Italy is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the third most populous EU member state. Italy has been, since antiquity, the centre of history, culture and art. Artistic wonders can be found everywhere, and every corner of the country holds countless and wonderful surprises. Italy has more cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country.
Further detailed information about Italy are available at the official site of the Italian Tourism Office Discover Italy.
Venice, the capital of the Veneto region, has a population of more than 270,000, according to the latest census (2004). It is located in the north-east of Italy on numerous small islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
The "City of Bridges", as it is usually called, stretches along the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers.
Out of the 270,000 inhabitants, about 62,000 live in the historical center, or city of Venice, about 176,000 live in the mainland or "Terraferma", behind the lagoon, in locations like Mestre and Marghera, and all others live on islands throughout the lagoon (there are about 100 islands around Venice).
Also known as a famous place for sweethearts, lovers, artists and poets, Venice is a magical city, which stretches across numerous small islands. It is often refered to as the city of "gondole", which are the means of transportation used to cross the numerous canals passing through the city.
In Venice you'll find many historical buildings, both with modern interiors and also with the traditional designs which are common all over the city.
About Monastier and Treviso
Monastier di Treviso is a comune in the Province of Treviso in the Italian region Veneto, located about 25 kilometres northeast of Venice and about 14 kilometres east of Treviso.
Treviso was once considered “the Garden of Venice” and has everything you could want from a mid-sized Veneto city: medieval city walls, pretty canals, narrow cobbled streets and frescoed churches.
The centre of Treviso is a little walled city, with medieval gates, narrow, cobbled streets of arcaded rose-red brick and stone that twist and turn like dried-out water courses – which is what some of them originally were. Tiny canals run past handkerchief-sized gardens, glide beneath houses, appear at street corners. Gushing millstreams, some with black water-wheels that once had a commercial purpose, now turn lazily, playing a purely decorative role.
Dante described Treviso as “the place where the Sile and the Cagnan go hand in hand” – not one of his most compelling phrases, perhaps, but accurately observed: the two rivers come together to circle the town, their waters running side by side. Stand on the serene bank of the Riviera Garibaldi and you see the two streams not yet commingled: the Sile sleek and calm, alongside the Cagnan’s more turbulent flow.
The city once belonged to Venice, and it shows. The colonnaded Buranelli district was built for fishermen from Burano. Nearby, nudging the elegant palazzi, the covered fish market occupies its own little island, floating like a ship, filling the morning air with seafood aromas and pandemonium.
Treviso is also known for being the original production area of Prosecco wine, and being one of several towns thought to have been the origin of the popular Italian dessert tiramisu.
The official currency in Italy is the euro.
Italy accepts all major credit cards. This payment system is common in Italian shops, which generally display the symbols of the credit cards they accept on the outside door. Travellers’ cheques can be exchanged at most hotels and shops and at the foreign exchange offices in main railway stations and at the airports.
Banks in Italy are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm and from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm. Some banks are also open on Saturday morning until 1.30 pm. Banks are closed on Sundays and national holidays and also on the town’s patron Saint’s day. The afternoon hour may vary from city to city.
Shops and public services
Opening hours in Italy depend on the kind of business, the season and it sometimes depends on the city.
Shops generally open at 9.00 in the morning and close at 13.00 hours. After lunch shops open again at 15.30 and close at 19.30 from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday most shops (except big supermarkets) are closed. During the tourist season, most shops are open from 8.00 until 20.00 on weekdays, and many are also open during the weekend.
Restaurants generally open at 12.00 and close after lunch, at 14.30. Restaurants agan open at night, from 19.00 to 23.00. In tourist destinations reastaurants are open for the entire day.
Most establishments are closed for public Holidays.
Opening hours for public offices are rigorous from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 13.00 and from 14.45 to 16.15.
EU and non-EU citizens (if entitled to assisted health care in EU countries) traveling in Italy with the required certificate (European Health Insurance Card or a provisional replacement certificate) may obtain services required directly, free of charge – excepting the payment of an eventual co-pay (called ticket)– at a public hospital orfacility covered in private agreement with the National Health Service.
Non-EU citizens coming from countries not covered by the agreement are provided with health services that must be paid for in accordance with the relative scale of charges.
For further information, consult the website for the Ministry of Health.