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Italy

 

Italy Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

Flag of Italy

Language: Italian

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Calling Code: 39

 

 

 

 

Italy, the official name is the Italian Republic (Italian. Repubblica Italiana) - a state in southern Europe, in the center of the Mediterranean. Member of the European Union and NATO since its inception, is the third largest economy in the eurozone.

It borders with France in the northwest (border length is 488 km), Switzerland (740 km) and Austria (430 km) in the north, Slovenia in the northeast (232 km). It also has internal borders with the Vatican (3.2 km) and San Marino (39 km).

It occupies the Apennine Peninsula, the extreme northwest of the Balkan Peninsula, the Padan Plain, the southern slopes of the Alps, the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and a number of small islands.

In Italy there are 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Italy shares the first place with China in terms of their number.

 

 

Travel Destinations in Italy

 

Abruzzo (Italy)

Forte Spagnolo

 

Forte Spagnolo was constructed in 1528 on the orders of Viceroy Philibert of Orange after unsuccessful rebellion against Spanish rule a year before.

Rocca Calascio

 

Rocca Calascio is situated at a height of 1550 meters above sea level this tower was protecting a strategic Navelli valley below.

   

Aosta Valley (Italy)

Fenis Castle

 

Fénis Castle is a medieval castle located in the Aosta Valley in Italy. It was constructed in the 13th century.

Mont Blanc

 

Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Alps and also second tallest on the European continet.

Verrès Castle

 

Verrès Castle is a medieval castle located in Challand-Saint-Anselme, Aosta Valley of Italy. Its construction dates back to the 14th century.

 

Apulia (Italy)

Castel del Monte

 

Italian castle of Castel del Monte is as much a work of art as it is a military fortification.

Conversano Castle

 

Conversano Castle is a medieval stronghold located in Bari Province of Italy. It was constructed in the 11th century by the invading Normans.

Copertino Castle

 

Copertino Castle was located in Copertino, Apulia region of Italy. Its construction dates back to 16th century.

Lucera Castle

 

Lucera Castle if located in Lucera, Foggia Province in Italy. The castle was constructed in 1233 by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

Swabian Castle

 

Construction of the medieval Swabian Castle in the Bari region started in 1132 by Norman king Roger II.

     

Basilicata (Italy)

Castle of Melfi

 

Castle of Melfi is located in Potenza Province in Italy. Its was erected in the 11th century by invading Normans.

     

Calabria (Italy)

Aragonese Castle

 

Historic Aragonese Castle is located on the picturesque island formed from volcanic rock.

Sybaris

 

Ancient city of Sybaris that became synonymous with richness and splendor in its time is nothing but few ruins, a mere shadow of itself.

   

Campania (Italy)

Capri

 

Island of Capri in the Tyrrhenian Sea was famous travel destination for Roman nobility as well as European monarch families.

Castel dell'Ovo

 

The name of Castel dell Ovo means 'an egg' in Italian and the stronghold gets it from the Medieval legend.

Pompeii

 

Roman town of Pompeii is probably the most famous victim of a natural disaster was completely buried with its citizens during a volcanic eruption.

Herculaneum

 

Roman city of Herculaneum is smaller and thus lesser known town that was destroyed by the same eruption that wiped out Pompeii.

Naples

 

Everything you need to know about traveling to beatiful Naples.

Oplontis

 

Oplontis is a city buried by mount Vesuvius eruption of August 24th, 79 AD along with Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Paestum

 

Ancient Paestrum is a well preserved town that was abandoned peacefully due to bad geographical location.

 

 

 

Emilia–Romagna (Italy)

Canossa Castle

 

Canossa Castle is 10th century castle located in a commune of Canossa 18 km (11 mi) South of Reggio Emilia in Italy.

Castello di Compiano

 

Castello di Compiano is located in Compiano, Parma region in Italy. First citadel was constructed here in the 9th century.

Ferrara

 

Ferrara is a historic medieval region in Emilia- Romagna province of Italy.

Rocca Malatestiana

 

Rocca Malatestiana or Malatestian Rock is a medieval castle constructed in the 14th century that stands in Forlì- Cesena Province of Italy.

Rocca Sanvitale

 

Rocca Sanvitale is a medieval castle situated in Fontanellato, Parma region of Italy. It was constructed in 13th- 15th century.

Castel Sismondo

 

Castel Sismondo is located in Rimini, Romagna in Italy. The construction of the castle began in 1437 by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.

Torrechiara Castle

 

Torrechiara Castle was constructed in 1413-82 by the orders of Pier Maria II Rossi, count of San Secondo, in the commune of  Langhirano.

 

Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Italy)

Miramare Castle

 

Miramare Castle was constructed in 1860 on the shores of Gulf of Trieste in North- eastern Italy.

     

Lazio (Italy)

Hadrian's Villa

 

Roman emperor Hadrian built his villa to commemorate his lover who drowned in the Nile river.

Rome

 

Rome is the city that played a major role in human history for the past three millenia.

Vatican

 

Vatican is an independent city state on the outskirts of Rome. It is ruled by theocratic government of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Liguria (Italy)

Balestrino

 

Italan village of Balestrino is an picturesque ghost town in a Liguria region of Italy abandoned by its residents after a series of earthquakes.

     

Lombardy (Italy)

Certosa di Pavia

 

Certosa di Pavia is a medieval Roman Catholic Monastery situated 5 mi (8 km) North of Pavia, Province of Pavia in Italy.

Milan

 

Sirmione Castle

 

Sirmione Castle is located in a commune of Sirmione, Lombardy region of Italy. The citadel was constructed in the 13th century.

 

Marche (Italy)

Fortress of San Leo

 

Medieval fortress of San Leo is famous as the last prison and a death place of Alessandro Cagliostro.

     

Piedmont (Italy)

Bossea Cave

 

Magnificent underground passages of Bossea Cave are famous for fossils that were discovered here.

Gran Paradiso National Park

 

Gran Paradiso National Park is located in Aosta Valley and Piedmont. National park covers an area of 239 sq mi.

Castello della Manta

 

Castello della Manta is situated in Saluzzo, Piedmont region of Italy. It was constructed in the 12th century.

Castle of Racconigi

 

Castle of Racconigi is located in Racconigi, Piedmont region of Italy. Its construction began in the 11th century.

Sicily (Italy)

Agrigento

 

Former Greek colony and a Roman city of Agrugento offers some of the best preserved ruins of temples, private and public buildings.

Segesta

 

Segesta is one of the best preserved ancient archeological sited in Italy located in Trapani province.

Ursino Castle

Ursino Castle or Castello Ursino is a medieval stronghold situated in Catania in Sicily Island. The citadel was constructed between 1239 and 1250 upon orders of Emperor Frederick II.

 

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (Italy)

Prösels Castle

 

Medieval Prösels Castle is located in South Tyrol province in Italy. The citadel was constructed in 1279.

Reifenstein Castle

 

Reifenstein Castle is located near Freienfeld, Bolzano-Bozen region of Italy. It was constructed in 12th century.

Runkelstein Castle

 

Runkelstein Castle is located near town of Bolzano in the South Tyrol of Italy. It was constructed in 1237 by Friedrich and Beral.

Schloss Brunnenburg

 

Schloss Brunnenburg was constructed in 1250. Its named is derived from one of its many owners.

Stelvio National Park

 

Stelvio National Park is located in the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, Südtirol and Lombardia in Italy.

     

Tuscany (Italy)

Arcipelago Toscano National Park

 

Arcipelago Toscano National Park near a town of Portoferraio, Tuscany is famous for Elbe Island that served as a prison for French Emperor Napoleon.

Emperor's Castle

 

Emperor's Castle is situated in Prato, Tuscany province of Italy. It was constructed in 1240 by Holy Roman emperor Frederick II.

Florence

 

Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy that is considered to be home of a Renaissance.

San Gimignano

 

Village of San Gimignano is a medieval hill town in Province of Siena, Tuscany province. The city preserved its fourteen towers.

Umbria (Italy)

Cascata delle Marmore

 

Magnificent Cascata delle Marmore in Umbria, Italy is an artificial waterfall created by the Ancient Roman engineers.

Spoleto

 

Spoleto is a historic town in Umbria region in Italy. It origins date back to ancient Roman times.

   

Veneto (Italy)

Cortina d'Ampezzo

 

Cortina d'Ampezzo is an Italian ski resort situated in the picturesque Dolomitic Alps in the Veneto region of Northern Italy.

Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

 

Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is located in Veneto region in the northern Italy. This national park covers an area of 31,512 hectares.

Lake Garda

 

Information guide for traveling to Lake Garda surrounded by picturesque mountains.

Poveglia Island

 

Poveglia is an island in the Venetian Lagoon that houses an abandoned hospital that is said to be haunted.

Venice

 

Venice is probably the most unusual build on several islands of the archipelago in the lagoon.

Verona

 

Italian city of Verona became famous as a home town of Shakespear's famous playh 'Romeo and Juliet'.

   

 

 

 

History

Ancient Rome
By the beginning of the I millennium BC. e. the south and center of Italy were inhabited by Italian peoples, one of which was the Latins. The Latins formed the Latin Union, which included 30 civitas, the governing bodies of each of which were a national assembly (comitia or consilia), a council of elders (curiae or senate) and leaders (Rexes). According to Latin legends, initially the strongest civitas was Lavrent, then Lavinia strengthened, then Alba Longa, in the VI century Rome became the most powerful civitas of the union. After the Samnite wars, by 290, Rome had made all the other Italian nations dependent on itself. Part of the lands of the non-Roman provincial population was transferred to the Romans, Roman settlements were founded - colonies - thus the Romanization of Italy took place. Under the Roman emperor Diocletian, a division into provinces was introduced in Italy, headed by presidents and consuls. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the king of Italy was proclaimed commander Odoacer, a rug by birth, but in 493 his possessions were seized by the Ostrogoths, and he himself was killed.

Middle Ages
In 555, Italy was conquered by Byzantium. The whole territory of Italy was divided into dukes, led by dukes, who were formally subordinate to the exarch of Ravenna. In 572, part of the duchies of Italy were conquered by the Lombards. Byzantium remained the Roman Duchy, the Duchies of Naples, the Duchy of Amalfi, the Duchy of Calabria, the Duchy of Pentapol, the Exarchate of Ravenna and the Republic of Venice, as well as the Sicily Theme (conquered by the Arabs in 956) and Sardinian judicates. However, the Lombard and Byzantine dukes increasingly turned into virtually independent rulers.

In 752, the secular authority of the popes was established in the Duchy of Rome, the Exarchate of Raven and Pentapolis, which laid the foundation for the Papal region. In 774, Italy was annexed to the Frankish state. Only in the south were several Lombard duchies preserved (Spoletal duchy, Duchy of Benevento, and later the Principality of Salerno and the Principality of Capua stood out from them). In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne proclaimed himself the new Roman emperor. After the death of his great-grandson Charles III Tolstoy, civil strife began in the Italian kingdom.

In 951, the King of Italy proclaimed the German king Otto I the Great. However, the power of the king of Italy became nominal, the entire territory of northern Italy was divided into brands: Tuscan (Tuscany), Friulian (later Verona) (Venice), Hebrew (was soon annexed to the Turin brand), Saluzzo, Monferrat, Turin (all four in Piedmont ), Milan (Lombardy). The stamps were ruled by margraves, each of whom was actually a sovereign ruler.

However, already in the XI-XII centuries, most brands fell into communes, which were aristocratic city-states. The Tuscan brand completely disintegrated, the Verona brand was absorbed by Venice, the Turin brand was annexed to Savoy in 1091, only Saluzzo and Monferrat have survived from the previous brands. In some Tuscan communes, democratic elements were periodically strengthened.

In 1071, the Norman nobleman Robert Guiscard conquered Apulia and Calabria, in 1072 Sicily, in 1073 Amalfi, in 1078 Salerno, forming the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria and the County of Sicily, which united in 1130 into the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1135, the Principality of Capua passed under his authority, in 1140 - the Duchy of Gaet, in 1144 - the Duchy of Naples. At the same time, the Papal Region is also strengthening - in 1081 the Duchy of Benevento joins it, and in 1201 - the Duchy of Spoleto.

Renaissance
The beginning of the Renaissance in Italy is considered to be the year 1401, when a competition was held for the relief of the doors of the Florentine Baptistery. Among the participants of the competition were the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who became the author of the design of the dome of the Florentine cathedral, and the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti. The winner of the competition was the master of the new era of Ghiberti.

By the 15th century, the communes of Tuscany were united around Florence into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Lombardy was united around Milan into the Duchy of Milan, Romagna was united around Ferara into the Duchy of Duchy, all these states were monarchies. Aristocratic republics remained in Venice and Genoa. In the 16th century, the domination of Spain was consolidated in a large part of Italy, and after the war for the Spanish Succession of 1701-1714, the domination of the Austrian Habsburgs.

 

In 1797, the French Army entered Italy, the Cispadan Republic, the Transpadan Republic, the Venetian Republic, the Ligurian Republic, the Piedmont Republic, the Roman Republic, the Neapolitan Republic were formed, all were oligarchic republics. In the same 1797 they merged into the Cisalpine Republic, renamed in 1802 the Italian Republic, which in turn was transformed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1805, the king of which was Emperor of France Napoleon I. In 1814, the French army left Italy, were the Duchy of Modena was restored, the Duchy of Parma, the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal States were restored in 1799, the Kingdom of Sardinia was returned to Piedmont, Emilia - to the Papal States, Lombardy and Veneto - Austria.

New time
The struggle for a united Italy was led by the carbonaries, Young Italy and other organizations, in which Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini were key figures. By the end of 1860, Italy was largely united around the Sardinian kingdom (since 1861 the Italian kingdom). In 1865-1870, the capital was Florence, in 1870 Rome was annexed to the Italian kingdom, which became the new capital.

XX and XXI centuries
In 1914, the Declaration of Italy on neutrality in the outbreak of World War II was signed. In April 1915, Italy signed an agreement with the Entente countries on their participation in the war. In May of that year, Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary, and then Germany. In August 1917, an anti-war uprising of workers in Turin took place in Italy. In January 1919, the formation of the Catholic People's Party (subsequently - the Christian Democratic Party). In March 1919, the fascist movement emerged (the formation of the first “military alliance”). In August 1919, an election reform was carried out in the country (introduction of voting on party lists and a proportional system of representation in the Chamber of Deputies). January 1921 was marked by the formation of the Communist Party of Italy (KPI, since 1944 - IKP). In November of the same year, the fascist “military alliances” were transformed into a party.

In 1922, after the campaign of the black shirts to Rome and the presentation of their demands to the king, the Nazis came to power and established a dictatorship led by Benito Mussolini (1922-1943). February 7, 1924 is the establishment of diplomatic relations between Italy and the USSR. In 1929, according to the Lateran Treaty, Italy guaranteed the sovereignty of the Vatican. In 1935-1936 Italy captured Ethiopia, in 1939 - Albania. Having entered into a military alliance with Nazi Germany and Japan, Italy entered World War II in 1940. In 1940, hostilities began with the participation of Italy in the Balkans (against Greece and Yugoslavia). In 1941-1943, Italy accepted complicity in Nazi aggression against the USSR; Italy soon suffers a military defeat in East Africa.

Despite the fact that historically Italy was not inherent in anti-Semitism, 1937, when the Hitler coalition began to form, is considered to be the starting point of the Holocaust in Italy.

1941 was marked by the declaration by Italy and Germany of the US war.

In July 1943, the United States, Britain and their allies landed in Italy with the aim of defeating the fascist troops and leaving Italy from the war. On September 3, the Italian government signed a ceasefire, on September 8, 1943, Italy surrendered to the United Nations, and a National Liberation Committee was created in Rome with the participation of 6 anti-fascist parties.

In September 1943, there was a Nazi occupation of Northern and Central Italy (the "Republic of Salo").

In June 1944 Rome was liberated; a single partisan party was created. In the same year, full diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union were restored. In December 1944, the Roman Protocols were signed (an agreement between the Anglo-American command and the Resistance forces on cooperation at the final stage of the war and the further fate of partisan formations).

In 1945, the Nazi regime of Mussolini was overthrown by the actions of the Resistance movement (the highest point was the April Uprising of 1945) and the Anglo-American forces in Italy. By the 21st century, Italy is not as strongly condemned as Germany in Germany by the gloomy pages of its history related to fascism, admirers of Mussolini's ideology have survived, some continue to honor the memory of the Duce, and a fascism museum was opened in his homeland in Preappio in 2016, funded, in addition to city ​​authorities and sponsors, also the Italian government. This memorial caused a mixed reaction from society, despite the guarantees that the museum would not be engaged in the propaganda of fascist ideology.

In 1946, following a national referendum, Italy became a parliamentary republic.

 

In November 1947, the Constitution of the Italian Republic was adopted, it officially entered into force on January 1, 1948. According to the current Constitution of Italy, it is the legal successor of the Kingdom of Italy, a parliamentary board is established, and at the same time, the previously adopted laws and property rights to real estate that are not recognized as invalid. Between 1948 and 2015, constitutional amendments were introduced more than 15 times.

After the Second World War, the Christian Democratic Party of Italy (CDP) was established in the political arena, which formed the governments in 1945-1981 and in 1987-1992.

In 1948, parliamentary elections were held, which consolidated until 1953 the establishment of the political dominance of the CDA. In June 1948, Prime Minister De Gasperi signed an agreement with the United States to extend the "Marshall Plan" to Italy.

March 1949 - Italy joins NATO. In 1960, neo-fascism intensified and the mass anti-fascist movement rose. 1969 - “Hot Autumn” (the struggle for new conditions of collective labor agreements and the expansion of the rights of workers' organizations).

The late 1960s and early 1970s in Italy marked the onset of an era of organized crime and political extremism. The country was shocked by numerous terrorist attacks, in many cities there were regular bombings, abductions and killings of politicians, businessmen, judges, police and journalists. During 1977, 2128 acts of political violence were committed in Italy. In 1978, a world-wide crime took place in Rome - the abduction and murder by terrorists from the "Red Brigades" of the former prime minister, chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, Aldo Moro. In 1979, 2150 terrorist attacks were carried out in the country. In August 1980, the bloodiest terrorist attack in the entire post-war history of Italy took place - terrorists blew up a station in Bologna, killing 85 people. Italy was threatened by a right-wing dictatorship (similar to the pro-fascist regime of the "black colonels" in Greece), but the country overcame the crisis by constitutional means.

1976-1979 - the policy of "national solidarity."

In 1980, the five-party coalition came to power. In 1988, in terms of purchasing power parity, Italy was slightly ahead of the USSR, entering in the top ten most developed countries in the world in economic indicators.

January 1991 was marked by the 20th Congress of the IKP and the cessation of its existence (the formation of the Democratic Party of the Left Forces and the Party of the Communist Reconstruction). 1991-1993 - transition from a proportional electoral system to a majority; Operation Clean Hands and the crisis of traditional government parties.

In 1993, Italy acceded to the Maastricht Treaty.

The sharp increase in corruption at all levels of government has led to a change in the electoral system. On August 4, 1993, a new law on parliamentary elections was approved.

The post-war history of Italy is characterized by a frequent change of government. Since 1994, Silvio Berlusconi four times became Prime Minister of Italy, held this post intermittently until November 2011.

In 2007, a large-scale reform of special services was carried out in Italy.

The 63rd Government of the Italian Republic began work on February 22, 2014, chaired by Matteo Renzi. Since December 12, 2016, after Renzi’s resignation caused by a failure in the constitutional referendum, the same government was headed by Paolo Gentiloni.

After the parliamentary elections in March 2018, a new government was formed for more than two months. The 65th Government of the Italian Republic has been operating since June 1, 2018 under the chairmanship of Giuseppe Conte.

 

 

 

 

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