Monte Argentario is a beachfront haven that has long been a popular summer destination for Romans and Tuscans alike The magnificent rock formation that juts skywards is off the coast of southern Tuscany. This region includes Porto Ercole, Orbetello, Porto Santo Stefano and, across the harbor on the mainland, Ansedonia.
A drive down the Amalfi coast is one of Italy's most popular excursion and attracts millions of tourists every year. Positano is an old coastal village that dates back to the 10th century AD. It was once the chief seaport for trade with the Middle East. It has also been a muse to countless artists who've come to her for inspiration.
San Marino is the smallest republic in the world. Though it has a total area of only 24 square miles it is an important tourist destination, with thousands of visitors flocking to it each day in the summer months. It is also a playground for the rich and the famous with affluence put on display everywhere…
Infamous as Mussolini's Republic of Salo headquarters and later the place of his execution, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Watering the fertile plains of Lombardy and the Veneto in the south, it is become temperamental up north where it expands to the Alps. The lake's shores are beautiful with lush greenery and exotic flowers.
The Dolomite Mountains are dramatic, majestic and at times overwhelming, with the eastern Alps meeting them. Recent study has shown that the eastern Dolomites are actually coral formations that were under an ancient seabed. Most of the Dolomites, locally known as the Dolomiti, belonged to Austria but were handed over to Italy after World War I.
Commanding eastern Sicily is Mount Etna (3292 m), the highest and largest active volcano in Europe. Etna has been active in modern times, as close as 2001 and 2002. The most threatening eruption was in 1928 when the little village of Mascali was buried under its lava.
Lake Maggiore has been an idyllic getaway and muse for famous personalities like Flaubert, Wagner, Goethe and Hemingway. In fact, the region inspired Hemingway to write A Farewell to Arms and those of you who have read the novel will see it come to life here.
Valle di Templi
A UNESCO world heritage site, Valle di Templi is definitely one of the most important archeological sites in the world. Agrigento's amazing Valley of the Temples is found on a long rocky path and has ancient temples of mythology.
Lake Como Surrounded bye gardens and forests and backed by the snowcapped Alps. The first sight of the dramatic expanse of Lake Como is likely to evoke strong emotions, sometimes strong enough to be an artist's muse. Lord Byron (poet), Stendhal (novelist), Verdi and Rossini (composers) are just a few.
St. Francis di Assisi
The first stone of the Lower Basilica was laid on July 17th 1228 (by Pope Gregory IX) on the day after the canonisation of St Francis. Two years later the saint's body was brought here in secret for fear of looting by tomb raiders and buried in the unfinished church. It had earlier been resting in the church of San Giorgio (the future church of St Claire's).
Spectacular! No lens but that of human eye can catch and truly comprehend the grandeur of the Dolomites of Cortina d'Ampezzo in its starkness, and even that fine instrument can sometimes be overwhelmed by the majesty of Cortina's compelling surroundings.
Massive and gleaming white the Duomo of Milan overlooks the entire city. It is definitely one of the country's most outstanding structures, built completely in marble with 135 spires and 3,400 statues. With the amount of marble used and its sheer gigantic size, you would think that it would be ostentatious, but it isn't.
Duomo of Florence
Until 1293 Santa Reparta was the primary cathedral in the Florentine Republic. It was suggested by Ser Mino de Cantoribus that a larger, more beautiful cathedral be built. The people of Florence were required to pitch in financially. All last wills and testaments were imposed a tax that was put in the construction fund.
Duomo di Orvieto
The date of origin of the Duomo di Orvieto is unclear but there is a very interesting story surrounding its construction. It said that a Bohemian priest was on his way home from a pilgrimage to Rome when he stopped at Lake Bolsena (near the town of Orvieto in the Umbrian province) to celebrate a holy mass.
Portofino. It's a beautiful name for a beautiful place. The name is thought to be derived from a reference made to the area by Pliny the Elder, who talked of it as Portus Delphini, or the Port of Dolphins. He was no doubt referring to the unusually large number of dolphins that frequented the waters of this tranquil bay.
Bagno Vignoni, the only place on earth where you can find a central village square made of steamy water, is a tiny village on the top of a hill and with a great tradition of healing baths.
What would most people, after having traveled miles away from home to a foreign land, worked hard for years and then struck rich have done - some 200 years ago? Probably stashed away the fortune carefully or spent it on a good life once they returned home.
Botanic Gardens of Padua
Take a walk into the past. Or the present. Or even the future. You just have to enter the Botanic Gardens of Padua to do all three. Meet a dwarf palm belonging to the 16th century. Or take a look at the endangered local flora and visit the laboratories where research is being carried out to ensure that traditional plant wealth is preserved for the coming generations.