Capital City: Rome Population: 60 million Religion: Christian/Roman Catholic Language: Italian Currency: Euro Time Difference: GMT +1 Flight duration: Approx 2 hours
Late spring and early autumn are often seen as the best times to travel to popular parts of Italy. It's a pleasant 10°C to 21°C in the Venetian Riviera, and further south in the Neapolitan Riviera the temperatures tend to be slightly higher at 16°C to 24°C.
Summer temperatures in the Venetian Riviera and Italian Lakes are around 24°C, sometimes rising as high as 30°C. Whereas temperatures in year can climb as high as 28°C to 35°C.
The summer months can get very hot in the south of the country, with temperatures rising up to 29°C in the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Of course this is ideal for any sun worshippers. If Tuscany at this time of you're visiting Italy in the winter be prepared to expect temperatures of around 4°C and the potential for snow in some areas.
As with any holiday, you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and family on your trip.
It's also a good idea to apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, EHIC before leaving the UK as this entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Italian nationals. It won't, however, cover you for medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment.
If you're booking holidays to Italy specifically to take part in sports or watersports, including hiking, you should make sure your insurance covers this. See our holiday extras page for more information and for the latest health and safety information visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/health.
British citizens don't need a visa to enter Italy but must have a valid passport. By law, you must carry your passport with you and may need to show it when paying by credit card. For the most up-to-date passport and visa info, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements.
Italy has a fantastic train service and it's relatively easy to travel from one end of the country to another. The fare system is easy to understand and cheaper than in the UK. There's also a comprehensive bus system in most towns that'll connect you with local sights.
There are airports across Italy and close to all major holiday destinations. Most tour operators include transfers as part of a holiday package so getting to your resort is easy. Alternatively, you can either hire a car or take a bus to and from the regional airports to your hotel.
There is an airport on Sardinia as well as well as frequent ferries to any of the islands off the mainland. Sicily is just a very short ferry ride away.
The beaches on the Neapolitan Riviera are wonderful for families with children as the water tends to be shallow and most beaches are close to plenty of amenities. If you're staying in Sicily or Sardinia you'll never be far from a family friendly beach. Many of Tuscany's beaches have Blue Flag status, thanks to the quality of the beach and the water.
Italian restaurants welcome children and many offer child-size portions. If you're sightseeing entry is usually free to most attractions and state-run museums for under 18s. Family tickets at discounted prices are available for most privately run museums and galleries, and there are plenty of options when it comes to booking Italy holidays All Inclusive that will take the stress out of travelling with kids.
Connector type: European two-pin plugs
Voltage info: 220 volts AC, 50Hz
112 is the emergency number in Italy for fire, police and medical situations. For direct phone lines call:
Fire brigade: 115
General Emergencies: 113
If you breakdown on the motorway call Car Breakdown Assistance 'Socorso Stradali' on 800 116 800. This number is free.
If you're a victim of crime or affected by a crisis overseas, or if something happens to a relative or partner contact the British Embassy for the region you're staying in, as per the details below. If you're in the UK and concerned about a British National abroad call 020 7008 1500.
British Embassy in Rome
Address: Via XX Settembre 80a, I-00187 Roma RM
Phone: 06 4220 0001 or 4220
Many hospitals in Italy have English speaking staff, so ask at reception if you need any language help. Remember that you won't need the 39 prefix when calling from Italy itself.
Salvador Mundi International Hospital
Address: Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi, 67, 00152 Roma
Phone: +39 06 588961