I recently returned from my trip to Italy. My first international travel left me jet lagged and happy. The tour company was first rate and I will use their services again. The countries first inhabitants were the Etruscans around 800 BC. Their underground burial chambers still dot the Tuscan farmlands.
The marvels of Rome from the Colosseum to the Vatican stun the senses with their epic grandeur and opulence. Florence and the Accademia Gallery Tour where David stands tall in his marbled glory. Venice canals, bridges and squares enthrall and overload the senses.
Cinque Terra is the crown jewel of the Italian Riviera. The five towns clinging to the hillsides. A people isolated for much of their existence connected by trails, trains and boats. The multi-colored dwellings sparkle in the sun and reflect the brilliant blue sea.
I lost my heart to Cortina in the southern Alps. The town nestles in a valley at 4,000 feet. Lush green fields covered in wildflowers reach to the base of the jagged spires of the mountains, creating an outdoor enthusiast dream. Skiing, skating and sledding in winter. Cycling, hiking and hang gliding in the warmer months. A beautiful, bountiful slice of heaven on earth.