The enduring appeal of Italy
What is it about Italy that enthrals: It is a fusion of many things, from fast cars and world-class fashion design to the natural beauty of the rugged coastlines and verdant green hillsides, spectacular lakes, poignant islands, impressive cities and striking landscapes.
However, it is the people that draw visitors back time and time again. Italy is an extremely welcoming country with an inexhaustible zest for living and loving. Visitors have an opportunity to experience the famous “La Dolce Vita” in the form of a kind smile from a smartly dressed elderly gentleman, a firm and genuine handshake from a waiter, and invitations to join newly made friends for lunch.
Italy boasts an incredible collection of history, art and culture from the Renaissance to the ancient ruins including the ancient temple at Paestum and Agrigento to inspiring masterpieces hanging at the Vatican and Uffizi Museums.
Some of the most stunning architecture in the world is based in Italy, Rome in particular. This jaw-dropping movie scene of the Eternal City with its Colosseum, fountains of fresh drinking water and monuments all possessing the wow factor. Simply sit in the Piazza Navona, sip a strong Italian espresso and absorb the opulence that is Rome. An experience never to be forgotten.
Of course, food plays a role in wanting to return to Italy. The addictive Italian cuisine including pizza cooked that way only Italians can cook it with the classic thin crust, blend of Italian herbs and mozzarella cheese, the world-class creamy gelato, Tuscan wines, and olive oil, no other country can replicate the flavours.
Lesser known gems are waiting to be explored, for example, Lake Iseo located in the north is an unspoilt nature spot, surrounded by the picturesque and historical “Borghi più Belli d’Italia” villages set against the dramatic backdrop of the Monte Isola mountains.
In addition, the Puglia region is luxury, elegance and rustic perfectly combined with history, architecture, vibrant towns and enchanting beaches. Located in the heel on the map of Italy´s famous boot, it has risen up the ranks to become a perfect destination due to its diverse coastlines, with both the Adriatic and Ionian on either side and both easily accessible. For history lovers, visit the World Heritage site of Alberobello, with its gothic style Trulli houses that date back to the Bronze Age.
For romantic and breathtaking countryside visit Tuscany. This picture-perfect region boasts one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy and has a great deal to offer, from walled villages and medieval fortresses, stunning coastlines, marvellous cities, cooking classes, signature wines and food festivals. Tuscany offers an authentic Italian sensory overload.
Visit the cypress-lined region of Val D’orcia, where the site for the UNESCO World Heritage town of Pienza is located with its amazing architecture and wonderful markets selling the famous pecorino cheeses, homemade wines, olive oil and local honey.
Also, Siena referred to as the “Little Sister of Florence” a city full of charm and history, with medieval brick houses, and the famous Piazza del Campo which hosts the biannual Palio horse racing event.
Of course, Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is a delightful city for lovers of art and culture in abundance. After all, the Renaissance period was born here and that makes this city all the more spectacular.