Venice & The Veneto
Seen in the early rose light of dawn, the tranquil rhomboid of Piazza San Marco seems like an impossible dream. At the heart of Venice, which in turn lies at the core of one of Italy’s most powerful regions, the square with its basilica, ducal palace and soaring bell tower, is an unforgettable sight.
Naples & the Amalfi Coast
Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast is the Italy of your wildest and most lingering dreams; a rich, intense, hypnotic ragù of Arabesque street life, decadent palaces, pastel-hued villages and aria-worthy vistas. Culinary Riches Naples and its region are the country's culinary soul, home to Italy's best pizza, pasta, mozzarella, vegetables, citrus and seafood.
Imagine the audacity of building a city of marble palaces on a lagoon – and that was only the start. Venetian Feasts Garden islands and lagoon aquaculture yield speciality produce and seafood you won’t find elsewhere – all highlighted in inventive Venetian cuisine, with tantalising traces of ancient spice routes.
Turin, Piedmont & the Italian Riviera
The beauty of northwestern Italy is its diversity. You only have to take a short train ride out of Turin and everything changes: food, culture, scenery – even the language. The seduction starts in Liguria, a thin, precipitous coastal strip famous for its food (pesto and focaccia), swanky resorts and the once-powerful independent trading empire of Genoa.
Siena & Central Tuscany
This swathe of Tuscany has a landscape to fall in love with. Rugged Chianti’s bumpy backroads reveal a timeless terrain traced with cypress avenues and criss-crossing vines. In vineyards innovative and ancient you’ll hear people talking of wine having a soul; taste it and see if you agree.
There is far more to this green corner of Tuscany than Italy's iconic Leaning Tower. Usually hurtled through en route to Florence and Siena's grand-slam queue-for-hours sights, this is the place to take your foot off the accelerator and go slow – on foot, by bicycle or car.
The first thing to strike you about Liguria is its almost total lack of flatness. Wedged in a sinuous arc between Piedmont and the sea, this is where the Alps and the Apennines cascade precipitously into the Mediterranean. The demanding topography has had an indelible effect on almost every facet of Ligurian life.