Italian is spoken throughout the peninsula with a diversity of accents, depending on the region. The purest form is spoken in Tuscany, where the language was born. French is a second language for many well educated Italians, although English is widely spoken in the popular tourist centers.
English is understood at nearly all hotels and shops and aboard most ships, planes, trains and tour buses. However, Italians are pleased when a foreigner attempts to speak their language. Even if only a few words are exchanged, an instant feeling of friendship is created when two strangers can converse in the same language. Letters to hotels or to local information offices should be in English and, if possible, typewritten.