ITALY

Italy Far and Wide

Infinite are the itineraries and tours that allow visitors to explore Italy, a unique and singular country known around the world for the variety of its landscapes and terrains – a country in perfect equilibrium between the sea, mountains, hills and plains. 
Whether in car, train, camper, bus, boat, scooter or bike, travelers can leave the typical touristic routes and visit the less-frequented towns and villages to find the true heart of the Italian lifestyle. Let your curiosity be your guide! 

There are a thousand ways to move around the Bel Paese and live an experience in close contact with these places and their inhabitants, discovering their warmth, friendliness and hospitality. Not to mention artisan traditions, typical tastes, and tranquil environments. Thanks to the Peninsula’s temperate climate, Italy is one of the most fascinating and most welcoming places in the world, and travelers can enjoy it any time of the year. 

Hidden landscapes reveal themselves in every region: nature that is by turns wild and sometimes mild, the mountain views are always enchanting, as are those of a castle tucked into the hills, stretches of vineyards, or romantic lagoons and of course, the sea, where its colors never cease to captivate and mesmerize. Take your pick from countryside, borgoes or art cities with their beautiful monuments and churches. 

Italy, commanding a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance treasures such as Michelangelo’s “David” and its leather and paper artisans; Venice, the sinking city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
Capital: Rome
Population: 59.83 million (2013) World Bank
Neighboring countries: France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia

Italian is the official language of the country, although accents and dialects may vary widely from one region to another. A large number of local dialects are spoken in Italy.

There are two regions, however, which have a second official language: the Aosta Valley, where French is also spoken, and Trentino Alto Adige, where German is also spoken. In these regions, road signs, as well as place names, for example, appear in both languages. There are also a number of small areas in which languages other than Italian are used, although these languages do not have official status: in Friuli-Venezia Giulia there is a Slovenian-speaking area, and in Calabria (in the Bovesìa area) and in Apulia (in the Grecia Salentina zone), Greek is spoken in some areas. In Sicily, in Piana degli Albanesi, you will find the largest Albanian community in Italy, where the Albanian language is widely used, even in official documents and on road signs.

What currency is used in Italy?

Since 2001, the currency used in Italy is the euro. One euro is divided up into 100 euro-cents. There are eight different coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro-cents) and seven notes (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros).

Credit cards

As well as in cash, purchases can be paid for using the most common credit cards. This payment system is common in Italian shops, which generally display the symbols of the credit cards they accept on the outside door. If you pay by credit card you will be asked to show an identity document. Travellers cheques (in USD or Euros) can also be cashed in Italian banks.

Tips

Tips are not compulsory and in Italy there are no generally established rules, although it is common practice to leave a sum amounting to around 10% of the bill if you are satisfied with the service you have received.
Esistono otto monete metalliche diverse (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 e 50 centesimi e 1 e 2 euro) e sette banconote (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 e 500 euro).

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