Italy: "la dolce vita" and no rush!

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Main facts:

  • Capital city: Rome

  • Language(s): Italian

  • Currency: Euro, EUR

  • Population: 60,795,000

  • Timezone: UTC+1

  • Main religion: Catholicism (93%)

  • Standard of living (subjectively): high

Top 10 interesting places and activities:

Approximate costs (person/day):

~€ 12-70

~€ 1-7

~€ 6-15

~€ 10-20

Sights map of Italy

Travel around Italy

Italians is one of the indigenous European peoples, leading its history from immemorial time. The greatest bloom in the whole history of Italy occurred during the time of the Roman Empire - the strongest European empire in the history of mankind. The Roman rulers, the Caesars, controlled vast territories of the whole Mediterranean and millions of armies, thanks to which they took over more and more new possessions. Having existed for more than 5 centuries, it was collapsed due to internal strife, religious contradictions and increased pressure from subordinate peoples. Since 555 AD Italy was seized by another rich Byzantine Empire, that held power in the region until the arrival of the Gothic troops.

 

At the same time, the Holy See was created - the center and stronghold of Christianity in Europe. The rich and exciting new lands were gaining strength in the Kingdom of Sicily. The isolated regions of Italy, governed by the vicars, were under the control of various peoples for a very long time, but they strove for unification. Due to the constant conquests of the local lands by the Spaniards, Austrians and other peoples, Italy could not unite into a single republic until the end of the 18th century, when Napoleon, who had captured the entire Italian peninsula, announced the creation of a single Italian Republic. However, after the departure of the French troops in 1814, Italy was again divided into regions. In the next century, several attempts were made to unite the Italian lands, which gradually led to success. The capital of the revived Italy in 1870 became Rome.

In the First World War, Italy practically did not participate, which cannot be said about the World War II. The fascist regime of Benito Mussolini turned the country into an ally of Nazi Germany, which led to the participation of Italy in the wars in the Balkans, East Africa and Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, thanks to the actions of the United States, Britain and their allies, in 1943 the fascist regime in Italy was overthrown, as a result, the regime capitulated. In the 1970s, terrorist attacks and abductions repeatedly occurred in Italy related to the activities of organized criminal groups (the so-called "Italian Mafia"), and even the Bologna station was blown up. However, the authorities managed to resolve most of the conflicts; as a result, by the end of the 20th century, Italy had become one of the most prosperous countries in Europe.

Today, Italy is a prosperous country with a wonderful climate, where the agrarian and industrial complexes are well developed, as well as the sphere of cultural and beach tourism, which annually attracts up to 15% of GDP to the state treasury. Italy, among other things, is the birthplace of a huge number of delicious dishes, famous wines, and one of the leaders in world exports of southern fruits. The local population, although it does not always seem rich and prosperous, nevertheless lives in stability and prosperity, which is a good news of course.

Italy is a country that everyone knows. Here is beautiful beaches, consistently warm weather without much hesitation, a huge number of historical monuments and cultural masterpieces. All of that inscribed Italy in the top of the most important countries in the world. A huge country in fact - at least three different regions, the differences between which lie not only in different cooking traditions or accents - different Italians literally live here. Of course, each region has its own traits and beauty, so lets get acquainted with each of them.

 

Northern Italy is about business workers, businessmen and fashion designers, technical and IT-masters, who create about half of the country's GDP. Business is always in full swing here, people are always focused and intelligent. Northern Italy is the Alpine ranges, the huge lakes of Como, Garda and Lugano, the villas and palaces of the Roman emperors (for example, the famous Bellagio Palace). This is the capital of world fashion and the industrial center of Italy, Milan, amazing old city-state on the water Venice, incredible fishing villages on the Ligurian coast of the Cinque Terre. 

 

Central Italy is a region of farmers. Here they grow huge yields of fruits and grains, providing the whole country and the nearest states with food. Here is located the majority of sea resorts, which come to rest millions of people every year. Central Italy is about cities on rocky ledges, endless landscapes of Tuscany, ancient Italian culture and art, a comfortable beach holiday. Here are architectural masterpieces of Florence, ancient artifacts of Rome, the fantastic complex of Pisa, ancient Italian villas of Siena and many more other places...

 

Southern Italy is a region that is traditionally associated with "real Italians" - hot, sharp, friendly and at the same time extremely lazy. Here, people tend to rest rather than earn extra money, as a result they live poorer than their northern neighbors, but (probably) more happily. Here you can see a smile or emotional conversations, frequent siesta (up to 2-3 times a day), a leisurely walking and enjoy in all the processes. Southern Italy is a full-fledged Italian flavor, dirty and noisy, but tasty and warm. Bustling with life Naples, Europe’s largest active volcano Vesuvius, the city of Pompeii that was destroyed by it, the luxury resorts of the Gulf of Naples islands (Capri, Ischia and Procida), the fabulous landscapes of the Amalfi Coast, the unique architecture of houses in Alberobello, the unique Sicilian flavor in Palermo ...

A few examples of the most beautiful and charming places in Northern Italy. First of all, it is the Cinque Terre National Park, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cinque Terre is nature: high mountains jutting out into the sea, blue water of bays and endless sea expanses ... Cinque Terre is architecture: five villages are located on the rocky spurs of the mountains, climbing from the sea to the very top; houses are painted with bright colors, which make you feel pleasant and light... Cinque Terre is an atmosphere: it is difficult to find another example of such a cozy and at the same time delightful combination of life and the natural landscape tamed and included in the lives of ordinary people who turned its a legend! These are places where you want to come back again and again ... feel the skin with the wind and the sun, overcome yourself at the limit of opportunities, move towards the goal and finally reach it, enjoying every moment of freedom and love for the world. Cinque Terre is a place where the love of the world finds its final embodiment in nature and human achievements! In addition to the Cinque Terre, several bright and colorful settlements are located on the Ligurian coast: the large port city of Genoa with one of the Europe’s largest Aquarium, the paradise coast of Rapallo and the unofficial “romantic capital” of Italy - the village of Portofino.

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Getting to the Cinque Terre is most convenient from Milan, the capital of fashion and industrial Italy. It has a lot of business centers and shopping streets; the city rages day and night, that is a little remind of Moscow ("Tre Torre" and "Porta Nuova" districts). But Milan is also a city of churches and castles, endless galleries and technical museums. This is a place where snow happens every 5 years, but which is decorated in winter as a Christmas tree. This is a city of culture and art: here are the most famous theater in the world "La Scala" and one of the oldest cemeteries in Italy. From Milan you can get to the Alpine slopes (Aosta Valley, the Dolomites and the Graian Alps), as well as to several picturesque lakes and palaces in a couple of hours. For example, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Europe, where the ancient villa of the Roman Emperor is located on the very tip of the peninsula in Sirmione. According to legend, he loved to stay in these places and contemplate the sprawling landscapes. The Roman emperors ruly had excellent taste! You can also go to Lake Lugano, climb Mount Monte Bret and take a look at the misty peaks of the ridges that grow right from the waters of the lake. Being in Milan, you should definitely go to the alpine Lake Como, on the cape of which is located the real pearl of Italy - the settlement of Bellagio. Finally, you can go to Lago Maggiore, where among the paradise floral island Isola Bella garden stands the beautiful Borromeo Palace.