Tourists love Italy, a vibrant and modern country where the food and wine connoisseur can drive around the countryside and history buffs can explore ancient cities.
Often referred to as ‘The Boot’ due to its unique shape, Italy is a great country to explore on its own or as a central point to Europe.
Italy’s neigbouring countries are Austria, France, Vatican City, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Italy is on Central European Time (CET) UTC+1 but also participates in daylight savings known as ‘Summer Time’, which is UTC+2.
Italian culture has flourished for centuries and is heavily infused with family, food, art and music.
- It’s customary to say ‘good day’ or ‘good evening’ (buonasera) on entering a small shop, café or lift.
- If visiting a local home for a meal, always accept a small amount first as you will be persuaded to accept a second helping.
- You must have your shoulders and knees covered to enter a church, so dress appropriately even if it’s hot.
- The locals drink in moderation and it is considered embarrassing to be drunk in public.
Italy is a country that can be visited all year round depending on your preference. If you are looking for a beach holiday, avoid August as this is when most locals head to the beaches and they can become overcrowded. Spring is a good time for mild weather and fewer crowds.
Italy has four main seasons throughout the year. In summer, the days can get very humid meaning that it may feel hotter than it actually is. Temperatures below are averages for Rome:
Transport across Italy is excellent. Most major cities have good metro systems and the bus networks across the country are extensive. In small towns, public transport timetables can be affected on Sundays and holidays.
National icons are the Italian Flag, the Colosseum, the Stella d’Italia (Italian star) and Vespas.
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