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  • Repubblica Italiana
  • 301,230 km2
  • Rome
  • Euro (Lira)
  • 58,133,509
  • 2 June

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  • and
  • 42 50 N, 12 50 E
  • Mediterranean 0 m
  • Mt. Bianco 4,748m
  • 42.2 years
  • Italian
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The name Italia applied to a part of what is now south Italy. According to Antiochus Syracuse, it originally only referred to the southern portion of the Bruttium peninsula (modern Calabria), but by his time Oenotrians & Italy had become synonymous & the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name "Italia" to a larger region, but it wan't until the time of the Roman conquests that this-one term was expanded to cover the entire peninsula.


Once the center of the ancient world from which emperors ruled over nearly all of western civilization for hundreds of years, Rome is still considered by many to reign over all other European destinations.

Here you can breathe the air once breathed by great Roman gladiators in the ancient halls of Colosseum. Gaze upon the very ceilings Michelangelo painted at the Sistine Chapel. Or visit a monument to both size and faith, St. Peter's Basilica, the largest ever built.


Despite a decidedly modern appearance, this mecca for fashion and the arts boasts a number of beautiful ancient buildings, including the massive Gothic cathedral in the heart of the city. On a wall of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie sits one of history's most famous masterpieces, da Vinci's The Last Supper.


Occupying both banks of the Arno River and situated at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, is Florence. Founded by Julius Caesar himself, Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. History and art shake hands in this picturesque land where masterpieces like Michelangelo's David can be seen in the city's many museums, churches and galleries.


One of the world's most beautiful cities also happens to be one of its most unusual. Venice is actually made up of over 120 islands in the Adriatic Sea. Because the city is connected by canals instead of streets, a good way to see Venice is on a romantic gondola ride. The epicenter of the city is St. Mark's Square, where you'll find the 900-year-old Basilica of St. Mark.


Located on the southern coast of Italy, Naples has spectacular scenery that attracts artists from around the world. From this key spot, you can embark on a trip to the ruins of Pompeii or shop the many boutiques of Sorrento. You may work up an appetite for one of Naples' greatest inventions - pizza, invented to honor the Queen of Italy in 1889.


This picturesque Veneto city is home to myriad artworks, monuments, churches and Roman ruins - like the awe inspiring Roman Arena. While strolling its piazzas, streets; and colorful shops and markets, one must note the bronze maps still embedded into its sidewalks. And who could miss the house where Romeo professed his love to Juliet?


The town can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the bay of Naples, as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints in the city allow sight of Naples itself (visible across the bay) and Vesuvius.

Capri / Anacapri

Capri is a tourist destination for both Italians and foreigners. In the 1950s, Capri became a popular destination for the international jet set. The central piazzetta of Capri, though preserving its modest village architecture, is lined with luxury boutiques, expensive restaurants, and paparazzi chasing celebrities.


Both banks of the River Arno are gracious enough to share this lovely port city. Pisa is perhaps most noted for its famous marble bell tower, known widely as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It's no surprise the tower is still leaning (14 1/2 feet since 1370), considering that it resides in the Field of Miracles, known locally as Campo de Miracoli.


Corso Vittorio Emanuele divides Bari, a prominent seaport, into two different eras: the alleys and courtyards of Old Town and the thriving, modern city. Walk the Imperatore Augusto Promenade to the Basilica of St. Nicholas and browse the elegant shops of the Via Sparano for a taste of both worlds.


Brindisi was probably an Illyrian settlement predating the Roman expansion. The Latin name Brundisium, through the Greek Brentesion, is a corruption of the Messapian Brention meaning "deer's head" and probably referring to the shape of the natural harbor.