Italy is bordered by the Mediterranean sea to the west and south with Malta sitting below Sicily. France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia border Italia in the north with Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece over the Adriatic Sea to the east.
Mountains create the northern border around San Remo, with the tunnel under Mt Blanc an adventurous drive for the claustrophobic. Heading south, the mountains give way to rolling farmland, white sand coastline and picturesque villages, towns and the cultural highlight of Italy: its cities.
Wine and food make up an important part of any visit to Italy, with local, seasonal specialities a must. Hiking or biking through Italy’s farmland is nicely supplemented with the odd drop of wine. There’s good climbing available too, but mixing that with vino is not recommended.
The cultural traveller will be in paradise, with an endless supply of Hellenic and Roman art, architecture and cultural goodies. Religious and art-lovers alike will obviously want to stop in at Vatican City, but there are many more religious sites, both pagan and Catholic, to explore.
Getting to and from Italy
Direct flights into Italy arrive daily from hundreds of cities around the world, but you might find yourself stopping in London or another hub en-route if you’re coming from far afield. If you’re already in Europe, you’ll find that most European airlines fly into Italy, with budget carriers such as Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizzair and others providing good value for money..
Road borders are quite easy to get through: Italy is part of the Schengen open-border agreement with most of its neighbours, but Switzerland isn’t, so you may find border controls there (but mainly checking for tax payment).
Arriving by ferry is likewise quite simple, with ferries arriving from the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.
Italy travel resources
Check out our top 10 things to do in Italy podcast or browse the articles below.