While not legally a nation, California is a whole other universe when compared to the rest of the United States—and certain areas of it feel eerily similar to Italy. Consider Napa Valley, with its renowned wines and exquisite chateaus, or Sonoma County, with its rolling plains and stunning cliffside. Both regions have a reputation for being posh and exclusive, but inside these boundaries you can still find small farms where the owners grow their own grapes and make their own wine. There are even several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in California including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and Yosemite National Park.
In addition to these luxury destinations, there are also some cheap and cheerful places to stay in California. If you don't want to spend much money, try camping or couch surfing. If you're after a more permanent fix, check out one of these rental houses near the wine country. They're usually within easy reach of all the famous spots.
Another place that feels like Italy is Chicago. The Windy City has a rich history dating back to before the American Revolution, with many Italian immigrants coming here to work in the growing industry. These days, you can still find pockets of activity around the city related to its past life as a frontier town: there are several museums dedicated to aviation, architecture, and photography for example.
However, like most large cities, Chicago has also been affected by urbanization.
The Central Coast of California, which stretches from San Luis Obispo to Napa Valley, is the only location in the United States with a Mediterranean climate, making it similar to the southern sections of Europe, particularly Italy. Central California is probably the closest you'll come to looking like Italy. The area has many small towns and villages, including Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Carmel-by-the-Sea. There are also many vineyards and olive orchards throughout the region.
Although there is not one specific city that can be called the capital of California's Centro, Los Angeles holds this title. It is known as the center of the Hollywood film industry and has many famous landmarks such as the Hollywood Sign, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Downtown LA has many museums and galleries, as well as shopping areas on Rodeo Drive and Beverly Boulevard.
California was originally divided into several counties, but over time these cities have grown into large centers of population. Today, more than half of California's population lives in urban areas, primarily along the Pacific Ocean coast.
Almost the entire central portion of California is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes nine smaller municipalities between San Jose and San Francisco. Silicon Valley is located in this area and has become a major technology hub for internet startups.
Overall, California resembles Spain, Portugal, and North Africa the most. It's also similar to Italy and France.
The weather in California is very similar to that of Spain and Portugal. The state gets hot and dry summers and cold winters. Spring and fall are temperate seasons with average temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
California was originally part of the Spanish Empire, so it makes sense that it would look something like Spain and Portugal. California has a large population of people of Hispanic or Latino origin (57%), followed by those who are white alone (23%). Other groups include black or African American (8%), Asian (5%), and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (1%).
There are areas of California where you will find many Hispanics living together. These are known as "Hispanic neighborhoods". In general, Hispanics in California live closer to each other than they do in other states of the Union. Half of all California residents were born in another country. Most come from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South America.
Even though California is home to many different cultures, it is also very diverse within itself.