On Tour in Italy – Always Close to the Sea

by | May 9, 2024 | Allgemein, Facts & Fun, Topstory | 0 comments

Summer, sun, Italy. The country with perhaps the tastiest ice cream, pizza bakers, fantastic beaches and sights on every corner. Here we tell you what else it has to offer – and what you should watch out for.

This has never happened before: in 2024, the Tour de France will start on June 29 – in Italy, 100 years after Ottavio Bottecchia became the first Italian rider to win the race! The first stage leads from Florence through Emilia-Romagna and along the Adriatic coast to Rimini. This is followed by a stretch from Cesenatico to Bologna, then the crossing of northern Italy towards Piedmont, before the Italian guest appearance ends in Turin on July 1.


Long coastline gets even longer

At 7,600 kilometers, Italy’s coastline has always been impressively long. Since 2023, it has been a good 3,000 kilometers longer – the equivalent of a flight from Berlin to Cairo. How did this come about? Because of a legal dispute with the EU, the government has had the exact length measured again. With so much coastline, it’s not surprising that no place in Italy is more than 230 km from the sea.

But Italy also has plenty of mountains, criss-crossed by 227 tunnels more than 500 meters long. That is at least a European record. Austria, in second place, has just 52 of these long tunnels. However, Japan is probably the world leader with estimated over 1,000 tunnels. However, there are no official figures on this.

 No other country in Europe has as many long tunnels as Italy. Photo: Freepik


Where tunnels have not yet been built in Italy, you are often only left with small country roads with tight bends through the mountains that are difficult to see. The rule here is to honk at the start of the bend. Potholes, stones and undergrowth on the road are not uncommon here.

If you want to refuel, you will find self-service pumps along the highways that are open around the clock. Away from the highways, petrol stations are often closed for long periods over lunchtime. However, some still offer a fuel attendant service so that you don’t even have to get out of the car to pay.


Pasta world champions

When hunger strikes, pasta in Italy is always a good choice. Around 30 percent of all pasta worldwide is produced here. And the Italians themselves like to indulge in pasta: they consume around 23.5 kilos per capita every year. A world record!

The Italians are world champions when it comes to pasta. Photo: Pixabay


It’s not just holidaymakers from all over the world who are drawn to Italy in the summer, the majority of locals also take time off. The summer vacation lasts from June to August, and during the hot season many are drawn to the cooler regions in the mountains or by the sea.

Around Ferragosto (Assumption Day) on August 15, almost everyone has time off. The name of this important holiday (derived from the feast day of Augustus) goes back to the conquest of Egypt by the Roman Emperor Augustus.

In August, Italians also like to cool off on the beach. Photo: Adobe Stock


You should be careful when changing lanes at toll booths: Turning, reversing and changing lanes are taboo here, just like at highway entrances and exits. If you get caught, you will pay a heavy fine.


What have you experienced in Italy? Tell us about it in a comment!


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Stefan Kohl

Stefan Kohl

Every word a hit – Stefan has been writing for more than 20 years about this industry


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