Italy, the world's most popular country among tourists

Italy, the world's most popular country among tourists is considered as one of the birthplaces of western culture. Although Italian is the predominant language, you will find several Italian dialects depending on the region you are visiting.
Italy, nicknamed Bel Paese, meaning the the beautiful country’ is known for its fashion, delicious cuisine, automobiles, history and beautiful landscapes. Beaches, alpine lakes and the Italian Alps are one of the major draws for tourists world over.

Historical significance:
Italian peninsula has been inhabited for at least 200,000 years. The Roman Empire which spanned fifteen centuries laid the initial foundation of Italy. Colosseum, one of the most popular destinations in Italy was built during this period. During the Roman period, Rome was the largest city in the world from BC 100 to AD 400, following which Constantinople became the largest city for a long period from 500 AD. At its peak, the Roman Empire had control over large parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. Modern day Christianity owes its popularity to the reign of Constantine.

Post the decline of the Roman Empire, the medieval history of Italy is characterized by the spread of Christianity. Many famous basilicas like Santa Maria Maggiore and San Paolo Fuori le Mura were build during this period. Italy again became the epicenter of scientific awakening of the world against a backdrop of tight religious control over state. The Renaissance period in Italy laid the foundation of many scientific discoveries. The works of Galileo, Copernicus and Leanardo Da Vinci during this period were instrumental in establishment of rational thought and scientific temper. The famous paintings of Last Supper and Monalisa were also drawn during this period.

There are many exciting places to visit in Italy during summer; Rome being the first among the equals. Along with Rome; Tusciny with its enchanting olive groves and vineyards, Venice with its picturesque waterways and historic architecture, Leaning tower of Pisa in Pisa, Mount Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii in Pompeii, Sicily with its art and history and Mount Etna (Europe’s tallest active volcano), and the mega fashion center of Milan are places to that will leave one spellbound.

Rome:
Rome, the capital of Italy is a sprawling cosmopolitan city. Rome has wielded immense influence on global art, politics, architecture and culture from around 500 BC. The Roman Forum and Colosseum which are ruins from ancient times elicit the power and grandeur of the erstwhile Roman Empire.

Vatican City, the seat of Roman Catholic Church is visited by millions every year. People throng Rome to get a glimpse of the Pope. St. Peter’s Basilica build during the medieval period attracts tremendous footfall. Vatican museums depicting the history of Christianity are also visited by many faithfuls on a daily basis. April to June and September as well as October known as shoulder seasons are the best time to visit Rome. As lot of tourists visit during this period, it is advisable to plan your accommodation in advance.

Venice:
Venice with its breathtaking architecture, mysterious passageways, and of course the enchanting and romantic canals is one of the most alluring cities in the world. It is a place where one as a visitor will not mind getting lost. Visit Piazza San Marco, surrounded on three sides by public buildings as well as on the fourth side by Basilica di San-Marco's riot of domes & arches as well as the soaring St. Mark's campanile.

This is the only place in Venice with the title of Piazza (square), rest are known as Campo (countryside). A moonlit Gondola ride in Venice is sure to leave you amazed. History, beauty and romance are at every corner of Venice.

The Great Italian Lakes
These landscapes in Italy’s northern regions are known for their lakes. The streets and towns overflow with culture. The beauty of Como Lake, the serenity of Garda and the quiete of Iseo and Orta are worth a visit. Away towards the east are the Dolomites, Europe’s most breathtaking mountains, with some their captivating treks and trails. The Brenta massif with its circular hiking route is every nature lover’s paradise. Molveno or Madonna di Campiglio is an ideal base for the trail with good accommodation and food facilities.

All in all, whether it be honeymoon, a family trip or a solo sojourn, Italy has something for everyone. You will sure savour the taste of a visit to this amazing country for a long time.