Italy

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If you check Italy up on a map, the country looks like a boot. Italy is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea at east and west, and the land at north is bounded by the Alps.

With the famous cities of Rome, Venice and Florence, Italy is a popular destination which attracts approximately 45 million tourists a year from all over the world.

With over 3000 years old history, and exciting food culture, you are not likely to be disappointed.

Climate

In southern Italy, the climate is Mediterranean. The summers are hot and dry, and the winters are mild and rainy.

Rainfall decreases progressively further south in the country.

The average temperature in Rome during the month of July is about 27 degrees. During the month of January, the temperature is around 7 degrees.

Religion

The majority of the Italian population is Catholics. There is also a small minority are Protestants, Jews, Muslims and Hindus.

Culture

Italy’s culture has had a great impact worldwide, since the antic Rome.

Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli are among the most famous artists of all time and the Italian opera has been popular for hundreds of years.

Food culture – The Italian kitchen is loved by the whole world. The ingredients used may vary from city to city in the country, but usually it is described as Mediterranean influenced.

Italian olive oil, cheeses such as gorgonzola and mozzarella, salami, prosciutto, mortadella, pizza and pasta are known world over.

Italy’s rich wine is also a big part of the food culture, with famous wines such as Barolo and Chianti.

Other drinks such as espresso are also from the Italian kitchen and are popular.

Beaches

Italy is a beautiful country in many ways. Its beaches are magical and usually end up in competition with the Caribbean beaches.

In Sardinia there are several beautiful, shallow beaches with crystal clear water and white sand. Close to Doragli you find the beach “Cala Luna”, that is perfect for diving and snorkeling.

The beach “Cala Mariolu”, near Baunei, is covered of tiny pink stones, and the water is of the finest blue color. The sea is calm and shallow, making it ideal for families with small children.

The real Italian Riviera, Calabria, is known among Italians themselves. Featuring breathtaking views of the volcanic island of Stromboli, one can lie and enjoy the white sandy beaches here.

In the southern region of Campania there is a small place called “Palinuro”. Here you will find caves, hidden coves and lovely beaches. It tends to be a relatively quiet place, because foreign tourists often forget this part of the country.

At the bottom of Italy, in Puglia, you will find turquoise sea and white beaches. The beaches are located between cliffs of limestone and usually attract groups of friends and families.

A visit to any of these beaches, and the remaining available in Italy, you’ll not regret.
Enjoy a cold and frosty drink while you are lying and working on your tan, and enjoy the view over the beautiful sunset later on.

Shopping

Usually, the shops open at 8:30 in the morning until 1 p.m, and 3 p.m until 7 p.m. In southern Italy, and generally in the summer the shops usually stay open longer. Shops in big cities usually do not keep closed for lunch, but it can however occur during the mornings on Mondays.

The biggest fashion cities in Italy are Florence and Milan. But even Venice and Rome offers a large variety of famous brands. These cities have, inter alia, own stores of brands Gucci and Armani.
There are also markets where you can find clothes for cheaper price. Prices vary from city to city, but overall so it is no different from regular European prices. However, snorkel gear and some electronics tend to be more expensive.

Important to remember the law regarding fake branded goods! If you buy a fake items, such as shoes or a bag, you risk to be healed up to 10 000 Euro.

Nature / National Parks

Italy’s first national park, Gran Paradiso, was established in 1922. Already in the mid-1800s the area was a royal hunting ground.
It holds blossoming meadows, pine forests, glaciers and peaks above 4,000 meters.

In northern Veneto you will find the park Dolomiti Bellunesi. In ancient times, the area around the park was used as major trade routes.
Here you will find steep trails, waterfalls, rapids and a varied terrain.

In the park Clinique Terre you can enjoy the green cliffs dropping into the blue sea. Here you will find mile-long terraces built for viticulture. It is a very unique landscape with small fishing villages.

Right in the middle of Apennines you will find Monte Sibillini. Many rivers originate from here. Here you will find medieval villages and abbeys.
Beautiful hardwood forests and orchids are to enjoy, and it may even get a glimpse of wolves and golden eagles.

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