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Rome, Italy Featured

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Tourism is one of the fastest growing and profitable sectors of the national economy: with 43.7 million international tourist arrivals and total receipts estimated at $42.7 billion, Italy is the fourth highest tourism earner and the fifth most visited country in the world. Despite a slump in the late-1980s and during the Gulf War, Italy has, since the mid-1990s, rebuilt a strong tourism industry.

Italy's most popular tourist attractions are the Colosseum (4 million tourists per year, and the world's 39th most visited sight) and the ruins at Pompeii (48th in the world, with 2.5 million visitors).

Italy has a very broad and diverse architectural style, which cannot be simply classified by period, but also by region, due to Italy's division into several city-states until 1861. However, this has created a highly diverse and eclectic range in architectural designs. Italy is known for its considerable architectural achievements, such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structure during ancient Rome, the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th century, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America during the late-17th to early 20th centuries. Several of the finest works in Western architecture, such as the Colosseum, the Milan Cathedral and Florence cathedral, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the building designs of Venice are found in Italy. Italy has an estimated total of 100,000 monuments of all varieties (museums, palaces, buildings, statues, churches, art galleries, villas, fountains, historic houses and archaeological remains).

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Italian architecture has also widely influenced the architecture of the world. Italianate architecture, popular abroad from the 16th to mid-20th century, was used to describe foreign architecture which was built in an Italian style. British architect Inigo Jones, inspired by the avant-garde designs of Italian buildings and cities, in the early-17th century, brought back these ideas with him to London, and ever since, this Italianate architecture has been popular in construction designs all over the world.

The climate of Italy is highly diverse and can be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate, depending on location. Most of the inland northern regions of Italy, for example Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, have a climate variously described as humid continental or temperate. Adriana Rigutti (in Meteorologia, Giunti 2005) states that the climte of the “Po valley region [is] continental ... with harsh winters and hot summers”. The coastal areas of Liguria and most of the peninsula south of Florence generally fit the Mediterranean stereotype (Köppen climate classification Csa). Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions have mild winters and warm and generally dry summers, although lowland valleys can be quite hot in summer.


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Official Name:
Repubblica Italiana
short form: Italia
int'l long form: Italian Republic
int'l short form: Italy
former: Kingdom of Italy

ISO Country Code: it
Actual Time: Mon-Jan-24  00:25
Local Time = UTC +1h;
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +2)

Country Calling Code: +39

Capital City: Rome (pop. 2.8 million)

Government:
Type: Republic since 2 June 1946.
Constitution: 1 January 1948.

Geography:
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea.
Area: 301 225 sq. km. (116 303 sq. mi.);
Terrain: Mostly rugged and mountainous.

Climate: Generally mild mediterranean; cold winters in the north.

People:
Nationality: Italian(s).
Population: 57.5 million.
Ethnic groups: Primarily Italian, but there are small groups of German-, French-, Slovene-, and Albanian-Italians.
Religion: Roman Catholic (majority).
Language: Italian.
Literacy: 98%.

Currency: Euro (EUR) has replaced the formerly used Italian Lira.

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