Italy encompasses a boot-shaped peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea, giving the nation thousands of miles of coastline. The country is surrounded by the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas to its west, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to its south, and the Adriatic Sea to its east. Along its northern land borders, Italy shares a connection with the nations of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia.
As a result of those connections, the first fact you should know before you travel to Italy pertains to language. Italian is the official language of the nation, but there are numerous caveats to keep in mind during your visit to Italy. First off, there are several distinct dialects of Italian that are spoken in different regions. Second, inhabitants in distant corners of the country do speak foreign languages fluently. Residents of northeast Italy speak French, while those living in northeast Italy speak German.
Next, you’ll need to know a little bit about the various regions of the country before you visit Italy. Mainland Italy is often divided into four regions, with two islands just off its western coast offering their own unique attractions. The regions break up as follows:
Northwest Italy: This region is home to the Italian Riviera and offers beautiful landscapes such as Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. The nation’s industrial capital is Turin, while Milan is a fashion and business hub. This is also the best place to access the Italian Alps for outdoor activities.
Northeast Italy: The beautiful canals of Venice can be found in northeast Italy, along with some of the nation’s first-class ski resorts. There are also the historical cities of Parma and Verona to visit as well.
Central Italy: Anchored by the many ruins and historical sites of Rome, central Italy holds a treasure trove of attractions and destinations. Roman wonders such as the Coliseum are located here. The city of Florence is widely considered to be the cradle of the Renaissance. I highly recommend the Grand Hotel Baglioni Florence.
Southern Italy: This is the least visited region of Italy, but that just means its gems remain unspoiled. The Amalfi coast and Capri are perfect locations for honeymooners and couples seeking romance. Calabria has some of the nation’s most pristine beaches. Naples offers a bustling escape, while the ruins of Pompeii await history buffs.
Sicily: The island of Sicily is located just off the southern tip of Italy and is famous for Italian cuisine, breathtaking seascapes, and archaeology.
Sardinia: Situated 250 km off the west coast of Italy, this island offer beautiful scenery, majestic monuments, calm seas, and wonderful beach resorts.
When you travel to Italy, the last thing you want to do is arrive during the dreary months of the year and find yourself trapped in your hotel or resort. Generally speaking, the climate in Rome, Florence, and the Tuscan region is mild throughout the year. There are subtle differences in climate throughout the peninsula that impact the weather during the year.
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