Thursday, February 18, 2021


Italy Flag

“Bel Paese” (Beautiful Country)

Orvieto City, Umbria, Italy. Photo Credit: Valter Cirillo/Pixabay 

Why visit Italy?
One the most visited destinations offers something for everyone to enjoy art, architecture, beaches, carnivals, coastlines, bicycling, culture, festivals, fountains, galleries, gastronomy, hiking, historical sites, lagoons, lakes, markets, monuments, motorsports, mountains, museums, national parks, performing arts, picturesque ruins, shopping, spas, villa rentals, vineyards, volcanos, water sports, wildlife, and world-class skiing.

Italian Riviera Coastline, Cinque Terre. Italy. Photo Credit: Kookay/Pixabay

popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Bucket List Destination
  • Cruise Embarkation/Debarkation
  • Foodies & Wine Lovers
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational
  • Incentive Travel Program
  • Milestones: Anniversary, Birthday, Honeymoon, Proposal, Retirement, Vow Renewal

Venice, Italy. Photo Credit: Gerhard G/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, ceramics, cheese, dry pasta, designer clothes, embroidery, espresso cups, jewelry, lace, leather goods, limoncello, marble, masks, murano glass, olive oil, pinocchio, good, religious goods, silks, truffles, violins, wine, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try:  Agnolotti (stuffed meat pasta). Bistecca alla Fiorentina (steak). Cannoli (cream pastry). Carasau (bread). Casu Marzu (sheep milk cheese). Castelmagno (cheese). Finocchiona (salamni). Focaccia (flat rosemary bread). Fontina (cheese). Gelato (ice cream). Mozzarella (cheese). Neapolitan Pizza. Orecchiette (pasta dish). Parmigiano-Reggiano (hard cheese). Panettone (cake). Pasta alla Norma  (eggplant and pasta). Pecorino di Filiano (cheese). Pistum (dish). Prosciutto (ham). Risottos (rice). Ragù (pasta dish). Speckknödel (soup). Taralli dolci (snack). Tiramisu (dessert). Zeppola (fried pastry). 
  • Local Drink to Try: Amaro Sicilianos (digestive liquor). Barbaresco (wine). Barbera d'Asti (wine). Bicerin (coffee). Brunello di Montacino (wine). Campari (liquor), Franciacorta (sparkling wine). Frascati (white wine). Grappa (brandy). Limoncello (lemon liquor). Martini (sparkling wine). Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (red wine). Morellino di Scansano (red wine). Piedmontese Barolo (wine). Prosecco (sparkling wine). Tuscan Chianti (wine). Vermouth (forfeited wine).

Tuscany, Italy. Photo Credit: Dagny Walter/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Laundry is often line dried outdoors.
  • Shaped like a boot with Sardinia Island by the toes.
  • Apennine Mountains run the length of the country.
  • A professional squad of sommeliers are trained to detect fraudulent wines.
  • Number of visitors to see The Last Supper (Milan) is strictly limited with admittance of air quality and humidity level control for its own preservation.
  • Italian Explorers are credited to discovering new routes to the Far East and the New World during the Middle Ages.
  • Holds the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites.
  • Province of Brescia has the largest rock carvings in the world.
  • "Ötzi the Iceman" (mummey) was found in a Similaun glacier.
  • After Mount Vesuvius erupted, Herculaneum and Pompeii were once buried under volcanic ash.
  • From the alps area, Po River flows into the Adriatic Sea.  
  • Home to Europe's largest active volcano, Mount Etna (Sicily). 
  • Lake Garda (north) is their largest lake.
  • Lake Como is Europe's fifth deepest lake.
  • Lake Bolsena is Europe's largest volcanic lake.
  • Has over 1000 lakes throughout the country.
  • Comacchio Valleys (Emilia-Romagna) and the Stagno di Cagliari (Sardinia) are protected natural environments.
  • Of their 14 volcanoes, only four are considered active: Etna (Catania), Stromboli (Stromboli Island), Vesuvius (Campania), and Vulcano (Vulcano Island).
  • First country to benefit from electricity production of geothermal energy.
  • Fourth largest holder of installed solar energy in the world.
  • President is elected for a single service of seven years.
  • Highly ranks in exports and world trade.
  • Manufacturing home of well known luxury cars such as Ferrari (Maranello), Lamborghini (Sant'Agata Bolognese), and Maserati (Bologna).
  • The world's largest wine producer.
  • Education is free and mandatory for youths between 6-16.
  • Rome invented the architecture and concept of the Basilica.
  • The Last Supper painting  (Milan) is the most recognizable painting in the world.
  • Birthplace of a popular children's character, Pinocchio (Pescia).
  • The origin of Ballet Dance during the Renaissance period.
  • Teatro di San Carlo (Naples) is the oldest continuously active opera venue in the world.
  • Birthplace to recognozible jewelers brands of Buccellati, Bvlgari, and Damiani. 
  • Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world. 

 Arno River & Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), Florence, Italy. Photo Credit: Ervin Gjata/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Campaccio, Carnival of Foiano della Chiana, Trieste Film Festival, Cross della Vallagarina, Festa di Sant’Agnese, Festival of Italian Popular Song, Venice New Year's Concert, (February) Battle of the Oranges, Carnival of Satriano di Lucania, Cinque Mulini, Fiera Milano, Italian Cross Country Championships, Milan Fashion Week, Satriano di Lucania, (March) Carnival of Venice, Festa di San Giuseppe, Macchina di Santa Rosa, Sanremo Music Festival, Trofeo Alasport, (April) Giro di Sicilia, Holy Week, Roma Sana, Scoppio del Carro, (May) Garda Trentino Olympic Week, Giro d'Italia, International Horse Show, Lega Basket All Star Game, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Mille Miglia, Turin International Book Fair, (June) Arena di Verona Opera FestivalBiennale Arte, Boat of Saint Peter, Calcio Storico, Festa dei Gigli, Gioco del Ponte, , Giostra della Quintana, Festa di San Ranieri, Milano Pride, Roman Summers, (July) DeepCon, Disfida, Festa del Redentore, Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, L'ardia Di San Costantino, Madonna Bruna Festival, Palio di Siena, Puccini Festival, Ravello Festival, Umbria Jazz, (August) Il Cinema Ritrovato, Celestinian Forgiveness, Italian Basketball Supercup, La Quintana, Rome Independent Cinema Festival, San Biagio Festival, Varia di Palmi, Venice International Film Festival, (September) Festa di San Gennaro, Milan Furniture Fair, Palio di Asti, Regata Storica, Romaeuropa Festival, Venice International Film Festival, (October) Festival della Scienza, Festival Romics, Genoa International Boat Show, Memorial Peppe Greco, Milan Film Festival, Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Rome Jazz Festival, Torino Jazz Festival, White Night, (November) Flaiano Prizes, Milano City Marathon, Rome Independent Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, (December) BOclassic, Capri Hollywood International Film Festival, and Christmas Blessing of the Pope.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Epiphany, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Liberation Day, Labour Day, Republic Day, Assumption Day, All Saints' Day, Immaculate Conception, Christmas Day, and Saint Stephen's Day.

Dolomites Range, South Tyrol (Alto Adige), Italy. Photo Credit: Elias Obernosterer/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Tuscan Cigars (Lucca) are made from all-natural tobacco.
  • Most active ports are Ancona, Brindisi, Civitavecchia, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Portofino, Salerno, and Venice.
  • Bus and train tickets must be validated prior to boarding.
  • From Ancona or Brindisi you may ride a ferry to Croatia or Greece.
  • During peak tourism season museums are known to be open late night.
  • Best favored coastlines are the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre.
  • Most of the thermal spas are in the northern area.
  • Motor scooters are popular.
  • A traditional breakfast is a cup of cappuccino and a croissant.
  • From December -June opera performances are popular.
  • Every city/region has their own distinctive cuisine specialties.
  • Four restaurant categories: ristorante (most expensive)trattoria (casual), osteria (local speciality), and tavola calda (counter ordering).
  • Citizens usually have a three-hour lunch break (1:30-4:30PM).
  • Most restaurants close at 3PM until dinner.
  • On Sunday it is normal for only cafes and gelaterias to be open.
  • Entry at art galleries, churches, and museums turn off your mobile.
  • Best time to drive along the Amalfi Coast is May thru mid June or mid-September thru mid-October for fewer crowds.
  • Val d'Ossola is a scenic mountain drive.
  • Rail service inexpensively connects most cities.
  • Traffic violations often require cash payment to the police officer to avoid vehicle confiscation.
  • First-class rail tickets are the only assigned seats.
  • Unless, emergency car horns are strictly prohibited while driving through towns and villages.
  • Cameras are known to photograph license plates of illegally driving throughout the city that require a permit. Fines will be forwarded to your home for payment. 
  • Minimum driving age is 18.
  • Intercity buses require reservations in advance.
  • Taxi fares are known to increase on holidays, after 6PM weekdays, and weekends.
  • Public transportation strikes are common.
  • Coast of the Gods offers a scenic view of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • Riviera delle Palme (Marche Coast) is a popular tourist location.
  • Riviera del Brenta (Venice) boasts architectural heritage villas built between the 15th and 18th Century.
  • Trabocchi Coast offers coves, fishing, and reefs.
  • Lagoons exist in Grado, Marano, Orbetello, and Venice.
  • Regional cheeses display a "indication certificate" for their authenticity to avoid confusion with low-quality mass-produced cheeses.  
  • Third most visited city in Europe is Rome.
  • Ranked amongst the World's Top 100 Destinations is Florence and Venice.
  • Italian designer brands to shop for include: Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Max Mara, Missoni, Moschino, Prada, Trussardi, Valentino, and Versace.
  • Thieves are known to target tourist impersonate police officers in civil attire asking for your wallet. 

Portofino, Italy. Photo Credit: Domenico Farone/Pixabay

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Required Vaccination from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), Lombardy, Italy. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

Prone to avalanches, earthquakes, flooding during high tides (especially Venice), humidity, snowstorms, and volcano eruption.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy, Photo Credit: Sung Rae Kim/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - June & September - October
  • Coldest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Months: July - September
  • Peak Season: June - August

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy. Photo Credit: Elijah Lovkoff/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex, Amalfi Coast, Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale, Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, Archaeological Area of Agrigento, Archaeological Areas of Pompei Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, Archaeological Areas of Pompei Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico) Padua, Castel del Monte, Cathedral Torre Civica and Piazza Grande Modena, Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia and the Certosa di Padula, City of Verona, City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto, Crespi d'Adda, Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna, Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, Ferrara City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta, Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli, Historic Centre of Florence, Historic Centre of Naples, Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Historic Centre of San Gimignano, Historic Centre of Siena, Historic Centre of the City of Pienza, Historic Centre of Urbino, Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands), Ivrea Industrial City of the 20th Century, Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily), Longobards in Italy Places of the power (568-774 A.D.), Mantua and Sabbioneta, Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany, Monte San Giorgio, Mount Etna, Piazza del Duomo Pisa Portovenere Cinque Terre and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto), Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps, Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes, Rock Drawings in Valcamonica, Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, Su Nuraxi di Barumini, Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica, The Dolomites, The Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene ("Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene"), The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera, The Trulli of Alberobello, Val d'Orcia, Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra - western Stato da Mar, Venice and its Lagoon, Villa Adriana (Tivoli), Villa d'Este (Tivoli),  Villa Romana del Casale, Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe - Roero and Monferrato.

Positano, Italy. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

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                                      All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

The Vatican, Italy. Photo Credit: Selim Geçer/Pixabay 

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