Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country). Two independent mini-states are surrounded entirely by Italy: San Marino
and Vatican City. While technically not part of the European Union, both of these states are also part of the Schengen Area and the European Monetary Union (EMU). Apart from different police uniforms, there is no evident transition from these states and Italy’s territory, and the currency is the same. Italian is also the official language in both countries.
Rome is the capital city of Italy, located in the region of Lazio, halfway down Italy’s western coast. It is Italy’s largest and most populous city, with more than 2.7 million residents. Rome offers a wide range of interesting things to do, thanks to its unique wealth of history, culture and art. Merely walking through its cobblestoned alleyways is a trip through history. During the day, visitors can enjoy Rome’s most famous sites, such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps. But there are also ancient secrets and modern charms to be discovered in the narrow streets of the city center. Rome is also a lively city at night, full of places to go, from the old Trastevere neighborhood to the very popular neighborhoods of Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Navona and Testaccio, just to name a few.