Italy Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Italy
Italy is a mountainous country with almost 1/3 of the country covered in mountains. The main mountain ranges; the Alps, extends across the northern border with France, Switzerland, Austria. The Italian Alps runs west to east through the Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Trentino, Alto Adige and Fruili-Venezia. The top two highest mountains in Italy are part of the Italian Alps and they are Monte Bianco located in the Aosta Valley and Monte Rosa located in Piedmont. The Italian Alps were the host of the 2006 Winter Olympics with the base for the Olympics located in Turin Italy. The best destinations for skiing in Italy are Cortina, Cervinia, Courmayeur and Val Garden. Cortina Italy is probably the resort that offers the most authentic Italian experience. Cortina is located in the eastern part of the Alps known as the Dolomites. The Dolomite Mountain range is listed in Unesco for its beautiful landscape of 18 peaks which rise to 3,000 meters and extends over 141,903 ha. One of the most popular ski destinations in Italy is Livigno, Lombardy. The village is located near the Swiss border in the Italian Alps. The village was considered one of the most popular ski destination ranked by Travel and Leisure Magazine.
The 2nd mountain range in Italy are the Apennines Mountains and they extend from Northern Italy through Central Italy and all the way into Sicily. The mountains form a backdrop to the Italian Riviera starting in San Remo down along the coastal through the towns and villages of Genoa and La Spezia facing the Ligurian Sea. Then at Spezia the mountains arc towards the east and then near Naples the arc back towards the western coastline and extend down towards Sicily. Inland they contribute to the charm of Florence, Arezzo, and Perugia. Further south the mountains surround Naples and at this location you will find an active volcano, Mount Vesuvius. Which is considered the only active volcano in Europe.
The Apennines Mountain range is home to two active volcanos in Italy. Mount Vesuvius is located within proximity to the city of Naples on the west coast of Italy and is known for destroying the Roman city of Pompei in 79 BC. Mount Vesuvius is also the only active volcano on mainland Europe and it is the tallest rising to 3000 meters. Mount Etna, which is in Sicily, is Europe’s most active volcano with its last eruption began in March 2007 and is continuing to this day. A third active volcano is located on the Aeolian Island of Stromboli, which has been active for the last 2,000 years with its last major eruption occurring in 2013-2014.
Italy has numerous lakes but the most famous lakes are in northern Italy near the border with Switzerland. These lakes are fed by the mountain streams from the melting snow of the Italian and Swiss Alps. These major lakes are: Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta and Lake Varesse. The area is a popular tourist destination because of the beautiful scenery and majestic lakes and on the shores, and you will find famous castles and villas that are owned by many rich and famous personalities. Family vacations in Italy in the "Lake District" are very popular with locals and international visitors.
Italy’s beaches are usually located in isolated coves surrounded by rocky mountains. Some of the best beach vacations in Italy are located on one of the 350 sea islands of Italy. “Asinara Island” is located off the coast of Sardinia and is a protected area where wild white donkeys can be found. The only access to the island is via a motorboat from the town of Stintino in Sardinia. “Numana Beach” is in The Marche of Italy region. Huge cliff and palm trees surround the white beach. Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, and has numerous beautiful beaches that are noted for the beautiful white sand and sand dune. The “Cagliari Beaches” are Su Giudeu Beach, Punta Molentis, Tuerredda Beach and Porto Giunco Beach.
The northern region of Italy is known for being more industrialized and more prosperous. It is the location While the south is mainly agricultural. The south is known for their production of Wine, Olive oil Milan and the northern region are known more for their industry. Some major Italian corporations are Pierlli (the tire manufacturer), De’Longhi (home appliances), Dolce & Gabbana (clothing), Gucci (clothing).
Italy is one of the top wine producing countries in the European Union and in the world and Italy vacations that include wine tasting tours are very popular. For several years, between 2012-2016 it retained the No. 1 spot during 4 of those 5 years. DOCG and DOC are the two of the major wine classifications. DOCG is the highest standard and means that the wine production has followed certain strict guidelines regarding the geographic location of the wine vineyards and types of grapes used in the production of the wine. The DOC wines may have broader restrictions regarding the types of grapes that are used in the production of the wine. There is a third classification of Italian wine. It is IGT and it is a category for wines that do not fall into the two main categories. The more famous Italian wines are Brunello di Montalcino, Prosecco, Tuscany Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines.
The main regions where you will find Italy vacation rentals are Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche, Veneto and Sicily. These vacation rentals in Italy are usually quaint and rustic cottages or apartments located on a farm or agriturismo. With the exception of those Italian vacation rentals that are located in the major cities like Rome or Florence, which are mainly apartments. The majority of our Italy boutique hotels are located in the major cities also.