There is a saying that “all roads lead to Rome”. Some gravitate to Italy due to its beautiful art and history, while others love the laid back and accepting attitude of the Italian people. More than half of the world’s art, such as monuments and other famous sights reside in Italy. There is a wealth of artistic variety extending through historical eras of over 2,700 years as a result of many different societies and political cultures.
Italy provides geographic variety with its many beautiful towns, rolling green hills, seaside regions, and beautiful countryside There are many mountains with striking views and ski resorts, thriving plains, unexplored uplands, fertile marine swamps, active volcanoes, and a multitude of diverse islands.
Culturally, Italy is very diverse: There are 21 regions, each with its own history, dialect, urban layout, and landscape. The various regions offer different cuisines, distinct patron saints, as well as different political viewpoints. The 21 regions can be broken down into 3 main regions: North, Center, and South, each having different economies and societies.
Some regions have a secondary language in addition to Italian which has been preserved from the cultures of Italy’s past. For instance, Alto Adige is an area where half of the population speaks German; There are valleys in the Alps where the people speak Ladin (a unique language, not to be confused with Latin); In the uplands in Calabria, Greek Albanian is often spoken; while the Bergamo province speaks Bergamasco, which is a derivative of the German language; and finally, the Valle d’Aosta where the people mainly speak French.
Despite the country’s diversity, the people of Italy share a contemporary culture. Italians are known for living life passionately. Everything they do is done with a flare whether it be art, fashion, wine, or cuisine. Cuisine, a national passion, tends to be tasteful, imaginative, and often quite healthy! Right down to the food, everything is made to appear desirable. Ferraris, in addition to being the fastest, are also the most gorgeous. Milan is the most fashionably stylish, and even the Italian language itself is melodious and even appears throughout musical notation used around the world. The Italian people refer to themselves as “People of Poets, Saints and Explorers”. Whether it be for the people, or the food, or just the immersion experience to help facilitate a better understanding of the language, Italy is a great place to study!
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