When you think about Italy, what immediately springs to mind? Capital city Rome, with its Coloseum and ancient history-infused surroundings, style haven Milan, the picturesque canals of Venice, or Florence's famed Uffizi Gallery...no matter what you think about first, there's no denying that Italy is a heavy hitter when it comes to cultural richness and immersive places to visit (and of course, unusual places to stay!)
The origin of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance alike, Italy contains more UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites than anywhere else in the world. Think the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, or the ancient ruins of Pompeii, forever in the shadow of the still-smoking Vesuvius.
Yet it isn't only culture you'll find in Bella Italia, but sparkling lakes, majestic mountains and a breathtaking coastline. Think of Italy as the best of all holiday worlds, and you won't go far wrong.
In fact, if you love living well, you'll love Italy, where the good life rules supreme! Food and wine is outstanding country-wide, from deep-hued Chianti and Valpolicella to mouthwatering pizza della mamma, to smooth cannoli served with the finest fresh coffee.
A gondola ride through Venice is a must, along with a visit to the captivating St. Mark's Basilica and its famous square, Piazza San Marco. Next to the basilica is a treasure-trove of fine art, housed in the luxurious Doge's Palace.
Indeed, art lovers will rejoice in Florence, where the Uffizi is a one-stop shop for Renaissance pieces. The Duomo Santa Maria is also well worth a visit - climb the marble bell tower's 414 steps for superlative city views.
The famed Leaning Tower of Pisa is a must-visit, as is style capital Milan's magnificently Gothic ‘Il Duomo' - the flamboyant Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente. Why not pick up a new outfit while you're there...with such an homage to design all around, you'll need to look your best!
Whether you're religious or not, The Vatican is an art-lover's paradise, with St. Peter's Square a suitably imposing papal setting. You'll need to take your time in Rome, with so much to ignite your mind. The Roman Forum pays tribute to ancient times, while the Trevi Fountain is a dazzling sight to behold.
For a more relaxed Italian holiday, lush Lake Como, surrounded by mountains and packed with opulence, is a signature haunt of the rich and famous. The Amalfi Coast boasts the captivating Sorrentine Peninsula, with steep mountainsides that flow to the sea. Cinque Terre overlooks the Mediterranean and is a haven for hikers, while the Blue Grotto, found on the Isle of Capri, is surrounded by the bluest sea imaginable.
We all deserve to slow down and enjoy life a little more, don't you think...so why not do it all'Italiana? Your senses certainly won't regret the effort.