Discover picture perfect Italy

When meeting with people considering a trip to Italy, I’m often asked to rank my most memorable experiences or favorite places. I try to explain why that’s impossible — and why that’s the reason to go.

Our travelers routinely recall how they’re often overwhelmed by the experiences, scenes and, later, the great memories: sumptuous meals, luscious wines from small producers, gorgeous panoramas of Italy’s countryside, landscapes and seascapes. Sometimes just recalling a quiet moment or a wrong turn revives recollections of all the pleasures and surprises of that first trip.

So after more than 15 years planning these travels, I still feel stumped by the question — “what’s your favorite?” Maybe the one constant is the travelers themselves. Together we make the memories, strike up friendships that persevere years beyond our travels, and then, often, we join together again for another visit.

To get a sense of all such possibilities, please enjoy these images from our most recent 2018 trips: “The Best of Italy—Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Umbria” and “Splendors of the South: Amalfi & Puglia.”

  STEP BACK 2,000 YEARS AGO AT THE pantheon—the best-preserved building from ancient Rome

STEP BACK 2,000 YEARS AGO AT THE pantheon—the best-preserved building from ancient Rome

  trevi fountain, THE LARGEST (AND ARGUABLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL) FOUNTAIN IN rome

trevi fountain, THE LARGEST (AND ARGUABLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL) FOUNTAIN IN rome

  view of picturesque vernazza, (cinque terre) from the ligurian sea

view of picturesque vernazza, (cinque terre) from the ligurian sea

  View of monterosso (cinque terre) from one of the hiking paths that connects the villages

View of monterosso (cinque terre) from one of the hiking paths that connects the villages

  jo rewards herself with a spritz after biking along the ligurian coast

jo rewards herself with a spritz after biking along the ligurian coast

  Jenny stops along the bike path to enjoy the views of the ligurian sea

Jenny stops along the bike path to enjoy the views of the ligurian sea

  Sheila and Jenny cool off after BIKING along the coast

Sheila and Jenny cool off after BIKING along the coast

  pizza at mercato centrale florence—MY GO-TO PLACE FOR A QUICK BITE AND CONSISTENTLY GOOD PIE

pizza at mercato centrale florence—MY GO-TO PLACE FOR A QUICK BITE AND CONSISTENTLY GOOD PIE

  florence’s stunning cathedral, il duomo. IT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SEE IT.

florence’s stunning cathedral, il duomo. IT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SEE IT.

  dale, the ‘grill guy” takes over cooking in tuscany. HE IS HAPPY.

dale, the ‘grill guy” takes over cooking in tuscany. HE IS HAPPY.

  A break from cooking class with a view of the tuscan countryside. A VIEW LIKE THIS WOULD INSPIRE ANYONE TO COOK FABULOUS TUSCAN FOOD!

A break from cooking class with a view of the tuscan countryside. A VIEW LIKE THIS WOULD INSPIRE ANYONE TO COOK FABULOUS TUSCAN FOOD!

  beautifully prepared antipasti. JUST ADD WINE.

beautifully prepared antipasti. JUST ADD WINE.

  me, giuseppina, luca & antonella, giuseppina’s cooking school, certaldo. A DAY WITH THIS BUNCH IS ALWAYS FUN.

me, giuseppina, luca & antonella, giuseppina’s cooking school, certaldo. A DAY WITH THIS BUNCH IS ALWAYS FUN.

  fresh olive oil and garlic. che profumo!

fresh olive oil and garlic. che profumo!

  osteria, certaldo. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE IS PRETTY MUCH IS A POSTCARD.

osteria, certaldo. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE IS PRETTY MUCH IS A POSTCARD.

  anytime is spritz time!

anytime is spritz time!

  egg in parmesan crust with fresh truffles AT OSTERIA OTTAVIUS, BEVAGNA

egg in parmesan crust with fresh truffles AT OSTERIA OTTAVIUS, BEVAGNA

  osteria ottavius, bevagna

osteria ottavius, bevagna

  dinner, ristorante redibis, bevagna. DINNER HERE IS ALWAYS A SPECIAL TREAT.

dinner, ristorante redibis, bevagna. DINNER HERE IS ALWAYS A SPECIAL TREAT.

  artful eating at ristorante redibis, bevagna

artful eating at ristorante redibis, bevagna

  verrazzano winery, tuscany

verrazzano winery, tuscany

  a beautiful selection of tuscan meats, verrazzano winery

a beautiful selection of tuscan meats, verrazzano winery

  wine tasting & lunch, verrazzano winery (tuscany)

wine tasting & lunch, verrazzano winery (tuscany)

  wine tasting & lunch, verrazzano winery (tuscany)

wine tasting & lunch, verrazzano winery (tuscany)

  wine tasting, lungarotti winery (umbria)

wine tasting, lungarotti winery (umbria)

  Duomo di Orvieto, a large 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and situated in the town of Orvieto in Umbria, central Italy.

Duomo di Orvieto, a large 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and situated in the town of Orvieto in Umbria, central Italy.

  truffle hunting. A VERY GOOD DAY.

truffle hunting. A VERY GOOD DAY.

  “the protector”

“the protector”

  we enjoyed a beautiful (and successful) day of truffle hunting

we enjoyed a beautiful (and successful) day of truffle hunting

  Francesca prepares homemade pasta with fresh truffle sauce

Francesca prepares homemade pasta with fresh truffle sauce

  the best way to tour the amalfi coast IS FROM A BOAT

the best way to tour the amalfi coast IS FROM A BOAT

  chris enjoys a bubbly while cruising the amalfi coastal waters

chris enjoys a bubbly while cruising the amalfi coastal waters

  alberobello, home to the “trulli”, puglia

alberobello, home to the “trulli”, puglia

  john, marcia, mary & alan taking in the views of stunning amalfi coast

john, marcia, mary & alan taking in the views of stunning amalfi coast

  small grottos dot the coastline of southern italy

small grottos dot the coastline of southern italy

  charming conversano, puglia

charming conversano, puglia

  A TYPICAL SCENE IN conversano, puglia

A TYPICAL SCENE IN conversano, puglia

  the cascading sun-kissed homes of positano (amalfi coast)

the cascading sun-kissed homes of positano (amalfi coast)

  stunning views of the Mediterranean and the dramatic coastline below from villa cimbrone, ravello

stunning views of the Mediterranean and the dramatic coastline below from villa cimbrone, ravello

  the bottle of wine we chose to accompany our puglian lunch. this crisp white wine is made from the fiano grape grown primarily in the campania region and on the island of sicily. NEEDLESS TO SAY IT WAS YUMMY!

the bottle of wine we chose to accompany our puglian lunch. this crisp white wine is made from the fiano grape grown primarily in the campania region and on the island of sicily. NEEDLESS TO SAY IT WAS YUMMY!

  travelers betsy & kathy enjoy the sea views from the streets of polignano a mare in puglia

travelers betsy & kathy enjoy the sea views from the streets of polignano a mare in puglia

  BEAUTIFUL LIGHT AT villa rufulo, located in the historic center of ravello

BEAUTIFUL LIGHT AT villa rufulo, located in the historic center of ravello

  entrance to villa cimbrone, ravello

entrance to villa cimbrone, ravello

  villa cimbrone, ravello

villa cimbrone, ravello

  musicians performing the typical pizzica music/dance from salento. THIS FOLLOWING OUR COOKING CLASS AT COOK IN PUGLIA BY YLE TOURS.

musicians performing the typical pizzica music/dance from salento. THIS FOLLOWING OUR COOKING CLASS AT COOK IN PUGLIA BY YLE TOURS.

  polignano a mare, puglia (SIGH)

polignano a mare, puglia (SIGH)

  pasta with fresh tomato and basil, ristorante lo scoglio

pasta with fresh tomato and basil, ristorante lo scoglio

  lunch with a view, ristorante lo scoglio

lunch with a view, ristorante lo scoglio

  Matera’s ancient town, known as the "Sassi di Matera". The Sassi originated in a prehistoric settlement, and the cave-like dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in italy.

Matera’s ancient town, known as the "Sassi di Matera". The Sassi originated in a prehistoric settlement, and the cave-like dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in italy.

  matera, basilicata

matera, basilicata

  simple, fresh and delicious. lunch at la latteria, matera—A DELI KNOWN FOR ITS VAST SELECTION OF BEAUTIFUL CHEESES AND MEATS. THIS LUNCH AT THE TOP OF MY LIST OF FAVORITES. CURIOSITY PAYS OFF.

simple, fresh and delicious. lunch at la latteria, matera—A DELI KNOWN FOR ITS VAST SELECTION OF BEAUTIFUL CHEESES AND MEATS. THIS LUNCH AT THE TOP OF MY LIST OF FAVORITES. CURIOSITY PAYS OFF.

  la latteria, matera. I’D EAT HERE EVERY DAY IF I COULD.

la latteria, matera. I’D EAT HERE EVERY DAY IF I COULD.

  masseria cervarolo, puglia

masseria cervarolo, puglia

  COMORT AND GOOD DESIGN COMBINED. masseria cervarolo, puglia

COMORT AND GOOD DESIGN COMBINED. masseria cervarolo, puglia

  LA CUCINA-WHERE MAGIC HAPPENS, masseria cervarolo, puglia.

LA CUCINA-WHERE MAGIC HAPPENS, masseria cervarolo, puglia.

  THE WINES OF PUGLIA. masseria cervarolo, puglia

THE WINES OF PUGLIA. masseria cervarolo, puglia

  KATHY, BETSY & PAT RELAX AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

KATHY, BETSY & PAT RELAX AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

  CHARMING ACCOMODATIONS AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

CHARMING ACCOMODATIONS AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

  COMFORT + STYLE AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

COMFORT + STYLE AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

  RESIDENT PUP AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

RESIDENT PUP AT masseria cervarolo, puglia

  masseria grieco, puglia

masseria grieco, puglia

  LINGERING OVER BREAKFAST AT masseria grieco, puglia

LINGERING OVER BREAKFAST AT masseria grieco, puglia

  masseria grieco, puglia

masseria grieco, puglia

  breakfast at masseria grieco, puglia

breakfast at masseria grieco, puglia

  breakfast at masseria grieco, puglia. SO MUCH GOODNESS!

breakfast at masseria grieco, puglia. SO MUCH GOODNESS!

  masseria grieco, puglia

masseria grieco, puglia