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Overview

Italy is justifiably one of the world's top tourist destinations. It has it all: art, culture, shopping, great food, fine wines, spectacular scenery, and over 2,000 years worth of historical sites. Start with central Italy: Rome has the Vatican, the ruins of the Coliseum and Forum, and the excitement of a capital city. Tuscany and Umbria feature the museums of Florence, the wines of Chianti, the churches of Assisi, and the raucous Palio festival of Siena. Moving north, Venice offers more than just canals, with great food, shopping, art and architecture. Farther north is the hikers'and skiers' paradise of the Italian Alps, as ...

Italy is justifiably one of the world's top tourist destinations. It has it all: art, culture, shopping, great food, fine wines, spectacular scenery, and over 2,000 years worth of historical sites. Start with central Italy: Rome has the Vatican, the ruins of the Coliseum and Forum, and the excitement of a capital city. Tuscany and Umbria feature the museums of Florence, the wines of Chianti, the churches of Assisi, and the raucous Palio festival of Siena. Moving north, Venice offers more than just canals, with great food, shopping, art and architecture. Farther north is the hikers'and skiers' paradise of the Italian Alps, as well as the the relaxing scenery of the Lakes Region. The coast of Liguria boasts the posh resorts of the Riviera, and the scenic seaside villages of Cinque Terra. In the south, Naples hosts its home grown flavor of food and culture, with the nearby Amalfi Coast and Pompeii providing scenery and history, while the island of Sicily offering its own traditional rural setting. Be sure to feast on Italy's wealth of pizza and pasta, slurp gelato, and sip fine wines across the country. Italy is also a pilgrimage site for shoppers on a quest for high-end designer shoes and handbags, bargain leather markets, and a wealth of antique shops.

Bill Fink
About the Expert

Bill Fink is coauthor of Pauline Frommer's Italy, contributing the introduction, sections on Tuscany and Umbria, and chapters on Italian food, arts, and history.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia.
  • Language: Italian, German, French, Slovene
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight