Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s "David" and Brunelleschi's Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
Italy, a Land of Art and History
Italy has been, since antiquity, the centre of history, culture and art. Our museums, collections and archaeological sites reveal countless tokens of the past and the many civilizations that have passed across this country, evidence of which is still inextricably woven into the present day landscape.
Artistic wonders can be found everywhere, and every corner of the country holds countless and wonderful surprises. Our artistic and cultural heritage is one of the most valuable in the world. Italy has more cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country. Rome, Florence, Assisi, Venice, Siena, Pisa, and Naples are its most renowned cities of art, but the whole country can boast towns of breathtaking beauty, as these numbers demonstrate: 95,000 monumental churches, 40,000 forts and castles, 30,000 historical residences with 4,000 gardens, 36,000 archives and libraries, 20,000 historical cities and towns, 5,600 museums and archaeological sites, and 1,500 convents.
Tourists can explore and discover the private residences of ancient and noble families; visit world famous museums such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Capitoline Museums in Rome, or the Brera Art Gallery in Milan; explore impressive archaeological sites, such as Pompei and Herculaneum, to immerse themselves in an exciting, grandiose past. That is by no means all - there are numerous cultural, artistic, and musical events that animate Italian life.
Italy offers a rich combination of masterpieces from different areas, blending landscape and culture, history and art, architecture and city planning - it offers an exciting journey through time, from the Ancient Greeks and Romans to the present day, which is also filled by a wealth of art and culture.
Italy, a Territory of Culture
Italy is a nation that hosts unique and fascinating events of international resonance throughout the year, providing innumerable opportunities for experiencing intense emotions.
Art exhibitions are inspired by over a thousand years of heritage, and events such as the Venice Biennale with its design and contemporary art focus, are flanked and alternate with theatre and ballet performances. For music lovers, the festivals and operatic seasons offered by Milan’s La Scala and the Verona Arena are unique. Italy is a synonym for music and art in every form. But that’s not all. It offers a wide range of traditional and modern cultural events, such as literary festivals or the many Carnivals held, most notably in Venice, but also in many other regions, and the various historical and religious representations that fill Italy with fantasy and vitality throughout the year.
Italy is also a natural film set. Its beautiful scenery makes it the perfect background for every kind of film production: From its metropolises, to its Renaissance palaces, and amazing natural landscapes.
Italy is an ensemble of art, culture, natural landscapes, traditions, magic…in a word, diversity. Enjoy Italy and its daily, countless events!
The Italian art cities are some of the most-visited destinations in international cultural tourism. Rich in monuments, churches, castles, museums, and historic dwellings, Italy’s cities of art are an ideal target for low-season tourism, fulfilling a desire to know them any time of the year. Of course, many are Italy’s art cities: Turin, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Ferrara, Florence, Perugia, Rome, Naples, and Palermo, just to name a few.
Almost all of them preserve an important historic, artistic and architectonic heritage that narrates the succession of century after century. Rich in signs of the events of the men who moved about in them – Italy’s art cities were often the seats of governments and principalities, and the stages for the events that changed the course of history. More specifically these cities, due to their particular relationship with various axes of power, were made over several times – i.e. as residences of princes, dukes, popes, kings and emperors.
Frequently characterized as an urban textile that preserves the original framework, such as a Roman stronghold or a Medieval borgo, Italy's art cities represent vestiges that each seem to be frozen in different times – some even seem to straddle the divide between more than one historical period, perhaps not having completed the transformation initiated by one conqueror or another. Marked by the initiatives of great artists and patrons, these cities are not only the repositories of poignant artistic expressions, but are themselves true masterpieces of art. Open-air museums that can be enjoyed and admired on foot – these cities offer modern and inspiring itineraries for discovering shops and artisan workshops, markets and fairs, festivals and theatrical events that are a great blessed union of traditions, culture and excitement.
Made in Italy is an expression that recalls the image of high-quality Italian products throughout the world. The reason behind this expression’s fame? Made in Italy is, by now, an authentic brand symbolizing the excellence of Italian artisanship and manufacturing.
From footwear to pret-a-porter, from bicycles to automobiles and, undoubtedly, excellent enogastronomic traditions, Italian products bearing the prestigious Made in Italy title are highly-coveted the world over - for their integrity and durability, design originality and creativity, and for their distinct tastes and flavors. Numerous encounters, fairs, and showrooms promote Made in Italy year-round, familiarizing entities and the public with the elevated taste, quality, and sophisticated research and traditions of its products. Such initiatives frequently unite the character of the trade show with the cultural event, creating occasions to jump into the immense history and art of the Bel Paese. Many artisanal and industrial manufacturers guarantee Made in Italy status and origins with internationally-recognized labels, such as DOC wines (Denomination of Controlled Origin), DOP or PDO cheeses (Denomination of Protected Origin), and many others that regard textiles, decor and furnishings and fashion accessories, protected by licenses and copyrights assuring their singularity. Alongside the producers themselves, diverse consortiums work to guarantee the realization, conception and origins of Made in Italy products. Other independent agencies check for quality, monitoring for adulterations and counterfeits.
Many a tourist visits the Peninsula exclusively to experience the world of Made in Italy: the exploration of the places where culture, industry, history, art and good taste result in unique and beloved cuisines and articles of design, and the exploration of the traditions and methods that lead to their creation. And of course, hardly anyone can return home without taking with them at least one memento to remind them of their exciting discovery of Made in Italy.
Milan, while Rome is Italy's political capital, Milan is the country's industrial and financial heart. The province of Milan is home to about 45% of businesses in the Lombardy region and more than 8 percent of all businesses in Italy, including three Fortune 500 companies. Milan is a major world fashion centre, where the sector can count on 12,000 companies, 800 show rooms, and 6,000 sales outlets (with brands such as Armani, Prada, Versace, Valentino and Luxottica), while four weeks a year are dedicated to top shows and other fashion events. Milan is home to many cultural institutions, museums and art galleries, that account for about a tenth of the national total of visitors and receipts. Milan is a major national and international centre of the performing arts, most notably opera.
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