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Italy

Holiday Packages of Italy

ItalyTravelling around Italy is always a "tour artistique". There are so many artistic treasures, spread over the whole country, that defining Italy as an open-air art gallery is hardly an exaggeration. Currently, such treasures of art and culture make Italy the first country in the world for number of sites included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. The great Renaissance period left its magnificent marks everywhere in Italy, not only in the great cities like Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan and Naples but also in many other centres of Italy's regions.

Geography

Italy is located in Southern Europe and comprises the long, boot-shaped Italian Peninsula, the land between the peninsula and the Alps, and a number of islands including Sicily and Sardinia. Its total area is 301,230 km², of which 294,020 km² is land and 7,210 km² is water. Including islands, Italy has a coastline and border of 7,600 km on the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenian seas (740 km), and borders shared with France (488 km), Austria (430 km), Slovenia (232 km) and Switzerland; San Marino (39 km) and the Vatican City (3.2 km), both entirely surrounded by Italy, account for the remainder.

General Information

Area 301,338 km2
Population 60,231,214
Capital Rome
Language Italian (official); minor German, French and Slovene-speaking communities
Time UTC +1

Major destinations

Rome Bologna Florence Genoa
Milan Naples Pisa Turin
Venice      

Climate

The climate of Italy is that of typical Mediterranean countries. Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. In the north, they experience cold winters often with snow, as compared to mild ones in the south. Some regions in the south of Italy can experience no rainfall for the whole summer season. The long mountain ranges in Italy impact the weather significantly, as you can experience very different weather going from town to town.

The Venice Carnival

The Venice Carnival is the largest and most important Venetian festival, an appreciated cocktail of tradition, entertainment, history and transgression in a unique city, a festival that attracts thousands of people from around the world each year.

The Carnival has very old origins. It is a festival that celebrates the passage from winter into spring, a time when seemingly anything is possible, including the illusion where the most humble of classes become the most powerful by wearing masks on their faces.

The official start of the Venice Carnival dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Republic made the Carnival official with an edict declaring the day before Lent a public holiday.

After an interruption lasting almost two centuries, the tradition of Carnival was rediscovered by the Municipality in 1979 when a group of Venetians and lovers of Venice decided to revive the tradition. Within a few years, the image of the masked reveller had become a worldwide icon of Venice in winter.

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