Italian culture dates back some 2,500 years and played an important role in Europe from an early age. In the age of the Roman Empire, antiquity was the model for many European buildings. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Italy became a forerunner in the field of art and research.

Track the traces of the Greeks, the Romans and the Etruscans

There is still no other country in the world where so many important works of art and monuments are gathered in such a small space! Italy has the largest part of Europe’s cultural heritage, especially as far as older visual arts and architecture are concerned. The country has received unique testimonies of Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Early Christian and Byzantine art.

Today you can follow in the footsteps of the Greeks in Sicily, when Syracuse was once the most important city in the Greek world, and the temples of Agrigento were created. In Tuscany, the Etruscans left their mark and the capital Rome is home to the largest building built in Roman antiquity, the famous Colosseum.

The most important cities of culture in Italy

In the Middle Ages, during the Renaissance and in the Baroque, Italy provided the decisive and stylistic impulses for art and music in Europe. In Italy, Florence in particular is influenced by the famous artists of the Renaissance and today’s Rome would hardly be conceivable without the Baroque works of Gianlorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. They had a decisive influence on the appearance of the Italian capital, and their grandiose works are still admired today by countless travellers to Italy.

Many Italian cities house world-famous art collections, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Medici burial chapel in Florence. The National Museum in Naples, the National Museum of Etruscan Antiquities in Rome, the “Galleria Borghese” and the “Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna” are also among the most important in the world. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo, should not be missed. The International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Venice also enjoys worldwide recognition. The national libraries in Florence, Rome and Naples are among the largest and most valuable collections of books.

The Italian mentality – the “Dolce Vita”

In addition to the art treasures and historical remnants, it is above all the Italian way of life and culture that captivates many travellers to Italy. The cosy way of life, the Mediterranean flair and excellent food give the country its special charm!

The times of the Roman Empire were followed by a long time of small city states and foreign dominations. This makes it hardly surprising that local patriotism is still very present in many regions and many Italians try to stand out from the others. But no matter whether in the South or in the North, all Italians have one thing in common – the “Dolce Vita”, the sweet life!

They are sociable, lively and passionate, use many gestures and sometimes become a little louder. And above all, they celebrate every meal as family and social event. In general, Italy is known for its good taste, not only for its culinary specialities. Fashion and style are also very important here – not for nothing have designers like Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and many more achieved world fame.

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