Escape for the Weekend

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What to see in Italy? Unforgettable Venice, breathtaking Vatican City; the Leaning Tower of Pisa; charming Florence; majestic Rome; Punta-di-Fetovaia; Talolara Island; the national park Circeo.

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It is hard to find a person who has never heard of Italy. This country gave to the world a lot of beautiful things: top-of-the-line cars Ferrari and Lamborghini, fashion brands Armani, Gucci, Valentino and others, wine Chianti and liqueur Amaretto. And this is Italy which taught the entire planet to cook spaghetti and pizza.

The Italian Republic is situated on the south of Europe. It occupies the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily and Sardinia, and many other smaller islands. Five seas, surrounding Italy, give perfect opportunity to have a rest at numerous resorts, and enjoy history and culture of one of the most popular and attended European countries (ranks No.4 in the world). The official language is Italian, the national currency is euro. You can exchange currency in exchange offices, banks or post offices. In airports exchange rate is less beneficial, but there exchange offices work round-the-clock. While exchanging the currency in banks or exchange offices, pay attention not so much to the rate as to the exchange parity. It is important to remember that from 12.00-1.00 pm to 3.00-4.00 pm there is siesta in Italy and during this time a lot of cafes, bars, shops and museums are closed, even taking a taxi can be a problem. If you want to buy some souvenirs or other things, keep in mind that on Sundays all the shops in Italy are closed and on Thursday they work only till afternoon.

Italian cuisine is acknowledged to be one of the best and the most fashionable at present. First of all, Italian cuisine includes thousands of pastries and each of them has its own peculiar taste. National dish is pasta, but Italy is equally well known by its cheese. Italy is also a country of vineyards. More than 3000 wine brands are produced here. Dinner in Italian restaurants continues from 12.00 pm to 3.00 pm, and supper starts at 7.00 pm and do not last after midnight (unless it is preconditioned with the staff). Coffee, ice-cream or juice at the bar counter will be twice cheaper than at the table. So if you drop at a bar to have a cup of coffee or a glass of juice, do not hasten to a table – you can have a bite standup and save some money.

As for public transport, Italy has a developed railway and bus system. Orange buses and trams work from 6.00 pm to 00.00 am, night buses are marked with letter “N”. You should get on a bus through the back door and get off it through the middle door. In Venice public transport consists of water buses, river taxi and, of course, gondolas. In Rome the fastest means of public transport is underground. The best way of travelling among remote cities is going by domestic flights

Main airports of Italy:

FCO - Leonardo da Vinci International (Fiumicino), Rome
CIA - Ciampino, Rome
MXP - Malpensa, Milan
BGY - Orio Al Serio, Milan
LIN - Linate, Milan
NAP - Capodichino, Naples
VCE - Marco Polo, Venice
PSA - Aeroporto Internazionale Galileo Galilei, Florence
FLR - Peretola, Florence
TRN - Sandro Pertini (caselle), Turin
PSA - Galileo Galilei, Pisa
PMF - Giuseppe Verdi, Parma
PEG - Sant Egidio, Perugia
PMO - Punta Raisi, Palermo

Italy, washed by five seas and having deep lakes, is very popular among divers. There are a lot of opportunities for those who love diving in this country. The most comfortable period for diving lasts from May till October. Main diving places are islands Elba, Sardinia, Sicily, the Pontines. They are of interest for those who like rich underwater world and for explorers of sunken ships.

The most popular diving region of Elba is Punta-di-Fetovaia, famous for its bright and rich underwater world, red corals, pelagic fish and going into the depth steep walls. In Italy you can take up various kinds of diving on the coast of Sardinia. It is said that this region of Italy has the clearest water. Here, near Sardinian coast, incredibly beautiful bays give place to cliffs and snow-white beaches. Local diving centers also suggest tours to Talolara Island, where deeps allow exceeding recreational limits.

Sicily Island is considered to be one of the most famous and fascinating diving regions in the country. In clear coastal waters of Syracuse, Taormina, Pantelleria, Lampedusa and Ustica there are sunken ships referring to Ancient Rome and both World Wars. Islands Ponza and Ventotene are associated with legendary Odysseus. This is a wonderful corner, where you can go in for diving in the clearest waters of the national park Circeo, and explore Ancient Roman wrecks and tangled fish breeding tunnels.