Barbara and I have only been to Italy six times. We are never strangers, but we are always welcomed as though we are. There is so much to do and see in Italy, it is difficult to know where to begin. This series of Articles will divide Italy into 4 reasons to visit. History, Art, Religion, and Food. During the series we will talk about what each of 5 distinct regions contribute to those 4 reasons to visit. These are arbitrary regions I have invented in my own mind. You may find information that organizes Italy differently, and they may be smarter than I doing so.
Before we begin our journey, we need to do some research about Italy. I strongly recommend anyone visiting anywhere new for the first time, google, read, listen to anything you can about where you are going. Your local Library is a great source for books. Bookstores always have a relatively large section on travel. Some great books for in depth detail about any country, or region are Berlitz, Frommers, Insight, and Let’s Go. Each has its own style and avid readers. You probably should browse in the bookstore before you buy, to see if you like the style.
You should also learn about the country, region, or area’s history. Most are known today, for what they used to be and how they changed to what they are now. Italy is a top star for history buffs. Located at the base of the large mountain range known as The Alps, Italy has been a product of it’s shores. Anyone who glances at a map of Italy will quickly be impressed by the amount of shoreline and the number of ports and islands. The top of Italy sits in the Alps, giving access to many of Europe’s cities. The long “boot” of Italy gives it two protected “Seas”, and the very tip of Italy gives it proximity to Mediterranean countries like Greece and Malta. It is not surprising then, that Italy has always been a seafaring nation.