Italy Travel Guide
Virtually unrivalled in it's classical heritage, Italy elicits thoughts of romance, fine food style, art, wine and good times. From motor scooters to pasta sauce, the opera to the catwalk, Italy has an instantly recognisable identity; an identity instantly associated with quality. In truth, the stereotypical Italian is a myth, an amalgam of various traits from various regions of the country. Italy is actually made up of 21 distinctly separate regions each with it's own culture and dialect. What they do all have in common is the passion with which they preserve their individual identities through strong tradition. It is this very factor that makes Italy so fascinating for travellers. To travel Italy is to travel a whole world.
Rome is not only the capital but also the spiritual heart of Italy. It is the nation’s glorious history incarnate, a place of legends which even in the 21st Century has lost little of it's awesome splendour, the concessions to modern times tucked respectfully between the domineering ancient architecture. From the awesome splendour of the Colosseum to the wonderful Piazza Navona it oozes romance and excitement. If Rome is the historic heart then Tuscany is the artistic main artery, an inspirational blend of picturesque rolling landscapes and striking medieval towns dominated by Florence with it's incredible Duomo and wonderful Galleries. Venice and romance are inseparable - a vast lagoon with 117 islands of magical architecture where lovers pass under the Bridge of Sighs on gondolas oblivious to the splendour above them in the form of St.Mark’s Basilica, the San Giorgio Maggiore and Santa Maria della Salute churches. Fashion lovers head for Milan, the grand meeting place of the chic and the classic and one of the most sophisticated cities in Europe, where the residents are as sculpted as the architecture and opera lovers flock to one of the oldest and most famous opera houses in the world, the Teatro alla Scala.
Tourism now accounts for 3% of Italy’s economy and there is a strong movement to build on this and rectify some of the country’s economic problems, especially in the south. With some of the most picturesque countryside in Europe, over 100,000 archaeological monuments and a culture that has hospitality at it's heart, things look extremely promising. Whatever your walk of life Italy has something to inspire you. From the natural splendour of the Italian Riviera to the architectural curios like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy has a rare gift of combining nature, style and eccentricity. Go there and you will leave hungry for much more.
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