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Italy is one of our favourite countries. The birthplace of the Roman Empire there is still much to see from that time in Rome from the Colosseum to the Forum. Florence and Venice are two more of Italy’s long list of beautiful cities, where great art and music are complemented by Italian gastronomy. Away from the cities in the north the Alps provide a retreat as well as a playground for skiers in winter and walkers in summer. Further south a drive along the spectacular coast from Naples to Amalfi will reward you with views of chic towns such as Positano perched on cliffs plunging into the sea. At the foot of Italy lies Sicily with the smoking volcano of Mount Etna, relics from Roman times and modern vineyards.