Italy - Holidays, Flights and Hotels
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Italy consists predominantly of a large peninsula (the Italian peninsula) with a distinctive boot shape that extends into the Mediterranean Sea, where together with its two main islands Sicily and Sardinia it creates distinct bodies of water, such as the Adriatic Sea to the north-east, the Ionian Sea to the south-east, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the south-west and finally the Ligurian Sea to the north-west.
The Apennine mountains form the backbone of this peninsula, leading north-west to where they join the Alps, the mountain range that then forms an arc enclosing Italy from the north. Here is also found a large alluvial plain, the Po-Venetian plain, drained by the Po River - which is Italy's biggest river - and its many tributaries flowing down from the Alps, Apennines and Dolomites.
Other well-known rivers include the Tiber, Adige and Arno.
Its highest point is Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) at 4,890 metres (15,781 feet), but Italy is more typically associated with two famous volcanoes: the currently dormant Vesuvius near Naples and the very active Etna on Sicily.
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Like most developed countries, Italy is a very safe country to travel. There are few incidents of terrorism/serious violence and these episodes have been almost exclusively motivated by internal politics. Examples include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi by the Italian Mafia. Almost every major incident is attributed to organized crime or anarchist movements and rarely, if ever, directed at travelers or foreigners.
Petty crime can be a problem for unwary travelers. Travelers should note that pickpockets often work in pairs or teams, occasionally in conjunction with street vendors. The rate of violent crimes in Italy is considered a "moderate," and while a portion of violent crimes are committed against travelers, it is normally not a problem. However, instances of rape and robbery as a result of drugging are increasing. Travelers should be careful when going out at night alone.
There are many bars in Italy that cater to tourists and foreigners with "home country" themes, calling themselves such things as "American bars" or "Irish pubs". In addition to travelers, these bars attract a large number of Italians who, among other reasons, go there specifically to meet travelers and other foreigners. And while the motivation for the vast majority of these Italians is simply to have a good time with new friends, there can be one or two petty criminals who loiter in and out of these establishments hoping to take advantage of travelers who are disoriented or drunk. Traveling to these places in groups is a simple solution to this problem.
There have been problems in some major Italian cities with police assuming that any Black, East European, or Arab person without an ID card or passport is an illegal immigrant, and treating them accordingly. That could be a considerable problem if you are travelling alone.
For emergencies, call 113 (Polizia), 112 (Carabinieri), 115 (Fire Department) or 118 (Medical Rescue). List of Italian Islands
Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli, Vulcano
Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo, Asinara
Ischia, Nisida, Vivara, Procida
Budelli, Caprera, La Maddalena, Santa Maria, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Razzoli, Molara
Lampedusa, Lampione, Linosa, Pantelleria
Gavi, Palmarola, Ponza, Santo Stefano, Ventotene, Zannone
Capraia, Elba, Giannutri, Giglio, Gorgona, Montecristo, Pianosa
Caprara, San Domino, San Nicola
Burano, Giudecca, Lido, Pellestrina, Murano, Isola di San Michele, Torcello