Living in Switzerland gives me easy access to France, Germany, Austria and Lichtenstein. But it is my proximity to Italy that has enabled a love affair that grows with every visit.

There is a direct train from my station to Milan, so, over the past few years, I have travelled many times to this country of beauty, mystery and sensory delights.

For me, Italy offers a unique fusion of culture, history and natural beauty fused with a passion for a fun, vibrant, often chaotic lifestyle! Its spectacular, timeless, natural beauty is balanced and energized by urban complexity. There is a warmth in the people that I love and a focus on family and tradition that gives visitors a true depth of experience.

I’ve explored ancient olive groves in Puglia and walked through rugged hill towns in Umbria. The crowded streets of the Cinque Terre villages and calm serenity of Lake Como have left a lasting impression on my soul.

I’ve eaten pasta in Lecce and explored the seven hills in ancient Rome. My heart has been enriched by the fabulous art and architecture in Florence and my passion for fashion energized in Milan.

So, it is wonderful to see Road Scholar offering so many ways to explore and fall in love with this fascinating country. Let’s explore a few of the ways that Road Scholar can enhance your next trip to Italy.

Walking

Road Scholar offers several walking tours in Italy. Hiking the Cinque Terre is one of the most popular.

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Over 8 days, you travel in a small group along the coastal walkways of the five villages that embrace the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way, you get to experience the local culture of Italy in a totally unique and invigorating way.

You walk through green forests and vineyards, stopping at the small coastal towns to admire their multi-coloured buildings and get shimmering views across the Mediterranean.

Cooking

We all know that the Mediterranean diet is great for older women and what better place to experience it but in sunny towns along the sea? If you love Italian food and wine (and honestly who doesn’t?) there are so many culinary options to explore.

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Cooking in Sicily is one Road Scholar learning adventure that offers a unique Sicilian experience of food inspired by Italian, Greek, Spanish and Arab traditions. As part of the program, you can learn traditional cooking techniques and visit busy vegetable and fruit markets and a historic winery.

Exploring

Venice was the first Italian city I ever visited. It changed my life forever.

If you have been curious about this magical place, Road Scholar offers a unique way to explore it. Their Independent Venice Power and Beauty program allow you to learn from local guides about the city from a historical and culture perspective.

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Your guide will introduce you to the highlights of St Mark’s Basilica and the other cultural treasures in Venice. Then, you have the context to explore what interests and intrigues you on your own.

Personally, I spent hours at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. The canals, gondoliers and spectacular colorful buildings will stay in your memories forever!

This independent program style is also offered in the city of Florence and in many other cities across Europe.

You can read about my own Independent learning adventure to Prague with Road Scholar here.

Sailing

If sailing is your passion and you have a grandchild you want to share it with, the Road Scholar Magic of Italy, a Riverboat Adventure may be a perfect way to explore Italy.

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This 10-day grandparent program combines history, culture and food! It takes you and your grandchild on a tour of the canals of Venice and a journey along the River Po. From Verona to Venice, you visit to castles, canals, cathedrals and enchanting villages along the way!

Relaxing

Now to my favorite part of Italy, the Lakes Region. It is a part of the country that offers breath taking vistas. The lakes are nestled along a backdrop of the magnificent Alps and the extravagant villas along the lake offer endless opportunities for visual delight!

The Road Scholar La Dolce Vita, the Italian Lakes of Como, Guarda and Maggiore is an amazing program! Castles, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, pastel colored buildings, majestic churches – this program offers it all!

So, whatever your passion and travel style, Italy offers something for everyone. You can honestly spend a lifetime exploring the diversity and wonder of this magical country and Road Scholar offers many ways to begin your Italian love affair.

Have you ever travelled to Italy? What was your favorite city or town? What is one place in Italy you would love to visit? Let’s have a chat!

Editor’s note: this sponsored post was written by Margaret Manning.

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