Italy

Italy for the Independent Traveller

Colosseum, Rome image
Colosseum, Rome

If the breathtaking architecture, world-renowned art and awe-inspiring scenery of Italy don't lure you in, the colourful, expressive people and delicious regional fare will. Located on a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, Italy also encompasses the sun-drenched islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The stunning Apennine Mountains run along the length of the country encompassing two volcanoes - the sleeping Mount Vesuvius and the very active Etna.

Ancient buildings and squares (piazze) give many Italian cities the feel of living museums. The ancient ruins of Rome include the 2,000-year-old Colosseum, a fascinating relic of ancient times that, amazingly, was built in only eight years. Nearby Palatine, the hill on which ancient tradition dictates Romulus established the first settlement of Rome in the eight century B.C., offers a museum filled with captivating ancient sculpture, pottery and art.

Italian flag Capital: Rome
Language: Italian
Time: GMT +1 hr
Currency: euro (EUR)
Tourist Board: www.italy.it

A visit to The Basilica of St. Peter, crowned by a magnificent cupola designed by Michelangelo, can easily fill an entire afternoon with wandering among the indescribable architecture, frescos and sculptures. Italy is also home to the Tower of Pisa, that famous centuries-old leaning bell tower, as well as the ancient Greek temples of Neptune and Paestum.

After getting their fill of art and architecture, tourists enjoy floating through the canals of romantic Venice, indulging in pasta fragrant with fresh herbs and olive oil at sidewalk caf├ęs in Florence or shopping for designer fashions at the exclusive boutiques in Milan's famed shopping district. Whatever your pleasure, Italy is sure to meet-and exceed-your expectations.

Italian Regions

Abruzzi | Apulia (Puglia) | Basilicata | Calabria | Campania | Emilia-Romagna | Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Venice) | Latium (Lazio) | Liguria | Lombardy (Lombardia) | Marche | Molise | Piedmont (Piemonte) | Sardinia (Sardegna) | Sicily (Sicilia) | Trentino-Alto Adige | Tuscany (Toscana) | Umbria | Valle d'Aosta | Vatican City* | Veneto