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Italy or officially known as the Italian Republic is a sovereign country in South Europe that is situated at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, sharing open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an area size of 301,340 square meters and is largely temperate seasonal with a Mediterranean climate. Together with Greece, Italy is regarded as the cradle of the Western culture.
The capital of Italy is Rome, a special commune which is also the capital of the Lazio region, being the most populated of them all. It history spans over 28 centuries, with Roman mythology having stated that Rome is founded around 753 BC. Yet there are proof that it may have been inhabited much earlier than that, thus making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in the continent of Europe. It has been the capital of Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire throughout the times and also the center of the Renaissance attracting renowned artists, painters, sculptors and architects from all over. As the Kingdom of Italy is established in 1871, Rome continued to become its capital which later continued when the Kingdom of Italy became the present day Italian Republic in 1946.
The culture in Italy is unique, rich and diverse, this is due to its long history being separated politically and geographically in addition to its various roles to the Western world throughout history. It is accurate to say that its culture is shaped by a multitude of regional customs and local centers of power and patronage that formed throughout those times. Various medieval heritage, architectural wonders and rich collections of art and literature can be found in abundance throughout Rome and nearby communes. Unsurprisingly, Italy has the most amount of UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other nations on Earth.
Following the creation of the country of Italy and the drafting of its constitution, Italian language becomes the official language of Italy. This is understandable since the 92.81% of the demography itself consists of Italians. It is estimated that there are 64 million native speakers of the Italian language, while the amount of people speaking Italian as the second language is around 85 million. There are also twelve other historical languages being recognized by the law, namely Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovene, Croatian, French, Franco-Provençal, Friulian, Ladin, Occitan and Sardinian. Of all these, German, French, Ladin and Slovene are recognized as the official languages alongside Italian in their respective regions.
Throughout history, the cuisines of Italy have further developed with their roots tracing to the Ancient Roman cuisines. The dishes are known for their regional diversity, the dishes in the northern region is unique to the dishes in the southern region. Due to the long history, Italian cuisines have influence dishes all over the world, trumping even United States. The main trait of Italian cuisine is the ability to achieve the abundance of tastes with very simple ingredients that typically involve only two to four ingredients at a time. The quality of the ingredient is also very crucial and a must-have in every Italian dishes. Among all these varieties, the dish that has earned its place as the national dish of Italy is the Ragu alla Bolognese. Also known simply as Bolognese because of its origins in Bologna, it is a meat-based sauce prepared through the sweating, sautéing, and braising of its ingredients, which include meat, onions, carrots, pancetta, and butter. These are supposed to be served together with tagliatelle, which is a pasta made of soft wheat flour and eggs.
A ticket flight from Kuala Lumpur to Rome of Italy would cost you roughly around RM2,300 to RM3,800 per pack which would typically change based on the choice of airline and the date of travel. Note that there are two airports serving Rome, namely Fiumicino (FCO - Leonardo Da Vinci) and Ciampino International Airport (CIA) while there would be other airports serving other cities like Malpensa (MXP) and Linate (LIN) for Milan, Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport for Bologna, Naples International Airport for Naples and many more.
Italy is also a member of the Schengen Agreement, therefore entering Italy via other European Union and other member countries would not require tedious immigration checks. However there might be custom checks on the spot.
Worry not, when you arrive at the respective airports, it is easy to go to go around using either bus or train. You can be certain that navigating around town would be much less hassle, given that the transportation system is pretty much established and well defined similarly like other European countries. You can either rent a car, board a bus or simply hitchhike to explore the areas of interest.
It is possible to reach Italy via ferry services from countries like Greece, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia, in which most of them will arrive at Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi. There are also regular ferry services connecting Corsica in France to France to Genoa, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples and North of Sardinia, the same applies for Barcelona in Spain being connected to Genoa and Civitavecchia.
Other destinations include North African harbors being connected to Sicily and Naples, as well as a year-round service between Trieste and Albania and summer services between Trieste and Pirano (Slovenia) and Parenzo and Rovigno in Croatian Istria.
Via the established Europe train network that is the Eurocity International train service, one may access Italy from other countries like Austria, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.
After getting into Italy, one may go around Italy using trains too. There are several other train lines supporting access all over the country such as the high speed trains of Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca and Eurostar Italia, however they can be quite expensive, yet one must book them in advance to avoid getting disappointed since the tickets are typically sold out.
It feels incomplete to come to Italy without spending some time to appreciate its rich culture of literature and fine arts. Fortunately there are a lot of places that would allow visitors to do just that, namely the Uffizi Gallery and sculpture of David at Accademia Gallery in Florence, monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan which places the famed Leonardo’s “The Last Supper”, Sistine Chapel in Rome in which its ceilings is wonderfully decorated by Michelangelo, the Pantheon, Gates of Paradise, Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and so many more, it may not be enough to finish your short trip just looking at these art galore.
Due to its climate, the beachside areas in Italy would certainly leave visitors in awe of its beauty alone. To begin with, the Chia Beach in Sardinia is considered the best beach in Italy with its backing by sand dunes and juniper trees, while the waters have an incredible shade of turquoise and the sand is golden. San Fruttuoso of Liguria has breathtaking bay views, surrounded by lush vegetation and overlooked by San Fruttuoso Abbey. Tropea Beach of Calabria would offer Caribbean-style white sand and turquoise water with ancient medieval monastery nearby. Follonica Beach in Tuscany has amazing landscape backed by green hills, clear waters and fine sand. These are some of the most popular, but one look forward to more considering Italy’s geography.
Italy is also known for its wine, and it has vineyards for wine productions that happen to have some of the beautiful sceneries possible. Staying at a major wine area such as Chianti would open up opportunities for day trips to the vineyards on your own, while there are also other tourism companies offering Italian vineyard tour packages offering good food, great wine and wonderful accommodation to top it off in their offerings.
Located about 3 kilometers away from Malpensa International Airport, this three-star hotel is strategically positioned nearby the airport, making it easy for guests to stay for transit purposes. The price is reasonable considering the currency exchange and the hotel has a good play with it colors, creating an environment that is vibrant and equally gleaming.
Hotel Locarno is a very luxurious hotel located in the Rome area. It has such glamorous setup that will make you feel as if you are back in Italy during the time of Renaissance. The arrangement is also pretty romantic, making it ideal for couples intending to come over for once-in-a-lifetime kind of vacation here in Rome.
This hotel can be easily found nearby the central area of Lombardia, Milan. It is close to some of the interesting attractions in town that could possibly be offered by the city such as Grattacielo Pirelli, Pirelli Tower, Spazio Oberdan and many more. It can be reached directly by using bus or taxis from Malpensa International Airport and the setup is definitely made professionally for business travelers.