingly, after the unification of the country the honorary role was first played by Turin, the main city of the Kingdom of Savoy. And then the capital was Florence, the “Flower of Tuscany.”
- Total surface area: 301 338 km2
- Population: more than 61 million people
- Official language: Italian. German is officially recognized as a second official language in some northern provinces (e.g. Bolzano)
- Official currency: euro.
- Phone number: +39
Territorially Italy consists of 20 historic regions. If you move from west to east and from north to south, their list would look as follows: Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily.
The region and island of Sardinia are west of the Apennine Peninsula.
- All the above-mentioned provinces consist of provinces (110 in total)
Italy is a democratic parliamentary republic. The head of state is president, elected for 7 years by the Italian parliament.
- The post of president is nominal and has purely representative nature. Real executive power in the country is in the hands of the cabinet of ministers, headed by the prime minister.
The post of prime minister is held by the leader of the party that won the parliamentary elections. Or, in case of an emergency change of prime minister (as happened with Berlusconi), the person whose candidacy is approved by the leading parliamentary parties.
The parliament in Italy is bicameral (the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic). The term of its members is 5 years.
Italy has one of the most advanced economies in the world. In terms of Gross Domestic Product ($2.44 trillion in 2019) it ranks 8th in the world and 4th in the European Union. GDP per capita ($40,470) is also not bad.
The lion’s share of revenues provides services (73%), in particular – up to 13% – tourism. Italy is one of the leading countries in the world for the number of foreign tourists (43-44 million per year) (5). It is second only to its neighbors France and Spain.
Industry specializes in the production of high-tech products, such as cars (Fiat) or ships (Fincantieri). Italian light industry products are also in great demand: the country has traditionally taken a leading position in the production of clothing, including haute couture.
It is not without reason that sales in Italy are so famous. And with a little imagination can be considered a landmark. However, they will interest not everyone. Only for those who like to wear clothes from well-known and fashionable brands, but are not ready to pay the full price. In the sales – Saldi – clothes and shoes are sold at a discount, for 40-70% of the starting price.
The agriculture of the country, more than 90% of which is provided by small family enterprises, supplies the world market with excellent wine (first and second place in the world – France is the main competitor) and olive oil.
Such wine brands as Prosecco, Chianti, Valpolicella, Barolo are widely known outside the country. And Asti and Montalcino denote not only wine, but also cities!
Italian cheeses are popular: mozzarella, gorgonzola, parmesan, mascarpone, grand padano… So you know what to bring from Italy!
The capital and most populous city of the country is Rome. It has 2.7 million people.
The capital of the northern region of Italy, Lombardy, is Milan. About 1.3 million people live in this city, the economic and financial capital. If you count together with the near and far suburbs, it turns out that the region is in greatest demand among Italians: 4.3 million people live there.
Accidentally or not, it was Milan and Lombardy that became the epicenter of the formidable coronavirus pandemic that broke out in the spring of 2020. More than a third of the country’s sick people live in that region!
The rest of the cities do not reach a million residents. The largest population center in the south of the country, Naples, has about 975,000 residents. And in the Sicilian Palermo – about 660 thousand people.
The capital of Piedmont, Turin, is populated by 900,000 people. ~Turin, the capital of Piedmont, is populated by 900,000 people. And Venice could not keep even 200 thousand. Too expensive real estate here and too limited space for infrastructure – the same stores.
However, the City on the water more than makes up for the lack of local visiting tourists: every year it is visited by millions of visitors.
Genoa, the capital of the Liguria region, is home to about 600 thousand people. And the population of Florence, a popular tourist center, is up to that figure. What does not prevent it to remain the birthplace of the Renaissance and just a dazzlingly beautiful city.
Unlike the UK, where probably 80 percent of the most interesting things for travelers is concentrated in London and its environs, Italy is not so fixated on the capital. Which, of course, does not negate the need to visit the “Eternal City.
After all, even just to name all the things you can see in Rome, one of the oldest cities in Europe, it is difficult – your throat will dry up.
Let’s mention the iconic ones! Both left from Roman times (Roman Forum and Colosseum, Pantheon), and brought by later generations (St. Angel’s Castle, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Vatican, grand Spanish Steps, Vittorio Emmanuel Monument, churches, palaces, gardens). They are undoubtedly treasures, monuments of world culture.
But almost a dozen other Italian cities are ready to compete with the capital. And sometimes even more loved by tourists! In fact, here you do not have to walk in the crowd (with a rare exception, for example, San Gimignano). And the houses, churches and streets are the same. Except that not so famous.
Naples and Sicily
The grandiose royal palace of Caserta and luxuriously beautiful southern resorts (the islands of Capri and Ischia, Amalfi and its coast, Sorrento) in the immediate Naples area constitute the glory of southern Italy. History lovers will be interesting to visit the ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabia, destroyed by the tremendous eruption of Vesuvius on August 24, 79 AD.
A beach vacation is to visit Tropea. The best seaside vacation spot in Calabria.
Extreme – climb Etna, Europe’s largest and still active volcano.
Its potential power is estimated at about 2.5 Vesuvius. So if it wakes up at the wrong time – not enough. But let’s not talk about sad things. It is better to note that today even a child can climb Etna with the help of a cable car.
In Sicily there is also the legendary Valley of the Temples near the town of Agrigento. The cozy town of Syracuse, where Archimedes himself once lived. “The Eagles’ Nest of Erice which is approached from Trapani by funicular railway.
North of Italy
Here are the most famous and top attractions of the country. Based in the metropolis of Milan, the legislator of Italian (and European!) fashions. Once the seat of the mighty Sforza.
Few go to Turin, capital of the Savoy dynasty. Although the city, which now houses one of the relics of Christianity, the Shroud of Turin, is certainly worthy of a visit. As is the whole region of Piedmont, famous for its castles, sparkling wine and truffles.
Also note the still glorious times of the Trade Republic of Genoa. The city, a little faded since then, is still the most important city in Liguria. The region, on the coast of which resorts of Italian Riviera are based, popular among the wealthy vacationers.
But the undoubted tourist hit is looking into the mirror of the lagoon is beautiful Venice. Millions of tourists come every year to see its canals and palaces. Verona, another popular city in Veneto, is not far from here. It’s especially famous for the (fake) House of Juliet and the (real) enormous ancient forum.
Bologna in Emilia-Romagna is usually explored in passing, not wasting valuable days. Although it is home to the oldest university in Europe, dating back to the 11th century. The city is also famous for a mass of medieval towers and arcaded passageways on the first floors of buildings.
But to see Tuscany wants every first traveler who explores Italy on their own. You bet, because this region is so cheerful, full of sunshine and amazingly warm colors.
The main here is exquisitely sybaritic Florence, the unofficial capital of the Renaissance. Tourists, however, are especially interested in the heritage of the Medici family. Most of which is preserved in the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti art galleries.
Do not forget about Siena! It was once the capital of a large trading republic. Today is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany.
There are also many other small towns: small, but no less beautiful! Well, let’s say you want to see Pisa? Everyone has heard about the local “falling” tower, right? Which is accompanied by an even older cathedral bapsisteria and the whole area of wonders?
Naturally, in Italy you can relax, just basking in the bright local sun. And it does not matter where: in the north or south. And even: the sea or lakes.
The real gems lurk in the mountain folds of Pre-Alpine: Garda, Lago-Maggiore, Como. Here the wealthy lords prefer to wait out the summer heat. But even an average tourist will find a place to have fun. There are motor boats and boats on the lakes, and on the banks of the cozy ancient towns. Such as Sirmione.
You can also have a great vacation on the seaside. On the Italian Riviera in Liguria, in Tuscany, near Rome in the town of Terracina, where the patricians used to take baths
In Pesaro in the Marche or on the beaches of Lido di Jesolo in Veneto. Let’s not forget Rimini! Today it is the most popular in the list of seaside resorts in Italy.
Aesthetes go to the south. On the Amalfi Coast, the islands of Capri and Ischia, in a cozy Sicilian Taormina – the one with a view of Etna!
Winter, that is skiing holidays, the country is also well represented: Bormio in Lombardy, Sestriere in Piedmont, or Cortina d’ Ampezzo in Veneto are world famous.
And that’s not all. The Dolomites Alps alone have at least a dozen completely stunning places for skiing. But there are also non-Alpine ski resorts in the country. Less popular, but much more convenient in terms of people in Lazio, Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna.
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