The boot-shaped Italian peninsula is home to over 2,000 years of history, from Rome’s Colosseum to Renaissance masterpieces like Michelangelo’s “David.” From Naples, you can island hop to nearby Ischia or Capri, or visit the ancient town of Pompeii. Further north, Tuscany is a land of thermal water and world-renowned wine thanks to the vineyards lining towns like Montepulciano and Bagno Vignoni. Closer to the borders of France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia are some of the country’s famous natural landmarks like Lakes Como and Maggiore, as well as the “Pale Mountains,” or snow-coloured Italian Dolomites, which stretch through Trentino and Alto Adige.

How to get there?

Fly into the main airports of Rome Fiumicino or Milan Malpensa, or take a ferry from Barcelona to Genoa or from Greece to Venice and Brindisi on Blue Star Ferries. The country is also connected by rail, 95 percent of which is run by the national rail system, Trenitalia, which offers 7,000 trains per day.

  • Time Zone
    GMT +1
  • Population
    60.59 million
  • Capital
  • Official language
  • Currency
    € or EUR

EU citizens (and members of the Schengen Area) do not need a visa to visit Italy.

Cultural Routes in Italy

Italy falls under two macro-regional strategies, Adriatic-Ionian (EUSAIR) and Alpine Region (EUSALP), and features sites on 23 different Cultural Routes, from the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna (part of European Mozart Ways) to the thermal spring-filled town of Acqui Terme in Piedmont, one of the stops on the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns.

European Mozart Ways

Mozart’s journeys span 10 countries and over 200 sites, including the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna, where Mozart was a member.

TRANSROMANICA – The Romanesque Routes of European Heritage

The Romanesque style was considered the first common language of the old continent, and its heritage can be seen today in nine countries in Europe, including Italy, where landmarks include Pavia’s Basilica of St. Michael Mayor.

Via Francigena

The former pilgrimage route helped contribute to the cultural unity of Europe in the Middle Ages, with 1,800 kilometres of paths throughout England, France, Italy and Switzerland that travellers once took en route to Rome before heading to Jerusalem or Santiago de Compostela. The Eurovelo 5-Via Romea Francigena itinerary runs along the entire peninsula from Lake Como to Brindisi along the Sigeric corridor, from Pavia to Rome.

Phoenicians’ Route

This route “fosters Mediterranean intercultural dialogue,” highlighting places the Phoenicians once stopped for trade, such as Sardinia.

European routes of emperor Charles V

By looking at the legacy left by Charles V, it “allows us to better understand present-day Europe,” according to the association’s site. The Italic routes cover the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, which belonged to the Crown of Aragon and played an important role in how the emperor fought against Berber attacks.

European Route of Historic Thermal Towns

Thermalism in Europe dates back to Roman times, but some of the continent’s most famous towns reached their height in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Acqui Terme.

Iter Vitis Route

Wine production is one of the key symbols of identity in Europe, and this route preserves the heritage of wine biodiversity in villages in Italy like Pompeii and Lamole in Chianti, recognized for its ancient terracing.

ATRIUM – Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes of the 20th Century

This Cultural Route explores important examples of Fascist and Communist architecture that emerged post-war in destinations like Carbonia on the Italian island of Sardinia. Contact Information:

The European Route of Ceramics

The art of ceramics is celebrated through both artefacts as well as modern-day production, with tours through Italy that allow travellers to try their hand at the craft.

Cluniac Sites in Europe

Stemming from the French region where Cluny was seen in medieval times as “the second Rome,” Cluny Abbey’s influence spans over 1,800 monasteries, castles, colleges and villages across Europe, highlighted on a number of Cluny Routes that pass through Italy.

Destination Napoleon

This route spans from Portugal to Russia, encompassing 60 cities in 13 countries where you can still see signs of Napoleon’s historical heritage, such as Mantua in the Lombardy region.

European Cemeteries Route

Some of the leading sculptors of the 19th century crafted the tombs found in Florence’s English Cemetery, one of the landmark sites on the route.

European Route of Cistercian abbeys

Since its birth in 1098 in Burgundy, the Cistercian Order has grown across Europe and now presently includes 1,000 monasteries and 750 abbeys, eight of which are located in Italy, including Corazzo in Calabria.

The Huguenot and Waldensian trail

The 2,000-km hiking trail follows the path that nearly 200,000 Huguenots took during the 17th century to Geneva, Switzerland and later Germany.

The Saint Martin of Tours Route

Over 5,000 kilometres of routes follow scenes from the saint’s life and folklore, linking his birthplace of Szombathely, Hungary to his grave in Tours, France, passing through Italy along the way.

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