To travel through Italy is as close as one gets to being in paradise. For centuries, writers, artists, architects and merchants have been drawn here, inspired by the beauty of Venice, Florence, Naples and Rome. Countless books, paintings, poems and sculptures are evidence of its undying appeal, and over the past 60 years, the country has become one of the world's top travel and holiday destinations. The loveliness of Italy - its architecture, landscapes, culture and food (some of the world's finest!) - if not eternal, is certainly enduring, and the easy-going and relaxed Italian lifestyle, il dolce far niente, is still unrivaled. Here, some of Italy's most amazing landscapes are brought to life, like Lake Como (residence of George Clooney), Venice, Florence and Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, and no less magical, the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. In these mythical surroundings are legendary hotels full of atmosphere, where novels are set, movies are made, weddings are celebrated and famous love stories consummated: Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the Hotel Des Bains on the Lido, the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, the Il San Pietro on the Amalfi Coast and the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello - to name just a few. But in "Great Escapes Italy", Angelika Taschen also reveals where to find more secret and hidden jewels - from the Locanda Cipriani, a romantic hideaway on the island of Torcello, to the atmospheric Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany.