Italy is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea forming a boot-shaped peninsula, which is shielded from the rest of southern Europe by the Alps mountain range. It is governed from Rome and has a population of over 60 million people. Italy covers 301,268 square kilometres which includes the two large islands: Sicily and Sardinia. Visiting Italy and discovering the vast amount of things it has to offer is an absolute must for any Europe travel itinerary.
Generally speaking summers are the most pleasant of times for Italy travel and can be spent sightseeing, soaking up the colourful culture and everything this country has to offer. It is the season that sees the most sunlight throughout the day as well as some of the most moderate weather. There are of course, the busy months like June, July and August where it's harder to find affordable lodging & avoid crowds. April - May (except for Easter week) and September are still the favourite periods for the sensible traveller. The weather is just fine, and most places aren't overbooked. More Italy travel information can be found at the bottom of this page.
If you plan to bring any electronics devices with you, keep in mind that electricity in Italy, as well as the rest of Europe is 220 volts. If your device is purchased anywhere in North America, chances are it's 110 volt, however some are built to work in both voltages such as laptops, phones and tablets. Check the label on your device or power supply to make sure it's compatible with European current. You will need a voltage travel adapter to keep your devices working and charged up.
Italian transportation system varies from region to region when it comes to type and efficiency. They have everything from modern roads and highways, bus services, high speed trains, regional and inter-city trains.
If looking to get onto Sardinia or one of the smaller off-shore islands, Italy's ferry system is quite efficient as well but does get busy during the summer.
Currently the accepted Italian currency is the Euro. Banknotes were first introduced into circulation by the Italy government in early 2002 and the old Lira ceased to exist by end of February same year. When browsing shops and making purchases keep in mind that sales taxes are already included in the listed prices. Use the handy currency conversion chart for the current Euro value as well as helping calculate the amount of spending cash you will need for your Europe travel adventure.
Banks and ATMs are widely accessible in larger cities, even smaller communes will have them sometimes. Withdrawals are usually accompanied by hefty service charges, so converting spending cash before your trip is ideal. Most restaurants and businesses accept card payments, however a lot of family owned businesses in smaller communes will only take cash.
The democratic republic state of Italy started out as a kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont and in 1946 officially became a country. At that time the monarchy was abolished by popular vote and a constitution was drafted to make the Italian system what it is today. The governing body of Italy now consists of legislative, executive, and judicial subdivisions, it also has a Head of State - or President.
Italy is the fourth largest economic power in the EU and also the fourth most visited country in the world. Because of vast amount of tourists coming through, since 2015 while staying in Italy travellers are required by law to submit their identification to their hosts which they pass on to the authorities. Italy government enjoys profitability of the tourism industry which is they they are making sure your stay here is safe and enjoyable.
Italy is fairly conscious when it comes to accessibly and assisting travellers in need. They are making a concerned effort to improve it's arrangements for disabled visitors but like most places there's still room for improvement. Some online research may be required to see if a particular hotel has accessibility friendly facilities. Most new Italy trains have special doors for wheelchairs, otherwise station staff are generally helpful. Sage Traveling has some great options for Accessibility travel in Italy.