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Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Italy is officially known as the Republic of Italy since 1946.  The country has a population of over 60 million and its capital is Rome.  The Alps form its border on the north with the countries of France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.  Most of the country is exposed to either the Mediterranean to the west or the Adriatic Sea to the east.  Italy also includes the two largest islands in the Mediterranean - Sicily and Sardinia.  Two countries exist completely within the borders of Italy - San Marino and the Vatican.  Meanwhile the Italian region of Campione d'Italia is completely absorbed within Switzerland.  


Italy was probably inhabited more than 200,000 years ago by Neanderthals, but the most significant impact on its history is from the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the Roman Catholic Church.  The Roman Catholic Church in Rome is referred to as the Holy See and includes areas such as St Peter's Basilica, which is not in the restricted area of the Vatican.  Heroes from the 1800s in the formation of Italy include Giuseppe Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel.  During World War II, Mussolini affiliated the country with Hitler and the Nazis.

Italy is truly one of the hightlights of Europe.  As a visitor, you can't help but become more animated as the culture absorbs you. 

Visas:

Italy participates in the Schengen Zone and Schengen Visa requirements.  That means there are no border controls between members and no border inspections by rail or vehicle when traveling from Italy to France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.  Some countries that are not members of the Schengen Zone require a Schengen Visa to enter Europe.  More than 40 countries outside the Schengen Zone do not require a visa.  Exemptions include citizens of Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Check your specific country at VisaHQ.  For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.

Currency:

As a founding member of the European Union, Italy has adopted use of the Euro.

Climate:

Most of Italy experiences a Mediterrean climate which is quite comfortable, but can be very cool in winter.  The northern regions of the Alps experience very cold winters.  The summer months of June - August are the driest and the hottest.  Spring and fall are probably the best times to visit Italy, not only for the weather, but also to avoid the summer tourists.

Best Time to Visit Italy: June

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

 Amalfi

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 Capri

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 Cinque Terre

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 Dolomites

 Ski  Ski          X  X  X      Ski

 Florence

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 Milan

           X      X      

 Naples

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 Pisa

           X            

 Rome

         X          X    

 Venice

           X      X      


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