Painters, poets and writers have captured Italy's magic on paper and canvas for hundreds of years, and what inspired them then still delights and enchants visitors today. Who could not be struck by the works of art in the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican in Rome, or fascinated by the romance of Venice, the frescoes of Pompeii, the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, or the Amalfi Coast? But even in the smallest hill-top town or tiniest village church you can find frescoes, sculptures and paintings which point to a distinguished past. Enveloping it all is Italy’s magnificent scenery – a work of art in itself – with such striking contrasts. The dramatic beauty of the lakes and mountains in the North gives way to a classic landscape of vine- covered hills and medieval towns in Tuscany and Umbria. The Mediterranean coast, in places gentle and open with wide sandy beaches, becomes rugged and sheer with spectacular views in others. Italy’s islands, each one so different, yet equally beautiful:all this is Italy.Add to this timeless landscapes, the delicious food and superb wines, the shops in every city and town where the best of European design is so brilliantly displayed, and the Italian people themselves so lively, sociable and individual and you have the ingredients for a holiday with a magic touch.