Italian is one of the world’s most renowned cuisines.
Characterised by its simplicity, Italian food is a celebration of local history and culture, and it is enjoyed with passion and intention. Pizza and pasta are the country’s most famous culinary exports, but there’s nothing quite like the home-soil version, where the freshest ingredients are prepared to perfection. And if you’re still hungry (you won’t be), dessert will never disappoint: think creamy gelato and fresh cannoli. And limoncello to finish? Don’t mind if I do.
You’ll find some of the world’s best restaurants in Italy, but expect to be just as impressed by the mouth-watering fare at the casual trattoria down the street. Buon appetito!
Immerse yourself in Italy’s rough and wild environment and you’ll uncover innumerable treasures, and maybe a few well-kept secrets, too. Italy’s lush and diversified environment is best illustrated in its wildlife parks, an ideal setting for those keen to get amongst nature, discover Italy’s flora and fauna, visit its sunny islands and be surrounded by the typical Mediterranean landscape. There are many national parks well worth exploring: the Gran Paradiso, Circeo, Stelvio, Dolomiti Bellunesi, Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga, Cilento and Vallo di Diano, and Gargano National Parks; the parks of Calabria and Aspromonte; not to mention the Maddalena and Tuscan Archipelagos, the Vesuvius, the Cinque Terre National Parks, and many other protected areas, nature reserves, and marine parks.
Italy counts 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its borders, the most of any country on the World Heritage List.
Italy’s World Heritage Sites are well-known. The Dolomites; The City of Verona; Ferrara and the Po River Delta; the Historic Centers of San Gimignano, Florence and Rome; Hadrian's Villa and the Villa D’Este at Tivoli; the archaeological area of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; the Sassi (rupestrian architecture and churches) of Matera; the Amalfi Coast and the Aeolian Islands are just some among many others.
All 55 sites have been, at one time or another, travel destinations for those seeking out history, art and culture in the Bel Paese.
Italy is divided into 20 regions, each and every one with its own unique cultural heritage, culinary tradition and most often, its own independent language (also known as a dialect). Tourists travelling from region to region will notice the different points in history showcased by each location, such as Florence uncovering the Renaissance period, Latium the Roman Empire, Veneto the Middle Ages and Sicily the Greek period.
The great artistic legacy of Italy, unequalled anywhere in the world, is not only distributed throughout Italy’s major cities and their famous museums. In fact, there is no Italian city, however modest, that does not contain and cherish some share of this wealth of art. Tuscany alone possesses more artistic treasures than the whole of Spain, which is the second country in the world for cultural heritage.
There are more than 3600 museums, art galleries and archaeological sites across Italy. Italy also brims with magnificent architectural achievements, which can be found in all corners of the country, from Rome’s famous Colosseum and St Mark’s Basilica in Venice to the striking Milan Cathedral and the Tower of Pisa.