Few countries can compete with Italy’s sheer wealth of art and architecture, not to mention cuisine, music, literature, fashion, and contemporary design. Not surprisingly, Italy has long attracted travelers in search of culture, romance, and inspiration. Whether it is the museums, galleries, and ancient sites or the food and wine, beaches, and shopping, Italy has something for everyone. Italy’s identity is reflected in its regional diversity. From the mountainous northern Dolomites to the awe-inspiring Amalfi coast and the rugged Sicilian shores, one finds a range of dialects, cuisines, and architectural traditions. Even within regions, one will experience marked contrasts. For example, the way the Gothic palaces of Venice give way to the geranium-hung balconies and timber houses of the nearby Italian Alps, or how the renaissance splendors of Florence are left behind for Tuscany’s medieval hilltop towns. Northern and southern Italy also have distinct identities; the industrial north is the powerhouse of economy, whereas the south is largely agricultural. However the entire country loves to celebrate. Whether marking the beginning of spring with the Calendimaggio festival in Assisi, or gambling on the outcome of the Palio, the bareback horse race held in Siena’s main square, Italians rejoice in their traditions and celebrations.