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Italy Travel Information

Stylish, cultured, good-humoured and volatile - Italy, with its golden light, stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, has inspired poets and painters for centuries. Today, besides the renowned cities of Venice, Florence, Siena and Naples, each with its own unique identity and architecture, Italy features romantic medieval hill towns, such as San Gimignano in Tuscany, and unspoilt fishing villages, like Positano on the Amalfi coast. Throughout the country visitors can find vineyards and cellars to taste fine regional wines, workshops where crafts are produced by hand and friendly trattorie where simple but superb dishes are served. Italy combines art, history and contemporary fashion with stunning natural landscapes: the turquoise waters of Sardinia's Costa Smeralda offer one of Europe's most beautiful stretches of sand, sea and sunshine, while the snow-covered slopes of the Dolomite Mountains are a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.

Italian capital : Rome Population : 60.9 millions

Languages: Italian, English and French are spoken in Italy.

Entry requirements: A Canadian passport valid 3 months after return is required to enter Italy. For accurate info, please consult: www.travel.gc.ca

Time Zones: GMT + 1

Currency: The local currency is Euro.

Electricity: The electricity is between 125 volts and 220 volts; therefore, an adapter and/or converter will be required.

Best Buys: : Clothing, leather (shoes and handbags) and jewelry. Please note that the stores usually close between 13h00 and 16h00, but remain open in the evening, until 20h00.

Rome

The capital of Italy and is the largest and most populous city. Located in the central-western portion of the Italian peninsula, Rome has a history of over two and a half thousand years, and is well known as one of the founding cities of Western Civilization. Even outside of the history of the Roman Empire, Rome has a significant place in the story of Christianity up to the present day, for it endures as the home of the papacy. Today, Rome is a modern, cosmopolitan city, and the third most-visited tourist destination in the European Union. The city attracts over 26 million tourists per year.

Florence

The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, is possibly the most beautifully preserved and artistically rich city in the world. Here, artistic treasures and architectural masterpieces of the past blend with ancient streets lined with elegant boutiques, peaceful parks, streetside cafes offering steaming hot expresso and fresh biscotti, unforgettable dining establishments and breathtaking views at every turn. Set in a valley on the banks of the Arno, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, Florence is one of the best-known and best-loved cities of the world. With the historical part of the city largely contained in a small area, many of the places to visit can be reached easily on foot where pedestrians often mingle between the popular mopeds dashing through the city streets.

Venice

Venice is an extraordinarily beautiful city. Venice represents an urban landscape so rich in its lavishness that it can be overwhelming. It seems as if, at each step, you will encounter some aspect of the city worth admiring. Venice, unique blend of water, art and romance, is a treasure from the artistic and architectural point of view. The city was built on over 100 islands in a lagoon on an exceptional atmosphere during the phenomenon of "high water," when the high tide exceeds the level of dry land and floods the main streets and piazzas of Venice. For these reasons, Venice is one of the cities that is most visited by tourists from around the world.

Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre , are five small villages on the "Costa Ligure of Levante". The villages from north to south are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Since 1926, the Cinque Terre towns have been part of the province of La Spezia. The Cinque Terre is a National Park and territory protected by UNESCO. This zone is characterised by the presence of typical steep slopes cultivated with vines thanks to terraces, unique witness of the transformation of the territory carried out by mans hard work. The suggestive kind of coast falling sheer to the sea, with cliffs which are often vertical, alternated with small creeks and enchanting beaches among rocks, with depths rich in fish, make this territory a real Natural "work of art".

Created for information purpose only. Information is subject to change at anytime.

For additional information, visit the official tourist board website of Italy: www.italia.it/en