Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.
— Paul Theroux, 1941 -
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Italy

Background

Italy

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.

About

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 »

Featured journals from

Italy

Do we really know Sicily?

by siciliana

Parco Museo Jalari

Jun 2010 - Jul 2010  »  Italy

Lizara Jayne On The Go

by lizara2u

Adventurous Jayne

Feb 2014  »  Italy

2 month Tour de Europe under 3000 USD

by travelqueen168

travel and interning

Jun 2010 - Jul 2010  »  Germany | Italy

FLORENCE IS BEAUTIFUL

by bourgeoise

a love story to Tuscany and back

Mar 2010  »  Italy

Info of Montreal

by gauravks

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.

Mar 2011 - May 2011  »  Switzerland | Portugal | Italy

Romantic Holidays in Milan!

by citybreak1

Milan Holidays!

Jul 2010  »  Italy | Belgium

Spin the globe....summer 2018

by madjeanne

Temperature hit 100, gotta go!

May 2018 - Jul 2018  »  United States | Italy | Croatia | Montenegro | Greece | Turkey | Malta | Spain | France | Monaco

Little praying in the Vatican

by annewhite

Trip to Rome

Jun 2011  »  Italy

Europe Trip!

by Pancake

Apr 2016  »  Italy

Featured hotels in

Italy

ItalyGrand Hotel Savoia 

Via Arsenale Di Terra, 5
Genoa 16126
Italy

Price (US$): $128 - $330 / night

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Location. Located in Genoa, Grand Hotel Savoia is connected to the airport and close to Christopher Columbus Monument, Genoa City Hall, and Fiera di Genova. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Galata Maritime Museum and The Bigo Lift. Hotel Features. Grand Hotel Savoia's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include a health club, a sauna, and a steam room.… more »

ItalyL'Ea Bianca Luxury Resort 

1956 Loc Cala Dei Ginepri
Baia Sardinia
Arzachena 07021
Italy

Price (US$): $530 - $1010 / night

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Location. L'Ea Bianca Luxury Resort is located on the beach in Arzachena's Baja Sardinia neighborhood and local attractions include Pevero Golf Club, Bear's Rock, and Liscia Ruia. Other points of interest are Giants' Grave and Capriccioli Beach. Hotel Features. L'Ea Bianca Luxury Resort's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities… more »

ItalyArmani Hotel Milano 

Via Manzoni 31
Milan 20121
Italy

Price (US$): $740 - $1211 / night

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Location. Located in central Milan, Armani Hotel Milano is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Armani Megastore, Milan City Hall, and Piazza della Scala. Additional points of interest include Piazza San Babila and Piazza del Duomo. Hotel Features. Armani Hotel Milano's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply).… more »

ItalyHotel Regency 

Piazza M. D'Azeglio, 3
Florence 50121
Italy

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 »

ItalyAlpin Royal Wellness Refugium & Resort Hotel 

Via Molini 2
San Giovanni
Valle Aurina 39030
Italy

Price (US$): $348 - $484 / night

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Location. Alpin Royal Wellness Refugium & Resort Hotel is located in Valle Aurina's San Giovanni neighborhood, close to Klausberg Ski Area. Additional area points of interest include Speikboden Ski Area. Hotel Features. Alpin Royal Wellness Refugium & Resort Hotel features a coffee shop/café, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Guests can enjoy a complimentary evening social on select days.… more »

Browse more hotels in Italy »

Italy

Full name
Italian Republic
Capital
Rome
Location

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

Coastline

7,600 km

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Population

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)

Religions

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

Languages

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

republic

Independence

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

.it

Internet users

29.235 million (2009)

Airports

132 (2010)

Ports and terminals

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

Other countries in the region