Italy

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Italy, commanding a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance treasures such as Michelangelo?s David" and its leather and paper artisans; Venice




"Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and it is also considered a part of western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with its capital in Rome, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union.

Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the empire, whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.

During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured the fall of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through trade, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and other foreign conquests of the region. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of rivalry and infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left Italy fragmented and several Italian states were conquered and further divided by multiple European powers over the centuries.

By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, namely in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the four main allied powers in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of the Italian fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy the country abolished their monarchy, established a democratic Republic and enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, becoming a highly developed country.Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the world's eighth-largest economy by nominal GDP (third in the Eurozone), sixth-largest national wealth and third-largest central bank gold reserve. It ranks very highly in life expectancy, quality of life, healthcare, and education. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs; it is both a regional power and a great power, and is ranked the world's eighth most-powerful military. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more. The country has long been a global centre of art, music, literature, philosophy, science and technology, and fashion, and has greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields including cinema, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites (55), and is the fifth-most visited country." Wikipedia






Latest Reviews

Naples / Napoli

We moored up at the marina in the evening and spent the next day exploring the city including a tour of Herculaneum.

Portoferraio

We moored up in the busy capital for a few days and hired a car to explore the southern region and stopped at Villa San Martino and Porto Azzuro.

Alghero

We explored the medieval city fondly known as 'Barceloneta' and then went to the Nuraghe Palmavera tower which had a dome shaped ceiling that dates back to 1100 years BC. A very interesting and pretty region of Italy.

Palermo

We moored up to find the marina full of plastic bottles and later explored the city including the catacombs. We enjoyed the food and atmosphere.

Porticello

We took a taxi from Palemero to this great little town and loved exploring it.

Sorrento

We spent a few days in Sorrento arriving by Ferry from Naples. It’s a very busy (congested) town with lots of small streets with tourist bars and restaurants. Down on the sea front we found a great restaurant on top of a pier over the sea.

Sorrento

We stayed in Sorrento towards the end of the season and found the weather still pleasant and the town buzzing with activity, if at times a little over-populated, and certainly the streets were congested almost all day.





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Portoferraio
1 . Portoferraio
(Elba Island )

Portoferraio is a busy capital on the northern coast of Elba Island and known for Napeoleon's exile. The city is built around the inner bank of a wide bay and hosts a harbour and quayside to the no...

Alghero
2 . Alghero
(Sardinia Island )

A stunning large town on the north-western coast of Sardinia with a backdrop of rolling hills. Home to a large marina that leads south to the old town and north to a popular white sandy beach and c...

Naples / Napoli
3 . Naples / Napoli

Naples is a large city to the west of Mount Vesuvius on the west coast of Italy. It is home to a large harbour and port for day trips to nearby islands and towns.

Sorrento
4 . Sorrento

Sorrento is a large north facing coastal town built along the cliff edges of the peninsula overlooking Mount Vesuvius.

Porticello
5 . Porticello
(Sicily Island )

A eastern facing town on the northern coast of Sicily near inland Bagheria and Palmero.

Palermo
6 . Palermo
(Sicily Island )

An historic and popular capital city of Sicily on the north-western coast of the island. Set on flat land surrounded by towering mountains it is a stunning sight. Home to a large commercial port wi...

Grado
7 . Grado

A popular northern Italian town on the Western side of the Marano lagoon and home to two large marinas as well as a canal leading to an inner harbour and a further canal around a large inner island.

Marina di Carrara
8 . Marina di Carrara

The coastal town is an extension of the main Carrara further into the hills which is set in a large area of scarred hillside due to the marble mining. The marina is largely commercial to support th...

Panzano
9 . Panzano

A signifiant industrial town and port in the north of Italy.

Viareggio
10 . Viareggio

A large town in the north-west of Italy along a long sandy beach and home to a small commercial port and shipbuilding activities. Inside the port is the entrance to the Burlamacca canal which runs ...

Trieste
11 . Trieste

The most western and northern city in Italy and north of Croatia. Home to a large commercial port with a marina close to the old town.

Pisa
12 . Pisa

The city of Pisa in north-west Italy is found up the river Arno which is inaccessible to yachts due to several low road bridges. There is however a marina at the mouth of the river which is also ho...

Muggia
13 . Muggia

A pretty hillside coastal town on the far north-east of Italy close to the Slovian border. Home to a busy small marina extending an old port. Too the east of the town there is a large concrete hard...

Livorno
14 . Livorno

A popular city on the north-western coast of Italy and a stopping point for cruise liners wanting to visit the local fort and nearby Pisa. The port has a large commercial area particularly for petr...

San Rocco
15 . San Rocco

A small green village on the extreme north-east of Italy close to Slovenia with a large marina.

Rosignano Solvay
16 . Rosignano Solvay

A town on the north-western coast of Italy with a spectacular white beach albeit reported to be polluted with toxic chemicals and as such best to be avoided.

Cecina
17 . Cecina

A small inland town along the river Cecina with coastal extension home to a small harbour and marina. The popular promenade offers bars and hotels and is a short distance from the nature reserve wh...

San Vincenzo
18 . San Vincenzo

A small town on the north-western coast of Italy level with the top of Corsica. The sandy coastline is home to a marina and many restaurants and separated from the rest of the town by the railway t...

Piombino
19 . Piombino

A predominately industrial port town on the western coast of Italy with some more attractive historic roots on the western side of the town close to Salivoli. The port is home to a ferry terminal t...

Follonica
20 . Follonica

A popular town on the western coast of Italy with a long sandy beach attracting many local visitors. A busy marina is found a few kilometres south of the town at the entrance to the Allacciante canal.

Castiglione della Pescaia
21 . Castiglione della Pescaia

A small popular historic town on the sandy western coast of Italy at the mouth of the river Bruna overlooking the small island of Giglio.

Fonteblanda
22 . Fonteblanda

A small village on the western coast of Italy with a long sandy beach.

Talamone
23 . Talamone

A pretty walled village on the rocky western coast of Italy on a small peninsula.

Porto Santo Stefano
24 . Porto Santo Stefano

A colourful hillside town on the northern coast of the green Mount Argentario peninsula with a spectacular coastline and a quayside lined with restaurants. Home to a harbour with a ferry to Giglio.

Porto Ercole
25 . Porto Ercole

A small town built in two natural bays around Fort Filippo. Each bay is home to a marina behind breakwalls and attractive quaysides with numerous restaurants and bars.

Tarquinia
26 . Tarquinia

A village on the western sandy coast of Italy.

Civitavecchia
27 . Civitavecchia

A significant port city on the western coast of Italy with an outstanding fort and a ferry terminal to Barcelona, Palermo, Olbia, and Porto Vecchio. Popular with cruise liners and visiting yachts o...

Santa Marinella
28 . Santa Marinella

A local town on the western coast of Italy a short distance north of Rome.

Ladispoli
29 . Ladispoli

A town on the western coast of Italy a short distance from Rome with a series of small beaches either side of the mouth of the river Vaccina.

Fiumicino-Isola Sacra
30 . Fiumicino-Isola Sacra

A large town on the western coast of Italy near the mouth of river Tiber. Mostly known for the nearby international airport but also home to a local fishing harbour and a series of small beaches al...

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