There is an Italian mystery, and this not only lies in the age-old recipe for pasta with gorgonzola nor that of various antipasti. How did a former empire, which occupied two-thirds of the known world by force of its terrifying armies only two thousand years ago, become the uncontested kingdom of the Dolce Vita?
It is enough to visit the theatres, thermal baths and stadiums of Rome to understand that the ancient culture was also based around knowing how to live well. Since its earliest days, in fact since the time when the Etruscans laid the foundations of a new civilisations on seven hills, Italy has alwys welcomed empire builders who know how to enjoy life’s pleasures. Is it something to do with the climate? Yes, but it’s also about a faith in beauty which the Italians possess. How else could the miracle that is Florence which, during the Renaissance inherited all of the architectural delights of the era, be possible? It is also subject to a real competition of elegance with other cities, with Venice in the lead. Milan, too, the Holy See of the fashion world, has largely carried the torch. Italy has developed around these multiple centres, where, each time, you find dfferent desires, particular accents. The cuisine, for example, varies considerably from North to South, each area having its own specialties. Enjoy the wide-open spaces of Tuscany, where mild sunshine caresses the vineyards. Or escape to the southern coast, where volcanic soil fertilises the olive trees. Italy is a rich mosaic of sensations.