Tourism in Italy

A popular destination for British travellers, the global tourism industry began when the original travel agent, Thomas Cook, began arranging travel excursions to Italy during the Victorian era. Today, tourism to Italy has increased to the just over forty six million tourists who arrive every year to visit the nation's monuments, museums, mountains and beaches. Together, they account for one hundred thirty six billion euros in annual revenue, contributing eight percent of Italy's gross domestic product.

With a moderate Mediterranean climate, Italy is a welcoming year-round destination for tourists. And with a diverse geography and attractions ranging from ancient to modern, rustic to urban, there is something in Italy for every type of traveller.

Ancient Roman Monuments

The long history of Rome has left many relics of the ancient empire around the capital. The coliseum is the most iconic of the monuments. Visitors can survey the ruins and envision how majestic the massive structure must have appeared on the ancient landscape.

In the city centre are the ruins of the Roman Forum. Often called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, the area is so rich in history that archaeological digs continue to this day. The remains of the Senate House, Temple of the Vesta, Temple of Caesar and many other monuments and shrines remain at the site. The location has also been a mecca for art students to study since medieval times. Keen observers will recognize the columns from the paintings of Giovanni Paolo Panini, Herrman Corrodi, J.W. Turner and Canaletto.

Renaissance Florence

Florence is a World Heritage Site, noted for its architecture and monuments. Florence's most striking feature is the Duomo Di Firenze, a beautiful cathedral that is recognised by the structure of Brunelleschi's huge dome. For a fee, tourists can climb the interior stairs for a stunning view of the city.

More views of Florence can be experienced from the beauty of the Boboli gardens, scenic landscaping that is located behind the Pitti Palace. Much of Florence was built during the renaissance era and tourists strolling through the city will see fantastic art and architecture on every street in the city.

Florence is also a city of museums. Eight major art museums and hundreds of smaller museums and galleries are easily accessed from the city.

For those interested in Florence art, architecture and food this website seems to have a lot of interesting tours in Tuscany and in Italy.

Ski Resorts

Northern Italy is home to some of the world's great ski resorts. Family and couple getaways are popular. Nestled in the Alps, ski resorts in Italy enjoy good snow pack coupled with mild spring temperatures. As well as skiing, tourists can also enjoy snow shoeing, hiking and snowboarding. Visitors can end their day by meeting over dinner and drinks at the resort facilities.

Beach Resorts

Surrounded by the Asiatic and Mediterranean seas, Rome has hundreds of miles of coastline dotted with beach resorts that range from budget to luxury. Many of the beaches are serviced by hotels and restaurants so that sunbathers can enjoy snacks and beverages without having to change into their street clothes.

Aside from sunbathing, beach goers in Italy enjoy swimming, windsurfing and parasailing. Shops, boutiques and restaurants are generally a short walk from prime beach locations, to provide a destination for visitors looking to get out of the afternoon sun.


Italy is well known for its diverse cuisine and many tourists visit for the dining experiences alone. Tuscan, Neapolitan, Roman and Sicilian cuisines are all remarkably different but centre their attention on local Mediterranean foods. Visitors particularly enjoy dining on fresh pasta, seafood and when in Naples, pizza. Traditional desserts are based on creamy pastries served with espresso, or a simple gelato.

Italy also enjoys a healthy tourism industry based on wine and cheese. Visitors to wineries are invited to sample and purchase unique local wines. Generally the sampling is presented with cheese pairings. For gourmet tourists, dairies also offer tours of cheese making facilities where traditional Italian cheeses are produced.