Its diverse landscape, artistic treasures and fabulous food make Italy a feast for the soul, offering something for everyone, like a spoonful of good minestrone soup.
There are the mountains and lakes of the Alps and Dolomites in the north; fashionable Milan; enchanting Venice; the hills and towns of Tuscany, with Renaissance classics such as Florence.
Mighty Rome is unmissable, with its ancient monuments — the Colosseum, Roman forum and Pantheon — and the high art of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican.
Further south there’s the seductive Amalfi coast, intriguing Sicily off the toe of Italy’s “boot,” and Mediterranean-lapped beaches galore.
Then there’s the food.
Distinctive, seasonal and highly regional, from light seafood specialties such as pasta con le sarde (sardines) in the south to the more cheese, cream and meat-based menus in the north. And there’s the smell of freshly ground coffee wafting out of every café, picturesque piazzas, hidden delights around every corner.
We could go on. A sweet life indeed. Click through the gallery to see some of the most amazing places to visit in Italy.