Italy is famous for the Renaissance, and has some very great painters produced. Many famous paintings are Italian. In the 60s of the last century the early days of the Italian film, Fellini was a star of world stature. Italy is the country with the most monuments in the world. Coinciding with the first baroque church was also another typical Italian art form: the Opera.
For Italy, you need a valid passport or a valid Dutch / Belgian identity card. A visa is not required. As of June 26, 2012, all children need their own passport. An addition to the passport of a parent is no longer valid.
The capital of Italy is Rome.
To hire a car you must be at least 25 years in Italy.
In Italy, they like children. There are many activities for children and child-friendly accomodation is easy to find.
The greater part of Italy has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. In the Alps and the Apennines there is an alpine climate and it often snows. In Sicily it is warmer. In the winter sometimes the tramonta blows (which literally means mountain), this is a cold north wind, but dry.
Italy is famous for its pastas, pizzas and great Italian ice. Italy also has many coffee specialties and excellent wines. Culinary Italy falls under the Mediterrande kitchen. Nowhere are the pomodori (tomatoes) and olives so tasty.
Italy was the ancient center of the Roman Empire. Later, in Italy, the cradle of the Renaissance, especially in Tuscany.
The Italian economy is known for its development gap between the north and the south. The causes are mainly related to the different historical development, geographical location and the physical environment. The north is the most prosperous.
The voltage in Italy is 230V/50Hz, one uses a European or Italian plug.
The Italian fashion is unequaled. Milan is a world famous fashion city and Italy has a very large number of designers. Italian clothing brings a distinct style and personality with it.
Particular species are the Alpine chamois, ibex and alpine marmot. In the Apennines are some wolves and bears. On the whole peninsula and Sardinia are mouflons. Of the birds, the vulture, the egret, the golden eagle, the bee-eater, the roller, the hops and the Chough striking, from the reptiles the wall gecko, the emerald lizard, the wall lizard, the terrapin, the whip snake and aspic. Finally sea life of dolphins, swordfish, tuna and some shark species.
In Italy, 22.7% of the area is covered by forest. Along the Italian coasts we find pine forests (Pineta), consisting of pines aleppo pines and pines, in the cooler areas chestnut, oak, beech, rowan, maples and elms, in the mountains birch, larch and various types of spruce and pine. The most forested regions are Trentino Alto Adige (46.5%) and Liguria (53.2%).
The Italian Republic is largely situated on the Italian Peninsula. Because the form the country is called "the boot".
Approximately 75% of Italy is mountainous or hilly. There are narrow strips of lowlands along the Adriatic coast and parts of the Tyrrhenian coast. In the north of the country lie the Alps and the Dolomites. The highest point of the Italian Alps is Mont Blanc de Courmayeur, which is 4765 meters high. Besides the famous volcano Vesuvius, which erupted in 79 devastating, Italy has a number of active volcanoes: Mount Etna in Sicily, Stromboli, Vulcano and others. Italy is a peninsula. This means that the distance to the sea is almost never greater than 200 km.
In Italy, the facilities for the disabled are limited. If you want to make sure that certain features will not missing, please inform well in advance.
Health care in Italy is at a high level. Pharmacies are located everywhere and on Sunday there is a conversion service. Be careful for ticks when walking or camping in nature, as they may transmit Lyme disease. To reduce the risk of tick bites wear covering clothing and use insect repellent on exposed skin. Generally the tap water in Italy is of good quality and can be safely consumed. When in doubt or when you see the inscription 'Acqua non potabile' it is advisable to buy bottled water.
Italy has 61,261,254 (2012) inhabitants. From the mid 90's, Italy was one of the first countries in Europe which have a negative population growth. In other words, the number of births is less than the number of people died. In the last two or three years there will be a very low growth.
Broadband Internet is widely available in Italy. Many hotels, restaurants and bars offer free internet (often wireless) for their guests.
In Italy they use the euro, it replaced the Italian lira. Credit cards are accepted in almost all hotels, restaurants, shops and petrol stations. Italy has plenty of ATMs (Bancomat). If you are traveling to Sicily and arrives at the weekend, take enough cash with you, as the ATMs are often empty.
On June 2 there is La Festa della Repubblica. It is the commemoration of the fact that Italy in 1946 became a republic, after a referendum.
Italy is a member of the EU. Italy is a Republic. The independent states Vatican City, the pope is the head, and San Marino are two enclaves within the Italian borders. Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland.
Every dog that crosses borders needs an European passport and identification by means of a chip. On 2 July 2011, the tattoo is no longer allowed to travel within the EU, and the chip is therefore required. Additionally, your dog must be vaccinated against rabies.
Stamps (francobolli) are in Italy available at post offices, tobacco shops, some souvenir shops and major hotels.
Most Italians are Roman Catholic, although since 1984 it is no longer the official state religion in Italy. Furthermore there are various religious minorities, including the Waldenzen.
Smoking is not allowed in Italy in public areas. In restaurants, cafes and bars, smoking is only allowed in an enclosed smoking room.
There are plenty of taxis in the (big) cities of Italy. A taxi can be found at the special taxi ranks or by phone. Make sure that the taxi is really a company with a taxi sign on the roof and that the meter is running when driving. Short trips will not cost more than 15 euros. The official taxis are often white or yellow. Rates should be visible in the taxi.
The country code for Italy is +39. There is a 3G network.
The Time Zone in Italy is UTC/GMT +2 hours.
If you are in Italy the word Coperto on your account means that an additional amount is charged for the couvert and pre-served bread. because there is already a separate fee charged, no extra tip is needed. When one decides to give a tip in Italy it is customary to leave this on the table.
EU nationals do not need a work permit. A residence permit for a stay of longer than three months is still required. EU nationals must apply for an EU residence card at the police station in the place where they live or work. Non-EU nationals who wish to work in Italy, need a special work visa and a work and residence permit.
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