About Italy

Italy has been one of the most popular destinations for discerning travelers for centuries, a fact that’s undoubtedly linked to its colorful history and iconic cultural attractions. In addition to some of the world’s most noteworthy cities like Florence, Venice and Rome, Italy is dotted with countless charming and bucolic towns and villages and the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites found anywhere in the world.

A boot-shaped peninsula that juts out of southern Europe into the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas, its strategic location on trading routes of ancient civilizations helped fortify the Roman Empire for centuries. The Alps cut across the top of the country and are streaked with long, thin glacial lakes. From the western end of the Alps, the Apennines mountains stretch south down the entire peninsula. The beauty of the landscape is just the beginning of what Italy has to offer the visitor.

From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, Italy is the cradle of modern European civilization. Its culture has influenced artists worldwide for generations, with great art literally all over the Italian map. Cityscapes are littered with monuments, elegant fountains and stunning works of architecture. Beautifully crafted stained glass, impressive paintings and marble statues are everywhere, and fingerprints of great masters like Michelangelo and Da Vinci are everywhere.

Italian food is justifiably famous worldwide, and a favorite of travelers everywhere. Each region of Italy has their own specialties, styles and ingredients, with each one insisting that the best food in Italy is that of their home town. As unique as the food it accompanies, the wines of each region come in a broad variety, and there are usually a few really special local treats. Sample the Chiantis of Florence, taste the famous prosciutto of Parma and sip the sparkling Prosecco of Treviso.

Although decades of struggle unified Italy in 1871, two distinct countries exist today: the prosperous, industrialized north and the less developed agricultural south. Tradition lives within a country that is vibrant and fully modern. Go to Italy ready to experience ancient history set within a modern frame.

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