Italy, and its two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia, is in Southern Europe , sharing its northern Alpine border with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
Italy – fondly called “Bella Italia”, the Belpaese (Beautiful Country) - is a country of extremes, with something to offer every visitor: from snow-capped mountains & ski resorts to hot lazy Mediterranean beaches, from unspoilt picturesque hill villages to cities that have bustled for thousands of years. From history, culture & art to food, from stunning and varied countryside to flamboyant fashion, Italy has it all. This is the country that brought us 'Slow Food', devoted to the promotion of fresh products and fine traditional cooking. What started as a local protest against fast food has become a worldwide movement!
Italy has a rich and colourful history. It has been the home of many European cultures, such as the Etruscans and the Romans, and later was the birthplace of the movement of the Renaissance, that began in Tuscany and spread all over Europe.
Italy's capital, Rome, has been the centre of Western civilization, and Vatican City, located in Rome, is the centre of the Catholic Church. The warring factions of the middle ages finally gave way to a nationalist movement in the 19th century, with Italy achieving unification around the turn of the century. Politically a little more stable, recent years have seen Italy taking in huge numbers of refugees as their coastline is often the first European port of call for vessels loaded with refugees, many from Syria.
With 44 sites, Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country on earth. Its great ‘città d’arte’ (cities of art), such as Rome, Venice and Florence, have been attracting visitors for centuries, and with good reason.
In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli but it’s also the home of Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani and Gualtiero Marchesi. Food, fashion, art and architecture mingle effortlessly.
Alongside Italy’s art treasures, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the countryside. You can ski in the alps, hike the Dolomites or dive off Sardinia’s golden coast. Adrenalin junkies can catch fireworks on Sicily’s volatile volcanoes. But as much as all of this, a trip to Italy is about lapping up the lifestyle. It’s about idling over a coffee at a street side café or lingering over a long lunch in the hot Mediterranean sun.
In the Superyacht world, Italy is also known for its luxury yacht building – particularly the well known shipbuilding town of Viareggio. The industry here goes back almost 200 years when wooden ships were built to transport marble from the region’s quarries. This then began an international ship building industry – where now, approx one fifth of Superyachts built come from Italy.Read more
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