History, myth and legend come to life in Italy's historic sites. Ancient ruins resonate with epics of lost glories, Renaissance palaces harbour dark secrets, baroque basilicas tell of papal plots and political intrigue.
Italy's many museums boast priceless artworks by the lorry load, with everything from ancient sculptures to modern design classics, whilst the nation's dedication to style, fashion and music makes for a rich, varied cultural landscape.
Italian cuisine is imitated the world over but still nothing can compare to a pizza served straight from a wood-fired oven in a neighbourhood pizzeria or a humble bowl of pasta dished up in a family-run trattoria. Italian gelato (ice cream) is a national treasure not to be missed.