Some would call it 'the cradle of European culture' and others 'the native land of pizza and spaghetti'. For Roman-Catholics it is the Pope's abode and for football fans – one of the world's champions. This country of rich cultural heritage, great fashion and delicious ice cream has hundreds of aspects to it and each one is equally fascinating. Welcome to Italy, the largest boot in Europe and the country of sun, golden beaches, the exotic beauty of Sicily and the grandeur of the Alps.
If you want to learn about Italian culture and history you ought to visit its capital Rome. Rome is full of remnants of history, dating back to ancient times. A sight not to be missed is the Colosseo, Roman Forum and the Pantheon – all of ancient Roman vintage. A place of exceptional importance, the Vatican, is worth a visit for the magnificent St Peter's Basilica and St Peter's Piazza. There is a plenty of other must-see attractions in Italy, such as Venice – a city where there are canals instead of streets, Verona – a city famous thanks to Shakespeare's ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or Milan – one of the World's fashion capitals. You shouldn't miss Florence, the pearl of the Renaissance, and Naples, the city that everyone should see once in life. Another highlight of Italy is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a symbol of the country.
Aside from its large cities, enchanting with great architecture and precious historical sights, Italy is known for its amazing landscapes. Romantic Tuscany, with mild hills and cypresses, volcanic Sicily with its scenic coastline and exotic plants or the scenic cliffs of Calabria are among the most worthwhile destinations. Be sure to visit some of the local festivals taking place across the country, to celebrate a saint or a local harvest. As you can see there are so many places to visit in Italy that one will probably never be bored.
Italy is a paradise for those who prefer to spend their holidays inside galleries and museums. They should definitely set aside time for the Uffizi Gallery in Florence with its impressive collection of masterpieces of European art, including Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian or Caravaggio. The Uffizi Gallery is believed to be one of the world's greatest museums. In Rome, there is the National Museum of Rome and the Borghese Gallery, housed in a beautiful villa.
And if you prefer to blissfully laze around a beach working on your tan, there are numerous places to do it. In the north, there are lots of beautiful resorts that offer wonderful accommodation at the seaside in modern hotels and guest-houses. In the south, there lies a world that is almost totally undiscovered, you'll find peace, quiet and sandy beaches. The real gems of the Italian coastline are Capri Island and the sunny beaches of the Italian Riviera, Lido, Riccione and the region around Rimini . Furthermore, Italy offers great holidays for you and your family in the mountains, too. The resorts in the Alps, Dolomites and Apennines are a well-known destination for skiers and enthusiasts of other winter sports. Most skiers and snowboarders visit Bormio, Cortina, Courmayeur, Livigno, Madonna di Campiglio, Sestriere, Val di Sole and Val Gardena.
Italians really understand what dolce vita means – they love life, laughter, good food and wine, and are obsessed with clothes and art. The unique Mediterranean character of Italy is present in almost every sphere of life. A visit to Italy wouldn't make sense if you didn't taste some original pizza, lasagne or spaghetti with fresh Mediterranean vegetables and seafood. Accompanied with a drop of local wine, Italian cuisine is guaranteed to leave you in high spirits.
Other reasons why people come to Italy are endless and the possibilities for enjoying oneself are many. Italy offers great holidays both for those who like visiting and for those who prefer just sunbathing and swimming. So don't hesitate, catch a flight and experience the magic of Italy yourself. Try the Mediterranean lifestyle and prepare to relax or just immerse yourself within a miraculous kaleidoscope of art and history. Be forewarned though - once you visit Italy, you might easily get addicted to it.