Italy is an amazing country, where everything is like in the movie, in the novel, in the song. Every city is the treasure chest. Every region has something special: on the one hand - the mountains, the other - the sea, the third - a rich architectural framing. It seems that in this country everything is created easily, filled with feelings, emotions. But in the end masterpieces come out: cities, music, food.
Not for nothing millions of tourists want to visit Italy or come back here. How nice to enjoy this locals’ love to their country, which you can feel everywhere! How exciting to comprehend the mysteries of Italy - history, art masterpieces, gastronomy. How tempting to get gifts of Italy: beautiful Mediterranean tan, fashion trends, a smiling Italian mood.
For travelers Italy opens up an interesting varied leisure options: Mediterranean resort coast, exploring cities and rich excursion routes, guided tours combined with the rest in the resorts, ski vacation, recuperation of thermal resorts.
Italy is located in the south of Europe, in the Apennine peninsula. The total area of the country is 301.5 thousand sq. km. It has borders with Switzerland and Austria in the north, in the east - with Slovenia, in the northwest - with France. In the west it washed by Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas, in the east - the Adriatic, in the south - the Ionian and Mediterranean seas. Many islands belong to Italy; the most famous of them are Sicily, Sardinia, Ischia, Capri, Elba.
Italy is a mountainous country: the Apennines stretch through the peninsula, the southern slopes of the Alps down in the northern regions. On the border of Italy and France, there is the highest point in the Alps – mount of Mont Blanc (4810 m), in the territory of the country also is the largest active volcano in Europe - Etna (3340 m).
About 60 million people, among them 94% are Italians. The country is inhabited by local ethnic groups (the Sicilians, the Sardinians, Tuscans, Kalabrians, Ligurians, etc.), as well as Germans, French, Albanians and others. Approximately 3 million Italians are living abroad.
Italy is a parliamentary republic with a presidential form of government. The country is divided into 20 regions, 112 provinces and more than 8,000 municipalities. Italy is included in the EU.
Official language - Italian. In the tourist areas and in the hospitality sphere staff speaks English, French, German.
Italian belongs to the Romance language group. It originated from colloquial Latin, and retains a continuous oral tradition. In the regions of Italy used a lot of markedly differing dialects, some of which (Milan, Venice, Naples, Sicily) has a profound literary tradition.
The basis of modern literary Italian – old florentine dialect, originally served as the language of literature, and later entrenched in the status of an official language. Works of major writers of XIV century - Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch - helped the spread of the language on the territory of Italy.
Currency and calculation system for purchases
Italy is EU member, and the currency is euro (Euro). In the money turnover are the banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, as well as coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Currency can be exchanged in exchange offices, banks, post offices. At airports, the exchange rate is less favorable, however, there are exchange offices operating around the clock. There are many exchange machines, taking US dollars. It’s popular to pay by credit cards and traveler's checks. In the cities many restaurants, hotels, department stores and shopping centers accept card of payment systems Visa, American Express, Master CARD, Diner's Club, Carte Blanche. Establishments that accept cards, usually marked by the sign «Carta - si» in the window. Most gas stations accept payment only by cash. Many stores offer to fill Tax Free.
Paying for goods or services the law requires the buyer to claim a tax receipt («ricevuta fiscale»), without which the client has no right to leave the institution. Italy as a country popular for shopping is well known by the system of seasonal discounts, operating winter and summer. Long sales season lasts from 7 January until the end of February.