Introduction to Italy
Some argue that Italy boasts one of the most beautiful landscapes in all Europe and its history, culture and mild climate certainly help make one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations. Italy is also renowned for its connection to Ancient Rome, its gastronomic heritage, spectacular architecture and longstanding reputation for the arts.
Italy was not unified as a single state until the second half of the nineteenth century and only became a republic in 1946 but the country is now one of the founding members of the European Union and part of the 17-nation Eurozone.
The Alps separate Italy from neighbouring France, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. With a regionally varying climate it’s possible to enjoy skiing at one end of Italy and sunbathing at the other!
Particularly popular cities in the nation include Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice with its iconic canals.
The nation is divided into 20 regions, two of which are the largest islands in the Mediterranean, Sardinia and Sicily. The highest point of Italy is popular climbing destination Mont Blanc.
Italy also appeals to volcanologists as there are 14 volcanoes scattered around the nation, four of which are active. One of these volcanoes, Vesuvius, was responsible for the destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii.