Monday, 15 April 2013

Country in review: Italy

Italy has so much to offer prospective expats. Its rich and fascinating culture means that it has so many ways of surprising and delighting anybody. Below we’ve detailed just a few of the best bits that you might care to enjoy.


Image source: Flickr

Thousands of years of culture mean that Italy has loads of amazing architecture, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Leaning Tower of Pisa - and that’s not forgetting the country’s natural wonders, such as Mount Etna in Sicily. However, not all sights have to stand still. The Palio di Siena is a thrilling horse race where each area of the city enters its own horse and rider to represent it. What’s more, all this excitement is preceded by a magnificent pageant.


 Image source: Flickr

Italy is the spiritual home of opera and the country has seen some legendary works. From Verdi to Puccini, the Italian opera scene has produced some of history’s greatest composers – and with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, some of the best performers too.


Image source: Flickr

We challenge you to think of anything that smells better than chocolate and if that’s your thing, then Umbria’s the place to be. Every year the region is host to Europe’s biggest chocolate festival, attracting almost a million visitors to the beautiful city of Perugia. And that’s not all – the area is also home to the famous Perugina chocolate factory.


 Image source: Wikicommons

Not only is Italy famous for its culinary creations but its ingredients are renowned for their quality, too, perhaps none more so than Sicilian lemons – the locals have a saying that lemons aren’t real lemons unless they’re Sicilian. However, inhabitants of the Amalfi Coast might beg to differ. Amalfitano lemons are totally different to their Sicilian cousins. If you want a sharp taste to contrast sugar, Sicilian lemons can’t be beaten. But if it’s a sweeter and subtler flavour you’re after, then the bigger Amalfitano lemons are the ones for you.


 Image source: Flickr

Europe can be a much more touchy-feely place than America and the UK and Italy is no different. Whether it’s kissing to greet each other or a greater love of hugs there’s certainly a lot more personal contact than many expats might be used to. But embrace it (literally) as it all comes from a place of love.

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