About the county
Italy is a peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea, with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. Italy is surrounded by the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas to the west, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to the South, and the Adriatic Sea to the East. Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.
It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines).
A temperate climate exists here with very hot summers and not so cold winters. The weather is the best in spring and autumn with pleasant temperatures and scenic views. At that time of the year, the place isn’t crowded much and things can be enjoyed in leisure. Of course, the climate varies with the geographical spread of the country.
Italian is widely spoken and is the official language. English isn’t very familiar to the locals. There is a great impact of the Roman Catholic Church on the culture here. Two independent mini-states are surrounded entirely by Italy: San Marino and Vatican City. Vatican City is the seat of Pope, the leader of the Roman Catholics in the world.
Some of the most well-known cities in Italy are its capital Rome, Florence, the renaissance city known for its architecture, Milan, one of the most famous fashion cities in the world, Naples, one of the oldest cities in the world and the birth place of pizza, Pisa, home to the Leaning Tower, and Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, known for its history and art and the canals. Umbria in the Tuscan area has many important cities such as Perugia and Assisi . Cinnque Terra villages of the Italian Riveria is another attraction.
Italy is a member of the Schengen Agreement and therefore Schengen Visa can be applied for at any Italian Consulate or Embassy in India
Shopping and Currency
Italy has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. One euro is divided into 100 cents.
Shops here are open from 9am to 8pm, closed for lunch. Italy can be quite an expensive country. As everywhere, major cities and central locations have a higher cost of life than suburban and rural places. It is a general rule of thumb that Southern Italy is less expensive than Northern Italy, especially for food; this will, of course, vary by location.
Meals can be had from as cheap as €3 (if you are happy with a sandwich, panini or falafel from a street vendor); restaurant bills are rarely less than €10 (a burger with fries\salad and a soft drink from a pub) and generally go to about €20 (a starter, main course and water from a regular restaurant). Also, for dinner, wine may be served even without ordering, and you will almost ciertainly be charged.
Service is always included, either in the display price or a coperto line on the bill; tipping is thus not necessary, but neither is it frowned upon. Tipping taxi drivers is not necessary, but a hotel porter may expect a little something.
The voltage used is 220 volts and 50 Hz frequency.
Alitalia is the national airline of Italy.. Rome airport is located 26 km away from the city and it takes 45 minutes to get there from the airport. Trains connect directly to Termini Station from where one can take taxi to get to their destination. Duty free shops, bank, car hire and restaurants are the other services provided at this airport. Milan has another famous airport here, which is at a distance of 45km away from the city.
Brindisi, Ancona, Naples and Venice are the major seaports of Italy. Italian State Railways connects many European cities. But, Eurostar provides the fastest train service.
If choosing to drive, don’t forget to carry international driving license and international insurance certificate. Roads connect Italy to France, Austria and Switzerland. Many coach services are provided from the neighbouring countries.