Every year, millions of people from around the world decide to go on a holiday to Italy. This is a very special part of Europe, clearly – but exactly what do all of these holidaymakers hope to find there?
What makes Italy so special?
Modern Italy is a product of its cultural and artistic heritage. At various points in its history, it’s been a seat of tremendous economic and religious power. We can trace this to the Roman Empire and Republic, right through to the ascendency of the Catholic Church, and the wealthy city-states that fuelled the Renaissance.
Everything that Italy is today stems from these developments. Without them, it’s difficult to say whether the achievements of the Italians throughout history would be possible.
Top things Italy is famous for
If you’re planning a tour in Italy, then you’ll want to highlight its best qualities – let’s take stock of them.
We’ve already emphasised the central importance of Italian history. The good news here is that much of this history is still intact, and modern visitors to the country are free to wander around and inspect it. You might think of the Pantheon or Colosseum in Rome, or Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Italy is responsible for amazing cuisine that’s consumed across the globe. You might think of pizza, which is at its best in Naples, or the famous Bolognaise sauce. The truth is that every corner of the country offers its own delicacy, and visitors to this place should make a point of sampling what the locals are eating.
Italian culture is distinct from that of many countries in Western Europe, largely thanks to its emphasis on family. Italian families tend to be very close together and to gather frequently for meals. The idea of the ‘nuclear’ family is overlooked here in favour of the extended family. Most Italians speak Italian, but there are also local dialects that vary from region to region.
The Mediterranean climate makes for some truly hospitable weather. You can expect baking sunshine and sea breezes throughout the summer – but the region is pleasant during winter, too, which makes it ideal for those looking to take a break for Christmas time.
For those in search of spectacle, Italy offers plenty of natural beauty to complement its wealth of historic monuments and buildings. There’s the crater of Mount Vesuvius and Mount Etna, as well as the lakes toward the Alpine north, like Garda and Como. Visitors to Capri will want to check out the Blue Grotto, which is unforgettably lit from beneath by natural sunlight.
The good news for those visiting Italy is that there’s a huge amount to see and do. The bad news is that you won’t have a chance to do everything in a single trip. Assess your priorities and plan accordingly!