Italy is a country in southern Europe that is widely considered a birthplace of Western culture. It’s one of the most visited countries in the world, with some 50 million international arrivals in 2016 alone. Italy is also home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with 55 in total including the historic centres of Rome, Venice, and Florence.
Italy is divided into regions. Its most famous is Tuscany, which is a must-visit destination for foodies thanks to its regional delicacies as well as its ancient vineyards. Head south-west to the Cinque Terre and marvel at the picturesque colourful villages hugging the coastline. In the south, villages like Positano on the Amalfi coastline region have become carefully protected holiday destinations. All of these areas are protected by UNESCO.
Unsurprisingly, Italy is famous for both its natural beauty and its world-defining culture: its northern half is home to influential fashion and luxury sports car industries, while its food and wine culture spans both northern and southern ends of the country. Italy is often named the Bel Paese (the beautiful country).
Italy is one of the world’s top holiday destinations. A travel guide to Italy would have to note that Rome is third most visited city in Europe, and the 12th in the world, with 94 million arrivals in 2017. Meanwhile, Milan — Italy’s fashion capital — is the 27th worldwide with 6.8 million tourists in 2017. Milan’s northern neighbours, Venice and Florence, are among the world’s top 100 destinations, too.