It's time to live La Dolce Vita! Magical Italy, with a culture and cuisine, landscape and language to die for, has been scooping in visitors like gelato for centuries. Here's a country that blends ancient and modern as effortlessly as a barista mixing cocoa and espresso into a Marocchino – and the result is even more delicious. There's Rome, the first city of the world for nearly five hundred years, where buildings that would be just historical monuments in another city are living and laughing – from concerts at the Colosseum to Sunday Mass in the Pantheon. There's Milan, renowned capital of both fashion and football, where castles and shopping centers jostle each other for your attention. There's Florence, loaded up with an embarrassment of famous art and sculpture, including extensive collections of works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. And who, having once experienced or even dreamed of its romance, could forget Venice, the "floating city" with canals for streets, gondolas for cars, and, during the annual Shrove Tuesday carnival, exquisite masks for faces?
And then there's the landscape: the crystalline lakes of the north, the rolling vineyard-covered hills of Tuscany, the island paradise of Capri in the Bay of Naples. A couple of hours' travel in Italy can take you from the frissons of a trendy urban center, to a rural idyll where figs and olives grow, and on again to a beach resort where the tranquillity of your sun-lounger during the daytime gives way at night to the hottest beach party of your life! And let's not forget the food. From coffee to chocolate, ice cream to pizza, fish to wine to pasta, not to mention over forty varieties of bread and cheese – Italy does it best and hoards up a regional diversity in cooking which will make every stop on your trip a fresh pleasure. This most addictive of destinations will have you hooked within a week on its fashion, foothills, food, and forums. Want to fall in love with a country so deeply that you'll spend your flight home planning your next trip there? Look no further than Italy!