Italy Basic Information
With 49 UNESCO World Heritage sites within its borders, Italy has more notable attractions chalked up on the list than any other country in the world. Want to know more about this ancient and awesome country? Read on.
Generally speaking, Australian passport holders who wish to holiday in Italy for less than 90 days do not require a visa to enter the country, which is also one of the Schengen Convention countries.You’ll also need to ensure you have at least 6 months validity on your passport. If you wish to stay and work in Italy, you’ll need to apply for the appropriate visa under the Working Holiday Maker visa program. Please be aware that this is just a guide. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Italy.
As part of the European Union, Italy uses the Euro as currency. The exchange rate between the Euro and Australian Dollar fluctuates constantly, so it’s best to monitor and purchase your Euros when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while you’re travelling, it’s recommended to bring a credit card or travel money card with you overseas.
You’ve often heard the most important ingredient in cooking is love. And there’s love in abundance in this romantic country, so you just know the food is going to be awesome. While the dishes will vary between regions in Italy, they do have one thing in common – simplicity. Often dishes will have only between 4 to 8 ingredients and may look vastly different to the so-called traditional Italian dishes you’re used to at home! Another lovely thing about Italian cuisine is that often created by families rather than chefs in family-run establishments. Some Italian street food favourites include pizza (of course!), paper cones of fritto misto (fried seafood) and gelati – in every flavour! If you’re dining in, choose from traditional bolognaise, lasagne, risottos and orecchiette pasta for starters. Don’t even get us started on desserts (tiramisu), cheese (it’s the land of parmesan and mozzarella) and wine. Just dive in and gorge; your stomach will thank you!
Clubs, discos, bars, cinemas, drinking in open-air piazzas, you really can’t go wrong with a night out in Italy. Unless someone asks you to go to a bunga-bunga party – give that one a wide berth! It’s hard to sum up the nightlife in Italy because there’s pumping nightlife all over the country, but here’s a snapshot. If you’re a fan of university towns (students know how to party), stop in to Bologna – the home of spaghetti bolognaise. Head to Rome for epic dance parties, and check out Brancaleone in particular. This venue has 3 levels with dancefloors and a tiny cinema on the second floor. If you’re in Florence, you have to hit Tenax. This place is major. In fact, it’s one of the most famous clubs in Italy. The club holds around 2,000 people and artists who have performed here include New Order, Radiohead and Daft Punk. The club is so kickin’ that it’s even been exported with Tenax parties hosted in Miami, London and Berlin.
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