Autostradas (superhighways) traverse Italy and all are toll roads. Four of the European superhighways terminate in Italy: the E 2 runs from London to Brindisi; the E 6 from Oslo to Rome; the E 7 from Warsaw to Rome; the E 14 from Prague to Trieste.
Rome’s Fiumicino Airport is twenty-five miles outside the city. Blue airport buses run every fifteen minutes to the central Termini station, a trip taking about forty-five minutes.
Italy has been a leading tourist destination since the days of The Grand Tour, an adventure in antiques and human volatility. Englishmen of means were sent abroad to round off their education. Accompanied by an older person, they usually first toured the principalities of Northern Europe, then ended up in Italy, where they viewed the art collections, met with the resident Englishmen and sowed some wild oats. Back home they built Palladian-style mansions based on the neoclassical style of Palladio, architect of palaces in Northern Italy.
It is doubtful if any destination in the world has had more descriptive superlatives used in its behalf than Venice. “See Venice and die,” “The Doges Palace is surely one of the most beautiful and surprising buildings in the world,” “As the sun strikes the golden, onion-shaped domes of the Cathedral and all the spires and belfries blaze like wings of Golconda, my heart leaps for the glory spread before me.” Bonaparte called the Piazza “the most beautiful drawing room in the world.” Even the ubiquitous pigeons in the square must tend to their matters of toilet elsewhere.