General Information About Italy

Italy has a rich history and culture.

The boot-shaped country has about 58 million inhabitants. Italy’s area is 301,000 km2, in comparison Norway is 385,000 sqm2. To the north, the country borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The Tyrrhenian Sea and the Adriatic Sea are parts of the Mediterranean Sea and are located west and east of Italy, respectively. Italy has 20 regions (counties). These are divided into provinces. These are again divided into municipalities, of which there are more than 8000.

Italy is rich in history and culture. The country has as many as 49 entries on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Norway has 7. The capital of Italy is Rome. Inside Rome is the Vatican City with less than 900 inhabitants. Italy is a Catholic country. The time zone is the same as in Norway. In large parts of Italy the temperature is comfortable from May to September. Spring comes early. In Tuscany, it is in full bloom from mid-April. During the autumn months, grapes and olives are harvested. Grapes are picked earlier than olives. Spring and autumn are popular periods for tourists.

Mountains and Volcanoes

The Apennine mountain range stretches throughout the Italian peninsula, from the Alps in the north to Sicily in the south. The highest mountain is Mont Blanc with its 4810 masl. The country has two famous volcanoes; Mount Vesuvius near Naples, and Mount Etna in Sicily.

The Largest Cities

Roma, Milano, Napoli, Torino og Palermo.


The Tuscan language / dialect is the national language of Italy. There are a number of dialects in the country. As a result of dubbing over voices on the TV channels, there are many Italians who have poor English skills.

Opening Times

It is common for shops to close from 13:00 to 16:30. Many are also closed Monday morning. Where there are a lot of tourists, this may differ.


There are many who are enthusiastic about Italian cuisine. One should not judge a restaurant by its appearance. One is constantly amazed at how good food is served, no matter what the building the restaurant is located in looks like. Lunch is served from 13:00 and dinner from 20:00. It is common to have children in a restaurant until late at night. The Italians are very patient with children. August is a holiday month for Italians. It is exciting to visit the beaches when it is crowded with Italians.

Read about Northern Italy, Central Italy, Southern Italy or Italian Islands