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Government Parliamentary Republic
President Sergio Mattarella
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Currency Euro (€) = 72.57 Indian Rupee
Area total: 301,340km²
Population 59,433,744 (2011 census)
Language Italian (official); minor German,
French and Slovene- speaking communities.
Other Names Bel Paese(beautiful country)
Lo Stivale(the boot)
National Bird Italian Sparrow
National Sport Football
Italy is a country in Southern Europe.
It is a boot-shaped peninsula that extends into the
Lies between latitudes 35° and 48° N, and longitudes 6° and 19°
Italy is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia
in the north.
Two independent mini-states : San Marino
Surrounded by :
the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas to the west,
the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to the South,
the Adriatic Sea to the East.
Two major islands : Sardinia, west coast of Italy.
Sicily, southern tip of the boot.
Predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
The climate varies considerably from the north to the south of
In the north of the country - the area between the Alps and the
Tuscan-Emilian Apennines - the climate is harsh, with very cold
winters and very hot, particularly humid summers.
In central Italy the climate is milder, with a smaller difference in
temperature between summer and winter and a shorter and less
intense cold season than in the north; summers are longer, but
the sultriness of the northern cities is mitigated by the sea.
In southern Italy and the islands winters are never particularly
harsh, and spring and autumn temperatures are similar to those
reached in the summer in other areas of Italy.
The Po, Italy's longest river
(652 km/405 mi), flows from the
Alps on the western border with
France and crosses the Padan
plain on its way to the Adriatic
• Po is the longest river in Italy and it flows through some of the most vital cities in the
country, such as Turin, Ferrara and Piacenza. This river measures 405 miles in length
and 1,650 feet at its width.
• It is definitely small when compared to the Nile or the Yangtze, yet it remains the
longest in the Bel Paese. Around 141 tributaries feed this vast river along with a
catchment basin of around 27,000 sq miles that leads to the plains of Val Padana.
• The Adige is the second largest river of Italy after the Po. It originates on the Alps, in the
area marking the border between Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
• Flowing in a southeasterly course from the Alpine lakes through the Venosta Valley.
• The river is an important source of hydroelectric power and irrigation.
• The Tiber is regarded as the third largest rivers of Italy. It springs from the Apennines and flows for
about 406 kms along Umbria and Lazio, until he reaches the Tyrrhenian Sea. This river is especially
known for being the main water basin touching the eternal city, Rome. The source of
Tiber comprises of two springs located around 10 meters apart from each other, towards Mount
Fumaiolo. The name "Le Vene" is given to these springs.
• It seems that the city of Rome was founded on the banks of the Tiber in the year 753 B.C. This river
was vital for trade and commerce during ancient times, as ships were able to reach up to 100 kms
1,500 lakes in Italy. Most of these
are small Alpine lakes that are
used for hydroelectric schemes.
Other lakes, such as Bolsena and
Albano in Lazio, occupy the craters
of extinct volcanoes.
There are also coastal lagoons,
such as Lakes Lesina and Varano
in Puglia, and lakes resulting from
prehistoric faulting, such as Lake
Alleghe, near Belluno.
The five largest lakes are,
Situated in the north of Italy around
Surrounded by groves of olive and
The five largest lakes are, in
order of diminishing size:
Garda (367.94 km2 or142 sq
Maggiore (212.51 km2 or
82 sq mi, shared with
Como (145.9 km2 or
56 sq mi)
Trasimeno (124.29 km2 or
48 sq mi)
Bolsena (113.55 km2or
44 sq mi).
Italy is mostly mountainous with ranges over 700 metres covering a third
of the country. The best known ranges are the Alps, the Dolomites and
The Italian Alps are divided into three main groups.
The first group, the Western Alps run north to south, with the highest
peaks of Mount Viso 3,841 metres and Gran Paradiso 4,061 metres
which is regarded as the highest mountain completely within Italy.
The second group, the Central Alps run west to east.
This group also has high peaks, such as
• Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) with a summit of 4,807 metres just over the border in
• Monte Cervino (Matterhorn) 4,478 metres,
• Monte Rosa with a summit of 4,634 metres just over the border in Switzerland, and
• Mount Ortles 3,905 metres.
The last group, the Eastern Alps run west to east include the
Dolomites and Mount Marmolada 3,343 metres. The Italian foothills of
the Alps, which reach no higher than 2,500 metres, lie between these
The Alps are a mountain range
located along the north of Italy.
The Apennines are another
mountain range that runs
through the center of Italy. The
range is about 2,000 kilometres
The Dolomites are a mountain
range located in
Highest Point: The highest point in Italy is Mont Blanc, in the Alps on
the border of Italy and France. Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) is 15,770 feet
(4,807 m) tall.
Ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.
Lowest Point: The lowest points in Italy are at sea level (the level of the
Between the Alps and the Appenines lies the Padan Plain. This is
drained by the longest river of Italy, the Po, stretching for 652 kilometres
eastward from the Cottian Alps to the Adriatic.
Plains cover less than a quarter of the total area of Italy, and the
Padan Plain is the most extensive and important in Italy.
It occupies more than 44,000 of the 77,000 square kilometres of Italian
It ranges in altitude from sea level up to 550 metres but most of it lies
below 100 metres. The waters of the Po River and all its tributaries,
together with the Reno, Adige, Piave, and Tagliamento rivers, eventually
provide vital irrigation for the intensive agriculture of the fertile lower
Other notable plains include the Maremme of Tuscany and Lazio, the
Pontine Marshes, the fertile Campania Plain around Vesuvius and the
rather arid Apulian Plain.
In Sicily the Plain of Catania is a good area for growing citrus fruit.
Including islands, Italy has a total coastline of 7,600 kilometres, much of
which is extremely varied.
Along the two Ligurian rivieras, on either side of Genoa, the coast
alternates between high, rocky zones and level gravel.
The most famous of the rocky areas is called Cinque Terre, running
from Sestri Levante down to La Spezia.
The coast southwards from Tuscany to Campania consists of long,
sandy, crescent beaches mixed with higher, more rocky stretches.
The Tyrrhenian coasts of basilicata and Calabria are high and rocky,
though sometimes broken by short beaches, many of them with
spectacular white sand, particularly towards the south.
The coast of Puglia is flat, as is most of the Adriatic coast of Italy,
although it is dominated by terraced hills behind.
The majestic delta of the Po River, extending from Rimini to
Monfalcone, is riddled with the lagoons most famously around Venice.
The Carso, the limestone coastal region between Trieste and Istria, is
• Rabbit Beach on the island of Lampedusa off the south coast of Sicily has been named as the
best beach in the world by TripAdvisor
• Rabbit Beach, on the island of Lampedusa off the south coast of Sicily, was described as an
unspoiled nature reserve that can only be accessed by boat and one of the few places in the
Mediterranean where loggerhead sea turtles go to lay their eggs.
San Vito Lo Capo is located along the Western coast of Sicily across Trapani.
Besides, this spot is also known for its national park - the Zingaro where one can
catch a glimpse of the pristine beaches of this region. There are many houses lined
along the coast where fishermen catch tuna. This is one of the best beaches in Italy
where you can find scenic beauty along the coast and enjoy surfing activities.
Isola del Giglio is one of the most well-known beaches for its exotic underwater life
and can be the best selection for people who are ardent nature lovers.
One among the fine beaches situated on the Tuscany coast, which is known for its
clean and beautiful beaches, villages with a backdrop of the Apuan Alps.
Taormina beach is one of the most popular in Sicily, located amidst plush
surroundings with a fabulous location; it attracts lot of tourists due to its picturesque
beauty and natural splendor. Take part in watersports such as scuba diving and
waterskiing. An important Film Festival that takes place every year in June and the
Ancient Theatre is busy with concerts and events in Summer.
Italy is surrounded by sea on
To the north west is the
Ligurian sea, to the west and
south west the Tyrrhenian
sea, to the south and south
east is the Ionian sea and to
the east is the Adriatic sea.
The two largest islands in the
Mediterranean, Sicily and
Sardinia, are both a part of
Italy. There are many other
island groups too.
Favignana & the Aegadian Islands
Lipari & the Aeolian Islands
Lampedusa & the Pelagie Isands
Ischia & the Phlegraean Islands
Ponza & the Pontine Islands
Elba & the Tuscan Islands
The Tremiti Islands
Glacier is a
valley glacier located
above Macugnaga in the
region of Piedmont.
The glacier lies at the
base of the east face
of Monte Rosa and
reaches a height of
about 1,800 metres
above sea level at its
lowest point. The glacier
is mostly covered by
rocks.The glacier is feed
by the snows and
glaciers on the east side
of Monte Rosa, among
which the Ghiacciaio del
Monte Rosa, culminating
above 4,500 metres. The
glacier gives birth to
the Anza, a tributary of
glacier (Ghiacciaio del
Calderone) is located in
the Gran Sasso
d’Italia mountain group
in the Italian province
It lies just beneath
the Corno Grande, the
highest peak in
Glacier is located on the
mountain Marmolada in
the district of Trentino in
the Veneto region, Italy. It
is the only glacier of the
Dolomites section of the
During World War I, the
front line between
Austrian and Italian forces
ran over Marmolada, and
Austrian soldiers built
quarters in glacier
tunnels, forming an "ice
city" of considerable size.
A World War I
museum, Museo della
Grande Guerra in
Marmolada, is located in
the valley below the
The Miage Glacier is
covered glacier in the
upper Aosta Valley, in
At around 10 km in
length, it is Italy's
longest glacier and
also the largest
glacier in Europe.
14 volcanoes in Italy, 4 of which are active:
• Mount Etna is located on the eastern side of Sicily, between Messina and Catania. It is in an
almost constant state of activity, and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
• At over 3,000 metres high, it is the tallest, active volcano on the European continent. It covers an
area of 1,190 square kilometres, making it the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy.
• Stromboli is one of the Aeolian Islands, situated off the north coast of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian
Sea. It is 926 metres high and has been erupting almost constantly for the last 2,000 years.
• The spectacular explosions are visible many miles out to sea, leading to the Island being
nicknamed 'The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean'.
• Vulcano (Sicilian: Vurcanu) is a small volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, about 25 km (16 mi)
north of Sicily and the southernmost of the eight Aeolian Islands. It is 21 km2 (8 sq mi) in area,
rises to 499 m (1,637 ft)above sea level, and contains several volcanic centers, including one of
four active non-submarine volcanoes in Italy.
Mount Vesuvius, in Naples, is the only active volcano on mainland Europe. It is famous for the
destruction of the Roman towns of Pompei and Herculaneum in 79 BC, an event described in great
detail by Pliny the Younger.
The last eruption was in 1944. Vesuvius is considered to be the most dangerous volcano in the
world as it could erupt at any time, threatening the lives of the three million people who live nearby.
The country is situated at the meeting point of the Eurasian
Plate and the African Plate, leading to considerable seismic
and volcanic activity. However, the kind of seismic activity
leading to earthquakes is rare in the Alps and the Po valley;
it is infrequent but occasionally strong in the Alpine foothills;
and it may be catastrophic in the central and southern
Apennines (as in 1980) and in Sicily.
Italy has a variety of natural resources such as coal, zinc,
potash, marble, barite, pumice, asbestos, fluorspar,
mercury, feldspar, pyrite, natural gas and crude oil reserves.
The Italian government has complete control of its mineral
The flora of the central and southern lowlands of Italy is
typically Mediterranean. Among the characteristic vegetation
of these regions are trees such as the olive, orange,
lemon, palm, and citron.
Other common types, especially in the extreme south, are
fig, date, pomegranate, and almond trees, and
sugarcane and cotton.
The vegetation of the Apennines closely resembles that of
Dense growths of chestnut, cypress, and oak trees occupy
the lower slopes, and at higher elevations, there are
extensive stands of pine and fir.
There are 102 mammal species in Italy. Some of the species are Alpine
Marmot, forest dormouse, Etruscan shrew (the smallest mammal in the
world),European snow vole, and Schreiber's long-fingered bat.
Notable large mammals are the Eurasian lynx, Italian wolf, Marsican
brown bear, Pyrenean chamois, Alpine ibex, common genet, axis
deer, mouflon, rough-toothed dolphin and Mediterranean monk seal.
Reptiles include several species of lizards and snakes and three species
of the poisonous viper family. Scorpions are also found.
Italy has recorded 516 bird species. Notable birds are
the hoopoe, roller, white-backed woodpecker, black woodpecker,
European green woodpecker, Alpine chough, snow finch, eagle
owl, great spotted cuckoo, woodchat shrike, bluethroat.
Among the predatory species of bird are the eagle hawk, vulture,
buzzard, falcon, and kite, confined for the most part to the mountains.
The quail, woodcock, partridge, and various migratory species abound in
many parts of Italy.
Aosta Valley – a small region in the
Liguria – the coastal region
Lombardy – the eastern part of
Piedmont – the western region,
containing most of Italy's border with
Home of the Italian Riviera,
including Portofino and the Cinque
Terre. The Alps, world class cities like
the industrial capital of Italy (Turin),
its largest port (Genoa), the main
business hub of the country (Milan),
share the region's visitors with beautiful
landscapes like the Lake
Como and Lake Maggiorearea, and
little known Renaissance treasures
From the canals of Venice to the
gastronomic capital Bologna, from
impressive mountains such as
the Dolomites and first-class ski
resorts like Cortina d'Ampezzo to
the delightful roofscapes
of Parmaand Verona these regions
offer much to see and do.
South Tyrol and the cosmopolitan
city of Triesteoffer a uniquely Central
Breathes history and art. Rome boasts
the remaining wonders of the Roman
Empire and some of the world's best
known landmarks, combined with a
vibrant, big-city feel.
Florence, cradle of the Renaissance,
is Tuscany's top attraction, whereas the
magnificent countryside and nearby
cities like Siena, Pisa and Lucca have
much to offer to those looking for the
country's rich history and heritage.
Umbria is dotted with many picturesque
as Perugia, Orvieto, Gubbio and Assisi
Bustling Naples, the dramatic ruins
of Pompeii, the romantic Amalfi
Coast and Capri, laidback Apulia
and stunning unspoilt beaches
of Calabria, as well as up-and-
coming agritourism help making
Italy's less visited region a great
place to explore.
Sicily (Sicilia) is a rugged
and attractive island on the
southern tip of Italy, and is
one of the country's 20
It is separated from the
of Calabria by the 5
km Straits of Messina.
It can get very hot during
the summer, so it is better
to visit during spring and
autumn, while it is still quite
pleasant during winter.
Sardinia (Sardegna / Sardigna
) is a large island in the
Tyrrhenian Sea, between the
Balearic islands and the Italian
peninsula and south
It is an autonomous region
which currently belongs
Broad and diverse architectural style.
Considerable architectural achievements
Colosseum, the Milan Cathedral and Florence cathedral, the
Leaning Tower of Pisa and the building designs of Venice.
Painting: a warmth of colour and light, as shown in the works of
Caravaggio and Titian
Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello Botticelli, Fra
Angelico,Caravaggio,Bernini, Titian and Raphael
The Last Supper& Mona Lisa
Classical music has played an important role in Italian culture.
Instruments like piano and violin, were invented in Italy, and many
of the prevailing classical music forms such as the symphony, concerto,
and sonata were innovations of 16th and 17th century.
Italy is widely known for being the birthplace of opera. Italian opera
was believed to have been founded in the early 17th century, in Italian
cities such as Mantua and Venice.
Jazz has a strong foothold in Italy. Most notable centers of jazz music in
Italy include Milan, Rome, and Sicily.
Italian pop music is represented annually with the Sanremo Music
Festival which served as inspiration for the Eurovision song contest, and
the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto.
FASHION AND DESIGN
Milan, Florence and Rome are Italy's main fashion capitals.
Major Italian fashion labels, such
as Gucci, Armani, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Dolce &
Gabbana, Missoni, Fendi, Moschino, Max Mara, Trussardi,
The fashion magazine Vogue Italia, is considered one of the most
prestigious fashion magazines in the world.
FAMOUS ITALIAN BRANDS:
Alfa Romeo, Beretta, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Perini NaviPrada
Scientists and explorers
The probably most famous explorer of our time, Christopher
Columbus (1451-1506), was a merchant born in Genoa who
discovered America in 1492.
Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), was Italian as well. Both were
preceded by Marco Polo (1254-1324), as his first major trip to
China brought many innovations to Europe.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who made groundbreaking
discoveries in various fields of natural science.
Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647) and Leonardo Fibonacci
(1175-1250), who discovered the Fibonacci numbers.
Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), who is considered the explorer of
Among the Italian artists, there are a number of
familiar names whose works can still be admired all
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519),
Raphael Santi (1483-1520),
Francesco Borromini (1599-1667)
Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)
Italian food has become famous all over the world.
Its pasta based dishes and the use of cheese.
The food is mostly combined with sauces.
The Mediterranean diet forms the basis of
Rich in pasta, fish, fruits and vegetables.
Characterised by its extreme simplicity and
variety, with many dishes having only four to
Pizza, Pasta, Gelato and
Much of the land in Italy is used for farming.
Olive trees are grow in the south. Olive oil is a very important ingredient
in Italian cooking.
The figs in Italy are also wonderful.
Italy is famous for grapes used to make wine. Italian cheeses like
parmesan and mozzarella are also popular all around the world. Other
important crops are wheat, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.
Capital city of Italy , largest and most populous city, 2.8 million
The historic capital of the Roman Empire.
It has many ancient monuments, interesting medieval churches,
beautiful fountains, museums, and Renaissance palaces. Modern Rome
is a bustling and lively city and has some excellent restaurants and
nightlife. The Vatican and St. Peter's are also found in Rome.
Venice ( The City of Water) is a unique city built on water in
the middle of a lagoon.
Venice is in the northeast of Italy and historically was a
bridge between East and West.
Venice is one of Italy's most beautiful and romantic cities as
well as one of the most popular for visitors to Italy.
The heart of Venice is Piazza San Marco with its
There are many museums, palaces, and churches to visit
and wandering along Venice's canals is interesting.
Venice is the crown jewel of water cities.
It is known as "the city of canals.". Today Venetians travel by
motor launch to get from place to place. Visitors can still use
a gondola to see the city.
GONDOLA THE GRAND CANAL
Milan is in northern Italy.
About 1,300,000 people live in Milan.
Milan is home to some of the world's most famous fashion designers. Italy’s
Milan is a modern city.
18th centuary La Scala Opera House and see The Last Supper painted by
Leonardo Da Vinci in Santa Maria della Grazie
Milan's Galleria, which is a beautiful street of stores and restaurants covered by
an amazing glass roof.
Nearly destroyed from heavy bombing during WWII, Milan has since
reconstructed and now shines as the country’s financial.
The 14th-century Sforzesco Castle houses the exhibits of the Museo d’Arte
Antica, which includes Michelangelo’s “Pietà Rondanini.” Decked out in
sumptuous red and gold, the 18th-century La Scala opera house is a must-see
attraction too, as is the Duomo, known as one of the world’s largest Gothic
Capital of the Piedmont region
Turin is in the northwest of Italy, between the Po River and the
foothills of the Alps.
a well-known industrial and historical city,
first capital of Italy and home of FIAT.
The city's also renowned for its large amount of baroque
Turin, host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, is a major cultural hub
with excellent museums, elegant shops, and good restaurants.
There are also some very nice examples of baroque architecture
and historic palaces.
Turin has many historic cafes, artisan workshops, and arcades.
Florence is located in the Tuscany region at the bottom of
the Apennine Mountains.
It is known for its famous museums, architecture, and
Florence is one of the world's most visited cities because of
the amazing paintings and statues.
Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are two of the famous
artists whose work you can see here.
Naples, or Napoli, is the third
largest city in Italy.
This coastal Southern city
definitely has its own personality.
Many favorite Italian foods
originated in Naples and its
surrounding area such as pizza,
and spaghetti. These dishes are
taken seriously here and usually
feature fresh, locally grown
Tourist attractions in Naples
include a huge Medieval castle,
Castel Nuovo, as well as the
seaside fortress of Castel
The city is also next to the
Vesuvius, the only active volcano
on the European continent.
Naples is the most important seaport
It is the center of Italy's exporting
About 1,000,000 people live in
The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an
annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the
Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrov
Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
The festival is world-famed for its elaborate masks.
Its season starts two weeks before the date of Carnival with lots
of spectacular events throughout the city. During carnival season,
walking through Venice, alongside people wearing the most
fabulous costumes is like stepping back in time.
Gondola and boat parades along the Grand Canal, Mask
parades in St. Mark’s Square, Carnival for Children in the
Cannaregio district and Grand fireworks show on the final day,
which end the carnival celebration.
When: Third week in February
Where: The Northern Italian city of Ivrea.
Every year on the third week of February, the city of Ivrea (Piedmont)
celebrates the Battle of the Oranges, an event, which attracts thousands
of people from all over the city (and beyond) in which participants are
divided into 9 teams and fight in a real battle pelting oranges at
According to legend, this curious tradition represents the uprising
against a cruel tyrant, the terrible Ranieri di Biandrate, who claimed the
right to sleep with any bride on her wedding night. Unfortunately for him,
a girl named Violetta refused to sleep with the tyrant and cut his head off
with a dagger.
That’s why every year, during the Battle of the Oranges a girl is chosen
in order to play the role of Violetta, while the destruction of tyrant’s castle
is symbolically represented by the throwing of the oranges (which
represent Ranieri’s head.)
Every year, on the first Sunday of September, Venetians row like
they were in 1489.
Can see spectacular rowing races on the Grand Canal
commemorating the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of
the King of Cyprus, who in 1489 renounced her throne in favour
The most famous regatta takes place between April and
September: the event starts with a parade of boats decorated in
16th-century style and powered by crews in period costume.
The races start in the Castello area and proceed west up the
canal to the former convent of Santa Chiara, where the boats turn
around a paleto (pylon) to pound back to the finishing line at Ca’
Foscari, cheered on by the locals.
When: July and August
Popular all over the world, The Palio of Siena is one of the most well-
known historic festivals in Italy, which consists of an exciting horse race
which in Siena’s fan-shaped main square, Piazza del Campo. It takes
part on the 2
of July and on the 16
of August every year.
The city is divided into 17 contrade (districts), each of them represented
by a champion rider. Only 10 contrade take actually part in the first race
on July 2. While the other seven (plus three) from the July race compete
on August 16.
Race day starts with a special blessing of the horses and a great
procession through the historic centre of Siena with costumed people
from each contrada and performances by flag throwers.
Horses circle the track 3 times and the contrada of the winning horse is
awarded with the palio (a victory flag.) The race is really highly
competitive and taking part at such an event is a unique experience
even as spectator.
Where: Pisa, Tuscany
On the last Sunday of June, the city of Pisa (Tuscany) celebrates
The Game of the Bridge, an ancient tradition which dates back to
the 1568, when opposing teams from different areas of the city,
fought for the ownership of the bridge over the Arno river.
Today, before the battle, a parade of people dressed up wonderful
eighteenth century costumes and armour who represent both
north (Tramontana) and south (Mezzogiorno) sides of the Arno
River, marches along the banks of the river.
The game consists in pushing a wooden trolley into the opposing
team’s territory. The winner finally claims the ownership of the
TRAVEL FORMALITIES TO ITALY
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as non-EU citizens who are visa-
exempt (e.g. U.S. Citizens and Australians), need only produce a
passport which is valid for the entirety of their stay in Italy.
Other nationals who are required to have a visa (eg: South Africans),
however, must have a passport which has at least 3 months'
validity beyond their period of stay in Italy.
Italy is a member of the Schengen Agreement
Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino - Rome
Milan Malpensa - Milan
Milan Linate - Milan
Alitalia, flag carrier of, and largest airline in Italy
Meridiana, second-largest Italian carrier
GETTING AROUND ITALY
There are 3,408 km of motorways in
Italy, used by 4 million motorists. They
are mostly well maintained, fast and
fairly free of traffic. They operate on a
As you enter a stretch of motorway,
you will pass through an 'Alt Stazione'
where you take a ticket from an
automatic machine. When you exit
that part of the motorway system you
will pass through another 'Alt Stazione'
where you present your ticket and pay
the toll charge.
Payment can be made automatically
with cash or credit card, or at a
manned kiosk. It is possible to buy a
'Telepass' which allows you to pass
through the 'Alt Stazione' without
The Automobile Club Italiano (ACI)
is the Italian breakdown
organisation equivalent to the AA in
Britiain. If you breakdown anywhere
in Italy, dialling 116 will put you
through to the nearest ACI centre.
On the motorways, there are
emergency telephones every 2
There are three types of train in Italy. The Eurostar is the premium
grade. It is fast, comfortable and good value for money.
The Intercity trains are less modern but still relatively fast and efficient.
The Regional trains tend to be the oldest, the slowest and the least
comfortable, especially in the south. However, they do amble around the
countryside, stopping at all the most inaccessible places, so they too
have a role to play. The rail fares in Italy are generally very reasonable.
In Italy there is a very efficient
inter-city bus service. The buses
are modern, comfortable, fast
and well equipped. They also
provide a very economical way
of traveling around the country.
There are a lot of islands off the coast
of Italy, including the major ones of
Sardinia and Sicily, so naturally there are
a lot of ferries traveling backwards and
forwards. The major ferry terminals are:
Genoa, Civitavecchia, Napes, Palermo.
Ancona, Bari and Brindisi. There are
other, smaller ones at Livorno, Piombino,
Catania, Porto Torres, Portoferraio,
Salerno, Savona and Venezia.
FUN FACTS ABOUT ITALY
a) Around 3000 euro of change is thrown in the Trevi Founatin by tourists daily. It
is then collected and donated to charity.
b) Italy has only been a country for 153 years.
c) Italy is home to Europe’s only 3 active volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and
d) Vatican City, in Rome, is the smallest country in the world.
e) Italy has 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most of any country in the
f) The first thermometer was made by Italian inventor Santorio Santorio in 1612.
g) Many shakespeare plays were set in Italy, including Othello and The Merchant
h) Up until 1999 children only had to attend school until they were 14.
i) Pizza was invented in Naples and dates back to 1860.
j) Pinocchio was first published in an Italian newspaper.
k) The use of pasta in Italy can be traced back as far as the 4th century B.C.
l) The Olympics have been held in Italy 3 times: in 1956, 1960 and 2006.
m) Lillies are the national flower of Italy.
n) Italy is actually called the Italian Republic.
o) Italy is the world’s largest exporter of wine.
p) 14 billion espressos are consumed in Italy each year, and Italians use 3.7kg of
coffee per capita.