The Italian Republic
Italy, one of the most attractive countries, is located in Southern Europe. It is notable for ancient monuments reminding us of the former greatness of the Roman Empire, as well as museums and art galleries representing works of the Renaissance artists. Moreover, Italy abounds in "paradise" beaches along azure seas, never-fading orchards, snowy alpine peaks, and of course, vineyards covering thousands of acres. Italy is also a country of romance and love. In the river city of Venice, you can often see gondolas with beloveds slowly floating along the channels. Due to the most famous fashion houses and Haute Couture events, Italy is referred to as a high fashion country. And Italian dishes can win your heart as they are so delicious, elegant and unique.
Looking from above you might notice the unique shape of the Italian territory. The Apennine Peninsula, where Italy is located, resembles a boot. It is washed by the Adriatic Sea in the east, in the south you can enjoy beauty of the Ionian Sea, and the west shore is washed by the Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas. Italian landscape is diverse. In the north, the majestic Alps rise up. There are two active volcanoes – Etna and Vesuvius – there. The central part of the country is covered with vineyards that for centuries have been giving ones of the best wines in the world. On the shores of Southern Italy, you can see tropical plants growing next to the emerald sea, so you might feel yourself being on a tropical island, separated from the whole world by an ocean.
Every part of the country – northern, central and southern – has got its own way of life and unique mentality. In the north, among the Alps, the main ski resorts and hot springs are located. Here, on a frosty day, skiers come down the picturesque slopes and after riposo, an Italian siesta, sip warming Italian coffee in a jolly crowd. Among the dozens of ski resorts, favourite tourist destinations are Cervinia, Livigno, Sestriere, Courmayeur and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Bormio and others. Along with its steep slopes, the Italian Alps are famous for mountain lakes. Garda, Como and Maggiore are major lakes, protected from winds and the cold by the mountain ranges. Next to medieval castles and houses located on their shores, cypresses and palm trees grow, as for many years these lakes have been among favourite places for vacationers.
The central part of Italy has maintained cultural value for tourists. The largest cities of the country are located there, and they abound in world’s interesting attractions.
In order to understand and get to know Italy, you should go to its capital – Rome – an eternal city where it all began. According to the legend, brothers Romulus and Remus laid the first brick in the creation of the great empire. In Rome, there is Vatican, the world’s smallest state led by the Pope. You are well advised to visit Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, and St Peter's Basilica.
Florence is a museum-city. The Uffizi, a Florencian art gallery, presents one of the largest collections of works by artists of the Renaissance, and in the gallery of the Academy, you can see the famous statue of David, by Michelangelo.
Once you have token a voyage along the Grand Canal in Venice, you’ll see luxurious palaces, temples and churches built in the Venetian style, a unique one. From an architectural point of view, the most interesting place is the Basilica of St Mary of Health (the Salute), Rialto Bridge, the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, the Fondaco dei Turchi and the Ca’ Pesaro. Both St Mark’s Basilica built in the Gothic style and the Doge's Palace with its tower and chimes are located on St Mark's Square.
The city of Verona has gained its fame thanks to William Shakespeare and his famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet. You are well advised to visit this city and the palace, where Juliet lived. There is a balcony where Romeo first confessed his love to her, and in the courtyard of the palace you’ll notice the statue of a young Juliet. Once you have touched the statue, you’ll meet your love, they say.
In the city of Pisa, you can see the Leaning Tower, a unique architectural creation once have seemed a mistake due to its tilt. However, this “mistake” is considered by many as one of the world’s famous creations. Despite the tilt, the tower has stood for eight centuries, that’s why the area around it is called Piazza dei Miracoli(Square of Miracles). Pisa Cathedral and the Baptistery of St John can be noted by you there as well.
Southern Italy is like a separate country of fun and joy – that you might notice while travelling through this part of the country. Carefree life full of adventure and unforgettable experience flourishes there. Beach holiday and night club life are typical for the resorts of Italy. Sicily and Sardinia, ones of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, are considered to be a paradise. The most popular continent’s resorts are in Genoa and Rimini, as well as the Italian Riviera, a coastline stretching along the Ligurian Sea.
The Italian cuisine is one of the greatest works created by the Italians. Cooking is like a ritual accompanied by songs while making dancing movements. Just come into any small outdoor café to convince yourself of this. The main dish in Italy is pasta, and it refers to pasta of any shape and colour. And of course sauce that can be made of all kinds of fresh vegetables, herbs and veal. The second popular Italian dish is pizza. Probably, there is no person in the world who has never tasted this universal dish. Talking about first courses, perhaps, everyone has heard about minestrone, a vegetable soup. It is made of 12-13 kinds of vegetables, macaroni or rice. Risotto alla Milanese is an Italian dish so difficult to cook, but also one of the most delicious. Only a true master of cooking can create delicious flavoured risotto. Complete your meal with a cup of espresso or cappuccino as real Italians do.
Journey to Italy will not leave anyone indifferent. You’ll desire to come here again and again, as only here you can find out the real meaning of Dolce vita.
Administrative division — Italy
- Abruzzo Population: 1338898
- Apulia Population: 4084035
- Basilicata Population: 588879
- Calabria Population: 2009330
- Campania Population: 5824662
- Emilia-Romagna Population: 4395569
- Lazio Population: 5681868
- Liguria Population: 1615986
- Lombardy Population: 9826141
- Marche Population: 1559542
- Molise Population: 320229
- Piedmont Population: 4446230
- Tuscany Population: 3730130
- Umbria Population: 900790
- Veneto Population: 4912438