Italy Travel Facts

By | April 30, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Italy is located on the Mediterranean Sea and is a popular holiday destination for many Germans. The country borders directly on Switzerland, Austria, San Marino, France, Slovenia and the Vatican. The latter is a city-state within Rome. Italy offers beautiful, varied, Mediterranean landscapes, has beautiful islands and impressive cities that are worth a visit at any time of the year.

Capital City Rome
Size 301,338 km²
Resident 60.497.174
Official Language Italian
Currency Euro
Time Zone UTC+1/+2
Telephone Area Code +39

Fast facts to know

  • The number 17 is considered an unlucky number in Italy.
  • Most Italians are Roman Catholic.
  • A large area of ​​Italy was once part of ancient Greece.
  • Italy is home to the oldest university in the world.
  • Italians are crazy about football.
  • The average Italian consumes 25 kg of pasta a year.
  • Italy has 3 active volcanoes.
  • The Vatican has its own telephone company, its own radio station, its own TV station, its own postage stamps and its own army
  • Located in Italy, San Marino is the oldest republic in the world.
  • An above-average number of cars are stolen in Italy. Petty crime in the cities is high.
  • Bathing or sunbathing naked is expressly forbidden in Italy (also applies to children).
  • Italy is famous for design and fashion.
  • In August, many resorts in Italy are hopelessly overcrowded and expensive. Good travel months are May, June and September.
  • A power adapter is often required for electrical devices.
  • In the restaurant it is customary to be assigned a table.

Exciting cities in Italy

  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Milan
  • Naples
  • Verona
  • sienna
  • Pisa
  • Rimini
  • Sorrento
  • Cinque Terre
  • Altamura
  • Turin
  • Aosta
  • capri
  • Positano

history of Italy

  • Traces of modern humans about 43,000 to 45,000 years ago.
  • 4th century BC BC: Roman expansion begins, leading to the Roman Empire.
  • In the Middle Ages, the country split into different dominions after the invasion of the Goths and the Lombards.
  • 11th Century: Southern Italy is conquered by the Normans for several decades.
  • 14-15 Century powerful city-states arise (Milan, Florence, Venice).
  • In changing coalitions, the political power and resources of the Italian peninsula are divided among the city-states, the southern Italian kingdom of Naples and the Papal States.
  • 16th to 18th centuries: Italy’s decline begins after the discovery of America.
  • 1805 Napoleon crowns himself King of Italy in Milan.
  • After the end of Napoleon’s rule, Italy fell under the sphere of influence of the Austrian Empire.
  • 16-19 Century: Italy is under foreign rule.
  • 1848-1870: After 3 wars of independence, Italy is reunited.
  • Italy appears as a colonial power.
  • 1922 Benito Mussolini comes to power with the March on Rome.
  • Italy supports the German Reich and Adolf Hitler and enters World War II on Germany’s side in 1940.
  • After the end of the war, Italy loses all of its colonies.
  • Frequent changes of government in the post-war period.

Climate & travel weather in Italy

  • Basically Mediterranean climate.
  • Different climate zones:
    • North: high alpine climate.
    • Alpine foothills, South Tyrol: much milder climate.
    • Liguria, Venetia, Po Valley: Mediterranean climate.
    • Sardinia and Sicily: very own climate with North African influence.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Winter sports: November – April.
    • Summer vacation: June – August.
    • Sicily: March.
    • Sardinia, South Tyrol: also very beautiful in autumn.

Ideas for trips in Italy

  • Rocca Calascio, Abruzzo
  • La Maddalena, Sardinia
  • Blue Grotto, Campania
  • Aquarium in Genoa
  • Colosseum in Rome
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Milan Cathedral
  • Cinque Terre National Park
  • Waterways in Venice
  • Pompeii
  • St. Peter’s Basilica & Vatican City

Eating & drinking in Italy

  • Italian cuisine popular worldwide.
  • Originally influenced by Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arabic cuisine.
  • Traditional Italian cooking is very simple.
  • Vegetables, cheese, wine, extra virgin olive oil important components.
  • World famous for pasta and pizzas.
  • Main meal usually in the evening, typically as a menu:
    • Antipasti as a starter.
    • First course: pasta dish.
    • Second course: meat or fish.
  • Dessert: creamy dessert.
  • Bread and cover often cost extra.
  • Restaurant opening times: 12.30pm – 2pm and 7.30pm – 10pm.
  • Pizzerias often open past midnight.
  • Italy is considered a wine country with excellent wines (e.g. Chianti and Barolo).
  • Sausage products such as salami, mortadella and Parma ham are known beyond national borders.
  • Risotto dishes are very popular in northern Italy.
  • Naples is considered the origin of pizza and declares itself the best pizza in the world.
  • Also known for its coffee specialties: espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffé latte.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Agnello (roasted lamb or grilled chops).
    • Arrosto di maiale/di cinghiale (roast pork).
    • Brasato (roast beef braised in red wine).
    • Insalata Caprese (tomato, mozzarella, basil).
    • Coniglio (roast rabbit).
    • Insalata di Frutti di Mare (seafood dressed with lemon, olive oil, garlic and parsley).
    • Pesce alla Griglia (fresh grilled fish: sea bream (dorata), dentex (dentice), sea bass (spigola), barbel (triglie), plaice (sogliola), sardines and mackerel (pesce azzurro)).
    • Porchetta (herb-spiced suckling pig roasted on a spit).
    • Spaghetti allo Vongole / allo Scoglio (spaghetti with clams / with seafood).
    • Spaghetti Bolognese.
    • Zabaglione (airy, fluffy, sweet wine foam cream).

Particularly scenic

  • Dolomites & South Tyrol
  • Lake Como & Lombardy
  • Liguria
  • Tuscany
  • Calabria
  • Amalfi Coast, Campania
  • Lake Garda
  • Vesuvius & Etna volcanoes
  • Most beautiful islands:
    • Sardinia
    • Aeolian Islands, Sicily
    • Murano near Venice
    • capri
    • Ischia
    • Elba

Italy Travel Facts