Italy is home to internationally renowned landmarks such as the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, La Scala, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a Roman Amphitheatre and the Bridge of Sighs. This boot-shaped peninsula that stretches into the mid-region of the Mediterranean Sea is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country is famed for its history, rich cultural heritage and classical architecture.
Italy is located in Southern Europe, just northeast of Tunisia. The nation's tourism industry is one of the primary contributing factors to its economic output. Various tourist attractions of the country, such as its major cities, theaters, palazzos, museums, churches, monuments and ancient ruins, make Italy a sight-seeing paradise for locals and globetrotters alike.
The Colosseum in Rome, formerly known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is one of the most iconic Italian symbols. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, noted for its characteristic tilt, is designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site. La Scala in Milan is reputed for its world-class operatic performances, and Venice, which is prominent for its numerous canals and gondola rides, is home to the Bridge of Sighs and the Grand Canal.
Italy also contains the world's smallest independent state, Vatican City. Roman Catholic devotees flock to this sacred site to attend a papal mass, visit St. Peter's Basilica or take a tour around the Vatican square, museum and gardens.