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The most wonderful thing about Italy is that there is something for everyone. Romantic cities, breathtaking scenery, perfect climate, mountains to ski and walk in, lakes to be sailed on and holidayed beside, festivals to be watched and this all leads to a lifestyle that could be called perfect! The people themselves are charming and relaxed, they have a great love of life, they are great lovers of food and drink and their restaurants are happy, buzzy establishments, which are a delight to eat in.

Art lovers can choose from a variety of towns and cities and even small villages to peruse at their leisure the vast array of art galleries, exhibitions and churches. There are thousands of ruins and statues to be found, from Pompeii, site of an old Roman town flattened by Vesuvius in 79 AD, to the Grizzi Palace in Florence. Life in Italy makes it very easy for visitors to meander around from numerous art galleries or open-air theatres, or wander around Rome or Venice or any of the other towns to get a feel of the history and the centuries of life that has taken place there. But it is not just the visitor to Italy that will be able to enjoy this lifestyle, whilst work is to be done; the Italians still are able to indulge in ‘La Dolce Vita', a lifestyle full of romance, culture and fine foods!

Italian cooking must be high in the ranks of the most delicious, richest and most varied of all cooking, with dishes for every occasion. Food plays a major part in the lives of Italians and their culture. Every region has its speciality, not only pasta but all varieties of meat and fish are cooked to old, handed down recipes, mouth watering puddings, and of course, nobody can beat their ice creams! Most regions also make their own wines, and the wine caves produce some of the top labels of wine in the world. It is a cultural given to sit in a café at the end of a hard day's work and tipple a little Soave before returning home for dinner!

Shopping may not be a national past time but it is taken very seriously. The major cities, Rome, Milan, Florence are full of the most wonderful shops selling everything from designer clothes to the newest and hippest furniture to be found anywhere in the world. Milan has its furniture fair every year and furniture makers from far and wide will go there to see what is happening at the leading edge of furniture design. Leather is also a good buy in Italy, Italians know their leather and the finest gloves, shoes, jackets and bags are worn by virtually all Italians. They glory in being chic, and are generally always beautifully turned out.

Sport is a very important part in the lives of many Italians. Football being their main passion, with hundreds of football clubs with top soccer teams playing for their country. Volleyball is also much enjoyed as is rugby, with the rugby team playing for the European Challenge Cup.

These are just some of the elements that make up Italian culture. Everything about Italy exudes quality and style - from their clothes to their music. It is no surprise, for example, that both the top opera singers and top fashion designers all come from Italy.

In summary, the Italian culture is one of great flamboyance, colour, enjoyment and passion. It would be difficult to find any other national culture to match Italy's rich diversity and depth of emotional vibrancy.


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