Italy is a land of contrasts and great variety. It is shaped like a boot, with the top in the Alps mountains and the toe swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. In fact nowhere in Italy are you very far from the sea.


volcano. On the way south another volcano to explore is Vesuvius. In the year AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the town of Pompeii in ash5. The ruins of Pompeii and the remains of the volcano´s victims can still be seen today.

Did you


● Ice cream has been made in Italy for more than 500 years. ● A Venetian boat is called a gondola. ● A baker in Naples invented the pizza in the 1800s.


Vatican City

The Vatican City is the home of the Pope6, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the world´s smallest state and has its own flag.

Italian lakes

The area around Lake Como and Lake Garda is known as the Italian Lake District. There are many beautiful resorts on these lakes and they are always popular tourist destinations in the summer. The eastern coast of Italy has many new holiday resorts with fine sandy beaches.

Italian cities

On the island of Sicily in the far south is Mount Etna, an active




Vesuvius and Pompeii



Italy has some of the world´s most beautiful cities, and its museums contain priceless paintings and sculptures. Italy also has modern industries, such as car-making and electronics. Rome is of course the capital of Italy. It is also a city with many Roman ruins1. This shows a time when it was literally the most important city in the world. Rome began when groups of shepherds2 and farmers settled on the hill now known as the Palatine. Venice, with its many canals and boats, is always popular with tourists. There are many splendid3 buildings and a lot of history to take in. Other cities in Italy like Naples and Florence have plenty4 of religious art and historic treasures.

1. Name two lakes in the Italian Lake District. 2. Which well known religious leader lives in the Vatican? 3. When was the town of Pompeii buried? 4. What is the difference between Etna and Vesuvius?
1 r um n ruins – rímske pozostatky/ římské pozůstatky; 2 šepeds – pastieri/ pastýři; 3 splendid – nádherný, prepychový/ přepychový; 4 plenti – množstvo/ spousta; 5 æš – popol/popel; 6 p up – pápež/ papež