Today, Italy is littered with over 3,000 years of history; all proof of the spectacular empire that once stretched all across the globe. Italy is a country famous for its spectacular churches, sculptures, frescos and Renaissance paintings. It is a country that dips into the Mediterranean Sea like a woman's leg planted in a sleek stiletto.
Italy is a country divided between its Armani wearing, scooter driving cities and the pastoral, hillside olive farms in the seaside fishing villages. Italy offers whatever you wish in a holiday; beaches, mountains, ski resorts and food! It provides for tourists of all types and categories, making it a destination worth visiting. You get to see the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the Colosseum in Rome, and art lovers will love knowing that Italy is the home of da Vinci, Carvaggio, Michelangelo and Botticelli.
You find the Vatican City on the outskirts of Rome; which is the seat to the Pope and home to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. The whole country of Italy is influenced by the Holy Catholic Church, which is proven with the numerous holy festivals, carnivals and parades of both young and old alike. Lombardy is considered to be the country's commercial center where you can find the world's leading designer labels. You are offered a 360 degree panoramic view of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and of the beautiful Alps.
People in Italy largely speak Italian. English is understood only in the larger
cities and not in small villages. You need not worry about your health when
visiting Italy as there are no specific health risks involved in Italy. However, you may have to be vigilant in public places and tourist sites as domestic terrorism is rampant here. However, as it is the Italian authorities who are targeted by these terrorists, tourists only run the risk of getting caught in attacks. Tourists have to be careful of pick-pocketing and mugging, especially on public transport and crowded places. It is usually groups of children that distract your attention when a robbery takes place. There may be cause for a delay when in Italy as strikes by transport workers are regularly held in Italy.
As Italy charges a high surcharge on calls made from their hotels, it is cheaper using phone cards or calling cards here. Phone cards can be bought from newsagents. You can use your phone cards in public telephone boxes for both local and international calls. Mobile operators here use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most of the international operators. You can also find internet cafes in the main towns and resorts. Several prepaid calling card and phone card companies are available to call both to and from Italy. The official currency of Italy is the Euro, which is divided into 100 cents. You can obtain Euros from any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. There are ATMS found in most parts of Italy, and travelers cheques can also be changed in large cities, and not small towns. The banks provide better rates then casas de cambios, and credit cards are accepted in up market establishments and shops in Italy.