Geographically mainland Italy can be divided into Northwestern, Northeastern, Central and Southern Italy.
Northwestern Italy includes the Piemonte region with great mountains in the Italian Alps and the cool city of Turin. To the south the Liguria region runs along the coastline bordering France, and includes the Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre. Ideal for a seaside or walking holidays, the region enjoys a mild climate in winter. Lombardy is an urbane region with lots for the culture-lover. Italy's second city, Milan, is the regional capital.
Northeastern Italy includes the Dolomites ski area with hundreds of kilometers of terrain between 1500 and 3200 meters altitude. The region of Veneto is home to Venice, one of Italy’s most famous cities, but there are many other interesting towns throughout Northeastern Italy including Parma, Verona and Trieste in the far eastern corner of Italy. Emilia-Romagna is a prosperous region with art cities and fine dining, Bologna is the gastronomic capital of this part of Italy.
Central Italy’s most well-known regions are Tuscany and Umbria with rolling green countryside and vineyards. Florence, cradle of the Renaissance, is Tuscany's top attraction, but also the nearby cities like Siena, Pisa and Lucca have much to offer to those looking for the country's rich history and heritage. Umbria is dotted with many picturesque cities such as Perugia, Orvieto, Gubbio and Assisi. To the east Central Italy borders the Adriatic Sea with its many beautiful beaches. Rome, the capital of Italy, is located in Central Italy, no other city has so remaining wonders of the Roman Empire including some of the world's best known landmarks.
Southern Italy has the lively city of Naples, the dramatic ruins of Pompeii, the romantic Amalfi Coast and Capri, relaxed Apulia and stunning beaches of Calabria, as well as some of Italy's less visited destinations and remote national parks - a great part of Italy to explore.
The Italian Islands are Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily is an island with a history all of its own, Sicily has beaches, baroque towns and ancient Greek ruins; its cuisine is some of the best the Italian kitchen has to offer. The capital of Sicily is Palermo. Sardinia is a large island some 250 kilometers west of the Italian coastline. The island has a distinctive character, with mountains, beautiful scenery, ancient ruins and famous beaches. It is a major holiday destination for mainland Italians.