A millennium ago, Italy has already added greatly to the development of music with Guido’s invention of precise pitch notation. During the 17th century, Italy became leading in the musical world; the rise of monody with basso continuo, opera and new instrumental genres during the Italian late renaissance and baroque era changed the face of European music; ever since, the Italian language is customary for musical genres (sonata, concerto), tempi (andante, presto etc.) and terms of expression (legato, lamentoso etc.).
Opera remained the favourite genre; from Monteverdi to Puccini, Italians have occupied the first position and every town has its opera theatre. Moreover there are rich folk music traditions with great differences between the regions. The music-minded visitor may expect a wealth of concerts, opera performances, festivals and memorial places, in the midst of a beautiful scenery and innumerable art treasures.