Art and architecture, vineyards and olive groves, canals and gondoliers,
calamari and fettuccine—this, and more, is Italy, a warm and welcoming
country whose history and culture are a rich blend of the influences of
multiple civilizations, the ancient Etruscans, Romans, Byzantines, Lombards and
It is the birthplace of the Renaissance, the age of great scientists,
artists, authors and musicians, the likes of Galileo, Michelangelo, Dante, and
the ultimate Renaissance man, Da Vinci.
It is the place for visitors to immerse themselves in the Renaissance, the
cuisine, the countryside, "la dolce vita."
Tuscany and Umbria, more than any other regions in Italy, capture the
quintessence of "la dolce vita." The countryside here exudes a sense
of sublime tranquility. Gentle rolling hills dotted with parasol pines or
spread with olive groves and vineyards blend with pastures and lightly wooded
areas. Red-roofed villages connected by winding roads nnestle in valleys, while
solemn forts and ancient missions dominate higher mountains.
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