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This article introduces you to the spell-binding Destination - Italy, the "Bella Italia" - beautiful Italy, how many Italians love to call their country. 

Italy is easy to love:

a destination of natual beauty that boasts some of the world's greatest art and architectural masterpieces. It is charming and warm and offers a bounty of culinary riches. And that's just for starters. 

What's more, in some spots the boot country is proving to be modern and forward-thinking, like Florence's new cultural openings and the global success of the Piedmont-born Slow Food movement. 


Map of Italy, major cities and surrounding countriesItaly is located in southern Europe on the Apennine Peninsula. 

Its distinct shape, resembling a kicking boot, makes it easy to recognize it on maps or even from space.

The Adriatic Sea borders the peninsula in the east, the Sea of Sicily in the south, the Ionian Sea in the southeast, the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west; all those seas are parts of the Mediterranean Sea.

Italy has international borders with six countries including Austria (400 km), France (476 km), the Holy See (Vatican City) 3.4 km, San Marino (37 km), Slovenia (218 km), and Switzerland (698 km).

The coastline of Italy is 7,600 km long, 
with a variety of breathtaking, wild and pristine beaches.

It shares maritime borders with Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Spain and Tunisia. 

Two of the largest Mediterranean islands belong to Italy, Sardinia in the west and Sicily in the south.

The country covers an area of 301,318 km² (116,340 sq. mi.), compared, it is about 80% the size of Japan or slightly larger than the U.S. state of Arizona.

Italy has a population of more than 61,095,551 people (2022 est.).
The capital and largest city is Rome (Italian: Roma).

Other major cities are Florence, Milan, Naples, and Venice.

Spoken language is (only) Italian.

Currency: Euro (EUR) has replaced the formerly used Italian Lira.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy

Italy is home to 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (50 cultural and five natural), making it the country with the most World Heritage Sites alongside China.