– By Kim Feldmann

From the sheer peaks of the Dolomites in the north to the arid Sicilian coast in the south – Italy is a country that needs no introduction, and yet never ceases to amaze the ones who actually live it.

In a present heavily influenced by a fruitful past, Italy exhibits timeless and intriguing sophistication: the ancient collection of Renaissance art in Florence contrast with the vibrancy of Milan’s modernity in a similar way that the peaceful gardens of the Vatican converge with the cypress-tree-dotted valleys of Tuscany.

The country’s natural beauty complements the warmth of the people which – together with centuries of history and long-lived traditions – introduce a unique character to the air. Italy is a place of never-ending transitions; the hub of great civilizations and ingenious people; a nation intrinsically united by its raison d’être, rather than systematic structures.

There is all sort of options for all kinds of travelers, both in winter and summer, for short or long stays. Italy features a series of subcultures that shape different traditions and heterogeneous landscapes that promote varied sensations. If treading through the narrow, bridge-laden alleys of Venice doesn’t sound appealing, perhaps an ambitious drive along the winding roads of the Almafi coast towards a beach encircled by fiords wild. And then there is the food.