Italy is a country with total, startling extremes. In geographical terms alone, it
is one of Europe's most disaster-prone countries. Italy's civil service works in
a constant readiness to tackle the country's active volcanoes, earthquakes, floods,
landslides, forest fires ...
A large proportion of the land is hilly, and modern Italy is shaped by its natural
geography and by millennia of turbulent history. Over the last three thousand years,
Italy has had a consistently rich culture, produces fine buildings, artwork, and
a mythologised story with timeless appeal.
The jewels of the Italian Riviera to the high slope of Abruzzo, the more time you
spend in Italy, the more faces you will discover. Italy and Italians, are sometimes
cultivated and barbaric, modern and surreally old, lazy and live in the thrall of
the past, and neglectful of it.
This is a country where cities have been at war with each other for centuries ..
Now that masquerades as football rivalry or local pride, but really it is a continuation
of the peninsula city-state culture.
The Italians all feel that they "belong" primarily for their city (this may be their
parents' birthplace, where they have never lived), then perhaps to Europe.
“Italy" is a term that still worked on, and Mameli's national anthem a tool that
is not exercised for custom but for political purposes. If you want to please an
Italian, first praise the beauty of their city. Second, it compares favorably with
other Italian cities.
Italy means something different for every traveller. Pizza, ruins, great artwork,
warm beaches, handsome youth, good wine ...
The country is a committed one, and few visitors leave disappointed. If you're looking
for one aspect of Italy, you'll find it served on your plate, even richer than you
expected. And if you're open and receptive, the chances are you will find can be
much more than you dreamed of.