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Geography, Flora and Fauna, Major cities, Travel formalities.

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  1. 1. ITALY
  2. 2. QUICK FACTS  Capital Rome  Government Parliamentary Republic  President Sergio Mattarella  Prime Minister Matteo Renzi  Currency Euro (€) = 72.57 Indian Rupee  Area total: 301,340km² water: 7,200km² land: 294,140km²  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
  3. 3. GEOGRAPHY  Italy is a country in Southern Europe.  It is a boot-shaped peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean Sea.  Lies between latitudes 35° and 48° N, and longitudes 6° and 19° E  Italy is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north.  Two independent mini-states : San Marino Vatican City  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.
  4. 4. CLIMATE  Predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south  The climate varies considerably from the north to the south of Italy.  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.
  5. 5. RIVERS  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 Sea.
  6. 6. • 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 upwards.
  7. 7. THE LAKES  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,  Garda  Maggiore  Como  Trasimeno  Bolsena . Situated in the north of Italy around Milan.  Semi-Mediterranean climate. Surrounded by groves of olive and citrus trees.
  8. 8.  The five largest lakes are, in order of diminishing size:  Garda (367.94 km2 or142 sq mi),  Maggiore (212.51 km2 or 82 sq mi, shared with Switzerland),  Como (145.9 km2 or 56 sq mi)  Trasimeno (124.29 km2 or 48 sq mi)  Bolsena (113.55 km2or 44 sq mi).
  9. 9. THE MOUNTAINS  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 Appenines.  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 France, • 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
  10. 10.  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 long.  The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. THE ALPS THE APENNINES
  11. 11.  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 Mediterranean Sea).
  12. 12. THE PLAINS  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 plain land.
  13. 13.  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 plain.  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.
  14. 14. THE COAST  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.
  15. 15.  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 rocky.
  16. 16. BEACHES • 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.
  17. 17. THE ISLANDS  Italy is surrounded by sea on three sides.  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 Asinara Capri Lampedusa & the Pelagie Isands Ischia & the Phlegraean Islands Ponza & the Pontine Islands Elba & the Tuscan Islands The Tremiti Islands
  18. 18. GLACIERS The Belvedere 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 The Calderone glacier (Ghiacciaio del Calderone) is located in the Gran Sasso d’Italia mountain group in the Italian province of Teramo. It lies just beneath the Corno Grande, the highest peak in the Apennines. .The Marmolada 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 Alps. 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 a debris- covered glacier in the upper Aosta Valley, in northwestern Italy. At around 10 km in length, it is Italy's longest glacier and also the largest debris-covered glacier in Europe.
  19. 19. VOLCANOES  14 volcanoes in Italy, 4 of which are active:  Etna  Stromboli  Vulcano  Vesuvius
  20. 20. • 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.
  22. 22. EARTHQUAKES  Seismic Activity 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.
  23. 23. NATURAL RESOURCES  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 industry
  24. 24. FLORA  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 central Europe.  Dense growths of chestnut, cypress, and oak trees occupy the lower slopes, and at higher elevations, there are extensive stands of pine and fir.
  25. 25. FAUNA  Mammals  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.
  26. 26.  Birds  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.
  28. 28.  Aosta Valley – a small region in the Alps  Liguria – the coastal region  Lombardy – the eastern part of Northwest Italy  Piedmont – the western region, containing most of Italy's border with France  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 like Mantova.
  29. 29.  Emilia-Romagna  Friuli-Venezia Giulia  Trentino-Alto Adige  Veneto  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 European flair.
  30. 30.  Abruzzo  Lazio  Marche  Tuscany  Umbria  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 cities such as Perugia, Orvieto, Gubbio and Assisi
  31. 31.  Apulia  Basilicata  Calabria  Campania  Molise  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.
  32. 32.  Sicily (Sicilia) is a rugged and attractive island on the southern tip of Italy, and is one of the country's 20 regions.  It is separated from the mainland region 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.
  33. 33.  Sardinia (Sardegna / Sardigna ) is a large island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, between the Balearic islands and the Italian peninsula and south of Corsica.  It is an autonomous region which currently belongs to Italy.
  34. 34. CULTURE
  35. 35. ARCHITECTURE  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.
  36. 36. ART  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
  37. 37. MUSIC  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.
  38. 38. 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, and Ferragamo.  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
  39. 39. FAMOUS PERSONALITIES  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.  Scientists,  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 electricity.
  40. 40.  Italian artists  Among the Italian artists, there are a number of familiar names whose works can still be admired all over Italy.  Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519),  Michelangelo (1475-1564),  Caravaggio (1573-1610),  Raphael Santi (1483-1520),  Titian (1488-1576),  Francesco Borromini (1599-1667)  Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)
  41. 41. CUISINE
  42. 42.  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 Italian cuisine.  Rich in pasta, fish, fruits and vegetables.  Characterised by its extreme simplicity and variety, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Pizza, Pasta, Gelato and Espresso
  43. 43.  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.
  44. 44. MAJOR CITIES
  45. 45. ROME
  46. 46.  Capital city of Italy , largest and most populous city, 2.8 million inhabitants.  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.
  47. 47. VENICE
  48. 48.  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 magnificent church.  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.
  49. 49.  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
  50. 50. MILAN
  51. 51.  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 fashion capital.  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 cathedrals.
  52. 52. TURIN
  53. 53.  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 buildings.  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.
  54. 54. FLORENCE
  55. 55.  Florence is located in the Tuscany region at the bottom of the Apennine Mountains.  It is known for its famous museums, architecture, and artwork.  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.
  56. 56. NAPLES  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 ingredients.  Tourist attractions in Naples include a huge Medieval castle, Castel Nuovo, as well as the seaside fortress of Castel del’Ovo.  The city is also next to the Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European continent. Naples is the most important seaport in Italy.  It is the center of Italy's exporting business. About 1,000,000 people live in Naples.
  57. 57. FESTIVALS
  59. 59.  When: February  Where: Venice  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.
  61. 61.  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 each other. 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.)
  63. 63.  When: September  Where: Venice  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 of Venice.  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.
  65. 65.  When: July and August  Where: Tuscany  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 nd of July and on the 16 th 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.
  67. 67.  When: June  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 bridge.
  68. 68. 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
  69. 69. AIRPORTS  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
  70. 70. GETTING AROUND ITALY ITALIAN MOTORWAYS 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 toll system. 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 stopping. 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 kilometres.
  71. 71.  ITALIAN TRAINS  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.
  72. 72.  ITALIAN BUSES  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. ITALIAN FERRIES 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.
  73. 73. 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 Vesuvius. 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 world. 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 of Venice. 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.