When we speak of Italian culture, we aren’t really doing Italy justice, as she’s actually a melting pot of many diverse cultures.
Italy has been shaped by 2,000 years of migrations and invasions. That’s why you’ll find some of the most spectacular and preserved Greek ruins in southern Italy. It's also why Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church (it was the Ancient Romans who formalized Christianity as a major religion). Well-known and influential civilizations - from the Etruscans and Samnites, to the Arabs and Romans - really shaped the Italy we know today.
Italy has only been a fully unified country for around 150 years. Before then, it was a collection of kingdoms, duchies and principalities, each with their own distinct personalities. Southern Italy, formerly the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, was primarily influenced by the Spanish, whereas Northern Italy was formerly made up of four distinct states, that were primarily under Austrian and French / Savoy influence, or under control by the church, known as the Papal states. Unification of what we know as Italy today happened at lightning speed - within 35 years.
That’s why today, all Italy’s traditions and customs can easily be identified by their region of origin. It’s why you want to be eating pizza in Naples, seafood in Sicily, and lasagna in Bologna. Why you’re better off enjoying fashion in Milan but art and opera in Florence. Or deep red wines in Tuscany and prosecco in Veneto. Italy really does have many faces and we know the best spots for your personal passions.
Give our team of Italy Experts a call and we can help guide you towards the region that matches your passions the best.
Call us today to speak to one of our Italy Experts for further travel advice, hotel recommendations or to begin planning your next Italian holiday.
We have been helping our customers discover the real Italy for 90 years now. Our experience and expertise, together with our attention to detail and personal touch, really does make us the leading Italian holiday specialist