Italy is a land celebrated for the arts, and not the least among the arts that have attained their highest expression in Italy is the art of hospitality. The Italian welcome is as warm and traditional as a glass of fine wine. It is one of the most popular vacation countries in Europe, all seasons being good for a visit. In particular spring and autumn are the ideal seasons to enjoy the art centers, the large cities and the lake regions, whilst winter is time to ski in Italian Alps.
From the sunny southern slopes of the Alps to the lush orange groves of Sicilia, Italy offers enormous variety in its natural scenery and historical backgrounds. Because a good part of Italy grew up as a collection of independent city-states, customs and food vary greatly from region to region. This rich history is preserved in the colorful folklore festivals that take place in all of Italy's regions throughout the year.