Traveling Luck for Italy
Italy is located in Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia.
Land in Italy is mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands.
Italian land covers an area of 301230 square kilometers which is slightly larger than Arizona
As for the Italian climate; predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south.
Italian(s) speak Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area).
Places of note in Italy
Italian Clickable Map
Regions of Italy
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.
Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with 20% unemployment. Most raw materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported. Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Unions and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. The current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. Italy has moved slowly, however, on implementing needed structural reforms, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italy's rigid labor market and over-generous pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labor unions. But the leadership faces a severe economic constraint: the budget deficit has breached the 3% EU ceiling. The economy experienced almost no growth in 2005, and unemployment remained at a high level.
Italian natural resources include coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorospar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land
strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe
Italian religion is approximately 90% Roman Catholic (about one-third regularly attend services); mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community.
Natural hazards in Italy include regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice.
- Italy shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets. There continue to be isolated cases of domestic terrorism in Italy by extreme left wing and secessionist groups, which are aimed primarily at official Italian targets.
- There is currently a risk of unannounced wildcat strikes by municipal transport workers in cities across Italy. See Local Travel below for dates of major re-planned strikes.
- Around 3.5 million British tourists visit Italy every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The main types of incidents for which British nationals require consular assistance are street and car crime such as theft, bag snatching and breaking into cars. You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime in cities.
- There continues to be non-violent volcanic activity on the island of Stromboli. Italy is in an earthquake zone.
- Visitors to ski resorts should take advice on weather and avalanche conditions before they travel and should make themselves aware of local skiing laws and regulations throughout their visit (see: http://www.goski.com/italy.htm and http://www.avalanches.org).
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
- 20 February: Air Traffic Control 12.00 – 16.00
- 20 February: Air Traffic Control Milan 24 hours
- 13 March: Air Traffic Control Rome 10.00 – 14.00
- 14 March; Air Traffic Control 12.00 – 16.00
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Form E111 is no longer valid. You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Italian nationals. You will not be covered for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. For more information about the EHIC please see Europe and the EHIC.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk.
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Many parts of Italy lie on a major seismic fault line. Minor tremors and earthquakes are almost a daily occurrence.
Major Earthquakes on 31 October and 1 November 2002, affected the Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia regions of southern Italy. The epicentre of the worst tremor was near Campobasso in Molise. Further tremors in this region cannot be ruled out.
There continues to be non-violent volcanic activity on the island of Stromboli. Further information on Stromboli and other volcanoes around the world can be found at: http://www.stromboli.net.
Visitors to Venice should note that parts of Venice are liable to flooding at certain times of year, especially in late autumn and early spring.
The revised EU-wide security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 are also being implemented in Italy. For more details about this please see: DfT - Airline Security Update.
If you are planning a skiing holiday it is advisable to contact the Italian State Tourist Board for advice on safety and weather conditions before travelling. They can be contacted at:
1 Princes Street
London W1R 9AY
Tel: 020 7 355 1557/1439
You should be aware that off-piste skiing is highly dangerous. All safety instructions should be followed meticulously given the dangers of avalanches in some areas. Italy has introduced a law forcing skiers and snowboarders to carry tracking equipment if going off-piste. The law also obliges under-14s to wear a helmet and there are plans for snowboarders to be banned from certain slopes.
Further information can be obtained at the following websites:
You are reminded that the currency in Italy is the Euro. Further information can be obtained from the FCO website at: Dealing with the Euro "Money Matters and the Euro".
Information on the EU can be found at: Britain in the EU
The British Honorary Consulate in Catania will be closed until April 2007. If you require assistance or advice there is an Honorary Consulate in Palermo and a Consulate in Naples. Contact details for both can be found at the British Embassy, Rome website http://www.britain.it
The British Consulate, Venice has relocated to:
Piazzale Donatori di Sangue 2/5
Tel: (0039) 041 5055990 or (0039) 041 5069389
Fax: (0039) 041 950254