Italy is a country in south-central Europe and is famous for its artworks, architecture, and food to vineyards, romantic canals, and ancient streets. In addition to the artistic and natural beauty that the country has, a growing number of tourists are also attracted by Italy’s high-quality healthcare. Though the country is not the cheapest destination for medical tourism, foreign patients come to this country for its world-class quality medical centers, cutting-edge technology, and experienced medical professionals. Numerous hospitals and clinics in the country are accredited by international organizations, such as the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI). A wide range of medical treatments is available, but the most sought-after are cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, cardiac surgery, orthopedics, oncology, and neurology.
Popular Cities and Regions in Italy
Many people start their travels in Rome, the capital of Italy. It is dotted with Roman ruins, such as the Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon. It is also home to romantic floodlit-fountain squares, Vatican City, and the beautiful Sistine Chapel. Venice, famous for its canals, is also a popular destination. Some famous attractions in the city are Canale Grande, St. Mark’s Basilica, Palazzo Ducale, St. Mark’s Square, and Ponte di Rialto and San Polo. Those who want to enjoy Italy’s famous beaches usually visit Cinque Terre, while fashion and art enthusiasts can visit Milan, the fashion capital of Italy and home to Da Vinci’s famous The Last Supper. Siena and Florence are well worth a visit as well.
Transport in Italy
The cities in Italy are serviced by multiple airports, but the main and busiest airport in the country is Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport. It has both domestic and international flights to many cities around the world, including Dublin, Moscow, Toronto, Beijing, Casablanca, Johannesburg, and Rio de Janeiro. Much of Italy is accessible via public transportation. Domestic flights can cut down a significant amount of time if you are traveling long distances. In some cases, flying is cheaper than traveling by train. Trains are a great option to get around. They are moderately priced and efficient, with frequent departures and extensive coverage. A more affordable alternative to internal flights and trains are buses. Although they can be slow, they are useful for remote areas not served by trains. All major cities in Italy have good transport systems, which include bus, metro, and tram networks. Taxis are widely available and are reasonably priced.
Visas in Italy
Holders of passports issued by all EU countries do not need a visa to visit and stay in Italy regardless of their length of stay and purpose of visit. Since Italy is a part of the Schengen Area, citizens of 62 countries, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, the US, and the UAE, do not need a visa to visit and can stay for up to 90 days. Citizens of counties not listed in the visa exemption agreement are required to apply for a visa.
Weather in Italy
Italy has a variable climate, meaning different areas can have different weather. In general, the country experiences four seasons. Spring occurs from March to May and has great, warm weather, with plenty of festivals. Summer, from June to August, has sunny, warm days and sultry nights. In September, autumn begins and brings cooler temperatures and pleasant weather. Winter can be freezing and snowy in some parts of the country.
Local Currency: The euro (€) is the currency used in Italy. US$1 is equivalent to €0.85.
Money & Payments: ATMs are widely available in Italy. Tipping is not expected but appreciated. Always tip 10% to 15% for exceptional service.
Local Language: The official and most commonly spoken language in Italy is Italian. English is not widely spoken, except in tourist areas and major cities, such as Milan, Rome, and Florence.
Local Culture and Religion: Approximately 80% of Italy’s population adhere to Roman Catholicism. The other 20% of the population are Muslims, atheists, agnostics, or follow other religions.
Public holidays: The most widely celebrated holidays in Italy are Christian holidays. Epiphany, Saints Day, Pasquetta, Liberation Day, and Christmas.