Italy

Italy

Located in Southern Europe as a boot-shaped peninsula that extends into five seas, Italy is an iconic country that can boast of being the cradle of all the European cultures and peoples. During the Middle Ages, Italy was divided into merchant city states, which carried into the Renaissance Period, one of the most significant times for Italy. Centered in Florence, the Renaissance gave birth to greats such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and da Vinci. Italy was unified in 1816 and became a republic in 1946 after the 2nd world war.

Visitors to Italy can expect a highly diverse Mediterranean climate, largely dependent on which area is being visited. Traveling between the cities is achieved primarily via the highways although trains are also an option if one is familiar with the country and language. Italy is a founding member of the European Union (EU) and has adopted the Euro as its official currency.

SELECT A VACATION SERIES:

Europe Adventure

The Europe Adventure

Deluxe Experience - Feel the centuries-old history and culture of Europe, exploring its many famous cities
  • Knowledgeable and experienced tour manager
  • Historic site visits for your delight
  • Deluxe hotels for your comfort
  • Extensive itinerary for your enjoyment
  • International airfare included
Post Departure Travel insurance included if paid in full 60 days prior to departure

MORE ON ITALY
Climate

In general, Italy possesses a temperate Mediterranean climate as it is protected by the Alps and the seas. However, weather varies dependent on region and how far one is from the ocean or the mountains. The coldest month of the year is in January where temperature falls below freezing. During the summer, many local Italian businesses are closed for the entire month of August – this is the favored time to take vacation to cooler spots.  

Language

While each region has their own dialects, the official national language is Italian, which is spoken by the vast majority (93%) of people. In the large cities such as Rome, Florence, Italy and Milan, English is mostly understood. However, before beginning a conversation to an Italian in English, it is considered polite to first ask if they comprehend English; otherwise it may be considered rude/impolite.

National Holidays and Festivals
January 1 – New Years Day
January 6 – Ephiphany
March or April – Easter Sunday
March or April – Easter Monday
April 25 – Liberation Day
May 1 – Labor Day
June 2 – Anniversary, Founding of the Republic
August 15 – Feast of the Assumption
November 1 – All Saints
December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 25 – Christmas Day
December 26 – St. Stephen’s Day
 
Money
In Italy the Euro is the standard currency used. US dollars may be exchanged at the airport exchange office (cambio) or at any bank. Most travelers find Italy to be quite expensive. All bills are inclusive of service charges so tipping is not required. Credit cards are widely accepted with the exception of in rural areas.
 
Electrical Requirements
The electrical current in Italy is 220V with wall outlets accepting plugs with two rounded prongs.