Italy is located on the Mediterranean Sea and is a popular holiday destination for many Germans. The country borders directly on Switzerland, Austria, San Marino, France, Slovenia and the Vatican. The latter is a city-state within Rome. Italy offers beautiful, varied, Mediterranean landscapes, has beautiful islands and impressive cities that are worth a visit at any time of the year. See ANDYEDUCATION for education in Italy.
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Fast facts to know
- The number 17 is considered an unlucky number in Italy.
- Most Italians are Roman Catholic.
- A large area of Italy was once part of ancient Greece.
- Italy is home to the oldest university in the world.
- Italians are crazy about football.
- The average Italian consumes 25 kg of pasta a year.
- Italy has 3 active volcanoes.
- The Vatican has its own telephone company, its own radio station, its own TV station, its own postage stamps and its own army
- Located in Italy, San Marino is the oldest republic in the world.
- An above-average number of cars are stolen in Italy. Petty crime in the cities is high.
- Bathing or sunbathing naked is expressly forbidden in Italy (also applies to children).
- Italy is famous for design and fashion.
- In August, many resorts in Italy are hopelessly overcrowded and expensive. Good travel months are May, June and September.
- A power adapter is often required for electrical devices.
- In the restaurant it is customary to be assigned a table.
Exciting cities in Italy
- Cinque Terre
history of Italy
- Traces of modern humans about 43,000 to 45,000 years ago.
- 4th century BC BC: Roman expansion begins, leading to the Roman Empire.
- In the Middle Ages, the country split into different dominions after the invasion of the Goths and the Lombards.
- 11th Century: Southern Italy is conquered by the Normans for several decades.
- 14-15 Century powerful city-states arise (Milan, Florence, Venice).
- In changing coalitions, the political power and resources of the Italian peninsula are divided among the city-states, the southern Italian kingdom of Naples and the Papal States.
- 16th to 18th centuries: Italy’s decline begins after the discovery of America.
- 1805 Napoleon crowns himself King of Italy in Milan.
- After the end of Napoleon’s rule, Italy fell under the sphere of influence of the Austrian Empire.
- 16-19 Century: Italy is under foreign rule.
- 1848-1870: After 3 wars of independence, Italy is reunited.
- Italy appears as a colonial power.
- 1922 Benito Mussolini comes to power with the March on Rome.
- Italy supports the German Reich and Adolf Hitler and enters World War II on Germany’s side in 1940.
- After the end of the war, Italy loses all of its colonies.
- Frequent changes of government in the post-war period.
Climate & travel weather in Italy
- Basically Mediterranean climate.
- Different climate zones:
- North: high alpine climate.
- Alpine foothills, South Tyrol: much milder climate.
- Liguria, Venetia, Po Valley: Mediterranean climate.
- Sardinia and Sicily: very own climate with North African influence.
- Recommended travel time:
- Winter sports: November – April.
- Summer vacation: June – August.
- Sicily: March.
- Sardinia, South Tyrol: also very beautiful in autumn.
Ideas for trips in Italy
- Rocca Calascio, Abruzzo
- La Maddalena, Sardinia
- Blue Grotto, Campania
- Aquarium in Genoa
- Colosseum in Rome
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Milan Cathedral
- Cinque Terre National Park
- Waterways in Venice
- St. Peter’s Basilica & Vatican City
Eating & drinking in Italy
- Italian cuisine popular worldwide.
- Originally influenced by Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arabic cuisine.
- Traditional Italian cooking is very simple.
- Vegetables, cheese, wine, extra virgin olive oil important components.
- World famous for pasta and pizzas.
- Main meal usually in the evening, typically as a menu:
- Antipasti as a starter.
- First course: pasta dish.
- Second course: meat or fish.
- Dessert: creamy dessert.
- Bread and cover often cost extra.
- Restaurant opening times: 12.30pm – 2pm and 7.30pm – 10pm.
- Pizzerias often open past midnight.
- Italy is considered a wine country with excellent wines (e.g. Chianti and Barolo).
- Sausage products such as salami, mortadella and Parma ham are known beyond national borders.
- Risotto dishes are very popular in northern Italy.
- Naples is considered the origin of pizza and declares itself the best pizza in the world.
- Also known for its coffee specialties: espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffé latte.
- Typical dishes:
- Agnello (roasted lamb or grilled chops).
- Arrosto di maiale/di cinghiale (roast pork).
- Brasato (roast beef braised in red wine).
- Insalata Caprese (tomato, mozzarella, basil).
- Coniglio (roast rabbit).
- Insalata di Frutti di Mare (seafood dressed with lemon, olive oil, garlic and parsley).
- Pesce alla Griglia (fresh grilled fish: sea bream (dorata), dentex (dentice), sea bass (spigola), barbel (triglie), plaice (sogliola), sardines and mackerel (pesce azzurro)).
- Porchetta (herb-spiced suckling pig roasted on a spit).
- Spaghetti allo Vongole / allo Scoglio (spaghetti with clams / with seafood).
- Spaghetti Bolognese.
- Zabaglione (airy, fluffy, sweet wine foam cream).
- Dolomites & South Tyrol
- Lake Como & Lombardy
- Amalfi Coast, Campania
- Lake Garda
- Vesuvius & Etna volcanoes
- Most beautiful islands:
- Aeolian Islands, Sicily
- Murano near Venice