Located in South Europe, Italy is a peninsula known for its unique boot shape. Italy also includes the southern islands of Sicily and Sardinia. While the climate is largely mild and temperate, the mountainous ranges of the north experience a long, cold winter. The Alps experience cool, breezy summers (July to September). June is mercurial with uncharacteristic snowfall forcing tourists to alter plans. Past September snowfall may be expected in the Alps, in which case traditionally cold months such as December, January and February remain relatively warm. Southern Italy enjoys a humid Mediterranean climate. Winters in this region are cool and enjoyable.
The islands tend to face torrid showers in the long summer months. April through June are the months that see a major influx of visitors owing to the brilliant bio-life and colorful flowers of the valley areas that make Italy come alive.
The winter months are preferred for sports tourism and skiing enthusiasts.
Of the 14 volcanoes in Italy, only three are active. Vesuvius, being the only active volcano in European mainland enjoys a reputation over Etna and Stromboli.
Also Italy is known to be the most earthquake-prone country of the world.
Italy is the boot-shaped peninsula in southern Europe along with its two main islands, Sicily and Sardinia. Known as the cradle of European culture, its roots can be traced back to the Roman and Etruscan eras and beyond.
It is rich in architecture, art and culture and has 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most in any single country in the world. Rome is a beautiful ancient city, whilst Florence is known for its beautiful frescoes and religious masterpieces.
Italy, the country of pasta & pizza, architecture & history, jaw-dropping sceneries, world-famous cities & medieval little towns, and mouth-watering gelato.
That’s right – Italy has it all, and that’s why it is one of the most-traveled destinations in Europe.
Multiple visits are needed to see all the country’s highlights. Discover the best of Italy in our selected Italy Travel Guides.
Even with increasing costs and decreasing dollar value, an Italy vacation can still be affordable. Tips to help you save money on your trip in Italy
Visiting Italy's top three cities: When visiting Rome, Venice, or Florence, stay outside the city and go in by train for a day trip. You'll usually get better value accommodations and restaurants.
When to travel: Summer in Italy can be hot and crowded, especially on the coast. Consider traveling in spring or fall. You're more likely to find bargains and fewer tourists.
If you spend time indoors in museums, try winter travel for the best bargains.
Save money on food: Many restaurants offer a reasonable set menu at noon.
Eat your big meal then and have pizza or a picnic in the evening.
Shopping at local food markets not only helps you save money but allows you to mingle with locals.
When eating at a restaurant in a tourist area, walk a couple of blocks away for better prices.
If breakfast isn't included in your hotel rate, go to a local bar for your coffee and pastry.
In many cities, sitting at a table will cost more than standing at the bar.
Save money with vacation rentals: Self-catering vacation rentals and agriturismo stays offer an affordable alternative to hotels.
They often cost less and give you the option of eating some meals at home, further savings.
Italy's stunning Mediterranean coastline and climate make it a popular destination to travel to. Rural towns offer a glimpse of traditional Italian life, whilst the bustling cities provide stunning architecture, world-famous landmarks and a vibrant nightlife. Structural remnants of the Roman Empire scatter the country, with a ruin around every corner.
The Italians are naturally proud of their past, but keep an eye firmly on the future. A slow pace of life is combined with fast cars and designer suits.
Above all, the people like beauty and as designers they are unsurpassed.
The family is an integral part of society and lunches and dinners are the time that everybody gets together.
Food is of paramount importance and people take the time to make it and enjoy it.
As such, Italian cuisine is world famous, and the variety and freshness of Italian produce will make any mouth water - before the ingredients even reach the chef's pan.
To work up an appetite, the Italian coast provides opportunities for sailing and water-sports, whilst the northern mountain regions offer excellent skiing destinations.
Train travel within Italy is extremely easy (skip the domestic flights) and trains tend to be fairly on-time. The official websites are here: TrenItalia and Italo. Trenitalia is state-run, and Italo is privately-operated. Both operate high-speed trains in Italy.
Purchasing your ticket: Trains don’t tend to be fully sold out especially if you are paying for a premium cabin seat, if you’re feeling extra wary about missing a train then head to the station a little bit early or purchase your ticket online ahead of time. Tickets can also be bought at the station from the counter or self-service machine.
Don’t be surprised if you have to pay to enter a public restroom, even at train stations.
You’re typically charged 1 to 2 Euros but the upside is that paid-for public restrooms also tend to be cleaner with soap and toilet paper.
Italians usually take things as listed on the menu and you don’t want to be the annoying foreigner who asks for special items. However, they are becoming more accustomed to vegans and vegetarians, so this shouldn’t be an issue when ordering at most of the restaurants frequented by tourists.
It’s a good idea to exchange some money before you leave your home country. ATMs are the most economical way to exchange money while you are in Italy, but the airport ATMs may be empty when you land (especially on a weekend) and you don’t want to be forced to exchange your money at one of the expensive currency exchanges.
One of our best tips for traveling to Italy: don’t be shocked if there is a strike of some sort that may affect your travel plans! It’s not uncommon for Italians to have train strikes, taxi strikes or bus strikes.
Strikes have become a part of the culture and way of life in Italy. Most strikes are announced ahead of time so you can usually plan around them.
Just be sure to pay attention to signs in the local train stations about any upcoming strikes.
Selected Travel Blogs about Italy mostly from folks who live in Italy or have visited Italy frequently and blog about their Italian experiences daily, or nearly so.
Booking Accommodations in ITALY by booking.com - Prenotazione Albergo in ITALIA by booking.com
Weather Forecast for Italy and live webcams in Italy
Provide a national and local weather forecast for cities, as well as weather radar, report, You can ‘virtually’ visit Venice, Rome, Genoa, Naples and many other beautiful places through our many Italy Webcams. Along with its fabulous palazzos and fashion, Italy has given the world some of the finest foods and wines including pizza, pasta, lasagna, gelato and espresso coffee.
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