Italy: Country Overview

Gondola ride in Venice - Flickr CC carolynconner

With its capital, Rome, once being at the center of the Roman Empire, you can be sure that this country oozes history.

Wherever you look in Rome, you are bound to stumble upon antiquities. Some must see sites include the Imperial Forums, a place that was the center of political, legal and religious activity; the Colosseum, perhaps the country’s best known landmark, and also a place with a brutal history where people dueled to death for the public’s entertainment; and the Pantheon, a temple built to all the gods of Ancient Rome.

Once you’ve had your fill of Rome, there are a myriad of other cities to explore: Florence, a city that greatly influenced the Renaissance and had a major impact on the arts throughout the world; Milan, known as one of the fashion capitals of the world; Pisa, home to the famous leaning tower and the subject of many humorous photos; Venice the city of gondolas and canals; and Pompeii and Herculaneum, two neighbouring cities which were destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD 79.

For those looking to enjoy the inviting waters of the Mediterranean, there are no shortage of options. The Amalfi Coast, which lies along the southwestern part of the country, is known for its extraordinary beauty and charming medieval villages perched on the cliff side. Some of the best beach towns along this coastline include Positano, Amalfi, and Praiano. Capri, a small island located in the Bay of Naples is another stunning destination, and was once the summer resort of choice for Roman Emperors. This island was also associated with mermaids in Greek mythology.

Another reason to visit Italy, is merely for its food. Pizza, gelato, and espresso have been mastered to perfection! You can be certain your palate will be satiated with this nation’s cuisine.

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