Italy is a country in Europe with a landmass of 116,350 square miles and a population of some 60,000,000 people. Its capital is Rome, one of the most significant cities in the history of the world whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.
Mario Bonarti originated from Castellammare in Italy, coming over to the UK in 1956 and working for his Uncle Giovanni in his cafe in Rochdale. Eager to succeed in life, he bought Snape's Cafe in Rosamund Street which, with the help of his father Leo, he reopened as Mario's Continental Cafe in July 1961.
Dot Greenhalgh enjoyed a holiday in Italy in June 1963 with husband Walter which included tours of Cremona and Capri, though she was disappointed with the latter as she failed to gain a sighting of its most famous resident, the British entertainer Gracie Fields.
In July 1972, by coincidence both Billy Walker and Bet Lynch both booked a holiday at the same villa and for the same dates in Sanremo. To avoid gossip - and each other - both changed their plans but only after stubbornly refusing to give way to the other for a couple of weeks. In the end, Billy went to Magaluf and Bet to Torremolinos. Emily Bishop wanted to go to Italy on holiday in May 1976 but Ernie's camera shop business was in trouble and they were unable to afford it.
Steph Barnes enjoyed a holiday in a ski resort in the country in March 1991, even though she had broken her ankle before flying out, but she was determined to go in part to play mind games with husband Des with whom she had rowed as part of their tumultuous marriage.
In November 2004, after setting up Dev and Sunita Alahan on false charges of illegal marriage and bigamy, a scorned Maya Sharma planned to flee to Italy but was arrested when her own guilt was proven.
Stephen Reid, the son of Audrey Roberts and half-brother of Gail Platt settled in Milan and in December 2007 offered a teenage David a job there for three months. His sister Sarah was furious that years of atrocious behavour on her brother's part after he had gone off the rails was being rewarded and planted Ecstasy tablets in his drawer at Audrey's salon. Gail fell for the ruse and refused to allow her son to take up the offer. Instead, Sarah went to live there for the next seven years with her daughter Bethany before returning to Weatherfield in 2015. Whilst over there, Audrey and Gail made several trips to see their family, including in May 2009 and April 2019. Another visitor was Sarah's boyfriend Jason Grimshaw who went to Milan in October 2008 but came back dejected when he discovered that Sarah had moved on to another man.
In January 2013, conman Lewis Archer wanted revenge against Gail for ruining his dreams of a happy life with Audrey and used his charms to set her up, persuading her to leave her family behind and join him in running a hotel in Tuscany. Thoroughly duped, he cleared her bank account of £40,000 and fled the country. Ken Barlow planned to visit Italy in October 2016 as part of a tour of European cultural sights but suffered a stroke as a taxi came to take him to the airport while in January 2019 the country was the destination of choice for Evelyn Plummer's holiday with Adam Barlow taking a three-month sabbatical there in the same year to avoid a rut he felt he'd got himself into.