Impressions of France
Europe is a very diverse continent, with ever changing landscapes and nature, and with very different backgrounds of history and culture. That may be true elsewhere on the globe as well, of course, but in Europe it all happens within a limited space. It is the density that makes Europe such a fascinating part of the world to discover and understand. And then, within Europe, there are some countries with yet an extra dimension of attraction and interest, and Italy is one of those. Italy has something that no other European country really has to the same degree: the traces of history in an absolutely uninterrupted continuum of culture, constantly propelled forward, from the Bronze Age to the Etruscans, Doric Greeks and Romans, and from the Romans on to the core pages of medieval history, seamlessly flowing into the Renaissance curiosity, creativity and science which beyond any doubt have greatly set the trajectory of Western society. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarotti, Brunelleschi, Dante Alighieri, Amerigo Vespucci are just a few names that suffice to make the point. What is more, no mention has yet been made of the contemporary experience of the elegance of Italian cities, with well dressed people, the sound of the language's music, the taste of exquisite gastronomy, the crisp early morning streets satiated with the scent rising from the stand-up coffee bars; and outside the cities, the changing nature of snow-capped Alpine mountains, idyllic Mediterranean sea shores and the sun baked, dry and barren lands of the South.