Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe. To the north, it borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia along the Alps. To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia–the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea–and many other smaller islands. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, while Campione dItalia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers some 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.8 million inhabitants, it is the fifth most populated country in Europe, and the 23rd most populated in the world.
When to go:
Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations. In summer the northern parts of Italy are warm with occasional rainfall, the central region is somewhat stifled by humidity, and the south scorches under the dry heat. In winter, conditions in Milan, Turin and Venice are dominated by cold, damp and fog and Tuscanys winter temperatures approach freezing, while temperatures in the south of the country are more favourable, averaging 10 to 20 C.
Average monthly temperature (°C)
+1hr (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in September).
Italian and English.
British citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months after their intended stay in Italy. Passport exemptions apply to holders of identity cards issued by Gibraltar authories, and endorsed Validated for EU travel purposes under the authority of the United Kingdom.
Italy is a popular travel destination with many airports. Three of the most used are Leonardo da Vinci Airport, 19 miles (30km) southwest of Rome, Venice Marco Polo Airport, 10 miles (16km) northeast of the Venice, and Milan Linate Airport, about four miles (7km) from the Milan city centre. There are frequent direct flights to Italy from many airports in the UK. The flight from London to Italy takes between two and four hours.
For the latest update-to-date Italy travel advice, click here.