Subject: Northern Italy
Hello For those of you interested in Northern Italy, here are some suggestions, going West to East.

Piemonte - the wine hills of Monferrato, south of Asti, where you can find terrific red wines and a gently rolling landscape with little towns and castles, out of the major tourist roads

Lombardia - the lake country (Como, Maggiore and others) north of Milano, very well known by tourists but still somewhat untouched, great scenery and masterpieces of art.

Trentino - up into the mountains, the Dolomites, to discover scenic winding routes, alpine lakes and forests, with a flavour of Austria both in the towns and in the restaurants.

Veneto - from Vicenza starts the showcase of the villas built as from seventeenth century by wealthy Venetians, from the most famous ones, like the Rotonda by Canova to the smaller ones on the shores of Brenta river, just outside Venice; and of course Venice, sometimes a tourist trap, sometimes a wonderful dream lost in time, but always needed to be seen

Friuli (my region) - the best Italian white wines are produced here, on the hills of Gorizia, the only European border town still crossed by a wall, a reminescence of what once was the East Bloc, of on the slopes around Cividale, with its Roman and Longobard treasures. Down on the coast there is Aquileia, in Middle Age its patriarch ( archbishop ) ruled territories extending well into Central Europe. And Trieste, of course, with layers of memories from the Roman Empire, to The Serenissima Republic of Venice and the Hapsburg Empire.

What else? Please remember fog and rain are common troughout the plains of Northern Italy in fall and winter, snow and ice can be expected in the colder months too. On the other side fall has the colours of Renaissance masters' paintings and spring blossoms across the gardens and fields not later than March.

Too lyrical? I apologize!

Bye all Paolo Trieste, Italy