Guide to Italy

Cinque Terre - one of the most picturesque parts of ItalyWhatever your idea of a good time is, you will find it in Italy. This amazing country has an extraordinary amount to offer in a wide variety of ways: beautiful sea and beaches, fantastic mountains, stunning architecture, fascinating history, delicious food and wine… It's ideal for both summer and winter holidays - beach holidays, skiing holidays, mountain hiking holidays, city breaks, visiting historical sites - and it's easy to reach from the UK by air and (a bit less easy) by car. If you're planning a family holiday, Italy is a good choice if only because Italians love children; hotels and restaurants generally welcome children enthusiatically.


The population of Italy is under 60 million, smaller than that of the United Kingdom, and yet Italy is physically a bigger country than ours. This means that, if you want to explore by yourself, there is plenty of space to do so. If you want to walk in the countryside or the mountains and be alone with nature, this is easy to achieve. On the other hand, if you want vibrant urban entertainment, there is plenty of that too!


In Italy, the good things in life are part of the daily routine. Beauty, art, music and real food form the backdrop to the Italian lifestyle and it's no surprise that a disproportionate number, relative to the size of the country, of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites are in Italy.


Whether your ideal holiday is active, cultural or restful, Italy has got what you're looking for. A feast for all the senses awaits you in la bella Italia.


Italian language

As foreign languages go, Italian is not that difficult for native English-speakers to learn.


Although a lot of Italians speak at least a bit of English, it will enhance your visit to Italy no end if you can speak some Italian. If you leave the beaten track, you will need it more but, even in the mainstream tourist areas, it's always nice to be able to understand what people are talking about around you and to be able to show willing by using at least a few phrases of the local language. Also, if you are interested in Italians and their culture, you will only get under the skin of Italy when you know the Italian language.


Italian food and drink

Italian food is famously marvellous. Every region of Italy has its own specialities - there is much, much more to Italian cuisine than pasta and pizza (wonderful though these are, particularly in Italy).


Italian wine is also very popular. Both the reds and the whites are generally of high quality, not terribly expensive and a great pleasure to drink!


Italian regions

Whether you're planning a holiday in Italy or thinking of moving to Italy on a permanent or semi-permanant basis, have a look at the guides to the Italian regions on this website. Here, you'll find useful information about each of the twenty diverse and often independent-minded regions of Italy. Click on the region that interests you to read about it:


Map of ItalyPiemonte (Piedmont)

Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley)

Lombardia (Lombardy)

Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-South Tyrol)


Friuli-Venezia Giulia



Toscana (Tuscany)


Le Marche (The Marches)

Lazio (Latium)




Puglia (Apulia)



Sicilia (Sicily)

Sardegna (Sardinia)


About me and this website

My name is Georgie and I have been an Italophile since I was five years old, when my mother took my sister and me to visit her brother and sister-in-law at their house on the island of Elba. We flew to Pisa and caught a ferry from Piombino to Portoferraio. It was hot and unfamiliar and exciting, and I was hooked. I started learning Italian from the age of 13 and insisted we take our family holidays in Italy every year, until I was old enough to go there by myself. Studying Italian at university was an obvious next step and, after two years working in London, I went to live in Milan. Although I've been back in Britain for a long time now, I still visit Italy as often as I can.


This website is an attempt to share my enthusiasm for and knowledge of Italy, to give you an idea of what the country is like and how much fun you can have there. I hope you find the site useful but please don't take my word for anything that's pivotal to your trip. Please check with sources nearer the ground before you make any decisions. If you find anything on my site that is inaccurate or out of date, or with which you completely disagree, please let me know.

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