For any visitor to Italy, the abundance of art and breathtaking beauty is evident in virtually every corner of the country. Although only about the size of Arizona, Italy boasts more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country on the planet. All of this is contained within a country of only 116,347 square miles. In second place on the UNESCO list is China, a country that comprises 3.705 million square miles, or an area almost 32 times the size of Italy! One of the major travel websites has just voted Italy the most beautiful country in the world and we couldn’t agree more.
Not only is Italy the perfect destination for natural beauty, the history of the land and the innovations of its people have brought a treasure-trove of cultural refinement to mankind that both boggles the mind and fires the imagination.
If truth be told, Italy is so wonderful that the Eternal City of Rome, one of the premiere destinations for travelers in the world, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fascinating places to visit. Most Italian cities, towns and villages are not only captivating, but imbued with a sense of individualism that creates a beauty all their own. No two places are alike and the differences between the northern and southern parts of the country are like visits to two different countries. One of the constants is the warmth of the people who live there and the amazing cuisine that will delight your senses.
Each region offers up its own dishes, each meticulously prepared, which through the ages, have constructed a historic path of glorious delights. The meats, seafood, pastas, risotto and contorni are all carefully fashioned to suit the regional styles, with mixtures of extraordinary cheeses, vegetables and sauces that can keep a foodie busy for the rest of their life and this is without even a mention of the desserts!
The country that has brought the word Bel Paese exhibits it with a style and flair unmatched on the planet. Italian fashion is not restricted to the catwalk, you see it every day on the sidewalk. What passes as casual clothing in the United States would typically not be seen in public in Italy. People take great pride in their appearance, something that appears to have been lost in the recent generation of this country. A polished look that is pleasing to the eye extends well below the surface. Bel Paese is not simply about how one looks, but how one acts in social and business situations. This level of gracious hospitality alone sets Italy apart from all other nations.
Famed around the world for having the most prominent fashion scene on the market, Italian brands and fashion houses have almost always been at the forefront. With cities such as Venice, Florence, Naples and the fashion capital of the world Milan, producing jewelry and glamorous textiles as early as the 11th century, the fashion industry has been vital to Italy since the Renaissance, with art and music equally flourishing. However, it was during the 1950s that things really began to take off, when Italian businessman and trendsetter Giovanni Battista Giorgini, held a fashion show in Florence with the sole intention of bringing Italy back to the forefront of world fashion. With brands such as Gucci, Valentino Armani, Prada, Ferragamo, Dolce and Gabbana and hundreds more, Italy will forever be the fashion capital of the world.
When one considers the tourist attractions, Italy shames competing countries with its sightseeing destinations. In Rome alone, there are literally hundreds of things to see, but even without a scheduled plan, you can have an unforgettable time by simply wandering the winding streets of the capital city. Expect to be amazed at every turn. Then, of course, there is the magic of Venice, which happens to be near romantic Verona and a stone’s throw from beautiful Padua. From the Amalfi Coast in the south to the Cinque Terre in the north, from the beauty of Sicily to the extraordinary resorts of Sardinia, visitors are treated to unforgettable experiences at every turn. This is the reason that countless books have been written about travels to Italy and countless more will be written in the future
Italy has also been called the country with the best four-season climate in the world, allowing you to plan your seasonal trips accordingly. In the winter, snowcapped mountains are perfect for indulging in winter sports; while in the summer, look no further to find Europe’s finest beaches, with white glorious sands and water so clear you can see your toes dancing with the fish.
Famed worldwide for its art and culture, the impact of Italian art is immeasurable. Even if one were to examine only a few of its most famous artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio and Botticelli, the body of work is absolutely staggering; yet even since prehistoric times, there has always been something going on in the Italian peninsula. From cave drawings to the Romans, the subject of art has always been important to the development of the country. Today, artists from around the world make Italy their number one “must see” destination, due to the hundreds of galleries, exhibitions and museums, displaying the most beautiful creations from the distant past to the present day.
When one considers why Italy is the most beautiful country in the world, there are many answers and to the benefit of every visitor, each answer is correct! For anyone who has never experienced Italy, you must go and find out for yourself.