Italy is a large country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - art and monuments are everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its cuisine, its fashion, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, as well as for its beautiful coasts, lakes and mountains. Two independent mini-states lie within Italy: San Marino and Vatican City. While technically not part of the European Union, both of these states are also part of the Schengen Region and the European Monetary Union.
Understand : Italy is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. The country, which is a boot-shaped peninsula, is surrounded by the Ligurian Sea, the Sardinian Sea, and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, the Sicilian and Ionian Sea in the South, and Adriatic Sea in the East. Italian is the official language spoken by the majority of the population, but as you travel throughout the country, you will find there are several distinct dialects corresponding to the region you are in. Italy has a very diverse landscape, but can be primarily described as mountainous including the Alps and the Apennies mountain ranges that run through it. Italy has two major islands as part of its country: Sardinia, which is an island off the west coast of Italy, and Sicily, which is at the southern tip (the "toe") of the boot. Italy has a population of 59,619,290, and the capital city of Italy is Rome.
Climate: climate of Italy is that of typical Mediterranean countries. Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. In the north, they experience cold winters, as compared to mild ones in the south. Some regions in the south of Italy can experience no rainfall for the whole summer season. The long mountain ranges in Italy impact the weather significantly, as you can experience very different weather going from town to town.
Non Guidebooks about Italy or by Italian writers. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone a biography of Michelangelo that also paints a lovely portrait of Tuscany and Rome. Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King a compelling story of one of the greatest structural engineering achievements of the Renaissance.
The story of the building of the immense dome on top of the basilica in Florence, Italy. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes An account of a woman who buys and restores a holiday home in Cortona,
Italy. Full of local flavor and a true taste of Tuscany. The Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence - It describes a brief excursion undertaken by Lawrence and Frieda, his wife aka Queen Bee, from Taormina in Sicily to the interior of Sardinia. They visited Cagliari, Mandas, Sorgono, and Nuoro. Despite the brevity of his visit, Lawrence distills an essence of the island and its people that is still recognisable today. Italian neighbours and A season with Verona by Tim Parks Two portraits of nowdays life in Italy as seen by an English writer who decided to live just outside Verona. Winter Stars by Beatrice Lao - poems born between the Alps and the Tyrrhenian by the oriental poetess, 988979991X. The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo stories about China by the Venetian traveler.
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