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Italy

Touristic attractions of Italy
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Your vacations in Italy

Italy – officially, the Italian Republic (Repubblica Italiana) – is a country located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italy shares its northern, Alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia.

The independent states of San Marino and Vatican City are enclaves within the Italian Peninsula, and Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland.

The land known as Italy today has been the cradle of many European cultures and peoples, such as the Etruscans and the Romans. It was an important centre during the Renaissance. It also played a major role in the development of modern science and astronomy – particularly heliocentrism – as well as the University as an educational institution and the opera. Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the centre of Western civilization. Today, the cultural significance of Italy is reflected in the fact that it boasts the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.

Contemporary Italy is a democratic republic and developed country with the eighth-highest quality of life index rating in the world. It’s a founding member of what is now the European Union (EU), having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957; and it’s also a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). It’s a member of the G-8, having the world's seventh-largest nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and is also a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Council of Europe, the Western European Union (WEU), and the Central European Initiative (CEI). It has the world's seventh-largest defense budget and shares NATO's nuclear weapons.

Italian is the official language spoken by the majority of the population. However, as you travel throughout the country, you will find there are several distinct dialects corresponding to the various regions.

Official language

Italian

Currency

Euro

Electricity

230 volts, 50 cycles

Shopping

For many, it’s a shopper’s dream come true in Italy. Florence is known world-wide for its pride in craftsmanship You’ll also find some of the world’s most fragrant perfumes. In Venice, shop for Murano glassware, handmade Venetian masks,and all of the fabulous food shops. And, if you love fashion, you’ll find amazing bargains on designer clothing, especially in Milan. Check the shopping in Via Montenapoleone!

Useful information

The world's largest Christian edifice is the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome. Two of Europe's smallest countries, San Marino and the Vatican, are enclaved within Italy. The Italians invented the viol, violin, cello and piano, and were the greatest representative of Baroque music (Vivaldi, Corelli, Monteverdi, Albinoni...).