I love to travel, but hate to arrive.
— Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955




Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.


Two independent mini-states are surrounded entirely by Italy: San Marino and Vatican City. While technically not part of the European Union, both of these states are also part of the Schengen Region and the European Monetary Union, (EMU). Apart from different police uniforms, there is no evident transition from these states and Italy's territory, and the currency is the same. Italian is also the lingua-franca in both city-states.

Read more about Italy in our Italy travel guide »

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Info of Montreal

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Montreal is one of Canada's largest and most popular city,is geographically as close to the European coast as to Vancouver,and in look and feel it combines some of the finest aspects of the two continents.This is also the second-largest French-speaking metropolis after Paris. Montréal is also innovative and invigorating,offering a whirlwind of cultural creations,both traditional and modern. It is a unique city offering a vibrant night-life and several world-renown restaurants,bar clubs and lounges.The city is also a favorite destination for avid shoppers.It is a wonderful city offering a unique living experience from anything else in the world.Montreal is an enormous metropolis and the second-biggest city in the whole of Canada,known for its friendly atmosphere and ambiance, historical architecture and lavish churches, enormous shopping malls and top restaurants.One of Montreal's most surprising features is the 'Underground City'which is a vast network of tunnels,shops hotels,cinemas and business, protected from the cold winter weather extremes. No matter what you are looking for,outdoor/indoor attractions, music, dance,culture,great food,nice people,beautiful scenery or quiet tranquil moments,you can find it all in this wonderful city of Montreal.It will astound you with all its beauty and impress you with all it has to offer. Want to know more about Montreal,visit http://www.ticketstocanada.co.uk for more information.

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Featured hotels in


ItalyHotel Regency 

Piazza M. D'Azeglio, 3
Florence 50121

Price (US$): $482 - $593 / night

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Location. Hotel Regency is located in Florence's Historic Center Downtown neighborhood, close to Piazza Massimo D'Azeglio, Statue of David, and Academy Gallery. Nearby points of interest also include Basilica of Santa Croce and Bargello Museum. Hotel Features. Hotel Regency features 2 bars/lounges and a restaurant. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. This 5 star property offers small meeting rooms, limo/town car service, and business… more »

ItalyHotel Relais Dell Orologio 

Via Uguccione della Faggiola 12-14
Pisa 56126

Price (US$): $193 - $435 / night

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Location. Located in central Pisa, Hotel Relais Dell Orologio is within walking distance of Church of St. Sisto, Leaning Tower, and Knight's Square. Nearby points of interest also include Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and Cathedral of Pisa. Hotel Features. Hotel Relais Dell Orologio's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast. Recreational amenities include a spa tub.… more »

ItalyLefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda 

Via Feltrinelli 118
Gargnano 25084

Price (US$): $281 - $881 / night

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Location. Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda is located near the beach in Gargnano and local attractions include Church of San Zeno and Jungle Adventure. Other regional attractions include Vittoriale degli Italiani and Giardino Botanico Fondazione André Heller. Hotel Features. Dining options at Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda include 2 restaurants. A swim up bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary… more »

ItalyHotel Splendide Royal 

Via Di Porta Pinciana 14
Rome 00187

Price (US$): $296 - $565 / night

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Location. Located in central Rome, Hotel Splendide Royal is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Piazza Trinita dei Monti and Piazza di Spagna. Additional points of interest include Palazzo Chigi and Piazza Barberini. Hotel Features. Hotel Splendide Royal features a bar/lounge and a snack bar/deli. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). This 5 star property has a business center and… more »

ItalyMiramare E Castello Hotel 

Via Pontiano 5-I
Ischia 80077

Price (US$): $265 - $568 / night

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Location. Miramare E Castello Hotel is located on the beach in Ischia, close to Diocesan Museum, Aragonese Castle, and Guevara Tower. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Cartaromana Beach and Ischia Port. Hotel Features. Miramare E Castello Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. The hotel also has a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary continental… more »

Browse more hotels in Italy »


Full name
Italian Republic

Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia

Geographic coordinates

42 50 N, 12 50 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than Arizona

Border countries

Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 199 km, Switzerland 740 km


7,600 km


predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south


mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

Lowest point

Mediterranean Sea 0 m

Highest point

Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)

Natural resources

coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land


58,090,681 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)


Roman Catholic 90% (approximately; about one-third practicing), other 10% (includes mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community)


Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

Government type



17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)

National holiday

Republic Day, 2 June (1946)

Chief of state

President Giorgio NAPOLITANO (since 15 May 2006)

Head of government

Prime Minister Silvio BERLUSCONI (since 8 May 2008) note - in Italy the prime minister is referred to as the president of the Council of Ministers

Internet country code


Internet users

29.235 million (2009)


132 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Augusta, Cagliari, Genoa, Livorno, Santa Panagia (Melilli), Taranto, Trieste, Venice

Other countries in the region