Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe, occupying the Italian Peninsula, as well as the Po Valley south of the Alps.
Once the core of the mighty Roman Empire, and the cradle of the Renaissance, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, including high art and monuments. Italy is famous for its delicious cuisine, it's trendy fashions, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its various sceneries from the seas to the Alps and Apennines, all reasons why it got nickcoded Il Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country). One of the great things about Italy is that its long thin shape means that when you get fed up with sightseeing you are often a relatively short distance from a beach. In many of the more popular areas, large sections of beach are reserved as paid beaches. Italy is full of differents cultures you can see: Etruscan Italy, The Greek influence, Roman ruins, Christian Italy, The Byzantine cities and The Renaissance. (Picture © Credits to istock/Freeartist)