Springtime in Italy — what a feast for the senses with blossoms in every shade of the spectrum and fragrances abounding.
There was definitely something special about Lake Maggiore from the moment we arrived at our villa rental in Lesa until we left four days later. Did it start with the warm welcome we received from our hosts? Was it the natural beauty of the water, islands, and gardens? Was it our special experiences that included world-class music? I think it was a combination of all of those things wrapped up into one magical experience.
It shouldn’t be surprising that art, literature, and music are essential aspects of northern Italy. Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, dramatic history, and deep cultural traditions, it’s easy to understand why writers, artists, and musicians have been enamored of and inspired by various locations in the four regions of Italy we visited on our latest trip — Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna.
As one of the most beautiful regions of Europe, Tuscany is a prime vacation destination for many. It can be especially appealing to those wishing to celebrate special occasions (such as weddings and anniversaries), bring friends together and spend quality time with their families. Very popular accommodations in the region are luxury villas that have been transformed into holiday rentals and opened to guests.
When you picture Portugal in your mind, what do you see — trams on steep streets, towering bridges, and historic sites such as Belém? I was excited to see these scenes in person and even happier to experience Portuguese culture expressed in art, architecture, and music as portrayed in the second part of my Portugal Instagram photos.
Lisbon was irresistible. I fell in love at first sight.
As much as Mr. TWS and I were excited about taking our first cruise, the fact that the Viking River Cruises “Portugal’s River of Gold” itinerary included a two-day stay in Lisbon prior to ever stepping foot on the boat was one of our favorite things.
Picture Portugal — the glittering lights of Lisbon, sweeping vistas of the stunning Douro Valley, Baroque architecture, colorful ceramic tiles, and delightful surprises. These are just a few of the facets of this wonderful country that we captured for our Instagram gallery during our first visit there on our Viking River “Portugal’s River of Gold” cruise.