Italy has many routes accessing nearby countries in the Mediterranean and south to North African ports.
With land borders to the north, Italy has a long coastline to the south with the Italian Peninsula or ‘boot’ of Italy reaching down into the Mediterranean and the island of Sicily at the foot of this. There are also many other smaller islands.
With a rich history dating back pre Roman, Italy had connections with the Greeks, the Phoenicians and later the Franks, Vandals and Ostrogoths from Northern and Eastern Europe. There is a diverse architectural legacy with architecture classified by period and also by location.
Styles from ancient Rome, the Renaissance, Palladianism, Neoclassical are found across Italy, with famous buildings in Florence, Milan, Pisa and of course Rome.
Famous also for the visual arts Italy has produced such legends as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli and Raphael. More recently it played a major role in Futurism.