From the mountains, lakes and great cities of the north, to the dreamy landscapes and rugged islands of the south, Italy has more variety, more culture and more to enjoy than you could possibly imagine.

Amalfi Coast, Campania, ©De Agostini Picture Library

Italy is a popular destination for holidays in all seasons. Italians and international visitors mingle together in the famous resorts during the summer months. Spring comes early and autumn lingers, perfect for leisurely enjoying the art and culture on offer in the large cities. And in winter, the Italian Alps are unequaled for scenery and skiing. Depending on the region, you could have a very different experience in Italy. The NORTH is the industrial and commercial powerhouse of the nation, and boasts many fascinating cities, including the region’s largest, Milan and Turin, as well as such delights as Venice, Verona and Mantua. Ringed by the Alps, it also features some spectacular scenery – most famously the Italian Lakes that stretch from Switzerland south-east into Venetia – and the resorts of the Ligurian coast, known as the Italian Riviera. The stunning beauty of nature of SARDINIA, the ancient traditions, and the various expressions of Sardinian culture are more authentic and more genuine than elsewhere, whether you choose to enjoy the magnificent sea or visit museums, to study the mystery of the "nuraghi" or to try a delicious typical dish.

SICILY is a sunny island whose landscape is rich in contrasts,
with a splendid coastline and a refined, delicious and

The SOUTH is dominated by Naples; as well as being an unforgettable city in itself, it has the added attraction of nearby Mount Vesuvius and the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Campania has beautiful seas and architectural treasures of all eras and styles, and Abruzzo is known as "the region of parks" with 30 per cent of its territory protected by environmental legislation, more than any other region in Europe.

The varied cuisine of traditional flavours and exquisite aromas. Every style and every movement in art is ‘Caves of richly represented in Sicily. Matera’, Basilicata, Between north and south lies the Italy that has are one of the most become the beloved haunt of distinguished peculiar, ancient and celebrities and their families. This is the cradle of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, extraordinary human achievements whose legacy suffuses the region; settlements in the but it is also where you will find the archetypal Italian landscape of rugged, shrub-strewn hills world dozing in the golden light. From the pull of the
Eternal City of Rome, to regions rich in varied countryside, the Adriatic sea, gentle hills, deep and mysterious caves and protected areas of natural beauty, CENTRAL Italy is a delightful destination enriched with towns, villages, palaces, and religious buildings, all of them of important architectural and artistic value.

Gallipoli, Apulia ©De Agostini Picture Library

Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 41

Fact file
NORTHERN ITALY has some of the world's most renowned winter sports resorts, easily reached from Torino, chief city of the westernmost Piemonte region; from Milano, hub of the central mountain and lake district; and from Venezia, leading city of the eastern region. Skiing is also a summer sport in the Torino Alps and the lofty mountains surrounding the Valle d’Aosta.
The Italians love the BICYCLE so if cycling is your thing, then there is no better place. From flats to rolling hills to steep climbs, the scenery, villages, history, art and landscape will inspire you every day with new surprises. Spring and autumn are the best times of the year for cycling in Italy. Most of the year the BEACHES are sunny and with 5,310 miles of shoreline bordering Italy and its islands, you can usually find waters where the temperature is right for swimming. Mirroring the snow-covered Alps that surround them, the LAKES of Lombardy welcome tourists to Italy. The three largest lakes are Maggiore (82 sq.miles), Como (56 sq.miles), and Garda (143 sq.miles). They provide a busy season of swimming, sailing, golf and tennis from early spring to the late mild autumn. Italian style has always been associated with creativity and elegance. One of the most successful areas of Italian design has been AUTOMOBILES, where designers like Pininfarina have created works of art like the Ferrari and more down-to-earth cars like the Peugeot 205 and the Fiat Uno. There are 10 top design firms for cars, all concentrated around Turin, the centre of Italian auto manufacturing.

Temple of Concord, Valley of the Temples, Sicily ©De Agostini Picture Library

Tourist Office Official language Italian Average summer temperatures (July) Rome: 25 Milan: 24 Naples: 26 Sardinia: 24 Sicily: 26 Currency Euro Average flying time from UK London–Rome 21/2 hours

Did you know? Summer temperatures in the south are far hotter than in the north especially in the mountain regions which have heavy winter snowfalls. The wettest months are October to December. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was set in Verona, Italy. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) the famous Renaissance painter was also a sculptor, architect, engineer and scientist.

Paradise Beach, Sardinia

Elba Island, Tuscany ©De Agostini Picture Library

42 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010

Italy, Centrall, Southern
44 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010

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Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 45

Southern, Central

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