Italy Travel Guide: Country & Destination Information for Visiting

Updated: 2019-06-22.

Italian Republic | Repubblica italiana

Italy is a country in south-central Europe that is easily one of the most recognizable – the mainland is shaped as a boot. It borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia along the Alps to the north and most of the Mediterranean Sea on all other sides. Sicily and Sardinia, the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as many other smaller islands, are part of the country of Italy.

Italy is unique in that it has not one, but two independent states wholly encompassed by the country of Italy within itself – San Marino and Vatican City. On the other hand, Italy has an entire comune, Campione d’Italia, that is completely encompassed by Switzerland.

The capital of Italy, Rome, is and has been one of the most important cities in many aspects throughout history. As the location of the Holy See, as well as where Vatican City is located, it has a huge impact in the religious sphere. It was once capital of the mighty Roman Empire, and now is a center for Italy’s many industries, as it remains its largest city. Italy is famous for its food, art, and design, exported to the rest of the world as a luxury. Though it is currently in the middle of trying to get out of an economic crisis, Italy remains one of the world’s leaders in development, education, and other areas.

Italy never stops receiving traveler’s praise for its beauty, way of life, cuisine, art, and attractions, and it is well-deserved. The country boasts the best of everything, and most tourists are well aware of it. But in addition to the beauty and quality of life that the country offers, Italian people are also some of the warmest and friendliest people on earth.

flag of Italy

Italy Travel Information & Key Points

General points to know about the country of Italy – demographics, important ages, phone numbers, key statistics, and more, whether you’re traveling there or not.

Capital: Rome (& largest city)

Population: 60.7 million (2019 estimate)

Language(s): Italian

Prime Minister: Giuseppe Conte

President: Sergio Mattarella

Currency: Euro € (EUR)

Area: 301,338 km2 (116,347 mi2)

Dialing Code: +39

Time Zone: Central European Time “CET” (UTC+1), DST/Summer Time: Central European Summer Time “CEST” (UTC+2)

Demonym: Italian (what is a demonym?)

Endonym: Italia (their name for their country)

Emergency Number: 112 is the general emergency number; 113 (police), 115 (fire), and 118 (medical) are also used.

Drinking Age: 18 is the drinking age, though selling to 16-17 is not a criminal offense.

Smoking Age: 16

Age of Consent: 14 is the age of consent, but 16 if child has influence on partner (such as teacher).

Drives on the: Right

Electricity & Adapter: 230 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / F / L (define)

ISO Country Code: IT