There is no one thing or region that defines Italy. Seemingly blessed with the ideal combination of almost every desirable attribute a country could wish for: straddling almost the entire width of the Mediterranean, to the south Sicily approaches Africa whilst in the north, its lakes reflect the magnificent Alps. Between these two extremes lies a great diversity of people; of food and wines; iconic architecture; footprints of ancient and medieval civilizations and a huge variety of scenery ranging from almost desert to lofty mountains so high they appear to puncture the sky!
On this wonderfully varied tour we explore Lake Como, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, plus some stunning icons of northern Italy and Switzerland. Described by Wordsworth as ‘a treasure the earth keeps to itself’, visitors have been attracted to the lake for centuries in search of relaxation, culture and inspiration. Both Verdi and Rossini worked in lakeside villas here, together with countless poets. Its atmosphere is one of an eerie, near-silence, broken only by the rhythmic lapping of gentle waves on the lake shore whilst above, birds of prey soar on the numerous thermals generated by the gentle mountain breezes. The scenery is just awesome with the mirror-like, deep blue waters reflecting the surrounding hills and snow-capped peaks dotted with tall, typically Italian, ochre and magenta coloured buildings and opulent villas lining the lakeside itself. Majestic mountains rise almost vertically towards the deep blue sky with the lower slopes covered in lush vegetation, adding an invigorating aromatic backdrop to a most harmonious scene.
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