Holding travellers spellbound for the last 200 years or more, Italy continues to attract, always near the top of the most visited countries in the world.

And, Italy pretty much serves up anything and everything you could look for in a holiday.

If it’s history and ancient ruins you want to see, the Romans (and everyone since) have left bountiful sights to explore around the country, most notably the open-air Roman museum that is Rome, where any of the main sights is incredible in its own right - the fact that there are so many of them concentrated in one city is just astonishing. For Rome, add in the heart of the catholic church and the incredible collection of churches and museums in the city itself, and particularly in the world's smallest country, Vatican City - where St Peters and the sistine chapel command a day of exploration to really appreciate their grandeur.

Moving on from the Romans, there’s the astonishing collection of art and the architecture, from ancient times right through to the Renaissance & Baroque eras, where the main centres of Rome, Florence & Milan (plus many other smaller centres) are worthy of a standalone holiday in their own right. If Rome is an open air museum, then Florence probably lays claim to being an open-air gallery, with its collection of sculptural and artistic wonders being the equal of anywhere in the world.

And, then there's Venice, the incredible canal city that serves up all of the art, architecture and history like the rest of the country, but with a unique canal-based twist that sets it apart from the others. While it too has its challenges of over-tourism (not to mention climate change), it still has to be one of the most amazing destinations on the planet to visit.

Outside of just pure art and architecture, there's the culture, sights and food of Tuscany, the stunning vertigo-inducing clifftop towns of the Cinque Terra, the ruins of Pompeii, or the beautiful mountain and lake landscapes of Italy's northern regions. The beaches of the south cap off the list, while the relatively unexplored south-east of the country still throws up a wonderful collection of sights that are just shaded by their more famous cousins to the north.

It's also fair to say that you could ignore all of this and just devote all your energies to devouring every gastronomic delight that Italy puts on the table – pasta, pizza, desserts, gelato and fine wine collections.

With a climate perfectly suited to exploring, easy access & transport, and a whole host of places in the Italian countryside to get off the beaten track, Italy is always waiting for the next batch of ‘invaders’ to arrive.

Image by Canadastock, Shutterstock